Kielder Forest Star Camp

Astronomy has always fascinated me and I have seen many Solar & Lunar Eclipses as well as Halley’s and the Hale Bopp comet as they passed Earth a few years ago. Living in the country means that there are very few street lights and you can get a really good view of what is going on in the sky

Recently I found out about Kielder Forest Star Camp, where this week More than 200 amateur Astronomers have gatherered  to gaze at the stars. This location being chosen because it is a great place to stargaze . This twice-yearly gathering is organised by the Kielder Observatory Astronomical Society, in the hope of seeing some of the wonders of our galaxy in the darkest skies in England.

Armed with fleeces and flasks, and with an assortment of cameras, telescopes and tripods at the ready, people are spending five damp, chilly nights in the forest gazing at the night skies. Viewing conditions at the event are described as OK, but not brilliant and So far there have been a couple of hours of clear skies and the Orion Nebula has been captured  on camera.”

According to the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Kielder Water and Forest Park has the darkest skies in England, and on a moonless week like this the stargazers can also expect to see the Milky Way, shooting stars and nebulae, clouds of dust created by exploding stars. Jupiter is also high in the sky this week.

Particle physicists Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw were also on hand to promote their new book – The Quantum Universe: Everything That Can Happen Does Happen – in an attempt to explain scientific concepts most of us struggle to get our heads round.  Mind you the stunning photographs taken during the event are a reminder that you don’t necessarily have to understand the secrets of the universe to marvel at its beauty.

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