Our guests had a memorable evening star gazing at the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory recently. Due to snowy conditions they drove to the stables car park at Craigengillan where they joined others booked in for the evening session. They were met by staff who guided the group up to the Observatory by torchlight. An atmospheric walk along a snow covered track and trees laden with snow. They arrived suitably warmed up and ready to view the heavens.
Fortunately it was a crystal clear night with virtually no wind – perfect viewing conditions. The instructors were very knowledgeable, friendly and answered a myriad of questions from the group.
The main telescope was set up to view Orion’s nebula first, then Andromeda, the nearest major galaxy to earth and about two and a half million light years away. A couple of other interesting areas of the night sky were viewed through the telescope and then out to the raised deck area where various constellations were pointed out with a little mythology thrown in. The Milky Way was particularly spectacular against the inky black skies. Sadly the Aurora Borealis didn’t make an appearance.
Inside a short film was shown before the torchlight walk down the hill and back to the cars. A night to remember.