Dark Skies events throughout the winter
THE North Pennines AONB Partnership is advising a dress code of warm coats and woolly hats as it launches a new programme of stargazing events for autumn and winter.
With 17 official Dark Sky Discovery sites dotted around County Durham, Cumbria and Northumberland, the UK’s second largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty proves it has just as much to offer after hours as it does in the daytime.
Inky dark skies
With funding from the Science and Technology Facilities Council, the AONB Partnership is holding a series of events in a bid to get more people out and about enjoying the inky dark skies of the North Pennines.
Alistair Lockett, Field Officer from the AONB Partnership, said: “The quality of our night sky is amazing, and I think that’s been proved with us getting so many sites recognised in less than two years. We are incredibly lucky because dark skies this good are pretty rare. In many places street lighting ruins any chance of getting a good view of the stars but in the North Pennines you don’t have to go too far until you find yourself underneath a blanket of millions of stars.
‘Can’t wait to get out stargazing’
“While some people want the summer to last for ever I’m just waiting until it starts getting darker so we can get out stargazing again.”
Events are being held between now and March and those attending the event will then get the chance to go outside and use professional telescopes to see just how exciting the dark skies in the North Pennines are.
Alistair said: “All of our events are about getting people to appreciate the night sky and while it’s good to have some background information from our experts, what we really want people to do is get out there and look at the stars because when you start to see what’s actually up there, it’s just amazing.”
Events accross the North Pennines
Events will be held at Edmundbyers on November 17 where the talk will focus on the Northern Lights and meteors, to coincide the Leonids meteor shower; December 4 at Langdon Beck where the topic will be the Moon; February 9 at Allendale concentrates on cosmic dust with the final event at RSPB Geltsdale in Cumbria where guest speakers will look at the history of the night sky.
For more information visit www.northpennines.org.uk or www.explorenorthpennines.org.uk or call Alistair Lockett or Kaye Jemmeson on 01388 528801. Booking essential and all events are family friendly and include hot drinks and refreshments.
Released: 28 October 2015