Finding Transients with Gaia

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Thank you to Dr Simon Hodgkin of the Astronomical Survey Unit, Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge for this very interesting article.Artist’s impression of Gaia14aae. Credit: Marisa Grove/Institute of Astronomy Gaia is the European Space Agency’s mission to map the Milky Way, measuring positions, distances, velocities and spectra for 1 billion stars spread in our Galaxy and

Dark Skies on Waternish

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Prepared in a personal capacity for us by Dr Simon Hodgkin of the Astronomical Survey Unit, Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge. Truly dark skies are only found far away from the urban concentrations where most of us live. From a city centre location we are lucky to see even 100 stars, while under a dark sky we

Noctilucent Cloud – from Stein

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A wonderful photograpgh taken by Angus McGhie of the Stein Inn here on Waternish, very early one morning on his way back home after closing the Inn.

Aurora Borealis March 17th 2015 – WOW

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Waternish Peninsula – home to three Dark Skies viewing sites has been the perfect location throughout our stormy winter from which to view the Aurora Borealis. When the skies have been clear we have enjoyed numerous light shows that have been on display since October (even when there have been no aurora warnings). However nothing

NASA Photo of Aurora over Scotland

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A Nasa Astronaut (Terry Virtis) photographs the aurora borealis over Scotland from the International Space Station.   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-31440059  Absolutely fabulous – if only it could be as clear as this from Waterish (and with the naked eye)

Hubble spots a galaxy smiling at us

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The Hubble Space Telescope is producing pictures on a daily basis which are just wonderful and awe-inspiring.  They recently shared this picture on Facebook. Hubble spots a galaxy smiling at us http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1506a/ Credit: NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration & ESA – European Space Agency

Dark Skye Star Party – October 25th 2014

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Please phone 01599 577 219 for further details including tickets.

The GAIA Project Lecture – 4th August 2014

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A very interesting lecture was held at Waternish Hall earlier this month, given by Dr Simon Hodgkin of the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge.  The lecture was very well attended so thanks to all those who supported it. Simon began his lecture by telling us how he got into astronomy at a very young

August Meteors

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Go some place dark.  August is a really good month for meteors with the return of Perseid Shower. See earthsky.org/tonight/the-radiant-of-the-delta-aquarid-meteors  And of course after weeks of light skies and short nights, the nights are ‘fair drawing in”.  We would love to hear of any of your experiences of meteors or Dark Skies whilst visiting Waternish.

Noctilucent Clouds

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Noctilucent clouds (NLC’s) are the highest clouds in Earth’s atmosphere and are visible in a deep twilight, mostly observed in the summer months at latitudes between 50º and 70º north and south of the equator. They are made of crystals of water ice. They can only be seen when the sun is below the horizon.

Fabulous Aurora

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On the 27th February the country experience a very widespread aurora. Waternish was part of that, for at least half an hour. There was some colour in the sky to the naked eye, but through the camera the colours were staggering. To the naked eye the shimmering effect was incredibly clear and at times covered

Isle of Coll – Awarded Dark Sky Community Status

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Visit Waternish would like to extend our warmest congratulations to the Isle of Coll who this last weekend were awarded the status of Dark Sky Community. This will have entailed a lot of hard work and dedication to achieve this – it truelly is a dark place! However don’t forget that Waternish have its own

Experiencing Hubble

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Starting on Tuesday 15th October, the first of a six week programme being shown by Gill Williams. It will feature another ‘Great Courses’ Course called ‘Experiencing Hubble – Understanding the Greatest Images in the Universe’, where a lecturer will explain the images coming back from the Hubble telescope. The previous lecture course last year on

Spectacular night skies over Waternish

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If the hype delivers, this coming November could produce one of the most spectacular natural sights ever witnessed in the night sky. Discovered in September last year by two Russian astronomers, Comet Ison is currently between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars, some 400 million miles from the sun. Come next autumn, this city-sized ball

BBC Stargazing Photograph

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This is the photo of the sun, taken on Waternish by Robert Arnold, which was shown on the BBC Stargazing Live TV program on January 8th 2013. It is taken using a Calcium K line filter, which shows only a very narrowband of light near the UV end of the spectrum, the Calcium emission line.

We’re REALLY dark here!

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Look at this picture from NASA, how dark are we here on Waternish on the Isle of Skye? Can you even see Skye??? We are currently having clear skies and are seeing lots of stars and planets and the moon is fabulous!!! There are reports of Northern Lights!!!

Dark Skies in December

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What a fabulous week we have had for Dark Skies. For once everything seemed to come together this week. We had a new moon which made the night sky really dark. But who needs the moon when Jupiter is dazzling the night sky. We had some clear nights which meant spectacular viewing. This all coincided

The Transit of Venus

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This is so exciting. For the only time in our lifetime there is a transit of the sun by Venus early on the morning of June 6th. If the clear skies that we have had recently continue it may be possible to see the transit from Waternish (if you are up early enough). The next

Dark Sky events on Skye in March

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Dark Sky events on Skye in March Friday March 9th 2012: Dark Skye Launch Event: Destination Skye and Lochalsh presents Dark Skye Discovery starting at 7:30 pm at the Broadford Hotel, Broadford. £8 per ticket. “Dark Skye Discovery Launch – Isle of Skye Nine sites on the Isle of Skye have been accredited with Dark

Award for completing ‘Our Night Sky’ Course

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A significant core group of Waternish residents have completed a basic course via DVD called ‘Our Night Sky’. The youngest member of this group, Murdo MacGilvaray, received a very personal letter of congratulations from the course tutor, Professor Edward Murphy of the University of Virginia, and a certificate. The picture shows Murdo with his proud

Dark Skies (Not Dark Clouds) Report

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We’ve had a report from a local couple: “We sat in the garden from 1850hrs till 1930hrs 27th Jan 2012 and this is what we have observed: Clear skies, waning/ or waxing moon( can not recall lecture) and Venus reflecting over Loch Bay to the west. Using the bins I could see the craters and

Dark Skies Lectures

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About 20 local residents attended the first in a series of DVD lectures in the Waternish Hall last night on ‘Our Night Sky’. It would be fair to say that the audience was fascinated by the lecture although a little shocked by the amount of information. Nonetheless this has continued our interest in the heavens

Waternish and Skye promote Dark Skies

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Dark Sky Discovery, a pioneering new national and regional partnership of astronomy and environmental organizations, has just unveiled a series of Dark Sky Discovery Sites throughout the UK. Led by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) the partnership aims to pinpoint the great range of local spots that people can use for stargazing. Two