Stargazing at Redoubt

Stargazing at the Redoubt Fortress - photo by Mark Jarvis
Stargazing at the Redoubt Fortress - photo by Mark Jarvis
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Free stargazing returns to the Redoubt Fortress on Saturday (February 4) as the popular astronomical evening this month focuses on the birth of new stars in the Orion Nebula.

More than 1,200 light years away, February is a great time to view the stellar nursery of the Orion Nebula, a colourful gas cloud which features just below Orion’s belt.

With Venus at it’s almost brightest and clear views of Mars and craters during the Moon’s first quarter, stargazers are in for a galactic treat from the dark sky platforms of the historic fortress.

Run by Eastbourne Astronomical Society from 6pm to 8pm, entry is free and stargazers can take a peek through the telescopes provided or settle down in a quiet spot with their own. A 30-minute talk on what to see in the skies this February, is also provided from 6pm.

To celebrate our nearest neighbouring planet, the evening continues on Saturday on a Martian theme, with a screening of 1967 cult classic Quatermass and the Pit. Film lovers can expect a few galactic surprises as the movie theatre of casemate 20 is taken over by strange alien forces.

The sci-fi classic, produced by popular horror movie makers Hammer Films, sees scientist Professor Quatermass called into investigate a mysterious metal object and prehistoric corpses unearthed in London. As a strange energy field begins to exert its influence, and more unusual corpses are discovered, the capital is sent into a panic.

The film costs £6 per person (not suitable for under 12’s) and begins at 7.30pm with Outpost café open from 6pm to 9.30pm for popcorn and drinks.

Stargazing returns during half term for a second viewing of the Orion Nebula, Mars and Venus on February 18 from 6pm to 8pm, along with a 30-minute astronomy talk, part of the first ever South Downs Dark Skies Festival between February 10 and 26.

All stargazing events are free and children are very welcome. Stargazers should wrap up warm.

For more information visit www.eastbournemuseums.co.uk