BBC Stargazing Live 2012 Cawfields (Haltwhistle)


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BBC 2 Stargazing Live 2012 announced the newest Darksky Discovery site right here in the heart of Northumberland. In association with Northumberland National Park, Newcastle Astronomical Society and Border Astronomical Society, organized an event to witness some of the darkest skies in our region and be able to see a part of the Milky Way with our very own eyes.

Unfortunately this event was cancelled due to bad weather and will be rescheduled for 11th March 2012 between 7.00-9.00pm.

For more information on Dark Sky Discovery:

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Stargazing in the Northumberland National Park:

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BBC Stargazing Live 2012


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Gibside, Rowlands Gill - 16/01/2012


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© 2012 HMP & Newcastle Astronomical Society

BBC Stargazing Live 2011 was a phenomenal success. They decided to come back this year with a Big Bang. BBC2 featured another 3 nights of programs between January 16 and 18.

Professor Brian Cox and Dara O’Brian took over our TV screens and delighted us with the wonders of the universe and how to make the most of the night sky “Live from Jodral Bank Observatory”.


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© 2012 GF & Newcastle Astronomical Society

Hundreds of Astronomical societies took part in Stargazing Live 2012. Newcastle Astronomical society participated in 3 outreach events:

  • Stargazing Live at Gibside
  • Astronomy Talk at Seaton Sluice Middle School.
  • Stargazing at Cawfields (new Dark Sky Discovery Site) in Northumberland.

Our first mission took us to the beautiful location of Gibside (Rowlands Gill) for a night’s observing packed with events, including an amazing Orchestra in the chapel with a planetarium light show.


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© 2012 GF & Newcastle Astronomical Society

Society members Tom, Simon M, Graham, Simon B, Athol, Alison and Heather battled freezing temperatures for 5 hours to give spectators a stunning view of the nights sky. Two other members were placed in a gazebo. Jason did a presentation on astro-imaging, and Joseph brought his radio equipment to demonstrate how to record the sound of Meteors burning in our atmosphere.


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© 2012 HMP & Newcastle Astronomical Society

Over 300 people flooded the grounds. The constellation of Orion (the most recognizable constellation in the sky), and Orion's nebula, were the target of the societies huge 16 inch dobsonian telescope.


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© 2012 HMP & Newcastle Astronomical Society

Other Society members focused on deep sky objects like the “Pin Wheel” (M36), an open cluster in the constellation of Auriga, and our closest neighboring galaxy Andromeda. Yet the highlight of the night was Jupiter and its many moons.


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© 2012 HMP & Newcastle Astronomical Society

BBC Stargazing Live 2012

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If you’ve been inspired by Brian Cox and Dara O’Briain on BBC Two, come along to a Stargazing LIVE event and give astronomy a go! You don’t need any experience or equipment, astronomers will be on hand and you can pick up a Stargazing LIVE Star and Moon guide full of top tips on looking up. Don’t worry if the weather’s bad, we have Stargazing LIVE activity cards full of ideas for all of the family. You can get hands on with the solar system, build a rocket or learn how to photograph the night sky. We even have tips on how to stargaze using your phone or computer. And if you ignite an interest in astronomy and want to discover the Universe, you can join your local astronomical society to find out even more.

Get ready to Stargaze and find out more at bbc.co.uk/stargazing.


The Newcastle Astronomical Society is proud to take part in the BBC Stargazing Live 2012 event taking place on the 16th, 17th and 18th of January 2012. Over three days a series of activities will take place across the North East:

Monday 16th of January 2012: A FREE ticketed stargazing event will take place in Gibside, Gateshead from 6.00pm. For more information and to book your tickets, please go to the BBC Shows and Tours Website.

Tuesday 17th of January 2012: Seaton Sluice Middle School, 7pm-9pm. A talk will be delivered by our very own Jason Russell, member of our society, followed by an evening of Stargazing and telescope exhibition. Address: Seaton Sluice County Middle School, Alston Grive, Seaton Sluice, Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear, NE26 4JS. For further information on how to get there please visit the BBC Things To Do page.

Wednesday 18th of January 2012: CANCELLED due to adverse weather. This event has been rescheduled to the 11th of March 2012. Cawfields, time: 7pm - 9pm. Witness some of the darkest skies in the country by joining us at the Cawfields site, near Haltwhistle for an evening of Stargazing in the Northumberland National Park. For directions go to the following Northumberland National Park PDF. Cawfields is marked A on the map.