Stargazers marvel at night sky's wonders at Beacon Hill open events
VISITORS to the Beacon Hill Allotments, in Cleethorpes, had stars in their eyes – quite literally – at the weekend.
Cleethorpes and District Astronomical Society hosted a series of open events at their observatory as part of the BBC's third annual Stargazing Live TV shows.
Curious members of the public looked to the stars and found out more about our solar system thanks to the local experts on hand to guide them.
The society, which was founded in 1969, has its own lecture room at the allotments and an observatory containing a 16in Newtonian/Cassegrain telescope.
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Member Michael Brightmore, who presented the evenings, said: "When the sky is clearer, you can see the planet Jupiter, which just looks like a bright star with the naked eye.
"With our telescope, you can see the planet's red spot and the four moons which orbit it. Because we are rotating, throughout the year you can see different star constellations; it constantly changes.
"Orion's Belt is beautiful to see. It is very easily recognisable in a straight line. Also there is a visible Orion Nebular, which is a cloud of hydrogen gas."
Mr Brightmore is fascinated by the night sky "because you are looking back in time".
"It makes you realise you are part of the universe and it is amazing to see stars and planets which are more than 66,000 miles away," he said.
Millie Codd, 10, of Cleethorpes, has a telescope at home and came to the event with her grandmother Andrea Codd to find out more about stargazing.
Millie said: "I have had my telescope for about a year and now I want to learn the names of stars.
"I can't wait to tell my friends the names of stars because, when they came over once, we saw a really bright star shining and we didn't know what it was called."
Erica Grigs, 22, of Waltham, attended with her partner Nick Taylor.
She said: "We have been watching Stargazing Live on the TV and decided to find out more about the night sky.
"I don't know the names of constellations, and I only have basic knowledge of planets from my GCSEs, so I'm hoping to widen my awareness."
Sue Campbell, of Grimsby, teaches on the Duke Of Edinburgh Award Scheme. She plans to pass on her newly-acquired astronomical information onto the young people she mentors.
"I can't wait to show them some of the fascinating sights which light up our sky," she said.
If you are interested in stargazing, find out more about the Cleethorpes and District Astronomical Society by visiting www.cleethorpesastronomy.org.uk or call president Barrie Watts (weekdays only) on 01507 363381. The next talk at the society is on Wednesday, February 6.