First-ever stargazing event to be held at Beamish

January 11th 2018

You are part of an amazing universe! Want to know more? On Friday, 26th January, Beamish, in partnership with Sunderland Astronomical Society, is hosting its first-ever stargazing and astronomy evening.

This is set to be a unique opportunity to study the night sky above the award-winning museum.

Visitors to the event will be able to take a look through powerful telescopes of all shapes and sizes at Pockerley Waggonway and in The Colliery Yard and Pit Village to see the Moon, the planet Uranus, the Orion Nebula and many other astronomical wonders of the night sky!

A fantastic mobile planetarium will be set up in the Masonic Hall in The 1900s Town, so that visitors can experience the wonders of the solar system (small extra charge applies).

Paul Foster, Historic Events Officer at Beamish, said: “This a fascinating first for Beamish and a new addition to our calendar of events. It’s a brilliant opportunity for visitors to have a look at the night sky above Beamish, guided by experts. The planetarium is an exciting addition to the evening and I’m sure visitors will find it enthralling.”

In The Pit Village school there’ll be the opportunity to have a go at making a planisphere,  a glow-in-the-dark constellation or your own planet and galaxy.

Local amateur astronomy experts will be on hand to answer questions and share their knowledge and there’ll be talks in The Pit Village band hall and chapel and The Waggonway engine shed on all things astronomical, including Moon Myths and Legends, and Water on Mars.

To help them get around the museum, every visitor will receive a free stargazing-friendly torch!

Michael Tweedy, Chair of Sunderland Astronomical Society, said: “Sunderland Astronomical Society is proud and privileged to be partnering Beamish in a truly unique event.  Observing the night sky through our specialised telescopes in an iconic setting is a first for our Society.  We’ll be giving visitors the opportunity to look through the eyepiece of monster telescopes, see gas clouds and star clusters and look in wonder at galaxies live on screen.”

Admission to this fantastic stargazing event is by ticket only. Tickets are £5 per person (under 2s admitted free) and Planetarium admission is £1 per person (Planetarium tickets cannot be bought without admission tickets).  Both are available on the Beamish website, or at the Beamish admissions desk. Beamish Unlimited Passes are not valid for this event.

Refreshments will be available on the night from the Sinkers’ Bait Cabin in The Pit Village and near Pockerley Waggonway and the Beamish Wheelchair Accessible Bus will be in service.

In the event of adverse weather conditions, the event will go ahead with indoor activities replacing those outdoors.