Shooting stars on the menu at Beal

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Stargazers will be able to observe the fantastic night sky at a special event taking place at the Barn at Beal, near Holy Island, later this month.

The event, on Tuesday, April 22 has been organised by the Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership and Northumberland Astronomical Society (NASTRO) to coincide with International Dark Sky Week.

It is also timed with the possibility of seeing the annual Lyrid meteor shower – April’s shooting stars – which last from about April 16-25. The Lyrid shower usually produces about 20 meteors per hour at its peak. It peaks this year on the night of April 22 into the morning of April 23.

“It is very exciting to be taking part in celebrating International Dark Sky Week,” said Jessica Turner of the AONB Partnership,

“The dark skies in and around the AONB are incredibly precious and this is a great opportunity for all to experience the wonder of the stunning dark skies. The AONB Partnership is keen to raise awareness of the night sky and the importance of reducing light pollution.”

Ian Glendinning from NASTRO added: “NASTRO aims to promote astronomy and science education in the community and has an active outreach programme. We are really looking forward to this International Dark Sky event, meeting new stargazers and conversing with experienced astronomers alike.”

The event will run from 8pm to 11pm and will feature an indoor guided tour of the Solar System, a laser guided tour of the night sky, a series of other short talks and, weather permitting, be followed by an opportunity to observe the stars using a variety of telescopes.

The café is also kindly opening in order to serve hot and cold drinks and a selection of cakes.

The event is free but booking is essential as spaces are limited - the event is suitable for most age groups but strictly no dogs allowed. Please bring suitable warm clothing and a torch.

Binoculars and telescopes will be available, but participants are invited to bring their own. The experts from NASTRO will on hand to provide advice and are able to cater for all levels of expertise and knowledge.

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