Author Archives: Neill Sanders

The coronavirus pandemic is hitting businesses hard. Tourist destinations and accommodation providers are set to lose most, if not all of the 2020 Summer season. At this time of great uncertainty we’d like to share with you some ideas as to how astro-tourism could be of significant help to your business and its recovery.

What is astro-tourism and how can it benefit your business?

Astro-tourism is the name given to the growing public interest in astronomy and the increased eagerness for people to travel to destinations that are ideal for stargazing. If your property is located away from the worst of light pollution where the skies are dark and you are not already taking advantage of astro-tourism then you are missing out!

Perhaps the biggest opportunity lies in the fact that the stargazing season starts when the traditional holiday season ends, thus giving opportunity to increase occupancy rates outside of normal times. The night time skies are a big draw in themselves and accommodation providers need only take some simple steps to accommodate stargazers, for example making their property dark sky friendly and offering some simple and inexpensive equipment such as binoculars and star charts. However, if you’re looking to benefit significantly you might need some assistance!

Who is Go Stargazing and how can we help?

Dark Sky Stargazing at Beacon Fell with Robert Ince

Dark Sky Stargazing at Beacon Fell with Robert Ince

Go Stargazing is formed of a diverse group of people ranging from experienced astronomers to award winning astrophotographers, academics and instrument specialists. We all share a keen enthusiasm to encourage members of the public to escape the bright lights of our towns and cities and experience dark, starry skies.

Together we run stargazing events in collaboration with a variety of venues across the North of England however have contacts the length and breadth of the country. We keenly promote the activities of grassroots astronomy organisations such as astronomical societies and astronomy clubs and support organisers and venues across the whole of the UK promoting their events and locations on our website, through our mailing list and via our social media channels.

Go Stargazing can help you set up, market and maintain your establishment as a stargazing destination. If your location benefits from dark skies we would love to feature your property on our Stay and Gaze map of stargazing friendly accommodation providers, for free! In addition to an amazing technology platform we have expertise, experience and enthusiasm to help you and your business make the most from astro-tourism!

Interested in finding out more?

We’ve said a lot about ourselves, now we’d love to hear from you! By all means contact us directly, or alternatively you could enter our “Locked Down but Looking Up” stargazers survey which has a special section for accommodation providers including how you can add your venue as a stay and gaze location to the Go Stargazing website.

In return for completing our survey you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win a fantastic fully-automatic telescope — ideal for beginners and perfect for your guests! For more details and to participate in our survey CLICK HERE.

We wish you good health and every success in the future. Clear skies!


stargazers_survey_2020

We have awarded the following prizes to those who completed our stargazers survey

1st prize – A Sky-Watcher StarTravel-102 telescope and AZ-GTe mount
This fantastic telescope on a portable mount is perfect for beginners! It connects to your smartphone or tablet and uses your device’s date, time and GPS co-ordinates to automatically align the telescope with objects in the sky. Observe the Moon, planets, star clusters, nebulae and galaxies all by using the app on your mobile! See this review. RRP £379.00.
This prize was won by Claire Bennellick on 21st June.

2nd prize – A Sega Toys Homestar Flux Planetarium Projector
This is no toy! This is easily one of the best home planetarium projectors available with excellent optics and a bright LED that will project the cosmos into your home with amazing clarity. It comes with accessories to display the Northern Hemisphere of stars and constellations. RRP £149.00.
This prize was won by Cheryl Hale on 14th June.

3rd prize – 1 of 5 Solarcans
A Solarcan is an extreme time exposure astronomy camera capable of capturing the path of the Sun over days, weeks, months or years. We’ve got 5 of them to give to 5 winners! RRP £15.95 each (and you can buy one now with 10% discount).
These prizes were won by Teri Humber, Katie Ward, Sara-Leigh Squires, Michael Wiggins, Zoe Fletcher on 7th June.

3rd prize – 101 Facts You Didn’t Know About Space
BBC Stargazing Live presenter Mark Thompson’s latest book will amuse and entertain any space enthusiast! Mark has offered to sign the winning copy too! RRP £25.00.
This prize was won by Simon Parkinson on 7th June.

Who is the survey aimed at?

Our survey is for everyone! We are keen for all interested stargazers to participate from absolute beginners to well seasoned or professional astronomers. We also warmly welcome accommodation providers in dark sky areas and those with a venue suitable for hosting stargazing events to participate too.

What is “Go Stargazing”?

Go Stargazing is an independent group of amateur astronomers keen to share our passion for astronomy with the aim of encouraging everyone to get outside and enjoy the night skies! Our website helps people find dark sky locations and public stargazing events across the whole of the UK and we help promote the activities of numerous organisations including astronomy groups and societies. We also support a wide variety of venues featuring their stargazing events on our events map and we do so for free!

Why are you conducting this survey?

Coronavirus is having a massive adverse impact on the people, organisations and businesses we have been supporting over the past years. We are conducting this survey to identify the best ways we can continue to help when things return to “normal” after the pandemic. The information gathered will enable us to prioritise our efforts over the Summer months so we are ready for when the observing season restarts (hopefully) in September. The prizes offered have been funded at our own expense, we are not sponsored and we are carrying out this venture for the benefit and support of the wider astronomical community.

What will Go Stargazing do with the data?

The data we collect will only be made accessible to our team and used for our own market research and our own internal purposes. Your data will never, ever be shared with any third parties and will be kept secure. We will use the data to work out how we can best connect people who are interested in stargazing events with those who run such events to venues who would like to host them.

Prize draw terms and conditions

The prize draw is open to residents of the United Kingdom (anyone is welcome to complete the survey). Participation in the prize draw is made by way of opting-in when completing the survey. Please complete the survey only once. Upon completion of the survey you will be given a unique website link that you can share with your friends and family — each time your link is used by someone to complete a survey you will earn an additional entry into the prize draw — this up to a maximum of 10 entries per person.

Survey now closed. All prizes have been awarded. Many thanks to everyone who took part!


Telescopes for Beginners

beginners telescope
Thinking of purchasing a telescope!? See our guide as to which telescopes we recommend for beginners.

Stargazing Events Map

Looking for an organised stargazing event near you? View a map of forthcoming events.

Stargazing Events Calendar

Find future stargazing events using this handy calendar.

Stargazing Location Map

Search for a great place to stargaze using our comprehensive map of stargazing locations.

Dark Skies Calendar

Thinking of travelling to a dark sky site? Check the best dates with our easy to use dark sky calendar.

Register to receive stargazing event notifications