Top tips for enjoying the night sky
Here are our top tips for enjoying your darkest local skies, whether exploring a town park or somewhere more remote!
• away from the glare of direct lights.
• open to the public (remember to follow the Outdoor or Countryside codes in Scotland, England, Wales or Northern Ireland)
• with good sightlines, without tall buildings or trees.
• Safe, without hazards such as traffic or steep drops
Local parks, playing fields or forest car parks can all be good places to visit.
• An hour and a half after sunset for the sky to become properly dark
– so check your local sunset times.
• When the Moon is not in the sky. The Moon is a beautiful sight, changing its shape and position in the sky during the course of a month. But moonlight can make it hard to see the stars – so check your local moon calendar.
When using the site at the above links, click on the map for your location to display the sun and moon data for the current day. Skip forwards using the calander to find the next new moon for example.
All you need to get started:
• Your naked eyes. It’s a really good idea to get familiar with the night sky
with just your naked eyes. If are ready for investing in binoculars or telescopes,
get in touch with a specialist shop or local astronomical society for advice.
• A red torch. Your eyes can take up to ten minutes to adjust fully to the dark – enabling you to see more stars. During this time avoid looking at any bright lights. However, red lights don’t affect your night vision so use a red torch such as a bike light.
• Wrap up very warm. It’s often cold when the sky is clear.
• Starcharts. Our Night Sky resources show you the where to start.
Enjoy and clear skies!