Sky’s the limit for star fans

Milky Way from The Schill, Cheviots. Credit: Northumberland National Park Authority/Colin Cooper.
Milky Way from The Schill, Cheviots. Credit: Northumberland National Park Authority/Colin Cooper.

A series of special events are taking place for stargazing fans, including a photograph competition and an upcoming weekend astronomy break.

It comes as the Northumberland National Park and Kielder Water and Forest Park celebrated the first anniversary of becoming an International Dark Sky Park last Tuesday.

This Saturday and Sunday, the Redesdale Arms, in Otterburn, holds a stargazing weekend break, including colourful astronomy talks for novices and guided telescope observing.

For more details, visit the website or call 01830 520668.

Meanwhile, Alex McLennan, recreation and public affairs manager for the Forestry Commission (North East), will shortly be launching a permanent dark-skies exhibition at Kielder Castle.

He added: “England’s forests are natural dark-sky wildernesses. At Kielder and Hamsterley in Durham we’ve established dark sky viewing venues for visitors and local people alike.”

During the past year, Northumberland’s night skies have captured the hearts and imagination of visitors and residents who have produced some extraordinary photographs.

A selection of the best can be seen in an album of A Year of Stargazing at visitnorthumberland.com/darkskies

The Dark Sky Park partners are offering a prize for the best photograph of the night skies taken between now and December 9, 2015.

They are looking not only for breathtaking shots of the heavens, and amazing close-ups of the constellations, but for lively captures of the wonder and pleasure on people’s faces as they gaze deep into the soup of stars that are true dark skies.