Expert Professor Carole Haswell returns home for Dark Skies event
An astronomy expert who grew up on the east coast has been added to the stellar line-up of big names taking part in next month’s Dark Skies Festival.
The Open University’s head of astronomy Professor Carole Haswell returns to her hometown of Saltburn for two evening events at Hunley Hotel to talk about her work.
This includes the discovery of planets that orbit stars other than the sun, so-called exoplanets.
Professor Haswell’s appearance underlines the popularity among Dark Sky Festival visitors for hearing from those on the frontline of space research as this year’s event also includes evenings with BBC Sky at Night presenter Professor Chris Lintott and Professor Andy Newsam from Liverpool John Moores University.
The 17-day festival begins on Friday, February 14 and its organisers North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales National Parks are reporting strong demand in the 150-plus events; already around a fifth of the events requiring pre-booked tickets are sold out and new dates are being added.
A spokesman said: “The stargazing evenings are proving particularly popular and more sessions have been added at locations such as Ravenscar and Cober Hill on the coast; at Terrington in the Howardian Hills and at Danby where experts will also share how to see and understand the Aurora Borealis, otherwise known as the Northern Lights.
“Other events include the new ‘travels into space’ sessions where both adults and children can don virtual reality headsets and become astronoauts; astrophotography sessions at Helmsley Walled Garden, the night zip wire experience in Dalby Forest, Robin Hood’s Bay ghost walks, nocturnal wildlife evenings in Keldy and Cropton, and dark sky walks at Chop Gate and Lastingham.”
Go to the darkskiesnationalparks.org.uk/ website for more information.