A bid has been submitted to make the Galloway site the first dark sky park outside the US. Picture by James Hilder
A bid has been submitted to see a south of Scotland forest recognised as the first "dark sky park" outside the US.
Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) has made the application for the award to be given to the Galloway Forest Park.
The International Dark Sky Association (IDSA) has six weeks to decide whether the forest park meets the criteria to become a hotspot for stargazers.
At present there are only three "dark sky parks" in the world and all of them are located in the US.
The FCS head of tourism and the environment for Galloway, Keith Muir, said he was optimistic of success for the Scottish bid.
"We had light readings taken last winter with great results so we are hoping to match or improve on this," he said.
"If we get dark sky status I'm sure it will be a great boost for the area and a real draw for stargazers wanting to experience some of the clearest skies in Britain."
He said local support, as well as assistance from the Wigtownshire Astronomical Society and Glasgow University students, had "spurred on" the bid.
Two UK board members of the IDSA will visit the forest park to decide if the skies are dark enough to secure silver or possibly gold status.
Mr Muir said it would not be simple to gain the award.
"It isn't all plain sailing from here," he admitted.
"The criteria to make dark sky status is really tough so it will be a nervous time for all involved until the decision is made."
The three existing dark sky parks are all in the US - in Utah, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
If the Scottish application is successful then there is scope to potentially widen out the site to include the surrounding areas.
Discussions on that possibility have already been taking place with Dumfries and Galloway Council.
The IDSA meets on 14 and 15 November and a decision on whether Galloway Forest Park gets awarded the status should be made shortly after.