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Stellar Treat for Stargazers This Winter

23 October 2019

Eastbourne’s free monthly stargazing evenings return with a stellar line-up this winter, featuring galaxies of up to 2.5 million light years away and a rare daytime Mercury eclipse.

Stargazing at the Redoubt FortressHosted by Eastbourne Astronomical Society and using two locations this year, the first instalment on Saturday 2 November from 5 – 7pm makes a return to the dark gun platform of The Redoubt.

Star gazers can expect to see the Apollo 11, 16 and 17 lunar landing sites through the society’s powerful telescopes, as well as a glimpse of Saturn, Jupiter, Andromeda and one of the Milky Way’s oldest inhabitants - the M13 globular cluster in Hercules, all subject to weather conditions.

On Saturday 30 November from 5 – 7pm, Stargazers can prepare to see the Seven Sisters, but not as they know it, as the Pleiades cluster, given the nickname the Seven Sisters, will be visible in the night sky.

Andromeda also makes a return appearance along with Uranus, Saturn and the lunar landing sites. The closest galaxy to our own Milky Way, Andromeda is an incredible 2.5 million light years away, with a trillion stars.

At the beginning of both evenings, keen astronomers can join a fascinating talk in one of the fortress’s casemates and pick up a free pocket guide to the night sky.

An extra special event on Monday 11 November sees Mercury’s transit across the sun in a rare treat which won’t happen again until 2032! The passage can only be seen with specialist equipment and the society will be on hand between 12.30 – 3pm with solar filters for a telescopic view of its epic journey.

Stargazing continues in 2020 at its alternative location on the Western Lawns, while the Redoubt undergoes planned works, with more dazzling displays on Saturday 4 January, 1 and 29 February and 28 March.

All stargazing events are free and family-friendly, and keen star spotters are welcome to take a peek through the telescopes provided or settle down in a quiet spot with their own. Visitors should wrap up warm.

After some stellar star spotting, stargazers can warm up with hot drinks at The Outpost café (November only) or Lansdowne Hotel (Western Lawns events).

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