The Eifel National Park in North Rhine-Westphalia is one of the few places in Germany where you can see the Milky Way at night. After a preliminary recognition in the year 2014, the national park was appointed International Star Park on April 5, 2019. The protected area is located about 65 kilometers southwest of Cologne and provides a spectacular view of the night sky. The astronomy workshop "Sterne ohne Grenzen" offers its help so you can experience the starry sky.
Star Parks in Germany
There are only a few places in Germany that can be described as a Star Park. The International Dark Sky Association (IDA) awards regions whose nights are particularly dark, which preserve the natural night sky and offer programs for visitors to draw attention to the beauty of nature.
In addition to the Eifel National Park, Brandenburg's Westhavelland Nature Park is also a Star Park. The sparsely populated region 70km from Berlin is considered the first officially appointed Star Park. The darkness of the nights is comparable with those in the desert of Namibia, because besides the Milky Way, observers can also recognize the so-called "Airglow", a faint glow of higher atmospheric layers. The beauty of the night sky can also be seen in southern Germany: The UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Rhön is in the border area of the federal states of Bavaria, Hesse and Thuringia. This star park should draw special attention to the increasing brightening of the nights and offers the view on how important it is to protect the cultural asset night sky.
The darkness of the night not only pleases people but also the animals. Many creatures, some of which are already endangered, need the protection of darkness to survive. The sleep rhythm of many animals and humans is also disturbed by light pollution. People need darkness to produce the sleep hormone melatonin.
According to the international study "Atlas of Light Pollution", in 2016 as many as 60% of European residents could no longer see the Milky Way. The reason for this is the increased use of artificial light. Some installations range from light to 200 to 300 kilometers. The individual locations of a country can accommodate increased light pollution by using fewer blue components, paying attention to precise radiation towards the ground and no longer illuminating important buildings at night.
Adventure: Star Park
The nights are getting brighter and brighter. The more beautiful it is when you can enjoy the darkness of the night and see the splendor of the stars in the sky. A special place to look at a certain star. Do you already have a Star Certificate? Give your loved ones a unique pleasure and lead them to their personal star. An unforgettable experience.