North Pennines Stargazing Week

Stargazing Week comes to an end

The end of Stargazing Week is nigh!

Well it has been quite a week! It has been hectic behind the scenes getting all the content together, posting social media updates, and hosting virtual events. We hope that you have enjoyed following, attending, reading blogs, voting in the Night Creatures Twitter World Cup and generally getting enthused about the fabulous dark night skies in the North Pennines – the darkest mainland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Virtual exploration

Well over a hundred people explored Andromeda, chased the Northern Lights and got some pro tips on how to take photographs in the dark – many thanks to our virtual event leaders: Andy Gray, Martin Kitching and Gary Lintern.

Daily Star Tips from Richard Darn have guided our stargazing, planet spotting, Moon-gazing, constellation ID, and galaxy-hunting exploits – at least when sky conditions have allowed!

Blogs galore

During the week we have published 15 blogs on a wide-range of stargazing, space, dark skies topics: from how to get into astronomy, tips on astrophotography and the Andromeda Galaxy to how to keep dark places dark, encounters with nocturnal animals and the Northern Lights.

Moon Trails

We have followed the Moon Trail and played Nocturnal Hide and Seek at Bowlees Visitor Centre, created constellations with autumn leaves and sticks and made crafty pinwheel galaxies at home.

Creatures of the Night

Much fun was had with our Night Creatures Twitter World Cup – a light-hearted way to highlight the fact that dark night skies are important for wildlife, as well as much-appreciated by stargazers. Over the week 16 nocturnal and crepuscular animals were whittled down to two finalists – #TeamHedgehog and #TeamBarnOwl. Thank you to everyone who voted and came along on the journey with us. Two blog posts by Martin Kitching and Guy Broome developed the nocturnal animal story further – together with some amazing camera trap footage.

Star Art 2020

We launched our children’s space/stargazing art competition during Stargazing Week. We are searching for talented young artists to enter our exciting competition. 

There are three age categories – under 8s, 8-12; and 13-18 years. The winner of each category will win a pair of 10×50 binoculars, ideal for budding stargazers.

The closing date for entries is 2 December – so there’s still plenty of time to get your artwork in. Full details here: 

Thank you

First and foremost thank you for getting involved, coming to virtual events, reading blogs and commenting on social media posts. 

Also it’s a big thank you to all our contributors and collaborators, in no particular order: Roy Alexander, Martin Kitching, Guy Broome, Richard Darn, Duane Cox, Gary Lintern, Alison Lamb, Peter Samsom, Andy Gray and Katie Hale. We couldn’t have done so much without your enthusiastic support.

Looking forward

So that’s all folks! We hope you’ve enjoyed Stargazing Week as much as we have and that the content has been interesting, informative and inspirational. Hopefully we will be able to meet up for live stargazing in the North Pennines AONB during the 2021 Stargazing Festival.


The North Pennines Stargazing Week ran during October Half Term 2020 (23 October to 1 November). Discover lots of content from the week at:

#NorthPennStarWeek20 #NPennDarkSkies #stargazing #stars #NorthPenninesAONB

This blog is part of the North Pennines Stargazing Week 2020. Visit our Stargazing Week hub for more events, blogs and features.

North Pennines Stargazing Week 2020

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