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Orion rising over Ingleborough Copyright Pete Collins

Eyes to the skies: things to look out for this Virtual Dark Skies Week

Tuesday 27 October, 2020, by Pete Collins

During this special week (23 Oct to 1 Nov 2020) we are privileged to have Dales-based astrophotographer Pete Collins reveal some of the exciting things you can see when you look up at our astonishing night skies at this time of year.

Budding stargazers, read on…

Mars opposition, Ingleborough Estate Nature Trail

Mars was at opposition on 13 October (Sun/Earth/Mars lined up), and is still very bright (brighter than any star) and an obvious reddish colour. It rises in the east as darkness falls, is highest in the south about 11pm, and sets in the west about 5am. The image shows Mars rising over the lake on the Ingleborough Estate Nature Trail, Clapham.

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Copyright Pete Collins

Plough over Langcliffe

When you look to the north, the Plough (which is part of the constellation of Ursa Major) is visible at any time of year as it rotates around Polaris, the pole star, but its position depends on the time of year and time of night. During mid evening in late October, it sits low in the sky, like in this image of the Plough over Langcliffe.

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Copyright Pete Collins

Misty Ribblehead Milky Way

One good thing about stargazing after the clocks go back is that you don’t have to stay up until after midnight to see the Milky Way! You can see the brightest part of it overhead and running down to the south western horizon at about 7pm in early November, as in the image of a misty Ribblehead viaduct.

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Copyright Pete Collins

Orion rising over Ingleborough

Orion the Hunter, most people’s favourite constellation, rises in the east at about 10pm at the end of October (and 8pm at the end of November). The image shows Orion rising behind Ingleborough, from Twistleton Scar.

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Copyright Pete Collins

To see more of Pete’s awe-inspiring nightscape work go to his Facebook and Twitter.

Don’t miss out! There’s still time to book on to one of our star-studded events for Virtual Dark Skies Week (23 Oct to 1 Nov). Find out more about our starry-eyed speakers.

Picture of Pete Collins

Pete Collins

Nightscape photographer


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