14″ Telescope

We are now the proud guardians of a 14″ newtonian reflecting telescope. It has three times the light gathering power of our 8″ Schmidt Cassegrian and double the light collecting ability of our 10″ Dobsonian. It will be great for viewing all those distant nebulae and galaxies during the coming months.

14 inch Dobsonian telescpoe
14 inch Dobsonian telescope

Tomnavoulin gets New Lights

Full cut off street lighting in Tomnavoulin
Full cut off street lighting in Tomnavoulin

Moray Council have just finished installing replacement street lighting in Tomnavoulin with “full cut off” LED units. A great improvement because as you can see they only illuminate downwards where we need the light. Also good for our wildife, reducing our carbon footprint and the cost of running the lighting. It all helps to keep our council taxes down in future.

Dark Sky Discovery Sites

Brand new interpretation boards were installed at our three Dark Sky Discovery sites last week: The Field of Hope, The Carrachs and Blairfindy Moor. They have got information to get you started on your star gazing adventures. But you will need to visit all three to get the whole story.

The Field of Hope - Tomintoul's Dark Sky Discovery Site
The Field of Hope – Tomintoul’s Dark Sky Discovery Site

Here’s where to find them:

Dark Sky Discovery Map
Dark Sky Discovery Site Map

Planners back Dark Skies

We were delighted to hear this week that planners will be backing our bid to become an International Dark Sky Park. Both the Cairngorms National Park Authority and the Moray Council have written to confirm that they will be using our Lighting Management Plan as a material consideration in determining planning applications within our proposed Dark Sky Park.

Planners back Dark Sky Park
Planners back Dark Sky Park

Lighting Amnesty

Our lighting amnesty got off to an excellent start on Saturday with an event in Tomintoul. We celebrated International Dark Skies week with an offer to replace local residents outdoor lights with dark sky friendly ones.

If anyone in the proposed Dark Sky Park area has an outdoor light that allows excessive light to spill into the surrounding countryside and night sky then a free replacement unit can be obtained from the Landscape Partnership office in Tomintoul.

Download our Lighting Amnesty Leaflet to find out more.

Dark Sky Friendly Lighting

Darker Skies over Tomintoul

Tomintoul Street Lighting Comparision 2015-2017

There is an amazing difference in the sky quality over Tomintoul now that almost all of the street lighting has been replaced.

Last night an hour with binoculars revealed a huge array of deep sky delights from the Field of Hope at the junction of the A939 / B9008. To the naked eye the sky was absolutely studded with stars and the Milky Way showed great detail. There was even a hint of the Aurora in the north to complete the experience.

A big thank you to the Moray Council for making such a huge difference.

Tomintoul Distillery Meeting

We had a great meeting today at the Tomintoul Single Malt Whisky HQ about our Dark Skies of Tomintoul & Glenlivet project. It all helps to bring us one step closer to our (fingers crossed!) International Dark-Sky Association application to become the world’s most northerly Dark Sky Park.

Tomintoul Distillery from the air