Some Star Gazing in the Dark Skies of Cornwall

Posted on: 11th October 2017

Some star gazing in the dark skies of Cornwall, courtesy of the Caradon Observatory. The Dark Sky evening will take place at Jamaica Inn on Saturday 21 October.

Stars in Our Skies

Stars in Our Skies. Photograph provided by Caradon Observatory

The evening will be led by Caradon Observatory and held in two parts. At 7.00pm there will be a dinner event with carvery and dessert for £15.00 per person. To book a place at the dinner event, please ring Jamaica Inn on 01566 86250. This will be followed by a free stargazing session at 8.30pm which is open to everyone and does not need to be booked.

The dinner event will include an introduction to Bodmin Moor’s International Dark Sky Landscape designation and a talk on Neptune and the Cornishman, John Couch Adams, who predicted the planet’s existence in the 1800s. There will also be an opportunity to see Neptune and its moon Triton illustrated on the Magic Planet, an interactive globe that depicts the topography of planets.

The free stargazing session will start at 8.30pm with a chance to chat with the astronomers. Do wrap up warm and keep your fingers crossed for clear skies. Outside observing will begin from 9.00pm. There will be an array of telescopes for viewing the night sky. At twilight Saturn will be a few degrees above the southwest horizon. Neptune will be due south at around 10.00pm.  Although much smaller than the major gas giants when viewed through a telescope, it will still be visible as a blue disk.  Weather permitting, there should also be a chance to see the Andromeda galaxy, a star cluster or two and the beautiful double star, Albireo, at the head of Cygnus, the swan constellation.

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 this summer after a successful bid by Cornwall Council and Caradon Observatory. More information is available from the link above, including a video.