Dark skies events

This month marks the fifth anniversary of the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park.

Unveiled in December 2013 and at 572 square miles (1,483 square kilometres) it is also Europe’s largest area of protected night sky. Thanks to its pristine skies it was awarded gold tier designation by the International Dark Sky Association, making it officially the best place in England for people to go to enjoy the heavens.

Over the winter months, we are running a series of events where you can not only experience our pristine dark skies but also learn about everything from constellations to planets, moons to meteors. You might even be able to catch a glimpse of the elusive Aurora.

Meteor over Northumberland

On the 13th December don’t miss the Geminids Meteor Show; an annual meteor shower where you might be able to catch sight of more the fifty meteors an hour. We’ll have astronomers on hand at The Sill to explain this incredible annual occurrence.

Come and marvel at the Moon under our incredible dark skies on the 15th December at our Magical Moon Watch event. This is an observational session looking at the majesty of the Moon (weather permitting). If clouds prevent us from viewing our dark skies, our astronomer will present a fascinating talk about our amazing moon and its effect on Earth and upon us.

Children stargazing in the National Park

We start 2019 off with not one, but two events on the 5th of January. Our Family Astronomy event is a short and fun introduction to astronomy, including how to use binoculars and telescopes. While Go Stargazing is an observational session (weather permitting) with the Go Stargazing team, who will blow your (warm woolly) socks off with their enthusiasm and knowledge.

'Image: Nigel John Photography for Chalk'

‘Image: Nigel John Photography for Chalk’

Our Dark Skies Disco is making a welcome return on the 26th January. Chalk’s building yard will be open for you to craft rockets and design your own space accessories. Then boogie on down to Bowie, Beastie Boys the Beatles and other space classics, all in an atmosphere of moon projections and space sparkle.

Book your place on Aurora Watch on the 2nd February for an exploration into the alluring phenomenon of auroras. You will learn how to become aware of them using Apps and other sources, and you will be inspired from the beautiful images captured by your host with tips on how to photograph them.

Sycamore Gap Aurora

You can go starry-eyed this Valentine’s Day with our special romantic evening at The Sill. Enjoy a romantic three-course meal in the Sill Café, before gazing up into the heavens to look at the stars above from either the Café Terrace or the rooftop of the Sill.

To find out more about these events and the rest of our exciting winter programme visit our What’s On Guide for more details.