Stargazing 2024 at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

Stargazing 2024 at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

Friday 19th January 2024 from 17:30pm to 20:30pm

Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Harwell, Didcot, Oxfordshire, OX11 0QX, South East

The 2024 Stargazing at RAL will have plenty of activities for the whole family, whatever the weather! There’ll be meteorites, rocket building, comet making, face-painting, a series of fascinating talks, robots and of course stargazing. We’ll have some experts on hand to explain how they use the Diamond Light Source to find out more about meteorites and comets, and you’ll be able to visit the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source and Central Laser Facility to learn how we use particle accelerators and lasers to learn more about space.

Everyone will be able to talk to our friends at the Newbury Astronomy Society, who will be leading the actual stargazing – and if the weather doesn’t co-operate, they’ll be on hand to show their telescopes indoors, and give advice about astronomy and what can be seen in the night sky on cloudless nights.

Planetarium shows will run throughout the evening (ages 5+ only), but places on these are limited owing to the size of our planetarium, and so are allocated by lottery.

There will be tours of the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source Experimental Hall throughout the evening, but places on these are limited and so are allocated by lottery. Please note that, owing to health and safety restrictions, these tours are only suitable for those aged eleven or over.

We will also have packs for Brownies/Cubs/Beavers to help them towards their respective space and astronomy badges. The pack contains sheets that should be used during the course of the evening alongside the activities to provide evidence for the badge. Please let us know if you would like a pack.

Please note that this has already taken place on 19/01/2024

Event booking

Please book your tickets via Eventbrite.

Visit event website

Event darkness

The Moon has a big impact on the visibility of celestial bodies in the night sky. Try to plan your stargazing when there is no bright Moon at night as this is when the skies will be at their darkest.

The below chart shows if and when the skies will be at their darkest during this event. 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.

Stay and gaze nearby

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