Dark Skies in Upper Nidderdale
Possibly one of the most universal human experiences is to look up to the stars. There are more than can be counted, more than we know about, more than we could ever get our heads around.
But from childhood everyone on the planet has looked up either in awe, or to spot and pick out a constellation, see the face on the moon or just watch and wait in the hopes of seeing a shooting star and making a wish.
See more with a Dark Sky
How much you can see when you look up depends on the amount of ambient light around you, coming from streetlights, roads, advertising hoardings and surrounding buildings.
For the best stargazing experience you need a truly dark sky, like those you will find in Upper Nidderdale. In one of the remotest spots in the Yorkshire dales light pollution is at its lowest, and when you look up into the sky you can see more than you might have ever thought was there.
In a dark sky location it is possible to observe the Milky Way scattered diagonally across the sky, the finer details of popular constellations, such as the Orion Nebula, visible just below the stars that make up his belt. You can see with just binoculars how the second star from the left on the Plough (Mizar) is in fact two stars (Mizar and Alcor) orbiting one another.
You can also pick out the red colour of Mars or the blue of Rigel, the right foot of Orion.
Stargazing is easier than ever to get into, with a number of helpful apps for mobile devices available to help you find out what you can see. They also tell you when some rarer opportunities are available, such as when you can see the International Space Station, which appears as a very bright star moving smoothly across the south western sky in the hours after dusk.