7 DECEMBER 2010NEWS RELEASE No: 14277
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Star gazers are in for a stellar event on Monday 13th December in Glentrool to co-incide with the Geminids meteor shower, usually the most spectacular of the year.
The Geminds can produce up to 60-80 meteors an hour, so star spotters all over the country are expected to flock to Britain’s first Dark Sky Park in Galloway.
Forestry Commission Scotland is teaming up with the Royal Observatory in Greenwich to lay on a presentation and talk on craters, collisions and catastrophes. An outdoor meteor watch session is planned after the talk.
Keith Muir of Forestry Commission Scotland said:
“We are keeping our fingers crossed for a clear sky as the Geminids can be an amazing sight for all the public.
“Since we achieved Dark Sky Park status there has been a tremendous amount of interest in star gazing.
“Last time we expected a meteor shower we had hundreds of people heading to Galloway Forest Park. With this shower being the main meteor event of the year we hope the weather is kind and we see many brilliant streaks of light across the sky.”
The presentation and talk will be hosted by Dr Marek Kukula, the Public Astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. The event begins at 7pm at the Glentrool School Hall and the outdoor stargazing session will begin at 9pm.
Telescopes are not needed as the meteor shower will be very visible if there is a clear sky. All those attending are advised to wrap up very warm and wear stout shoes. Bringing your own portable seating can make the star gazing experience even better.
Viewers should bring their own torches but should cover the light with red cellophane if possible to avoid ruining others’ viewing.
Glentrool School Hall is in Glentrool Village DG8 6SY.
For more details log on to www.forestry.gov.uk/darkskygalloway. The Stranraer to Ayr Line Support Association is also organising special transport for the event – please log on to www.saylsa.org.uk for more information.
Notes to news editors
1. Forestry Commission Scotland works as the Scottish Government’s forestry directorate www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland.
2. Media enquiries to Steve Williams, Forestry Commission Scotland press office 0131 314 6508.