North Ronaldsay’s dark skies have achieved international recognition. The island has been designated as an International Dark Sky Community, one of just over 30 worldwide. It’s on an elite list that ranges from Flagstaff, Arizona, to Fulda in Germany. Only two other places in Scotland have this status – the island of Coll and the town of Moffat.
Spiral galaxy Messier 106 is unusual. It has four spiral arms instead of the usual two. The normal pair are the ones with the string of blue towards their ends – hot young stars in an early stage of life.
The Orcadian's Orkney Sky Notes column is ten years old. The column, produced by Rousay astronomer John Vetterlein, has become not only an essential guide to the Orkney night sky but also an ideal way to learn about astronomy.
The skies above Orkney’s most northerly island are among the darkest in Europe. The winning images from the first two second annual competitions for North Ronaldsay night sky photographs shows the sharpness and clarity with which features can be seen.