Starry, Starry Night… in the Tamar Valley

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Space Odyssey 3

If last week’s World Space Week has left you with stars in your eyes, the Tamar Valley AONB have planned two events next month that will take you to infinity… and beyond!

Join the team, together with Space Odyssey, for a unique mobile planetarium and outdoor stargazing experience, in one of two locations within the Tamar Valley. Discover more about the quality of our night sky, then take part in a star count near you.

Sam Barnes, Helping Hands for Heritage project officer, explains more about the sky at night; “The night skies are an important part of the character of the AONB, and contribute to its tranquility. Genuine starry skies are getting harder to find, and only 11% of England still has truly dark night skies as the threat of light pollution from our surrounding towns and cities is affecting that tranquility”.

Over the past years, the Campaign for Rural England (CPRE) has been monitoring and analysing the impact of street lighting, lighting from large supermarkets, and housing development. One of their surveys suggests that 83% of people have their home view of the night sky blighted by light pollution. It can also affect wildlife by interrupting migration and feeding patterns.

The CPRE have been running community star counts where volunteers count the number of stars that are visible to the naked eye within the Orion constellation. More than 30 stars mean a true dark sky – but only 4% of counts in 2014 revealed this; and 59% could see 10 or less stars – indicating severe light pollution.

The FREE stargazing events will take place on;

–                Friday 21st November, Buckland Abbey’s Great Barn

–                Saturday 22nd November, Harrowbarrow Village Hall

Choose from one of two sessions taking place each evening, at 4:45pm and 6:45pm, each lasting around 1¼ hours. Enjoy a spectacular 360-degree projected image show in the planetarium, followed by real life stargazing outside (weather permitting).

Places are strictly limited, so please book early to avoid disappointment – 01822 835030, volunteering@tamarvalley.org.uk (Tamar Valley AONB team). Suitable for all ages – please dress warmly. Refreshments will be available.

The events have been made possible by funding from an ‘Our Heritage’ grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and is part of the Tamar Valley AONB’s Helping Hands for Heritage project.

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The Tamar Valley AONB

Working with people to celebrate and support the special landscape of the Tamar Valley and its rural way of life.

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