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Spotlight On: Kielder Observatory

14 May 2018 | Becca Twist

Looking for a new date night idea? Something new to excite the kids that isn’t the latest film? Maybe you’ve just always been fascinated by the sky and didn’t know where to start with it? Kielder Observatory covers it all.

Tucked away in rural Northumberland, not far from the Scottish border, the observatory lies atop a hill in the largest part of dark skies in Europe. The site boasts two impressive 16” telescopes, a teaching room and 4 members of paid staff who burst with enthusiasm for the night’s sky!

Image Credit: Daniel Monk
 
The team run events all year round, from themed events depending on specific astronomical events and lunar phases, to general introductions to the night sky and how to understand what you’re looking at. Together, they manage to create events that are interesting and informative for everyone, from the complete novices to the avid stargazers. It’s the perfect way to learn without feeling like you’re learning at all!
 
As the observatory is based in the most northern point of England, you might think the night sky would be miserable and cloudy most of the time. Well fear not. Armed with plenty of hot drinks, the team are ready with back up material for those nights when the sky will not co-operate.  With an impressive amount of knowledge between the four of them, they have endless topics to interest everyone, from discussions on cosmology and the wider universe, to how to use telescopes to track the movement of stars, they’ll find something to interest you for the evening. As soon as the sky clears for at least a moment, they’ll make sure you make the most of it and look at the sky around you. If there’s a burning question you have that isn’t covered in the event, they are more than happy to chat about it over a cup of hot chocolate in the break and satisfy your curiosity.

Image Credit: Daniel Monk
 
Whether you regularly watch the stars or just have a healthy appreciation of the sky at night, Kielder Observatory has something for everyone.
 
Kielder Observatory is located at Black Fell, off Shilling Pot, Kielder, NE48 1EJ.
 
 

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