Help celebrate Dark Sky Park anniversary

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A battery of powerful telescopes will be deployed next month to help celebrate a birthday milestone for the county’s starry skies.

Starmaker astro-guides are staging a special event to mark the first anniversary of the creation of the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park.

The stargazing extravaganza will take place at Clennell Hall, Harbottle, on Wednesday, December 10, from 7.30pm.

Eager night owls will be treated to heavenly wonders ranging from sparkling star clusters to distant galaxies.

Organiser Rob Ince said: “It’s an amazing fact that 90 per cent of British people say they have never seen the Milky Way – yet under Harbottle skies it can look spectacular.

“We will be using our naked eye, binoculars and telescopes to show off the fabulous beauty of the Northumberland night sky in all its glory.”

The 580 square mile Northumberland International Dark Sky Park was designated in December 2013 by the USA-based International Dark Skies Association to a fanfare of world-wide publicity.

It is made up of the Northumberland National Park and the majority of Kielder Water and Forest Park.

The Starmaker initiative ill see more than 40 events staged before the year’s end in Northumberland International Dark Sky Park and the North Pennines AONB and is extending the county’s tourism offer.

The event is perfect for novices and will feature colourful talks with magnificent pictures and videos taken under our starry skies. Tickets cost £7.50 adults, £5 children.

Bookings can be made via the Northumberland National Park website at northum berlandnationalpark.org.uk and then click on the Starmaker events link on the home page. Any problems, call Rob on 07511 403702.

The event goes ahead in all weather.

Full event listings can be found at northumberlandna tionalpark.org.uk

l A series of stargazing events are being held along the Northumberland coast over the next few months, including one at The Barn at Beal next Thursday. More details, visit tinyurl.com/p6vgp6d