Astronomer Says Scilly Should Capitalise On Stargazing

Last night around two dozen local amateur astronomers went on a walk to The Garrison, lead by astronomer Simon Ould.

It’s the first of two walks scheduled this week to mark Scilly’s designation as a Dark Skies Discovery site.

Five vantage points have been adopted across all of the inhabited islands.

Simon says the Isles of Scilly has some of the finest night skies in the whole UK. He says our skies are clearer and darker than most places with up to 2,500 stars visible. That number is around 200 in cities like Bristol.

And he said that could get even better if a few changes are made to the lighting of local businesses and homes.

BBC’s Stargazing Live series increased the number of people who have developed an interest in the activity and the broadcaster is planning more coverage next January.

Simon thinks it’s a great opportunity for our islands’ tourism sector, particularly in the quieter winter months.

A mobile, inflatable planetarium dome has been brought over to the islands and will be based at the former secondary school site at Carn Thomas.

Today and tomorrow, islanders of all ages will be able to use it to see a reconstruction of the solar system and learn more about the stars and planets.