During the summer months the days are longer and the nights shorter however there is still plenty of opportunity to explore our solar system and beyond from the UK's premier stargazing facility.
With a whole range of events tailored to maximising observing both during daytime and at night let us take you on a journey from our location high above Kielder reservoir through the solar system and on into the depths of the cosmos!
Our daytime and solar observing events allow you to see our closest star the Sun in ways that you may never have done before. Using our specialist telescopes we will show you the Sun quite literally in a different light – view sunspots as they pass across the face of our star and huge solar prominences – jets of gas being propelled from the Sun numerous times bigger than the Earth.
Saturn and Mars are visible in our evening skies and we have changed our event times to enable plenty of opportunity to observe these celestial wonders. Our powerful telescopes make it possible to see the polar ice cap on Mars and the rings of Saturn with its moons looks simply spectacular.
We also have a program of events through the summer holidays ideal for younger astronomers! Our family astronomy events allow you to sit back and relax whilst your children get more and more interested in Astronomy. At Space Camp we build rockets and set them off from the observatory launchpad!
Our popular Aurora Nights continue through the summer months where we explain in an easily accessible way the science that gives rise to this phenomena and offer tips on how you can observe the northern lights yourselves.
Summertime is the best time to see 'noctilucent clouds' (pictured) – clouds that shine in the middle of the night! Created by sunlight reflecting off ice crystals high in the atmosphere these were seen a number of times from the observatory last summer, the dark skies of Kielder being the very best place to observe them.
For those of you wanting to learn about our Universe in more detail our very own Dr Fred Stevenson, formerly of Durham University, is hosting a series of Cosmology workshops exploring everything from the beginning of our Universe at the 'big bang' through galactic evolution to star and planetary formation... Do not be put off if this sounds too complex, Fred has a fantastic way of communicating such topics to a wide audience, you just need to be interested and willing to learn!
Come and enjoy the warm summer evenings at Kielder Observatory, the team will be on hand to welcome you.
Published: Wednesday 21/05/2014
By Visit Northumberland
Northumberland International Dark Sky Park was unveiled in December 2013. At 572 square miles (1,483 square kilometres) it is also Europe’s largest area of protected night sky. Due to its pristine skies it was awarded gold tier designation by the International Dark Sky Association, making it officially the best place in England for people to go to enjoy the heavens.