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  • Writer's pictureJenny Hill

Stargazing, a Beginners Guide

Choosing a holiday in North Devon is a great choice for so many reasons. We know that guests at Berridon Farm cabins choose this location for the sandy, beaches, surfing, great days out aside, sporting adventure activities or simply relaxing.

But our location is also hugely popular for city dwellers who want to re-engage with the beauty of the night sky. With much less light pollution than in towns or cities a night spent on a cabin veranda, or in the hot tub, looking up at the stars spotting shooting stars or remembering the constellations is an activity which young and old will remember.

What are dark skies?

The term ‘dark skies’ is used to describe areas where the quality of nights, ability to see the stars, and natural darkness, is fantastic. You should be able to stand outside at night and not see the tell-take orange glow of a local areas lit by street lights.

Why are dark skies important?

Dark skies are important to us all both physically and mentally, and also important for nature. The human race has evolved to the rhythm of light changing from day to night. However, reliance on artificial light (technology, street lamps, TV screens) disrupts these circadian rhythms. Darkness prompts our bodies to produce melatonin – this helps us sleep and boosts our immune system.

Stargazing for beginners

The best thing about stargazing is that you don’t really need anything to do it, just sit back and open your eyes. On a clear night it’s possible to see many constellations with the naked eye, or a good pair of binoculars.

When you’re trying to find constellations start by tracking the moon as it’s the easiest celestial object to see in the night sky. Dark skies during full moons which happen every month are the best way to see planets, galaxies and the Milky Way.

This website here tells you what planets and constellations you should be able to see that night in your location.

So fire up your wood-buring hot tub, or grab a comfortable chair, and settle back and watch the skies!

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