Nidderdale Dark Skies

Possibly one of the most universal human experiences is to look up to the stars. There are more than can be counted, more than we know about, more than we could ever get our heads around.

But from childhood, everyone on the planet has looked up either in awe, to spot and pick out a constellation, see the face on the moon or just watch and wait in the hopes of seeing a shooting star and making a wish.

Milky way 5556760

See more with a Dark Sky

How much you can see when you look up depends on the amount of ambient light around you, coming from streetlights, roads, advertising hoardings and surrounding buildings.

For the best stargazing experience, you need a truly dark sky like those you will find in Upper Nidderdale. In one of the remotest spots in the Yorkshire dales light pollution is at its lowest, and when you look up into the sky you can see more than you might have ever thought was there.

In a dark sky location, it is possible to observe the Milky Way scattered diagonally across the sky, the finer details of popular constellations, such as the Orion Nebula, visible just below the stars that make up his belt. You can see with just binoculars how the second star from the left on the Plough (Mizar) is in fact two stars (Mizar and Alcor) orbiting one another.

You can also pick out the red colour of Mars or the blue of Rigel, the right foot of Orion.

Dark Skies ISS streak

More than stars

Since 1957 when Sputnik became the first man-made satellite to orbit the earth, mankind has taken advantage of the benefits space can offer. From global communications to scientific advancement, there is a range of satellites orbiting the planet and many are visible in the night sky.

The easiest of these to spot is the International Space Station, which stands out due to the visible speed with which it crosses the sky.

Useful Tools

Stargazing is easier than ever to get into, with a number of helpful apps for mobile devices available to help you find out what you can see.