3rd October 2023

The Wonders of The Dark Sky Stargazing event held at Woodoaks Farm in September was jointly organised by The Chiltern Society, the West of London Astronomical Society (WOLAS), Woodoaks Farm and the Colne Valley Regional Park.

This sold out event took place On Friday 22nd September and offered a chance to marvel at the September night sky guided by astronomers from WOLAS. Fortunately the organisers had the foresight to cater for inclement weather, as it coincided with some very wet weather and had to be postponed from the Thursday night when it was too cloudy. The location was chosen because it is a wonderfully open area where your view of the night sky is unobstructed with lower levels of light pollution than urban areas.

This special event was initiated by Karen-Anne Devoil, who describes the evening for us:

“On Friday 22nd September we came together to experience the wonders of the dark sky at our sold-out stargazing event.

Volunteer experts of the night sky arrived to set up a variety of telescope viewing stations in The Tea Shack gardens, enabling the star gazing visitors to experience and understanding the night sky. During the evening we were able to observe a host of astronomical objects including Saturn with its beautiful rings, Jupiter and the Galilean Moons, Neptune (faintly), craters on the Moon, our nearest galactic neighbour the Andromeda Galaxy, many beautiful nebula including the ring nebula, galaxy clusters, double stars, constellations, and to top it off we were also lucky enough to see the International Space Station pass overhead. 

As parents and children waited to take their turn to view, the brilliant WOLAS and South West Herts Astronomical Association (SWHAS) volunteers kept them entertained with a space quiz in the lines. Visitors also enjoyed hot drinks and snacks at the tea shack and were provided with comprehensive observing notes, star charts and information to help locate targets in the night sky on that evening.

Inside Creative Juices Brewing Company taproom stargazers were able to grab a drink & view the astronomy information boards on display.”

We’d like to thank all the astronomers, organisers, volunteers, everyone who made this event possible and a particular mention to Sue Lacy of Woodoaks farm for taking these excellent photos. Huge thanks to our partners the Chiltern Society, the West of London Astronomical Society (WOLAS) and  Woodoaks Farm.

More Information

Find out about Star Gazing Events, including OBSERVING SESSIONS AT RUISLIP LIDO, Friday 17 to Sunday 19 November 2023, 6 – 8 pm from the West London Astronomical Society

Light pollution and preserving dark skies, Karen Devoil, Chiltern Society magazine Autumn 2023