Good heavens! (if the clouds stay away from Pakefield.)
09:22 07 January 2013
Archant © 2012
The wonders of the night sky will be revealed during two stargazing sessions in Pakefield, near Lowestoft, this week.
There will be a chance to see Jupiter and its moons many times magnified as well as other celestial sights, including the Great Galaxy in the constellation of Adromeda, the double star cluster in Perseus and the spectacular Orion Nebula, which will be visible rising over the North Sea in the east.
The events, which are being organised by members of the Lowestoft and Yarmouth Regional Astronomers (LYRA), will take place from 6.30pm on Tuesday and Wednesday on the green at Pakefield Cliffs next to the car park at the end of All Saints’ Road.
They are being timed to coincide with the BBC Two Stargazing Live 2013 programmes – hosted by Prof Brian Cox – which are being broadcast on the same nights.
LYRA chairman Leonard Brundle said: “We held it last year in the same place and it was very successful. Luckily we had two clear nights. We had about four members’ telescopes set up each evening and people brought their own. We literally had people queuing at the telescopes to look at the night sky.
“Next week there will be no moon about. If the sky is clear, we will be able to see Jupiter and many other objects.
“With the unaided eye, Jupiter appears as a bright star, far brighter than any of the other stars in the sky and high in the south east in the early evening. With a telescope you will be able to see cloud belts and Jupiter’s four large moons.
“We will also be able to see the Orion Nebula rising over the sea. With the naked eye you can just see it as a patch of light. Through a telescope you will see it as a really bright cloud with several stars in the midst of it. It is the reflected light from the stars that illuminates the cloud. That is really the birthplace of stars. The cloud is collapsing inwards and forming stars all the time.”
Stargazers are advised to wear warm clothing and are being encouraged to bring along their own telescopes and binoculars if possible.
The event is weather dependent.
●LYRA meets at Waveney Gymnastics Club in Southwell Road, Lowestoft, on the second Tuesday of the month. For more information, contact Mr Brundle on 01502 585916.