Stargazing

Dale House B & B and Camping Barn

Your ideal base for a Forest of Bowland and Yorkshire Dales Adventure

T. 01200 411095 M. 07714 092 089

Book your private stargazing experience at Dale House Barn with astronomer Robert Ince CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

The Forest of Bowland is a stargazer's paradise - one of England's darkest areas making it a great destination both by day and night.

The Milky Way arches majestically across the sky on clear autumn evenings and star clusters sparkle like diamonds on black velvet. It is a breath taking scene that adds so much to the unspoilt character of the area and provides the stuff of holiday memories.

The Forest of Bowland have 4 Dark Sky Discovery Sites on our doorstep is Gisbrun Forest Hub and close by are Beacon Fell Country Park, Crook O'Lune Picnic Site, and Slaidburn village.

Click here for Astronomical Calendar for 2017 

Spring

A great time to view brighter galaxies and planets like Jupiter and Saturn are also well placed. Nights are still long and the weather is warming up so it's a great time to observe. The constellation of Leo dominates the southern sky.

Summer

You will see fewer stars around mid-summer, but watch out for ghostly noctilucent clouds high in the sky. You will also see tantalising glimpses of the Milky Way to whet appetites for the months ahead. Watch out for August's Perseid meteor shower – one of the year's best. Truly dark skies return at the end of July.

Autumn

Together with the spring this is a prime viewing time. Nights are properly dark and the Milky Way is overhead in the evening, resembling a shimmering river of stars. Star clusters Stocks Reservoiralso look fantastic. Meteors showers like the Leonids can put on a good show in November.

Winter

The season of sparkling skies! The sky is often at its most transparent as temperatures dip. Glittering star clusters and magnificent constellations like Orion grace the sky, along with bright nebula. Wrap up warm and the rewards can be amazing.

Apps

There are many astro apps for iPhones, other smartphones and tablets running Android and Windows. They can help you understand the night sky and keep up with events.

Here's a selection:

Sky Week – regularly updated digest of what's in the sky - www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/ataglance

Pocket Universe – plenty of features and star maps - http://pocketuniverse.info

Google Skymap – identifies the stars using GPS when you hold up the phone to the sky

Meteor Shower Calendar – tells you which showers are due and whether the moon will spoil the show 

ISS Detector and ISS Spotter – both will alert you when the ISS is due to pass overhead - Detector and Spotter 

Aurora Alert – predicts possible Northern Lights displays

Bowland Stars

A series of timelapses and images of the sky above the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, produced by amatuer astroner Robert Ince.

Astronomical Calendar 2017

January 3, 4 - Quadrantids Meteor Shower. The Quadrantids is an above average shower, with up to 40 meteors per hour at its peak. The first quarter moon will set shortly after midnight leaving fairly dark skies for what could be a good show. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Bootes, but can appear anywhere in the sky. 

February 11 - Penumbral Lunar Eclipse. A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes through the Earth's partial shadow, or penumbra. During this type of eclipse the Moon will darken slightly but not completely. The eclipse will be visible throughout most of eastern South America, eastern Canada, the Atlantic Ocean, Europe, Africa, and western Asia. (NASA Map and Eclipse Information).

March 20 - March Equinox. The March equinox occurs at 10:29 UTC. The Sun will shine directly on the equator and there will be nearly equal amounts of day and night throughout the world. 

April 7 - Jupiter at Opposition. The giant planet will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. It will be brighter than any other time of the year and will be visible all night long. This is the best time to view and photograph Jupiter and its moons.

April 22, 23 - Lyrids Meteor Shower. The Lyrids is an average shower, usually producing about 20 meteors per hour at its peak.  These meteors can sometimes produce bright dust trails that last for several seconds. The crescent moon should not be too much of a problem this year. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Lyra, but can appear anywhere in the sky. 

May 6, 7 - Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower. The Eta Aquarids is an above average shower, capable of producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak. Most of the activity is seen in the Southern Hemisphere. In the Northern Hemisphere, the rate can reach about 30 meteors per hour. It is produced by dust particles left behind by comet Halley, which has known and observed since ancient times. The waxing gibbous moon will block out many of the fainter meteors this year. But if you are patient, you should be able to catch quite a few of the brighter ones. 

