Garden Stargazing

We can’t travel the world but we can still discover new places. Now is the time to explore the night sky from the safety and comfort of your own back yard.

The Isle of Man Astronomical Society gives a series of talks each year usually from the top of Snaefell. They are closed due to Covid Guidelines but stargazing information is available online. Howard Parkin is giving a series of lectures as part of UCM’s Lockdown Learning.

In 2012, Dark Sky Discovery designated seven sites around the Island as Dark Sky sites where it is exceptionally easy to see stars. These are Port Soderick Brooghs, Axnfell Plantation, Smeale Nature Reserve, Niarbyl, The Sound, Fort Island and Sulby Reservoir Car Park.

Even if you don’t live near to one of these places, you can still stargaze in your garden, anywhere on the Island. Just look up and you will see stars. If you have a tent you could try camping in your back garden and wait for them to come out. – UCM is hosting “Universe from the IOM” as part of their Lockdown Learning programme on Mondays at 10am. These classes are free and available on Zoom but you do need to register.  – Lists Stargazing events on the Island and a Dark Skies Calendar showing the best times. – Dark Sky Discovery is an English based information initiative which lists the best dark skies. – The National Trust has some top tips for stargazing. – The BBC has simple stargazing maps that you can download and check against the night sky. – This adventure website gives an account and advice about stargazing from home. – Gives advice and lists equipment for serious Stargazers. – The Glenn Research Center provides a series of virtual tours of the Center.

Brian Cox explains Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights which we can see here in winter.