Which season is best if you want to see the Milky Way in Denmark?

The best time to see the Milky Way is in late summer and autumn, from August to November. At that time, the Milky Way is still high in the sky in the evening.

In the spring, you have to go out early mornning, around 3 a.m., to see the Milky Way rise before the sun rises.

In the summer, the sky is so bright that it can be difficult to see the Milky Way. However, you can spot it between 1 and 2 at night.

You should choose a moonless night, when it either has not risen yet, or has set already. It's impossible to see the Milky Way when there is a lot of moonlight. You can check the rising and setting times of the Moon in our moon calendar here: https://darkskymoen.dk/en/node/108

Here are some photos of the Milky Way from Dark Sky Park Møn.


Where in Denmark can you best observe the Milky Way?

On Møn and Nyord you can clearly see the Milky Way because the sky around it is so dark. 

This is because Møn is an island in Denmark with no light pollution, so you can see even the faintest things in the sky. 

For example, the Andromeda Galaxy can be seen with the naked eye from Møn.

The Milky Way from the top of Møns Klint
Milky Way at Møns Klint

What is the best way to start looking at stars and other things in the sky?

The best way to start looking at the night sky is to put on nice warm clothes, go to a dark place with a sleeping pad, and then lie down comfortably and look up at the sky. If you have good binoculars, you can try using them.

The best binoculars to use are low magnification wide angle binoculars, they are available with 2x magnification at around 40mm. lenses. 

If you are looking for shooting stars, you don't have to use binoculars, just your eyes. You can read more about watching meteors here: https://darkskymoen.dk/en/node/160

It is important to give the eyes time to get used to the dark. If you just have looked into a phone, or come straight from a lighted place, it takes up to half an hour for your eyes to get used to the darkness again.

If you must use a lamp, you must not use one with white light. Red light is better for preserving night vision. If you don't have a special red light, a bicycle rear light is just as good.

You can read much more about seeing and enjoying the night sky here: https://darkskymoen.dk/en/node/228


When is the best time of year to look for meteors?

We have made a list of the largest meteor showers, including the approximate dates they are visible. You can use that list to find the best times to plan a meteor hunt.

Meteors can be seen all year round, on any clear moonless night. Especially if you are in a very dark area, such as Møn. Just find a nice dark spot, lie down on a mat, relax, and look at the sky. It's important not to stare at a specific area, because meteors can appear anywhere.

The longest lasting meteors appear in the evening. There are more meteors in the morning before sunrise, but they are shorter-lived.

Read more about meteor-watching here: https://darkskymoen.dk/en/node/160


What is the best way to photograph the night sky, the stars and the Milky Way?

You need a camera that can be set manually, both aperture, shutter speed and focus. You also need to use a tripod or something the camera can rest securely on.

To photograph large objects, such as landscapes or the Milky Way, you need a wide-angle lens, e.g. 14 mm.

We go much more in depth about photography at night in this article: https://darkskymoen.dk/en/node/222

How do you know that Møn is a Dark Sky place?

The entire Dark Sky Park part of Møn and Nyord has a fantastic night sky.

This is because Møn is an island in Denmark with no light pollution.

The unit called 'MPSAS" (mag/arcsec2) is used to indicate how dark the sky is. The higher the number, the darker the sky. When the unit increases by 1, it means that the amount of light pollution is doubled. And every time the amount of light pollution is doubled, the number of visible stars is halved.

In clear weather without moonlight, the sky above Møn has a value of around 21.8.
On the Bortle scale, it corresponds to between 1 and 2, i.e. the best class available.

It must be seen in relation to e.g. Copenhagen, where MPSAS is around 18. This is 8 times more light pollution than Møn. In Køge the number is 20, i.e. 4 times as much light as on Møn.

We constantly measure how dark it is on Møn. The results can be seen here.

