Have a go at.. star gazing with Creswell Crags
From ‘fuzzy blobs’ to globular clusters, learn more about the night sky with an evening of astronomy at Creswell Crags.
Did you know? You have the potential to spot Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune from your own back garden in Notts, and the Aurora Borealis is more local than perhaps you’d imagined.
I recently joined a group of keen star gazers on the most dismal of evenings at Creswell crags for an astronomy evening to find out more, and luckily the weather proved to be the only dull aspect.
Tucked away in the education room of Creswell Crags on a dark October evening, professional freelance astronomer Paul L Money was on hand to guide us through a talk on the autumnal night sky in Nottinghamshire.
Plied with copious amounts of warming tea and autumnal treats, we were given a whirlwind tour of the sky that night, using modern technology and expert guidance to discuss the cosmos in finer detail.
Usually, the event would include hands on experience, with the chance to use professional equipment and gaze at the stars alongside the awe-inspiring backdrop of Creswell Gorge. Unfortunately on this occasion the weather wasn’t on our side, but this didn’t detract from the experience. Just being at the Crags helped conjure up ideas of how our prehistoric ancestors may have once been witness to a similar spectacle.
Paul provided us with a ‘blink and you will miss it’ commentary of constellations, clusters and comets, storming through the night sky at the speed of light, as only a seasoned professional could.
His enthusiasm and quirky humour rubbed off on the audience, keeping everyone entertained throughout (even the younger astronomers amongst us). The show stopper included photographic imagery captured by Paul himself which were, no pun intended, ‘out of this world’.
Paul’s commentary of the evening was aimed at everyone, whether you’re a nova novice or an expert in the ether. He included an informative mix of mythology, science and practical advice to allow us to partake in some stargazing from our very own back garden observatories.
I look forward to a return visit to the Crags in March to see what the spring skies have in store for Nottinghamshire, and hope to meet even more local stargazers.
Looking to spot stars (of the astral variety) in North Nottinghamshire but need a helping hand? Why not contact the Bassetlaw Astronomical Society; stargazing in our county since 1976. Can’t wait until March? You could always get starry-eyed with Sherwood Observatory on selected days throughout the year, for their public open evenings (the first one being held on 24 November).