Suffolk’s big skies and unspoilt landscapes mean it’s a great place to raise your gaze and spot some of our stellar neighbours. With little light pollution the county’s home to a number of locations ideal for constellation-watching – in fact we have three sites specially designated as Dark Sky Discovery Sites.
The Suffolk Coast National Nature Reserve at Blythburgh is officially recognised as an excellent place for celestial encounters and nearby, a group of keen stargazers collectively known as the Darsham Astronomical Society congregate at Westleton Common.
To the south and slightly inland, two other locations classified as a Milky Way discovery sites also hold special events: Westleton Common and Haw Wood Farm near Saxmundham.
The RSPB’s reserve at Minsmere is another fine setting from which to witness the natural beauty of the night sky. Here, local amateur astronomers start special stargazing events with an introductory talk before participants are given an opportunity to view planets, stars, galaxies and more from a variety of telescopes on show.
If you’re holidaying in the south of county, pop over the border to one of the Essex Wildlife Trust’s events at Abberton Reservoir near Colchester. Nearby, the Dedham Vale Society is campaigning to secure Dark Sky status for its own AONB.
Did you know? Want a simple way to tell the different between a star and a planet? Well, the song lyrics are a clue: ‘Twinkle, twinkle, little star’ references the fact that starlight is refracted and looks to us as though it’s twinkling, whereas the light of planets in our solar system generally produce a steady shine!