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Stargazers look to the sky above West Norfolk

08:21 07 March 2014

Telescopes in action at January

Telescopes in action at January's Stargazing Live event in West Norfolk. Submitted pictures

Archant

Families are being invited to explore the shining night sky above West Norfolk at a stargazing event at Tottenhill Village Hall tomorrow.

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The free event is being hosted by the King’s Lynn and District Astronomy Society, which is hoping to spark a new generation of stargazers in the borough.

The society has been running for about four years and currently has 49 members.

But it is hoped more people will join following the event, which will run between 4pm and 9pm, after they gaze through telescopes and have the night sky interpreted for them by members of the society.

Stargazers will be celebrating National Astronomy Week and are promising newcomers the chance to look at Jupiter and the four Galilean moons that orbit it through a telescope.

Alan Gosling, the society’s secretary, who only joined the group nine months ago, said: “We’re hoping for clear skies. Jupiter is in good alignment with the Earth at present.

“Our Stargazing Live event in January was well supported and attended by about 300 people. We got 17 new members through it. The idea is for people to come and see what astronomy is all about.

“We will have displays in the village hall and a massive print of the Sun and planets in relation to it.

“When it gets dark telescopes will be set up outside to look at the Moon and Jupiter and any other constellations available.”

Visitors will also be able to look closely at the quarter moon and find out about the mountains and valleys that exist alongside the more obvious craters.

Mr Gosling: “And then towards the end of the evening, there will be the chance to gaze on the Realm of Galaxies and see at least hints of far distant collections of stars much bigger than our own Milky Way.

“You will also be able to observe what has happened to the supernovae in Messier 82 – a star which exploded with the brilliance of a million suns in January and could be seen even though it is 11,000,000,000,000,000,000 kilometres away with the light taking 11 million years to reach us.”

There will be activities for children and trade stands, and society members will be on hand to answer any questions.

for more information visit www.westnorfolkastro.co.uk

Are you holding an event in West Norfolk in the coming weeks? Email reporter David Bale at david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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