The Black Triangle of Quercy

Headin the stars

The “best sky in mainland France” can be found in the Causses du Quercy.

Indeed, a triangular-shaped area in the heart of the Park is one of the sites best protected from light pollution in France. Stars, planets, the Milky Way… you won’t find a better place to observe them!

In the now-famous “black triangle of Quercy”, night-time light is almost entirely natural.

The brilliance of all the stars reaches us undisturbed by the luminous halo generated by our public lighting. What a wonder it is on a summer’s evening, when the Milky Way and all the intense, vibrant stars stand out in the deep night.

The widespread use of public lighting, even in rural areas, generates light halos that disturb the purity of the sky. The darker the sky, the more difficult it is to observe its constituent elements.

Light pollution also has more insidious effects on ecosystems. It disturbs flora and fauna which, like us, need a true night’s sleep.

To preserve this exceptional nocturnal heritage, a number of communes in the Parc Naturel Régional des Causses du Quercy are committed to switching off their public lighting after a certain time of night and/or installing more efficient lampposts; others have also signed a charter to protect the environment and the night sky.

Lie down on the grass and marvel at the deep night as you see the Milky Way and all the stars, intense & vibrant. Pay close attention: often a shooting star tears the sky apart!

Astronomers, both professional and amateur, didn’t wait to rush in, of course.

If you have your own equipment, there are three observation sites where you can enjoy the starry nights: Limogne-en-Quercy, Reilhac and Carlucet.