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Our events calendar lists events both at the Observatory and other stargazing events being held in the North Pennines area. To view details about an event simply click on a calendar entry or use 'Switch to List View' to see events as a chronological list

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Upcoming events

    • 2 Mar 2018
    • 12:51 AM

    • 10 Mar 2018
    • 7:30 PM - 10:00 PM
    • North Pennines Observatory at Allenheads
    • 18

    For thousands of years humankind has been fascinated by the night sky. Gary Lintern of the North Pennines Astronomy Society will take us through the mythologies about the comos.

    This event will include both a talk and, weather permitting, an opportunity to spot the constellations through the Observatory's telescope.


    Remember to wrap up warm, wear appropriate footwear and to bring a torch to see your way back to your car. DIRECTIONS 

    Pre-registration is required to attend this event because capacity at the Observatory is limited.  

    (Note: If this event becomes over-subscribed then an additional event will be arranged for a later date) 

    • 19 Mar 2018
    • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • North Pennines Observatory at Allenheads
    • 27

    Hosted by the North Pennines Observatory in partnership with Visit Allen Valleys, the event is open to all existing and potential corporate members of the North Pennines Observatory together with members of local tourism associations.

    As well as finding out how the observatory works, attendees will take part in a ‘Star Tips for Profit’ workshop delivered by Richard Darn. The workshop aims to better equip businesses to take advantage of the growing interest in dark skies tourism and will cover;

    ·         Why dark skies are so important and the problem of light pollution

    ·         What the various designations mean

    ·         What astro tourism is and how businesses are benefiting

    ·         Making your business dark sky friendly

    ·         What equipment to provide

    ·         Useful apps and aids to observing

    ·         A crash course in star gazing

    The cost for the workshop is just £10 (free for all existing corporate members) and includes a light buffet. Anyone wishing to join as a corporate member may do so on the day with their £10 going towards the £50 corporate membership fee. The benefits of Corporate Membership can be found here.


    Richard Darn  has appeared on BBC Sky at Night and Stargazing Live and has numerous TV and radio appearances to his credit. Aside from his extensive dark sky work, he is an award winning media consultant who has worked for a wide range of high profile national clients.

    Remember to wrap up warm, wear appropriate footwear and to bring a torch to see your way back to your car. DIRECTIONS

    Pre-registration is required to attend this event because capacity at the Observatory is limited.

    • 23 Mar 2018
    • 8:00 PM
    • 25 Mar 2018
    • 2:00 AM
    • North Pennines Observatory, Allenheads
    • 20

    An NP Astronomy Society stargazing session will take place over the weekend with the exact evening dependent on weather conditions

    • 31 Mar 2018
    • 1:36 PM

    • 22 Apr 2018
    • 23 Apr 2018

    The Lyrid meteor shower is usually active between April 16 and April 25 each year. This year it will peak, and be most visible, on April 22 after midnight and just before dawn on April 23.

    The Lyrid is considered to be one of the oldest meteor showers known. It is named after the constellation Lyra.

    It usually produces about 20 meteors per hour – these are made from dust particles left behind by the comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher, which was discovered in 1861.

    • 30 Apr 2018
    • 1:58 AM

    • 5 May 2018
    • 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    • Newcastle Upon Tyne

    The Newcastle Astronomical Society will be hosting a one day event by the British Astronomical Association on 05th March 2018 titled 'Astrophysics and Astronomy Today'.

    The event has a great line up of speakers and looks to be an interesting and informative day. Further details can be found on the British Astronomical Association website.

    • 6 May 2018

    The Eta Aquarid shower runs each year from April 19 to May 28. This year it will be on the night of May 6 - the best time to see in the early morning right before dawn.

    This is one of two meteor showers created by debris from Comet Halley. It is an above average shower that favours the Southern Hemisphere, but in the North East of England, with a clear night, stargazers should be able to see up to 30 meteors per hour when it’s at its peak.

    Comet Halley is arguably the most famous comet known, it is named after its discoverer - English astronomer Edmond Halley. He examined reports of a comet approaching Earth in 1531, 1607 and 1682. He concluded that these comets were actual the same one returning over and over again.

    • 29 May 2018
    • 3:19 PM

    • 28 Jun 2018
    • 5:53 AM

    • 27 Jul 2018
    • 9:20 PM

    • 29 Jul 2018
    • 2:00 AM - 3:00 AM

    The Delta Aquarid meteor shower favours the Northern Hemisphere where it is likely to be more visible.  These meteors are produced by the debris left behind by the Marsden and Kracht comets.

    It is an average shower which runs annually from July 12 to August 23. This year it will peak on the night of July 28 and the best viewing hours will be after midnight and before dawn on the morning of July 29 between 2-3am.

    • 13 Aug 2018

    The Perseid meteor shower will reach its maximum rate of activity on 13 August 2018. Some shooting stars associated with the shower are expected to be visible each night from 23 July to 20 August.

