The Secret Lives of Stars

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Wherever we are in the world, when we gaze up at our night sky we can see that the universe is filled with tiny little lights of varying brightness from horizon to horizon

Here at the Kielder Observatory, under the Gold Tier Dark Sky Park of Northumberland and Kielder Water, stargazing on a clear night in midwinter with no moon present in the sky, we can see more than 3,000 stars with just the naked eye.

But what are these things we call stars and what is their purpose?

We'll take you through the life cycle of a star, from how they're formed to nuclear fusion and even what happens when a star dies.  They are integral to our universe and we'll show you exactly how.

Taking you on a journey around our unique observatory, we will discover ways in which we view our universe, uncover the mysteries of light and how it has helped shape our understanding of the universe.

On clear nights we will focus on using our high-powered, large aperture robotic telescopes housed inside their turrets as well as our smaller manual telescopes under a blanket of stars on the observation deck.  Our team of expert astronomers will be on hand to navigate you around the night sky to objects of interest such as the Moon, Double Stars, Clusters, Planets, Galaxies and Nebulae depending on the lunar calendar.

On nights when observation isn't possible, we will look at the ways ancient astronomers navigated and developed meaning behind what they saw in the heavens.  We will take you on a virtual tour of our skies, learning constellations and what they mean to us as observers.  You will also be able to explore our collection of fragments of rock fallen to earth, frozen in time from the very origins of our solar system.

Even in the summer months we can still observe despite the lighter evenings, including the Moon, brighter planets, binary star systems, beautiful star clusters and the breathtaking noctilucent clouds

During the evening you will be treated to a hot drink of either tea, coffee or our famous hot chocolate as well as having the opportunity of supporting our charity further by taking home a memento of your visit to the observatory from our gift shop

Whatever the weather, our team of experienced and passionate astronomers will deliver a unique experience