Which Astronomy Event Is For You?

The Observatory runs events most evenings throughout the year so there’s plenty to choose from!

If you’ve not visited before, choosing an event can be a bit bewildering, so to help you decide we’ve prepared a short guide and colour-coded our events into 4 categories, just click on a category to see a description of the events it includes and suggestions will appear below.

IMPORTANT

You can only visit the observatory if you have booked onto an event in advance, we sell out quickly so please plan ahead!

The website is live and each event shows the number of places available, unfortunately it is not possible to add extra places.

Step One...

What Type Of Event Suits You?

Step Two...

Discover More About Our Family Events

With stargazing at home on the rise, we understand it can be daunting if you're just starting out. Telescopes or binoculars? What is a star? What is a light year? How do I use star charts... 

Our team of Astronomers are here to help you get started with the basics, suitable for all the family, these events are designed to inspire people of all ages with our fun and interactive learning experience. These events include Young Explorers and Space Kids, one of our most popular events for parents and their young scientists.

Using our state of the art facilities we will set you on a journey of discovery, and if it's clear we will use our big telescopes to observe the sky, and if not then we have the technology to bring it alive.

Aimed to be fun and interesting to everyone, including families with younger children they are the only events that offer reduced family tickets (inc. two adults and two children). Recommended ages are 5 years old and upwards.

Please be aware that all children under 16 yrs must be accompanied by an adult, all of whom must have a ticket to attend.

Step Two...

Discover More About Our Main Events

These are our main evening events which are aimed at all levels of knowledge and experience and ideally ages from 8yrs upwards and last 3 hours. The difference between our events is the subject of the 45 min presentation that we provide during the event, for example: Aurora Night, Origins of the Universe & The Secret Lives of Stars.

We have large aperture telescopes in each of our two turrets, and some smaller portable telescopes on the viewing deck. The guests are rotated so they get the opportunity to use each telescope as well as a tour of our specialist observatory, the Gillian Dickinson Astro-imaging Academy – with its suite of instruments aimed at imaging the universe.

Observations depend on the weather of course, and if observing isn't possible our science team have a well-rehearsed bad weather programme involving other interactive activities.

Step Two...

Discover More About Our Weekend Late Night Events

Our weekend late night events have a reduced number of guests to ensure you enjoy the maximum time at the various telescopes and have an intimate observing session with our most experienced astronomers.

Of these events, Late Night Dark Skies is timed to coincide with a new moon when the sky is at its darkest and this is the only event where we offer a 30% discount on a future booking if you are unable to observe as well as a free Kielder mug!

Observations depend on the weather of course, and if observing isn't possible our science team have a well-rehearsed bad weather programme involving other interactive activities.

Step Two...

Discover More About Our Specialist Events

Introduction to Astronomy 

After the increase in awareness amongst the public for all things astronomical, it's apparent that stargazing at home is on the rise.  However, it can be daunting... Telescope or binoculars?  What is a star?  What is a light year?  How do I use star charts?  There's so much to consider, so where do you start?

Well fear not, our experienced team of astronomers are here to help get you started with the basics.  Suitable for all ages these events usually take place each Wednesday from 5 to 7pm and are designed to inspire with interactive learning experiences including introduction to the usage of telescopes, why we use them, how they work and a little of the history of discoveries thanks to these instruments.

Relaxed Astronomy

These events are designed specifically for those that may need a calmer and more flexible environment in which to learn. 

Usually held on the first Monday of each month they will inspire you in a safe, relaxed and unrestricted environment with quieter shows, smaller groups (max of 20 guests), safe clapping and a choice on how you choose to experience the wonders of the universe. Our red lighting will always remain on as you move around the building, brighter interior white lighting may be used in some of the rooms, our trained staff will be on hand to guide you around every aspect of your visit.

 

Physics in the Forest events take place in our state-of-the-art Gillian Dickinson Astro-Imaging Observatory and are designed for the guest that wants to learn that little bit more.

Our team of academic astronomers will engage and stimulate your understanding of some complex concepts, and if it's clear we'll pop outside to the viewing deck to do a bit of observing of the dark skies. Observations depend on the weather of course, and if observing isn't possible our science team have a well-rehearsed bad weather programme involving extra science talks and Q&A.

We usually run these most Saturdays from 11:45pm until 1:45am.


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