Stargazers will be able to discover the spectacles of the night sky at a series of events taking place at Beachy Head during the winter months.

Eastbourne Astronomical Society and Eastbourne Borough Council’s Heritage Eastbourne have joined forces to help visitors look at planets including Venus, Jupiter, Uranus, and the Andromeda Galaxy – not to mention the moon and new stars.

Powerful telescopes will be located outside the Beachy Head Story – next to the Beachy Head Pub – and the events are suitable for children and adults. All events are free.

The first event is on Saturday 27 November from 5-7pm followed by others on Saturday 18 December (5-7pm); Saturday 22 January (5-7pm); Saturday 26 February (6-8pm); and Saturday 12 March from 7-9pm.

It is expected that during the November and December events stargazers should be able to see Venus, Jupiter, Uranus, and the Andromeda Galaxy, where light left it 2.5 million years ago.

While the Moon will not be visible on 27 November, Venus is expected to be very bright in the evening sky and Jupiter will still be able to be seen too.

There will also be a chance to look at faint patches in the sky where stars are being born such as the Orion Nebula in The Milky Way and the Pleiades, a group of more than 800 stars located about 410 light years from Earth in the constellation Taurus.

At the December event, stargazers should be able to witness the Moon rising and a clear sighting of the Moon should be available at the March event.

There will also be a short slide show by local amateur astronomer Peter Gill in the Beachy Head Story throughout the evening events to show people what these sightings look like through the world’s largest telescopes. This will not be technical and will be suitable for children. 

The Beachy Head Story exhibition and shop will stay open on all the event dates, perfect for picking up a stargazing souvenir or shopping for Christmas gifts, and car parking at Beachy Head is free after 6pm. 

Stargazers should wrap up warm and refreshments will be available at the neighbouring Beachy Head Pub.

Due to inclement weather conditions, observing sessions will not take place in wet weather but slide shows will still go ahead.

Eastbourne Borough Council’s Lead Member for Tourism & Culture Councillor Margaret Bannister said, “This is a fantastic opportunity for residents and visitors to discover Beachy Head’s unique starry night sky.”

“The skies above Beachy Head are classed as a Dark Sky Reserve, which means the area has been recognised for low levels of light pollution and good public access.”

“This also means there’s a great chance people will see many spectacles of the night sky including the Moon, planets, space satellites and shooting stars or indeed meteors.”

“It is easy to do stargazing. Simply wrap up warm, go outside on a clear night and look up – wherever you are there will be something to see. Working with Eastbourne Astronomical Society, we hope it will be a breath-taking and memorable experience.”

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