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. This series of events include how to navigate the sky, the solar system and earth in space as well as telescope workshops, all with information guides to take away with you.

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.

Observations depend on the weather and season, so if observing isn't possible our science team have other interactive activities.

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, Night Sky Safari & A Universe Full 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 brand new 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

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

We aim to utilise the superb dark skies over our observatory to teach guests about current research and headline astronomy, fitted out with high tech instruments and instrumentation the observatory is second to none.

Our team of academic astronomers will engage and stimulate your understanding of some complex concepts, but don’t worry there is still some good old observing included and on the clearest nights we will be using the high tech instruments to probe 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 extra science talks and Q&A.