A “Starcamp” is an organised stargazing event that takes place at a time around a new moon when the skies are nice and dark for stargazing. Such events are often based at a remote campsite or caravan park and away from light pollution.
“Starcamping” offers a means of getting away from the city lights, away from light pollution, away from the hum-drum of day-to-day life and into a world where you can be at one with our Universe, literally!
Although Starcamps take place throughout the year the best events are held from Autumn through to Spring when less daylight hours allow for more stargazing time and the cold, crisp nights mean the skies above are settled making it perfect for observing, especially through telescopes.
Most of us will have to travel some distance to find a dark sky location therefore not only do Starcamps make an ideal short break the journey is made all the more worthwhile when you see the Milky Way arching over you and thousands of stars visible to the naked eye. Staying over a couple of nights increases the chances you’ll get a break in the weather.
You’ll find friendly, experienced amateur astronomers on hand and keen to share their knowledge and passion for their favourite subject. Some of these events cater for families (such as The People’s Star Parties at Kielder) however most are aimed at more serious amateur astronomers wanting to make the most of their time under dark skies. The public are welcome to all however anyone who attends will be expected to abide by strict red light rules (no white light during dark) and no noise during the mornings (sleepy astronomers!)
It’s not necessary to rough it either! You’ll find campsites with pitches that have electric hook-ups for fan heaters and a warm room where you can make a cuppa. There’s often a pub nearby too!
Starcamps are social events and you’ll undoubtedly make new friends, when you call it a night just snuggle up with your partner under the extra duvet you packed in addition to your sleeping bags! 😉
Going camping at anytime when it’s likely to be chilly is not for the faint-hearted, however, for the more adventurous amongst you this is perhaps the best way of experiencing stargazing and such efforts are often incredibly rewarding!