There is nothing quite as good for putting your own daily issues and dilemmas into perspective than staring up at a starlit sky on a cloudless night. Thinking of each of those twinkly little dots being another planet or constellation, far away in the Milky Way makes you feel very small and really helps put things into perspective.
One of the best places to get the full impact of the night sky is in the middle of the forest where the light pollution from cities and towns isn’t an issue. The Forestry Commission (five of their forests have Dark Sky Discovery status) are opening up their forests after-dark for visitors to indulge in a spot of stargazing. There are also astronomy events scheduled to happen to celebrate Earth Day at some forests exploring the amazing world of stars.
- New Moon Stargazing at Gisburn Forest, Lancashire – 26th February
- Public Stargazing at Dalby Forest, North York Moors – 3rd March
- Night Sky & Photography with Chris Sperring MBE at Great Wood, Quantocks – 18th March
- Moon Walk at Haldon Forest Park, Exeter – 25th March
- Stargazing Walk at Great Wood, Quantocks – 25th March
- Night Walk at Leigh Woods, Bristol – 25th March
- Earth Hour Walk at Whinlatter Forest, Cumbria – 25th March
What a fantastic educational opportunity to see science brought to life through stargazing!
There are also stargazing “Why Stars Matter” trails that can be used in the daytime to show how important stars are and a star chart you can download to help locate and recognise familiar stars in the night sky.
Recently Ethan had a trip to our local observatory with his cub scout group and although it was a cloudy night they had an insight into the telescopes that could point out stars to them in the clear areas. He always recognises Orion’s Belt now!
We had our own little stargazing night in the garden when the sky was clear and it was spectacular sight. With it being a cloudless night it was extra chilly so if you are planning any star gazing make sure that you wrap up warm. Here is Noah modelling a lovely Muddy Puddles jacket which is keeping him toasty with lots of layers underneath.
If a spot of stargazing captures your imagination check out this brilliant Stargazing Guide that has been produced, packed full of activities for all the family.
Do you love looking up at the stars? Do you have any other tips for stargazers and would be astronomers?