Night sky gazers head to north Norfolk for UK’s largest Star Party

Amateur astronomers are set to gather at Kelling Heath Holiday Park for the annual Star Party. Pictu

Amateur astronomers are set to gather at Kelling Heath Holiday Park for the annual Star Party. Picture: SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

The weekend event will be held at Kelling Heath Holiday Park, near Holt, from September 30 to October 3, and is expected to attract hundreds of astronomers.

The LAS Equinox Sky Camp will feature talks by experts, a telescope tour and second-hand 'astroboot' stalls, as well as stargazing.

Graham Sparrow, spokesman for the Norwich Astronomical Society, said: 'The dark skies at Kelling are good for viewing faint objects that are impossible to see in areas where street lighting, security lights, etc, blank out all but the brightest stars.

'Over the years I have been going to the autumn and spring star parties there has been a noticeable increase in light from nearby Holt, but it remains a popular venue and each gathering there is attended by amateur star gazers from all over the country.'


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The party dates coincided with a time when the moon was: 'out of the way - it being nature's own source of light pollution,' Mr Sparrow added.

'I will be using the largest of the scopes I'm taking to view deep sky objects such as nebulae and galaxies, some of which are so distant that we see them as they were before human life existed on this earth, so long has their light taken to reach us.

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'On a clear night (always hopeful of getting at least one) one can sit out until dawn seeing wonder after wonder and still know that one has seen but a fraction of what is out there.'

While people took along their own binoculars and telescopes, the social atmosphere meant enthusiastic amateurs were always happy to share the wonders of the night sky and explain them to others.

The Star Party is free to day visitors. There are two camping fields for astronomers and a strict 'no lights' policy is enforced. Visit www.starparty.las-astro.org.uk

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