Did you know that the UK has some of the largest areas of dark sky in Europe? Perfect for stargazing. Wherever you are around the country, if you can find yourself a patch of earth away from street lights, look up on a dark clear night and you’ll be able to see the stars. If you happen to be away from a city centre you could spot a hundred or so just with the naked eye. Stand back and wonder
If you really want a wow, head towards your nearest Dark Sky Park – areas of low light pollution where astronomers cluster to watch the night skies. Our local is Northumberland Dark Sky Park – officially home to the darkest skies in the country. If the clouds are kind it’s not unusual to spot over a 1000 stars in a night. Imagine.
Many of these locations have tapped in to a growing interest in astro-tourism, with observatories open to visitors year found and a diary crammed full of regular events – from Night Sky Safari’s to beginners courses in Astro Photography. Have a look at what’s on offer at Kielder Observatory and you’ll get the gist.
Spot the Planets
It’s alway worth having a look for big sky events that might be going on (check out the Jodrell Bank Info pages to get the headlines on what entertainment the skies have in store for the month ahead. This weekend it’s all abut the planets we’re told – with three making an appearance all together in the sky over the next few days (Mars, Venus and Jupiter)
Get the app
And if you’re not sure whether to give stargazing a go, download The Night Sky app on to your smartphone and point it at the sky tonight. It’ll magically paint a picture of what you’re seeing. We bet you’ll be hooked
PS> This amazing image was taken by Pasi Koskela