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Dark Sky Finder

By Skidmore Properties, LLC

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Get away from the city's bright glow and head out to dark skies, where the Milky Way shines with countless stars overhead.

Dark Sky Finder helps you locate nearby dark skies to take a telescope, watch a meteor shower, or simply relax under the stars. See a light pollution map of North America, Europe, and Australia, along with dots that indicate good observing locations. Anyone can add a good observation site — for instance, a public park with no bright lights — and write a few words about it to help other people in the area looking for a dark location.


• Light Pollution Map: Overlaid on top of the standard map, satellite, or hybrid (includes most recent light pollution data, in addition to 1996/1997 data).
• Dark Sites: Escape to dark skies in hundreds of locations. Includes user reviews, directions, and information on sky conditions, important notes, parking, fees, bathrooms, camping, weather, and much more.
• Add a Dark Site: Make a contribution by adding a dark site for everyone to enjoy.
• Clear Sky Charts: Finds the nearest Clear Sky Chart to pull in information on transparency, seeing, and other conditions relevant to telescope observers.
• Bortle Scale: Tap on the map legend to toggle between the Bortle Scale and basic scale. Read more about the Bortle Scale for measuring light pollution in the About tab.

Send an email to for support or to give feedback on the app. I'll answer quickly, usually in a few minutes to an hour. Feedback is always appreciated!

Note: If you are in Canada and would like to see greater coverage of the country, tap About, then Settings, and change the map to the 1996/1997 data.

What's New in Version 1.1

• Maps for most of Europe and Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific, and surrounding areas) are included in the update.

• Updated to include support for iPhone 5 and iOS 6.

Have any questions or feedback? Please get in touch! See the app description for contact details.


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Customer Reviews

Grade: C+

The idea is a good one, but there are two basic problems:
1. The data the map is based on looks like about 7-8 years old. It needs to be current as of like say… last 30 days.
2. The data is not detailed enough to be useful in say, if you life in a metro country, where are the micro areas that have darker skye due to geographic shadows, or less commercial/street lighting, so that you don't have to drive hundreds of miles just to find reasonably darker skys…

Somewhere in the US government, someone is actually tracking all this on a night by night basis down the 1/10 acre pixel world wide. The US Dept of Ag. and US Dept of Commerce, USGS, EPA, not to mention CIA,DHS, FBI, DOD, etc… I am sure that data set is available if the right request is made… If not, I have connections that can make that happen, but like everything dealing the the Gov., if you don't ask, you don't get...

Find great places to observe the night sky

Very well designed and easy to use. Tons of observation sites located all over the place, which is really helpful for finding dark places to watch a meteor shower with friends or go take my telescope. Seems like new locations are added daily, although some could use more detail (like is there camping available?) although many have this type of info. Spoke with the developer and maps for the entire world will be coming soon.

Great app but freezes

This is a great app, everything one could ask for if they are looking for dark skies near them.

However, it freezes a lot and takes a long time to load some screens, and honestly great idea of clicking on the directions link to open up the location in the maps app, doesn't work. It just sits there. So I need to note the site name, google it to get the address, then type that into maps. Kind of a pain that could be avoided if the link worked.

The app gets a 5/5 for concept, and 3/5 for these faults, so 4/5 total.

Dark Sky Finder
View In iTunes
This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad
  • $1.99
  • Category: Reference
  • Updated: Nov 10, 2012
  • Version: 1.1
  • Size: 24.4 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller: Skidmore Properties, LLC

Compatibility: Requires iOS 4.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

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