This was me on the road and heading into the western Highlands last Saturday for my final stargazing gig of the season with the Woodland Trust.
Skies this far north will shortly be too bright to stargaze with only Astronomical Twilight levels of darkness left near midnight and no official ‘night’ again until mid to late August. So do get out while you still can. Of course the further south you are the less impacted you will be by this ‘near’ midnight Sun.
I had an eventful stargazing session with the Woodland Trust who were based at the Torridon for several nights. We first headed outside at about 10.30pm to view the crescent Moon with binoculars during early twilight skies – still too bright to see many stars apart from brilliant Arcturus.
After heading back inside for more projector based astronomy we ventured outside once more after 11pm and were fortunate to see a decent collection of bright stars and constellations despite some hazy cloud overhead.
Vega, Capella, Arcturus and Spica were all visible, in addition to the main stars in the Plough. I’d like to thank the Woodland Trust for inviting me and wish them well in their rewilding endeavours across the Highlands.
Stargazing and Moon Observing with Scotland’s Astronomer Royal Catherine Heymans.
Join me up at Abriachan Forest (a Dark Sky Discovery site) for an evening of stargazing, Moon observing and astronomy with our special guest Scotland’s astronomer royal Catherine Heymans.
If skies are clear Catherine and local astronomer Stephen Mackintosh will host an outdoor Moon observing session with binoculars and telescope. Following this Catherine will present her indoor guest talk titled “Do Look up! Space Rocks and Killer Asteroids”
Refreshments provided plus binoculars for stargazing. Under 16s with accompanying adults go free.
Catherine Heymans is the Astronomer Royal for Scotland and Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Edinburgh. She’s also director of the German Centre for Cosmological Lensing at the Ruhr-University Bochum. She is an experienced science communicator, visiting schools across Scotland, in addition to art, music, comedy, philosophy and science festivals.
Here’s a short video I edited together celebrating binocular views of our Moon. All footage was shot using a simple tripod mounted binocular setup and captured via mobile phone (so pretty low resolution). I especially love observing the Moon emerging from layers of clouds – something we’re in no short supply of here in Scotland.I hope you enjoy it. Music kindly provided by Rising Galaxy at Cosmicleaf Records