Stargazing 2022

Stargazing returned to Alvaston Park in 2022 and we were extrememly lucky with the weather. February 19th was only a day after storm Eunice blasted across the country and there was still plenty of rain and wind during the morning and afternoon of Stargazing Day. However late afternoon saw a break in the cloud and a sighting of the sun, and the sky remained mainly clear for the evening.

Visitors were able to look through the telescopes set up by the astronomers from Derby and District Astronomical Society, and watch the illuminated boats on the lake, sailed by the Pirates model boat club. During the evening Katie Smith took three separate groups of people on her famous Star Walks, taking them round the solar system in the park and giving them plenty of astronomical information. Young visitors were able to have a go at making willow stars and clay models and also practise their artistic skills with giant chalks. Two story telling sessions were scheduled and kindly read by Alan Graves and refreshments were available all evening thanks to the staff of the Waterside Cafe.

Thank you to all those who came to our event and we hope everyone had an enjoyable time. It was good to be able to 'go live' again this year after having a virtual Star Party last year due to the Covid restrictions in place. The whole recording of the 2021 event is still available to listen to using the following link It's interesting to note that one of the talks last year concerned the James Webb telescope (Day 8 Saturn, about 1 hour 12 minutes into the program) and we discussed the plans and what was hopefully going to happen at launch time and afterwards. Now we know! Launch was delayed several times but finally took place successfully on 25 December 2021. The deployment of the sun shield was accomplished and the mission is progressing well.

HAVE A GO!! Here are links to some craft activities that you may like to create. For the Constellation Pinwheel please click here, for the Pinwheel Galaxy click here, for the Star Template click here, for the Star Wheel click here, and for the Planet Star click here.

James Webb telescope basic model click here

James Webb telescope advanced model assembly instructions click here, and for the parts printout click here.