June 15 - Saturn at Opposition. The ringed planet will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. It will be brighter than any other time of the year and will be visible all night long. This is the best time to view and photograph Saturn and its moons.  

July 28, 29 - Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower. The Delta Aquarids is an average shower that can produce up to 20 meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by debris left behind by comets Marsden and Kracht. The crescent moon will set by midnight, leaving dark skies for what should be a good early morning show.  

August 12, 13 - Perseids Meteor Shower. The Perseids is one of the best meteor showers to observe, producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by comet Swift-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1862. The Perseids are famous for producing a large number of bright meteors. The shower runs annually from July 17 to August 24. It peaks this year on the night of August 12 and the morning of August 13. The waning gibbous moon will block out many of the fainter meteors this year, but the Perseids are so bright and numerous that it should still be a good show. 

August 21 - Total Solar Eclipse. A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon completely blocks the Sun, revealing the Sun's beautiful outer atmosphere known as the corona. This is a rare, once-in-a-lifetime event for viewers in the United States. The last total solar eclipse visible in the continental United States occurred in 1979 and the next one will not take place until 2024. The path of totality will begin in the Pacific Ocean and travel through the center of the United States. The eclipse will not be visible in the UK. (NASA Map and Eclipse Information | Detailed Zoomable Map of Eclipse Path). 

September 22 - September Equinox. The September equinox occurs at 20:02 UTC. The Sun will shine directly on the equator and there will be nearly equal amounts of day and night throughout the world. 

October 7 - Draconids Meteor Shower. The Draconids is a minor meteor shower producing only about 10 meteors per hour. It is produced by dust grains left behind by comet 21P Giacobini-Zinner, unfortunately, the nearly full moon will block all but the brightest meteors this year. 

October 21, 22 - Orionids Meteor Shower. The Orionids is an average shower producing up to 20 meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by dust grains left behind by comet Halley, which has been known and observed since ancient times. The shower runs annually from October 2 to November 7. It peaks this year on the night of October 21 and the morning of October 22. The crescent moon will set early in the evening leaving dark skies for what should be a good show. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Orion, but can appear anywhere in the sky. 

November 4, 5 - Taurids Meteor Shower. The Taurids is a long-running minor meteor shower producing only about 5-10 meteors per hour. It is unusual in that it consists of two separate streams. The first is produced by dust grains left behind by Asteroid 2004 TG10. The second stream is produced by debris left behind by Comet 2P Encke. Unfortunately the glare from the full moon will block out all but the brightest meteors. If you are extremely patient, you may still be able to catch a few good ones. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Taurus, but can appear anywhere in the sky. 

November 17, 18 - Leonids Meteor Shower. The Leonids is an average shower, producing up to 15 meteors per hour at its peak. The Leonids is produced by dust grains left behind by comet Tempel-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1865. The shower runs annually from November 6-30. It peaks this year on the night of the 17th and morning of the 18th. The nearly new moon will not be a problem this year. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Leo, but can appear anywhere in the sky. 

December 13, 14 - Geminids Meteor Shower. The Geminids is the king of the meteor showers. It is considered by many to be the best shower in the heavens, producing up to 120 multicolored meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by debris left behind by an asteroid known as 3200 Phaethon, which was discovered in 1982. The shower runs annually from December 7-17. It peaks this year on the night of the 13th and morning of the 14th. The waning crescent moon will be no match for the Geminids this year. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Gemini, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

 

Explore The Forest of Bowland

Forest of Bowland Discovery and Events Guide (pdf)

Taste Bowland Local Food Directory (pdf)

Designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1964 because the landscape was thought to be of national importance and worthy of protection. 

www.forestofbowland.com

Yorkshire Dales National Park

The Dales are famous for its wonderful scenery.  Deep valleys, known as dales, with roads meandering between drystone walls and a patchwork of hay meadows and field barns.  Up above is heather moorland and distinctive hills, such as the much loved Three Peaks. 

www.yorkshiredales.org.uk