As of February 2020 the Milner K Ford Observatory sadly closed its observatory dome doors for the last time and was decommissioned, the ageing building becoming difficult and expensive to maintain despite the heroic efforts of the volunteer astronomers who worked there.
The facility was opened in 1969 following a huge community effort and welcomed thousands of visitors over its 50 years of operation.
If you’d like to read more about the history of the facility please see this article on Batley & Spenborough Astronomical Society’s website.
Location events organiser
Weather forecast for Birstall Smithies (0.7 miles away) updated 28/11/23 at 20:00.
Local light pollution
The above demonstrates the estimated effect of light pollution - graphics created using Stellarium.
Best time to visit
The below chart shows when the skies will be at their darkest at this location and therefore the best time to visit. Moonlight is shown in light yellow and the Sun's twilight in light blue. Midnight on the date shown is shown as a white line with sunset to the left and sunrise the next morning to the right. A black background with stars shows the best times for stargazing. See our dark sky calendar for more details.
Tue 28th Nov
Wed 29th Nov
Thu 30th Nov
Fri 1st Dec
Sat 2nd Dec
Sun 3rd Dec
Mon 4th Dec
Stay and gaze nearby
Stay at one of these stargazing-friendly accommodation providers.