The Week - Junior


Look up at the night sky and start…


You don’t need to be an astronomer with a giant telescope to enjoy a simple but spellbindi­ng activity: stargazing. Just go outside at night and look up. It’s so interestin­g to discover what’s going on. With a bit of practice, and know-how from books and websites, stargazers can spot particular stars and also groups of stars, called constellat­ions.

There is plenty to take in using just your eyes but some people use binoculars or a telescope for a more detailed look. For the best results, choose a clear night when the Moon is not very bright (you can find out how full the Moon is on any date at

It can be harder to see the stars in towns and cities because of light pollution (the brightenin­g of the night sky by light from street lamps, shops and car headlights). The best places for stargazing are open, hilly areas or the coast, so it’s a great holiday activity. When you visit other places in the UK, and even if you go abroad, do some stargazing and compare it with what you see at home.

Between 17 and 24 February, a charity group called CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) is hosting a

Star Count event. With the help of volunteers, CPRE hopes to work out where the worst light pollution is happening so that action can be taken to improve people’s view of the night sky. The Star Count involves checking how many stars people can see in the Orion constellat­ion. You can find out more at When you head out at night, always go with an adult. Dress warmly and take a blanket or a chair to sit on, plus a hot drink in a flask to warm you up. You might want to take a camera with you as well, so you can take a photo if you see something amazing in the sky.

 ?? ?? Try stargazing with a grown-up.
Try stargazing with a grown-up.
 ?? ?? You can stargaze anywhere.
You can stargaze anywhere.
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