Winter brings longer nights, meaning we have more time to see the stars. The skies over the Marrington Estate are filled with some of the darkest spots in the UK. Thanks to its remote location, there’s little light pollution and more to gain with the naked eye.
The clearest views of any stars or constellations will depend on several things, including your location
and elevation. The moon, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and even the odd shooting star can be spotted on a clear night on the Estate, making it the perfect place to gaze at the cosmos.
Love stargazing? Catch our guide on the best stargazing spots in Shropshire here!
Our 3 tips for success in stargazing
1. Ensure you are dressing warmly – remember to layer up, especially during these cold nights!
2. Remember the essentials; a picnic blanket to sit on, a compass and a flask of hot chocolate.
3. Download a stargazing app to help you pinpoint constellations.
Saturday 21st January – Super New Moon
The New Moon is when the sun and moon are aligned, with the moon coming between the sun and Earth.
It means the side of the moon facing us will be in darkness, and the night sky will be particularly dark - perfect for spying distant stars or planets.
When there is a New Moon around the closest point to Earth, it is known as a Super New Moon.
Sunday 22nd January – Conjunction of Venus and Saturn
On January 22, Venus will meet up with the ringed giant Saturn in an event known as a conjunction.
Because of the different orbits of the planets in our solar system, two or more planets can sometimes appear as though they are meeting in space.
This close conjunction will bring the planets 21 arcminutes, less than half a degree, apart - close enough to occupy the same field of view through a telescope.
Monday 30th January – Mercury at Greatest Elongation West
Whilst Mercury can be found very low before sunrise from mid-January, it reaches its greatest angular distance from the sun on 30th January.
As the smallest planet, the one closest to the sun, and the fastest moving; it can sometimes be hard to spot. However, this is one of our best chances as it will be at its furthest distance from the sun.
Why not see for yourself?
There are lots of stargazing opportunities on the Marrington Estate, which you can view in our guide for Stargazing in Shropshire.
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