Association Française d'Astronomie - membre fondateur du PNA

Every day, events remind us how the values we believe in are eternally topical. A lay association, centered on popular education, the French Astronomical Association (AFA) works for the empowerment of people through training in critical thinking and knowledge dissemination. Access for all to scientific culture, information, knowledge is our mission, our will. We want it to be as yours.  We brainstorm and work hand in hand with many partners, stakeholders and members of our association.

Dark Sky Alqueva Reserve. 

Alqueva is the first site in the world to receive the “Starlight Tourism Destination” certification. This certification, awarded by the Starlight Foundation is supported by UNESCO, UNWTO and IAC. Starlight destinations are visitable places characterized by excellent quality for the contemplation of starry skies, and the practice of tourist activities based on this resource.

The region of the Great Lake Alqueva in Alentejo, Portugal is a wonderful place to see the stars, constellations and distant galaxies such as the Milky Way. The unique characteristics of the night sky with a very low rate of light pollution, in the municipalities of Alandroal, Reguengos, Monsaraz, Mourão, Barrancos, Portel and Moura ensure the ideal conditions for an excellent observation of the dark sky.

In Alqueva the sky has good atmospheric conditions for stargazing most of the year. Such skies are disappearing in Europe, where most of the population has no longer the privilege to observe an unpolluted sky.

In May 2016, a Gold Tier standard of International Dark Sky Park was awarded to Ballycroy National Park and Wild Nephin, known jointly as Mayo Dark Sky Park. The dark sky certification process is modeled on conservation programmes, such as UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves.

A Gold Tier award is the highest possible accolade, meaning that Mayo is now internationally recognised as one of the best places in the world to view the wonders of the night.

Mayo Dark Sky Park is a great example of a collaborative project between our communities, National Parks & Wildlife Service, Coillte, GMIT Mayo Campus, South West Mayo Development and Mayo County Council. We are very proud of the strong partnership formed between local people and state agencies who worked together on this project. The process of preparing a dark-sky application took over two years to complete from initial research undertaken in 2013.

Formal responsibility for Mayo Dark Sky Park is shared between the management of National Parks & Wildlife Service and Coillte. Both parties have committed to a responsible lighting plan for the Dark Sky Park.

ESO - European Southern Observatory. 

ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world’s most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. It is supported by 15 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world’s most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and two survey telescopes. VISTA works in the infrared and is the world’s largest survey telescope and the VLT Survey Telescope is the largest telescope designed to exclusively survey the skies in visible light. ESO is the European partner of a revolutionary astronomical telescope ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. ESO is currently planning the 39-metre European Extremely Large optical/near-infrared Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.


Main French retailer of binoculars, microscopes, loupes, terrestrial telescopes and astronomical instruments. The origin of this activity dates back to the 50s, when Jean MEDAS developed marketing of amateur telescopes, along with binoculars, spotting scopes, and even microscopes and binocular loupes to take off season store personnel, after a eyeglass manufacturing test.


Nikon Japanese brand is world leader in digital imaging and precision optics. Founded in 1987 and based in Champigny sur Marne, the company Nikon France SAS, whose CEO is Mr Marc Ortmans integrates all services required for the distribution of Nikon products, for France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Africa North. Nikon France is organized into two business units. Image Division, led by Valérie Pierre, distributes photographic equipment (SLR cameras, compact COOLPIX cameras, compact cameras with interchangeable lenses Nikon 1 NIKKOR lenses) and Sport Optics products (binoculars, laser rangefinders and long views) .dropoff window The Instruments Division, headed by Mr Philippe Rideau, distributes microscopy systems for research, medicine and biology industry.


Situé à une altitude de 1000 m dans les hauts de Saint-Louis, l'Observatoire Astronomique de la Plaine des Makes vous fera découvrir dans un cadre agréable, ce qu'est l'astronomie. 

L'idée d'un Observatoire aux Makes remonte à 1986, lors du passage de la comète de Halley. Le village des Makes présentait un certain nombre de caractéristiques : éclairage public discret, ciel pur et dégagé la nuit, turbulence atmosphérique réduite, possibilités d'hébergement dans le village.

Grâce à ces atouts, l'Association Astronomique de la Réunion (A.A.R.), fondée également en 1986, put obtenir la collaboration de la municipalité de Saint-Louis. Cette dernière trouvait un grand intérêt à développer cette partie des Hauts de la commune. 

Les travaux de l'Observatoire débutèrent le 13 octobre 1990 et furent achevés le 20 septembre 1991.  L’inauguration a eu lieu le lendemain en présence du très médiatique HUBERT REEVES. 

Dès l'année suivante, une extension s'avérait nécessaire, comprenant entre autres deux salles de travail. L'inauguration eut lieu le 23 mai 1998 en présence du célèbre André BRAHIC, spécialiste français des planètes, et d'Isabelle GRENIER, astrophysicienne à Saclay. 

L'Observatoire des Makes est géré par l'A.G.O.R.A (Association de Gestion de l'Observatoire Réunionnais d'Astronomie).


Optolong Optics Co.,ltd is the brand owner of optolong who is a manufacturer of astronomy filters, fluorescence filters. We also offer other interference filters like UV filters, visible filters and Near inferred filters, beam splitter, anti-reflection coating and optical mirrors as a OEM service.

Located in Kunming city in China which is one of the four optics center and the coating experience of 18 years (since 1999) enable us to design and produce the filters with most sophisticated spectrum.

We are glad to declare that Optolong has been become the first and only non-replaceable brand for astronomical filters in China. Optolong brand is also known as the comparable filters with international brand by distributor client around the world.

"The Picto helps professionals and image enthusiasts since 1950.

It is therefore natural that Picto committed alongside Ciel & Espace and the photographic agency of the French Astronomical Association to support this new Award for professionals and amateurs of astronomical photography. "

All year, by cable car access from La Mongie at the foot of the famous Col du Tourmalet. At the top: the most beautiful view of the Pyrenees! panoramic terraces, but also a museum about astronomy and the history of the Pic du Midi, a traditional mountain restaurant and a gift shop.

Launched in 2004, PixWays was created to serve professional photography

We provide digital services to photographic and video agencies, as well as to clients in the media sector, from which our team comes from.

PixPalace, historically our first service, has become the leader in the French digital market of professional photography and video with over a hundred agencies offering over 45 million pictures and videos to thousands of regular buyers from the press, the edition and communication agencies.

For 5 years, we have been offering to content providers our PixTrakk service of tracking usage of their pictures in the printed press. The tracking is done in over a thousand French publications.

As an extension to this service, PixTrakk now offers you the possibility to track down your photos on the web and the possibility to benefit from our legal services for the collection procedure of any fraudulent use of your photographs.

PixWays also organises PixDay, the professional fair in Paris for buyers and sellers of images and videos.

YellowKorner was created in 2006 by two friends, Alexandre de Metz and Paul-Antoine Briat, both passionate about photography since childhood. From this encounter came an idea and an ambition: to make art photography accessible for all and YellowKorner the leading publisher of art photography. 

The concept thus stems from a very simple equation: instead of offering 10 prints for 5 000 euros, YellowKorner chooses to publish 1 000 for 50 euros while preserving irreproachable standards of quality for all of the prints, finishes, and in selecting photographers.

We will be featuring the works of amazing Nightscape Photographers' whether it be tutorials, news, events, blogs, hints and tips, videos and of course those all important images! Astrotourism appears to be increasing in popularity, so each month we will do a special feature on a different Nightscape Location. 

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