Barr Beacon’s a great place to discover the wonders of the night sky. And it’s not just us saying this, the UK Dark Sky Discovery partnership says so too. In 2012, the network of national and local astronomy and environmental organisations awarded Barr Beacon the official designation of 'Dark Sky Discovery Site', making the site the first urban Local Nature Reserve in the country to be awarded ‘Dark Sky Discovery status'.
You can find out more about the Dark Sky Discovery project by going to: http://www.darkskydiscovery.org.uk/
Get into Space
Here are a few tips if you fancy doing a spot of stargazing, either on Barr Beacon or in your own back garden. Remember, the Beacon’s car parks are closed at night, but you can still access it on foot.
If you’re outside and it’s cold, wear warm clothing and have something comfy to sit on such as a blanket or a chair. You can add binoculars, telescopes and flasks of hot chocolate, a torch will be useful too, and we also recommend friends and family to share the event with, but generally, just get comfy, look up, and hope for clear skies!
As well as looking at the stars, you can watch for meteors too. These can be seen anytime at night, but the later the better - and the early hours of the morning are best!
Meteors often appear as showers when lots can be seen together at certain times of year. The showers often occur over a period of a few days, but there’s usually a peak date when the shower is at its best, providing the sky’s clear of course!
Visit the Dark Sky website www.darkskydiscovery.org.uk/ for more information and Walsall Astronomical Society’s site www.walsallastro.co.uk/ for details of local activities.