The measurements show that Møn is extremely dark at night. We are doing our best to preserve the darkness, by trying to convince people to use less outdoor lighting, and limit light pollution from businesses.

There is an association called Dark Sky Denmark, working to prevent the increasing light pollution, by teachinng children and others about light pollution and its bad effects on people and wildlife. 

When is the best season or date to visit Dark Sky Park Møn?

Dark Sky Park Møn & Nyord is worth a visit all year round.

Different parts of the sky can be seen at different seasons, as we look out in different directions at night as we orbit the sun during the year. So if you want to see something specific, it is important to know which season is best for it. If there is something special you want to see, we will be happy to answer when it is best.

The experience is of course different depending on the time of year, here is a short summary:

Winter (November - February): Most dark hours, the Milky Way is less visible, the winter constellations such as Orion is only visible now. It is typically quite cloudy in winter, but there may well be some periods of clear weather.

Spring (March - May): The Milky Way is more visible, animals are very active, skies are often clear and humidity is lower.

Summer (June - July): The Milky Way is right above us, luminous night clouds are nice to see, but there are not many dark hours. From midnight to 2 is the darkest, then the sky can be very beautiful with a constant sunset to the north, where the sun hides just below the horizon.

Late summer (August - October): Best time to see the Milky Way. In these years (2023-2025) it is also the best time to see the big, beautiful planets Saturn and Jupiter. 

The major planets are visible at different times of the year, it changes every year. Here is an overview of the planets: https://darkskymoen.dk/en/node/227

It is best to see the night sky when there is no moonlight. See our moon calendar to find the best nights when the moon has not risen yet: https://darkskymoen.dk/en/node/108

Where is the best location in Denmark to see many stars at night?

On Møn and Nyord you can see many more stars than anywhere else in Denmark. 

This is because there is less light pollution, so you can see even the smallest stars. 

Where in a big city you can see around 100 stars in the sky, on Møn you can see more than 5000 stars. 

You can also see many more shooting stars (meteors) because the sky is dark.

Liselund Slot

Where in Denmark can we find the darkest skies?

Møn and Nyord is the only place in Denmark officially designated as a Dark Sky Park, which means that the darkness of the night is protected from light pollution. The night sky darkness is continuously monitored, and the level of darkness can be seen live at https://darkskymoen.dk/en/posts/real-time-sqm-measurements-mon

But several other areas are on their way to achieving the same status.

An association, Dark Sky Denmark, has started a campaign and project to investigate what can be done against the increasing light pollution in Denmark, i.a. by measurements and knowledge sharing.

When can you best see Orions belt in Denmark?

Orion is one of the most beautiful constellations in the night sky. The constellation is only visible in Denmark in autumn and winter.

Orion begins to be visible from the beginning of October, when the constellation rises at midnight, and is fully visible at 2.

For the next few months, Orion can be seen all night until March when it sets around 23.

What is the name of the brightest star in the night sky?

Sirius (or Alpha Canis Majoris) is the brightest star in the sky and the main star in the constellation "The Big Dog". For that reason it is also known as the Dog Star.

In the evening, when the sun has just set, you can often see Sirius flashing in many colors. This is because the atmosphere is still cooling and the air is therefore unstable. It's not because the star is twinkling.

Will there eventually be more light pollution? Does it matter if we turn on one more lamp when there is already a lot of light in the area?

Yes, the amount of light pollution increases by around 8% annually in Denmark. Worldwide, light pollution increases by around 10%. 

The increasing light pollution means that we will soon not be able to see a dark sky anywhere. 

Light pollution spreads without boundaries, so places that try to limit light pollution will end up having their night skies destroyed by light pollution from other areas. 

Every lamp counts

The total amount of light that spreads into the sky increases every time a new lamp is switched on. 

You often hear the excuse that there are so many other lamps, so it makes no difference if there is one more or less. 

But that is wrong. Every new lamp increases light pollution, and every lamp that is switched off will reduce light pollution to the surroundings.