Free Galaxy of Stars evening celebrates International Dark Sky Week

There’s an opportunity to experience the incredibly dark night sky of Bodmin Moor at a free Galaxy of Stars evening as part of International Dark Sky Week (15-21 April). 

The stargazing evening will be led by Caradon Observatory and starts at 7.30pm on Friday 20 April at Siblyback Lake near Liskeard (PL14 6ER).         

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The evening is one of a series showcasing the exceptional quality of the night sky over Bodmin Moor, which was designated as an International Dark Sky Landscape in 2017 after a successful bid by Cornwall Council and Caradon Observatory. 

The evening begins with talks on what galaxies are and how they are formed, followed by interactive activities to help people understand the importance of Bodmin Moor’s designation as an International Dark Sky Landscape.

After the sun sets around 8.30pm, there will be a chance to view the night sky through large telescopes.  Weather permitting, there may be a glimpse of a crescent Venus and an opportunity to hunt for some galaxies as the evening grows darker.  If it’s cloudy, people will still be able to enjoy the Magic Planet, an interactive globe showing the topography of planets, and a question and answer session with the astronomers.

The onsite café, the Rock Hopper, will be open until 9.00pm for drinks and food, and meals can be booked in advance on 01579 343448.

Dr Wayne Thomas from Caradon Observatory said: “Come and experience the fantastic views from Bodmin Moor’s dark sky with us.  There will be a beautiful crescent moon and plenty of galaxies in the southern sky will be visible through a telescope.  So come along, wrap up warm and keep your fingers crossed for clear skies.”

Sue James, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, said: “International Dark Sky Week is an annual worldwide event drawing attention to issues associated with light pollution and the simple things we can all do to help protect our beautiful night sky and view of the stars.  This includes things like turning lights off when they aren’t needed, installing lights that point down instead of up and only lighting where you need to.  I would encourage everyone to think about how they can protect our night skies.”

For more information about the Galaxy of Stars evening, email South West Lakes Trust at info@swlakestrust.org.uk or ring 01579 346522.

There’s also a Deep Space triple bill at Sterts Theatre near Liskeard on 21 April celebrating our connection to the stars as part of International Dark Sky Week.

Story posted 12 April 2018