I’ll be sky and star guiding from remote and beautiful Lewis this March, for the 2023 Hebridean Dark Skies Festival, with dates spanning 18-21st March. Tickets and event info below and in the accompanying link. On Thursday 16th March I’ll also be joining the HDS panel for a special facebook live session “Ask the Astronomers”.
Join astronomer Stephen Mackintosh (aka Highland Astronomy) for an evening of fascinating insights into the cosmos and – weather permitting – a walk under the stars at some of our best stargazing spots.
Join us up at Abriachan Forest on March 25th (a Dark Sky Discovery site) for an evening of stargazing and storytelling.
For March we welcome HAS’s Maarten De Vries as our guest astronomer with a talk titled “Comets – Ancient Icy Visitors from the Edge of our Solar System”. Maarten had his first experience with comets when he was 11 years only and has been an ardent observer of the night sky ever since.
Additionally we welcome Fiona Macdonald our guest storyteller for the evening, sharing tales over the campfire.
Plus outdoor naked eye stargazing with astronomer Stephen Mackintosh if conditions are favourable.
Due to site and classroom capacity, booking via Eventbrite is essential. Admission is free for under 16s with accompanying adults but please inform Abriachan of any large booking requests.
Join me up at Abriachan Forest (a Dark Sky Discovery site) for an evening of stargazing and astronomy on February 25th with our first guest speaker of the 2022 season – Professor Martin Hendry.
If skies are clear Martin and myself will host an outdoor stargazing session, discussion and Q&A under the stars. Following this Martin will present his indoor guest talk on the very latest discoveries in cosmology, concentrating on the elusive nature of dark matter and dark energy.
Refreshments provided plus binoculars for stargazing. Under 16s with accompanying adults go free. Tickets can be booked via Eventbrite here or you can reserve directly from my Facebook page here.
Martin Hendry is Professor of Gravitational Astrophysics and Cosmology at the University of Glasgow and is a passionate advocate for STEM education and science engagement with schools and public audiences. He is the author of more than 200 scientific articles and is a senior member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, the global team of more than 1400 scientists which made the first-ever detection of gravitational waves – a discovery awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize for Physics. Martin is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and the Royal Society of Edinburgh and is currently a Trustee of the IOP and the James Clerk Maxwell Foundation. In 2015 he was awarded an MBE for services to the public understanding of science.
The Torridon is a location with exceptional darkness in the remote western Highlands of Scotland. You can see a preview of my stargazing experience on the BBC’s Amazing Hotels. Near the end I take Giles and Monica out for an excursion under the stars.
Fingers crossed both my community based stargazing programmes will be up and running again by October (at Abriachan Forest and the Merkinch Nature Reserve).
The Milky Way over the Callanish Stones on the Isle of Lewis. Jupiter and Saturn can be seen in this shot low above the horizon. By Emma Rennie of Callanish Digital Design. www.callanishdigitaldesign.com
Another stunning Milky Way shot by Christopher Cogan taken from Muie in Sutherland in the far north of Scotland.
Two stunning Milky Way images taken last night from the Scottish Highlands (and Islands). Both show the bright region of the Milky Way in the vicinity of the Summer Triangle, looking south.
If you imagine our Milky Way as a vast disk of stars, these views are peering further ‘into’ the disk, where the density of stars and stellar matter is greater, and hence brighter. Contrast this with the fainter regions we see in Winter near Orion, when we peer ‘out’ of the galactic disk.
The dark lanes you can see are part of the Cygnus Rift – a region containing vast clouds of dust that obscure some of the light from the billions of stars in the background.
With the Moon well out of the way and proper darkness returning late at night, now is a great time to go out and see the Milky Way for yourself.