National Parks Virtual Dark Skies Festival 2021

The National Parks Virtual Dark Skies Festival 2021 takes place from 12th February through to the 28th February 2021. It is run in collaboration with the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Parks with support from the team at Go Stargazing. This year will be the festival’s 6th anniversary and, due to the coronavirus pandemic, events will be held online.

All events are FREE OF CHARGE and, in the main, take the form of a Zoom meeting. To join in simply register using the event links below, after each presentation participants will have opportunity to ask the presenters questions. Most events will also be streamed live via the Go Stargazing Facebook page, a public Facebook page that can be accessed without the need for a Facebook account or login (ignore any prompts to register or login!)

For more details and to reserve your space in a Zoom presentation please click through each event below to access the booking form.

For even more events please see the National Parks Dark Skies Festival website.

CPRE Star Count with Go Stargazing

Join in the annual CPRE Star Count with astronomers from Go Stargazing! Organised by the Campaign to Protect Rural England everyone is invited to count the number of stars they can see in the constellation of Orion between 6th February and 12th...

Saturday 6th February 2021 from 18:00pm to Friday 12th February 2021 23:30pm

Planet Discoveries Inspired by Star Trek

Join Professor Carole Haswell, Head of Astronomy at the Open University, for this family friendly talk about finding new planets... Carole's presentation will introduce "exoplanets" and how astronomers can find them despite being so incredibly...

Friday 12th February 2021 from 19:00pm to 20:00pm

Beginners Guide to the Night Sky

Join astronomer Richard Darn from Go Stargazing for an introductory tour of the night skies! Take a journey from our nearest neighbour, the Moon, to distant galaxies and learn some simple tips to get to grips with a starry night. Discover how...

Saturday 13th February 2021 from 19:00pm to 20:00pm

Go on a Mission to Mars

Awesome event for children! Colin Stuart is an astronomy presenter and author of a number of fantastic children's books on astronomy. Participants will be whisked away on a mission to explore the red planet! Learn how astronauts will cope with the 7...

Sunday 14th February 2021 from 18:00pm to 19:00pm

Landscape Astrophotography for Beginners

Join experienced astrophotographer Gary Lintern for a session looking at how to get the best from your camera when shooting in the dark. Gary will cover how to shoot anything, especially landscapes, in dark conditions, paying special attention to...

Monday 15th February 2021 from 19:00pm to 20:00pm

Reverse through the Universe

Join Martin Whipp, Lead Astronomer from the Lime Tree Observatory, on a backward adventure through the Solar System and beyond! This is part 2 of Martin's incredibly popular talk (part 1 is available to watch here) where he continues his journey out...

Tuesday 16th February 2021 from 19:00pm to 20:00pm

The Invisible Universe

Dark skies let us see some of the glories of the night sky, but even on the best, darkest night, much is hidden from us by kinds of "light" that our eyes have never evolved to see. So, how are we exploring this invisible universe, and what can we...

Wednesday 17th February 2021 from 19:00pm to 20:00pm

Perseverance Rover Lands on Mars!

NASA's Perseverance Rover (and Ingenuity Helicopter!) is due to land on Mars on the 18th February and we'd love you to join us for the historic moment. Enjoy a presentation not only about the red planet but also this incredible mission that will see...

Thursday 18th February 2021 from 19:00pm to 20:00pm

Live Views of the Moon!

Join one of the Go Stargazing astronomers for real time views of the Moon! Using a large aperture telescope we'll be streaming live throughout the course of the National Parks Virtual Dark Skies Festival 2021. As this event is weather dependent...

Thursday 18th February 2021 from 20:00pm to Thursday 25th February 2021 21:00pm

The Artificial Intelligence Takeover of Space & Astronomy

Each year, the data collected by astronomy and space surveys is growing at an exploding rate, and the huge risks placed on the investments made on space missions means that there's no room for error. The need for fast, precise decision making is...

Friday 19th February 2021 from 19:00pm to 20:00pm

Beginners Guide to the Night Sky

Extra date added! Join astronomer Richard Darn from Go Stargazing for an introductory tour of the night skies! Take a journey from our nearest neighbour, the Moon, to distant galaxies and learn some simple tips to get to grips with a starry night....

Saturday 20th February 2021 from 18:00pm to 19:00pm

Building a Satellite

Join Dr Luke Tyas for amazing insights into his role as an Instrument Scientist from Durham University. Most recently Luke has been working on instrumentation for the Sentinel 4 satellite, part of a multi-billion Euro project to install a network of...

Saturday 20th February 2021 from 19:00pm to 20:00pm

Beginner's Telescope Workshop

Join Neill from Go Stargazing for a drop-in Zoom session for advice, tips and live troubleshooting of your telescope! If you're stuck, having problems or just unsure where to start simply register below to receive an invite to the two hour Zoom...

Sunday 21st February 2021 from 14:00pm to 16:00pm

Nightscape Photography in the Yorkshire Dales

Pete Collins is a keen photographer who captures stunning images in the Yorkshire Dales, particularly at night time. Join him for an introduction to night scape photography using minimal equipment, a DSLR camera and tripod. Not only will Pete share...

Sunday 21st February 2021 from 19:30pm to 20:30pm

How Animals Deal with Darkness

In this fascinating talk you'll find out how animals deal with darkness, from the echolocation calls of bats, to the crazy asymmetric ears of owls to our own nighttime vision (and why we have red-eye in flash photos). We'll take a tour of the animal...

Monday 22nd February 2021 from 19:00pm to 20:00pm

The Dark Side of Street Lighting

Join Dr Callum Macgregor from the University of Hull to discover how light pollution impacts on nocturnal wildlife. Dark skies are not just important to astronomers, but also to the many animals and plants that make use of the night-time, not least...

Tuesday 23rd February 2021 from 19:30pm to 20:30pm

Swaledale Starscapes

Paul Clark has been capturing the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales night sky since opening a B&B in Swaledale 5 years ago. Join him for a tour of the region with images taken around Swaledale that celebrate not only the fantastic starry skies but also...

Wednesday 24th February 2021 from 19:00pm to 20:00pm

Space Detectives - In The Night Sky

Explore the Night Sky with Space Detectives! Ideal for families with young astronomers you'll be shown how to find star constellations, travel back through history and discover how important it is to look after the night sky today by becoming a Dark...

Thursday 25th February 2021 from 19:00pm to 20:00pm

Voyage of Discovery

Join experienced astronomer Steven Gray from Cosmos Planetarium for a family friendly voyage through the Cosmos! Explore some of the pivotal moments throughout the ages of astronomical discoveries and space exploration, from our ancient ancestors to...

Friday 26th February 2021 from 19:00pm to 20:00pm

How fast are you moving when sitting still?

Dr Fred returns with a talk that will knock you off your seat! When you are sitting on the couch watching the latest Brian Cox documentary it feels like you are at rest and not actually moving. But of course we are - through space - at speeds that...

Saturday 27th February 2021 from 19:00pm to 20:00pm

Beginner's Telescope Workshop

Join Dr Luke Tyas for a drop-in Zoom session for advice, tips and live troubleshooting of your telescope! If you're stuck, having problems or just unsure where to start simply register below to receive an invite to the two hour Zoom session and join...

Sunday 28th February 2021 from 14:00pm to 16:00pm

Art in Space

We welcome Sam Cornwell, inventor of the Solarcan, for a tour into outer space to explore art & sculpture that has left Earth's atmosphere. From Sagan's Gold Voyager disc to RocketLab's disco ball and beyond we will discuss and look at our...

Sunday 28th February 2021 from 19:00pm to 20:00pm


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