A 3D Simulation of the Sky at Ballycroy National Park Visitor Centre, Co. Mayo

Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Computer Sciences, Information Science, Physical geography

Publication Details

Mayo Dark Skies Community Group & Technological University Dublin http://www.mayodarkskypark.ie/discover/Stellarium


The Mayo Dark Skies Community Group, in collaboration with Dr Frank Prendergast of the Dublin Institution of Technology, is pleased to launch a digital virtual experience of the Mayo Dark Sky Park. Following its designation as an International Dark Sky Park (Gold Tier), it is now possible to experience a part of this magnificent and pristine skyscape on your computer. This has been made possible using open source software (Stellarium http://www.stellarium.org/) and a specially commissioned digital panorama of the horizon surrounding the Ballycroy National Park Visitor Centre.

Stellarium is an open source planetarium for your computer and shows a fully realistic digital sky. The customised landscape file for Stellarium has been specially developed for this collaborative project. Once installed on your computer, this situates your viewpoint at the summit directly above the Visitor Centre. Real horizons are seen on the screen and, for the first time, the changing skyscapes throughout the year can be experienced and enjoyed. User control over the programme’s location, time and direction settings provides an incredibly powerful educational tool to learn practical astronomy.

A customised landscape file for Ballycroy, a display poster of the panorama surrounding the Visitor Centre and installation instructions on how to install the software and landscape file are available at http://www.mayodarkskypark.ie/discover/Stellarium




Mayo Dark Skies Community Group