Youngsters Take Part In Big Star Count 2012

Local youngsters helped Scilly to measure the quality of our ‘dark skies’ by taking part in the ‘Astronomy Walk for Wellbeing’ last Thursday.

The walk, organised by the Isles of Scilly Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Unit and the Council of the Isles of Scilly’s Lifelong Learning team, was attended by a group of 12 to 14 year old youngsters, who counted stars as part of the national ‘Big Star Count 2012’ campaign.

They were joined by local astronomers Steve Sims and Tom Scott, who were eager to brave the cold night air to share their knowledge of Scilly’s dark night skies with the group.

The group viewed the stars from Buzza Tower, and AONB Assistant, Rebecca Steggles, told us they managed to count 27 stars with the naked eye within the constellation Orion, which she described as a “fantastic result.”

Rebecca says elsewhere in Scilly, they received a record of over 30 stars within Orion, viewed at Longstone and at a dark location in Hugh Town.

The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, who organised the star count, will publish the results of Star Count 2012 on their website.

This is the first year that Scilly has taken part and Rebecca is keen to compare our dark night skies with those elsewhere in the UK.