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The Sky’s Very Own Seven Sisters Revealed in Eastbourne Stargazing Session

15 November 2017

Crowds are in for a breath-taking evening on Saturday 25 November as a cluster of stars known as the Seven Sisters are set to shine from dusk until dawn over Eastbourne in a free Stargazing session at the iconic Redoubt Fortress.

Stargazing at the Redoubt Fortress By Mark Jarvis

 

The Eastbourne Astronomical Society will be shedding light on the constellations that are shining in the bright winter skies at this month’s stargazing and will be giving gazers the chance to peek through telescopes and binoculars to spot these exceptional sights.

Stargazers can prepare to see the Seven Sisters, but not as they know it, as the Pleiades cluster, given the nickname the Seven Sisters or M45, will be visible in the night sky thanks to telescopes and binoculars on site. Budding astronomers can see if they can catch sight of all seven as the seventh Pleiad, known as the “lost Pleiad”, can vary in brightness and be difficult to spot.

One star that is guaranteed to shine is the brightest star of the Seven Sisters cluster, known as the Alcyone. This exceptional star can shine 1000 times brighter than the Sun’s luminosity and has taken 440 light years to reach us from the small cluster.

Another cluster of stars on display is the Double Cluster in the constellation of Persues. Each of these bright clusters contains a few hundred stars that are vastly more luminous than our sun.

The Andromeda Galaxy is also set to steal the show, showcasing a complete star system made up of millions of stars. The light has taken nearly three million years to reach us yet it is the furthest object so appears as a faint misty patch, but through telescopes some spiral structure may be seen.

Everybody that attends the free stargazing session will be given a pocket observing guide which will help them navigate their way around the night skies, illustrating the constellations which are described in the talk.

Stargazing continues to run every month on 20 January, 24 February and 24 March, with the February date joining in the South Downs Dark Skies Festival, which runs at various venues from 9 – 25 February.

Stargazing returns from 6 – 8pm at the Redoubt Fortress on 25 November and entry is free. In the event of poor weather, Eastbourne Astronomical Society will hold a fascinating talk inside the fortress on what to expect in the night sky this month. The Outpost café will be open for hot drinks and stargazers are advised to wrap up warm.

For more information or to book online visit www.HeritageEastbourne.co.uk or telephone 01323 410300.

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