The milky way from the grounds of the Arkinglas Estate, Loch Fyne
I had another great time hosting outdoor astronomy and stargazing workshops at this years Scapa festival, held on 3-5th May near the shores of Loch Fyne at the Arkinglas Estate.
It was very busy, especially Friday evening when clear skies brought many folk streaming down into the gardens in anticipation of stargazing close to the shoreline.
As it happened we hit some cloud just as I was about to kick off, prompting a quick jump over to my backup projector and screen. I was then able to deliver a 30 minute talk with Q&A, discussing things like the colour, temperature, distance of stars, the Milky Way, other galaxies, shooting stars and large impactors. As ever the questions were fascinating.
A passing satellite
Just as the talk wrapped up skies cleared and we were stargazing from the estate grounds. Plenty of constellations and bright stars began appearing, and conditions improved further when a second group arrived to join in.
Similar conditions prevailed on the Saturday, when skies once again cleared up after my talk, allowing us to observe with the large case of binoculars I always bring to star parties.
Later on I was able to photograph some lovely shots of the Milky Way from the estate grounds, with the band of our galaxy sitting low and clear on the northern horizon.
Feedback has been great on the guiding so far, and I’m looking forward to getting involved again next year.
Here’s an updated list of events I’ll be hosting with Abriachan Forest, the Merkinch Nature Reserve in Inverness and others. Tickets can be picked up via eventbrite (linked) or email contact. Please follow the links below.
Saturday February 9th – Star Stories Aurora special with special guest Graham Bradshaw of Graham Bradshaw Photography. Almost sold out, only a couple of adult and child tickets left. Eventbrite link here.
Saturday 9th March – Star Stories Dark Sky Observing. 70% of tickets already allocated for this one. Eventbrite link here.
Thursday February 28th – Stargazing and Guide to Deep Sky Observing at the Inverness Sea Cadet Hall and in partnership with the Merkinch Nature Reserve. Event details here.
Thursday 28th March – The Life of Stars at the Inverness Sea Cadet Hall and in partnership with the Merkinch Nature Reserve. Event details to be added.
I’ll also be involved in outreach at some festivals this year. So far I can confirm my attendance at SCAPA Festival at Loch Fyne on the 3rd to 5th May Details on the festival and booking info here.
I’m very happy to confirm I’ll be providing more stargazing and astronomy walks and talks at the 2019 Scapa Festival. Details on my stargazing itinerary at the festival can be found here.
Last years’s festival was fantastic. Very chilled, friendly and suited to a wide demographic, from families all the way to solo travellers.
I travelled with my family last year in the camper-van and we had a great time, despite none of us particularly being yoga people. There were so many other great things to do, like bushcraft, nature walks and foraging workshops. But probably the best time we had was just hanging out in the huge gardens, letting the wee ones play.
To find out more about Scapa please visit their website here or facebook.