    Annual meteor showers arise when the Earth passes through streams of debris left behind by comets and asteroids. As pebble-sized pieces of debris collide with the Earth, they burn up at an altitude of around 70 to 100 km, appearing as shooting stars.

    By determining the speed and direction at which the meteors impact the Earth, it is possible to work out the path of the stream through the Solar System and identify the body responsible for creating it. The parent body responsible for creating the Perseid shower is 109P/Swift–Tuttle.

    Observing prospects

    The maximum rate of meteors expected to be visible is around 80 per hour (ZHR). However, this assumes a perfectly dark sky and that the radiant of the meteor shower is directly overhead. 

    The Moon will be 2 days old at the time of peak activity, presenting minimal interference.

    • 26 Aug 2018
    • 12:56 PM

    • 25 Sep 2018
    • 3:52 AM

    • 7 Oct 2018
    • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

    The Draconid is the first of two meteor showers that will pass through our skies in October.

    It owes its name to the constellation Draco which is a derivative of the Latin term draconem meaning huge serpent.

    The meteor is created when the Earth passes through the dust debris left by the comet 21P/ Giacobini-Zinner - sometimes the Draconid is also known as the Giacobinids.

    It’s an unusual shower because it’s best seen in the early evening instead of between midnight and dawn like most other showers. This year it will peak on the night of the 7 where it should produce 10 meteors per hour.

    • 21 Oct 2018
    • 11:59 PM
    • 22 Oct 2018
    • 7:00 AM

    The Orionid arrives every year and is visible from October 2 to November 7 when the Earth passes through the debris left behind by the most famous comet of all Comet Halley.

    The shower is expected to peak just after midnight on October 21 and right before dawn on October 22. At its peak 20 meteors per hour can be seen in the sky.

    It’s called the Orionid because the meteors seem to emerge or radiate from a constellation called Orion.

    • 24 Oct 2018
    • 5:45 PM

    • 11 Nov 2018

    The Taurid is a long-running minor - and slow - meteor shower, it only produces about 5-10 meteors per hour.

    The shower runs annually from October to November, with two separate showers with the South Taurids set to peak this year on the night of November 4 and the North Taurids on November 11 but the stretched-out nature could see peak viewing up to November 17 .

    It has a high percentage of fireballs, or exceptionally bright meteors so should be easy to see providing the skies are clear.

    • 17 Nov 2018
    • 11:59 PM
    • 18 Nov 2018
    • 7:00 AM

    November’s Leonid meteor shower happens every year between the 6th and the 30th. It occurs when Earth crosses the orbital path of Comet Tempel-Tuttle.

    This year it will peak after midnight between November 17 and 18. The Leonid shower is unique because it has a cyclonic peak about every 33 years - this is where hundreds of meteors can be seen per hour. The last time this happened was in 2001.

    • 23 Nov 2018
    • 5:39 AM

    • 13 Dec 2018
    • 14 Dec 2018

    In 2018, the Geminid meteor shower peaks on the night of December 13 and early morning hours of December 14.

    The Geminid meteor shower can be seen every year between December 4 and December 16, with its peak activity being around December 13-14. The shower owes its name to the constellation Gemini because the meteors seem to emerge from this constellation in the sky.

    Unlike most other meteor showers, the Geminids are not associated with a comet but with an asteroid: the 3200 Phaethon. The asteroid takes about 1.4 years to orbit the Sun.

    The Geminids are considered to be one of the most spectacular meteor showers of the year, with the possibility of sighting around 120 meteors per hour at its peak, which is on December 13th or 14th 2018

    While it is not necessary to look in a particular direction to enjoy a meteor shower, astronomers suggest looking towards the south to view the Geminids.

    The best time to view the Geminids is at night – after sunset and before sunrise.

    • 22 Dec 2018

    The Ursids shower arrives each year between December 17 and December 23. It is produced by dust grains left behind by comet 8/P Tuttle and is also called the Mechain-Tuttle’s.

    Unfortunately 2018 is not expected to be a particularly dramatic display.

    This year it will peak on the night of December 22 but this will coincide with a full moon which won't help visibility or viewing. The Ursids meteor shower has been known to produce short bursts of over 100 meteors per hour. But typically the shower is much sparser than that. In a dark sky, it might produce only five to 10 meteors per hour at its peak.

    • 22 Dec 2018
    • 5:48 PM

Copyright Allen Valleys Enterprise Limited 2017

The North Pennines Observatory is owned and operated by Allen Valleys Enterprise Limited, a volunteer-run Community Benefit Society

The Observatory runs events for members, open events for non-members and is available for private bookings

All enquiries about the Observatory should be directed to AVEL on the Allen Valley Landscape Partnership phone number: 01434 683517

Allen Valleys Enterprise Ltd Allendale Village Hall, Allendale, Northumberland NE47 9PR 

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