Star gazing is something we love doing when visiting Springbank. Elgol provides a high quality dark-sky environment that is ideal for casual star gazers as well as serious astronomers and, the increasing popular activity of astro-photography. Skye has a wide viewable horizon and there’s no street lighting which means that there is virtually no light pollution. And, if it gets chilly, it’s a good excuse to take a dram to warm you up.
We are complete amateurs at this but we’ve just our copy of the 2017 edition of the Royal Observatory Greenwich’s guide to the NIGHT SKY authored by Storm Dunlop and Wil Tirion and published by Collins. The book provides a month-by-month guide to exploring the skies above Britain and Ireland and we provide a copy at Springbank Cottage for our guests to use during their stay.
Through the winter-time the most conspicuous constellation is Orion whose distinctive hour-glass shape straddles the celestial equator. Early January 2017 will be one of the strongest and most consistent for meteors followed by May and August when a possible hourly rate of between 50 and 120 may occur.
The guide gives a calendar of potentially viewable events together with details of the moon’s phases for each day every month. Each month also has three charts for how the sky will look at three set times which gives you a good idea of what you should be seeing and when you are likely to see it.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t know your Bellatrix from your Betelgeuse, the guide gives clear indications of how to locate key features at specific times of the year. It also enables you to explore the night sky to pick out less familiar constellations as well as other objects such as globular clusters, gaseous nebulas and other galaxies, notably the Andromeda galaxy, which is visible at most times of the year.
You don’t need a telescope to see and enjoy the night sky as binoculars are very good as they give a wide field of vision. We provide binoculars for our guests to use so everything is on hand to bring the night sky to life!
Star gazing is one of a range of outdoor activities that we provide resources for guests to make use of during their stay at Springbank. For full details of how a stay at Springbank could transform your holiday into an environmental discovery experience visit the environmental activities information page of our website.
For details of availability to stay at Springbank click here.