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'Look up and be amazed': Stargazer's plea to look beyond our planet

PUBLISHED: 10:17 19 April 2019 | UPDATED: 10:17 19 April 2019

Tanya Jur, from Diss, has been observing the night's sky since she was six. Picture: Contributed by Tanya Jur

Tanya Jur, from Diss, has been observing the night's sky since she was six. Picture: Contributed by Tanya Jur

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A dedicated observer has urged people to "look up and be amazed" by the night's sky, as she details her fears for the future of stargazing.

This is known as the Jellyfish nebula  and it rests in Gemini. Picture: Shaun ReynoldsThis is known as the Jellyfish nebula and it rests in Gemini. Picture: Shaun Reynolds

Tanya Jur, from Diss, has loved astronomy since she picked up a set of binoculars at the age of six.

“I studied astronomy at school and always was fascinated by what is beyond our planet.

“I remember times when I used to look at the pitch black skies wondering about vastness of cosmos, and admiring untouched beauty of the celestial world,” the 48-year-old said.

She picked up a book and expanded her knowledge of cosmology. 10 years ago she purchased her first 20 inch telescope and later joined the Norwich Astronomical Society at seething observatory, in Bungay.

The horsehead and flame nebula was captures from Shaun Reynolds back garden in Ditchingham. Picture: Shaun ReynoldsThe horsehead and flame nebula was captures from Shaun Reynolds back garden in Ditchingham. Picture: Shaun Reynolds

“The night sky is literally a time machine. When I observe our neighbouring galaxy Andromeda then I see what was happening approximately 2.5 million light years ago.

“Another thing that I find about the night sky that is so endearing is abundance of unfolding events in the sky.

“When you observe a star death in a massive explosion or stellar nurseries where stars are born, or a cosmic dance of interacting galaxies, or some mysterious nebulous regions where new planetary systems form then this is where you realise that you are privileged to be a tiny spectator of the grandiose cycles of the celestial life,” she said.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), are urging the government and local councils to tackle light pollution.

Astro photographer, Shaun Reynolds from Ditchingham captured this shot known as 'The Wall'. Picture: Contributed by Shaun ReynoldsAstro photographer, Shaun Reynolds from Ditchingham captured this shot known as 'The Wall'. Picture: Contributed by Shaun Reynolds

According to a survey by CPRE, because of the impact of light pollution caused by artificial lights, only 2pc of 2,300 participants have experienced a 'truly dark sky' full of 30 or more stars. Norwich was in the top 20 locations where more than 35 stars can be counted.

Emma Marrington, dark skies campaigner at CPRE, said: “Without intervention, our night sky will continue to be lost under a veil of artificial light”

Ms Jur said: “Light pollution is not only a hindrance to astronomy, but it also impacts us and our environment directly.

“I am concerned about the future observing of the night sky.”

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