Discover Eastbourne’s endless star-studded skies as free stargazing nights return to the Redoubt Fortress in the New Year, with the first event on January 7.
Take a closer look at Venus and Mars, and learn about the incredible constellations that line the universe as Eastbourne Astronomical Society reveal their expert knowledge as to how to get the best out of the dark night skies.
The free event will take place in the stunning Redoubt Fortress, which boasts an impressive view of the still skies as well as constellations.
Take a peek through telescopes used by Eastbourne Astronomical Society on the Redoubt’s Gun Platform where views of Venus and Mars can be spotted.
A twenty minute talk will delve into the constellations that take shape in the sky.
Eastbourne Astronomical Society will explore how ancient men saw animals and people in the sky, including the Bear, the Dog and the Lion.
The talk will explore how some of the constellations resemble particular patterns while some are far from accurate.
Amongst the many characters that take shape in outer space, a King, Queen and Princess will be described in the talk and afterwards shown by members of the Astronomical Society.
In May 2016, the South Downs National Park was given the title of the 12th Dark Sky Reserve in the world.
Eastbourne’s Birling Gap is amongst the seven best spots to be exposed to dark skies which are being protected as well as the land on the ground.
Eastbourne Borough Council Lead Cabinet Member for Tourism and Enterprise, Cllr Margaret Bannister, said, “In Eastbourne we are so lucky to have such stunning natural environments around us.
“From rolling countryside to boundless beaches, our dark night skies are just another example of our idyllic surroundings and stargazing is a fantastic way of appreciating this.”
“With Eastbourne Astronomical Society’s impressive knowledge of outer space and the Redoubt Fortress’ favourable location, stargazing evenings are perfect for the whole family and not to be missed.”
The brightest object in the sky, apart from the sun and the moon, is the planet Venus and this will be ideal for observing through the telescopes of the Eastbourne Astronomical Society at the next Stargazing event.
Throughout the whole of January, Venus will be getting closer to the Earth and becoming brighter making it difficult to see any markings on the planet.
The other planet which will be visible at the Stargazing session is Mars, which is also in the West. This planet is moving further away from the Earth and as a result is slightly less bright.
Every month until April, Stargazing events will take place at the Redoubt offering insight to outer space, with occasional nights featuring film screenings of some of the most iconic and best loved sci-fi films.
The sessions take place on the first Saturday of each month, so the entire family can come along and be amazed by outer space.
The first stargazing evening of the New Year will take place on January 7 from 5pm - 7pm.
Then on February 4, stargazing will be from 6pm – 8pm, with a film screening of Quatermass and the Pit (Rated 12) from 7.30pm - 9.15pm.
The following session is March 4, also from 6pm – 8pm.
And the final stargazing evening will be on April 1 from 8pm – 10pm.
All stargazing events are free, whilst film screenings cost £6 a ticket.
The Redoubt Fortress’ vintage-themed café, The Outpost, will be open on the Stargazing evenings, with a later closing time on film screening dates. Novelty cinema treats, alcohol will be available to purchase as well as hot drinks to keep stargazers warm in the chilly winter evenings. As the events will be held on winter evenings, it is advisable that visitors wrap up warm in several layers.
For more information, visit www.eastbournemuseums.co.uk or contact 01323 410300.