Geminids bring light to Dark Sky Park

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A holiday making couple from New York joined 30 other enthusiasts in Glentrool Forest this week (Monday13 December) for the second of Forestry Commission Scotland’s dark sky event this season.

At the heart of Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park, Glentrool community centre was the perfect location for a fascinating talk on meteors and asteroids from Doctor Marek Kukula (Royal Observatory Greenwich).

Accompanied by a dazzling light show supplied by the genuine article, Dr Kukula explained how asteroids and meteors have shaped the universe – and made human beings what they are – both by helping to kick start life on earth, and shaping human cultures and beliefs through the ages.

Keith Muir, Forestry Commission Scotland’s, Dark Sky Champion, said:

“The talk was really fascinating and everyone enjoyed the presentation – especially after Dr Kukula gave his guarantee that – in the vastness of space – earth is really a very small target.

“Fortified by some hot mince pies and coffee after the talk, we all ventured outside to the car park and were immediately rewarded by an instant light show of over 10 meteors in less than 5 minutes! It was easy to see how these amazing objects could have had such an impact on the imaginations of people thousands of years ago. They still have that effect on people today!

“We were completely spoilt on this occasion. We had people here from across the country – and even a New York couple who came up from London just for the event. The sky stayed clear and right on cue the meteors arrived. Stunning.

“It was a fantastic event to round off this calendar year and I would urge everyone to come and experience something like this in the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park – it truly is ‘out of this world’ and something that you will remember for a long, long time.”

The next Dark Sky event is scheduled for Monday 10 January and is likely to be even more popular.

If you would like to come along, visit the Galloway Dark Sky Park events page and get a flavour of what you might see on the night.

1) Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0131 314 6507.