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Stargazer Richard Darn will be amongst the experts holding a public viewing event in darkest Kielder on 22 October

Star-trekkers are being invited on a 400 million mile journey to take a close-up peek at Jupiter.

The magnificent planet is one of the stars of the show as the Forestry Commission stages its annual Nightwatch in Kielder Water & Forest Park on Saturday 22 October.

Powerful telescope from Sunderland Astronomical Society will reveal the King of the Planets in all its glory complete with moons and turbulent atmosphere.

They’ll also be a tour of the Milky Way and views of sparkling star clusters embedded in an inky black sky that makes Kielder one of England’s darkest spots.

Graham Dark, from Sunderland Astronomical Society, said:

"Eyes will also be peeled for shooting stars from the Orionid meteor shower – dusty debris from Halley’s Comet burning up in the atmosphere - which peaks the previous night. October is a fabulous month for viewing with the Milky Way overhead and winter's constellations beginning to rise."

The event starts at Kielder Castle Visitor Centre at 7pm and costs £6 adults, £5 concessions and £16 for a family of four.  Booking is essential on 01434 250209.

Nightwatch heralds a mass gathering of amateur astronomers from across the UK in Northumberland.  The 9th Kielder Forest Star Camp takes place during half term week when over 150 people will descend on England’s remotest village for a stargazing marathon.

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Note to editor

The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands.

Media calls: Richard Darn on 0775 367 0038