Stargazing holidays in the UK  diary dates for 2020

I hope you find these dark sky diary dates useful, and they help you to book the best nights for stargazing holidays in the UK.

The Milky Way is not just the cloud-like stretch of stars seen in the picture above, although this is the view we are all looking for. We live in “The Milky Way”, and every star you see in the sky is located within its galaxy.

A few tips for your stargazing holiday in the UK:

  1. It is nearly impossible to see the Milky Way when the moon is becoming full; the moon itself is the main attraction at that time.
  2. The best time for stargazing holidays in the UK is when the moon is not bright. The skies are bright during a full moon, so your Dark Sky diary choices will be about two weeks every lunar month.
  3. It takes your eyes about 15 minutes to adjust to the dark sky.So turn off the lights and wait 15 minutes.

Of our 2 cottages - 'Writing Shed Wales' is the best choice for stargazing.

The picture above is from the raised deck of  'Writing Shed Wales', and not far away in the Preseli Hills is a dedicated Dark Sky Discovery Site - Sychpant Picnic Site.So to find the best dates; whether you want a Full Moon or a Dark Sky, click the following link: https://gostargazing.co.uk/events/locations/synchpant-picnic-site/

If you would like to stay at 'The Judges Library' in Carmarthen, you will need to travel out of town to experience the Dark Sky. So here is the link: https://gostargazing.co.uk/events/locations/brecon-carreg-cennen-castle/  It is about 30minutes drive.

At Writing Shed Wales the Milky Way and the Constellations are visible to the naked eye, but if you want a closer view you can use the telescope at either of the big windows; in the Bedroom or in the Sitting Room. Or step outside onto the raised deck (see the picture above).

Dark Sky Diary Dates 2020

January

Jan 10th. Full Moon. Also Known as Wolf Moon and Ice Moon.

February

A rare opportunity to see Mercury - Look towards the South West, low on the horizon; from 17:30 from about the 8th – 12th of February.

Feb 9th. Full moon.  Also known as Snow Moon

Venus will shine brightly and looking South West it will be the first visible star.

March

Mar 9th. Super Full Moon also known as the  Worm Moon; named after earthworms that tend to appear around this time.

Earth Hour 2020 will be at 20:30 - 21:30 on Saturday, 28 March. Wherever you are this is a good time to look up at the skies. In most parts of Britain there will be less Light pollution, because so many people will switch off their lights, and this will happen globally. It’s comforting to think that so many eyes will be on the sky at this time. We will do it as a celebration, even though in Login, at Writing Shed Wales we have Dark Skies every night. 

Venus will shine brightly and looking South West it will be the first visible star.

April

Venus at the beginning of April will pass by the Pleiades star cluster, which should be awesome!

April 8th. Full Moon. Also known as Pink Moon.

Lyrid meteor shower will peak on the morning of 23rd April. The shower this year takes place at the same time as the New Moon.

The Milky Way - Pre-dawn hours are best for viewing

May

May 7th. Full Moon. Also known as Flower Moon.

The Milky Way - Pre-dawn hours are best for viewing.

June

Jun 5th. Full Moon. Also known as Strawberry Moon.

The Milky Way - Seen most clearly around midnight.

July

July 5th. Full Moon. Also known as Thunder Moon

The Milky Way - Seen most clearly around midnight.

Jupiter and Saturn reach opposition during July, when they are directly opposite the Sun (as seen from Earth), and therefore they appear at their brightest.

August

Aug 3rd. Full Moon. Also known as Sturgeon Moon.

The Milky Way - Seen most clearly soon after sunset when the sky becomes dark.

September

Sept 2nd. Full Moon. Also known as Corn Moon

The Milky Way - Seen most clearly soon after sunset when the sky becomes dark.

Links

To compile the above information for stargazing holidays in the UK, I consulted the following sites, you might also find them useful:

https://starcircleacademy.com/2012/06/milkyway/

https://www.darkskydiscovery.org.uk/dark-sky-discovery-sites/map.html

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lists/night-walks-for-dark-skies?awc=3795_1573456842_807779a83908835e31c7080b2d9fb3fd&campid=Affiliates_Central_Mem_AWIN_Standard&aff=78888

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2017/feb/15/best-places-to-stargaze-in-uk-dark-skies-festival-2017-national-parks

https://clearoutside.com/page/app/

https://www.lightpollutionmap.info/#zoom=6&lat=6674662&lon=66158&layers=B0FFFFFTFFFFFFFF

https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/sights-to-see.html

https://gostargazing.co.uk/dark-sky-calendar/

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