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York Observatory Stargazing Night – Thu 14 Jan 2016

Come and spend a winter’s evening learning about the stars, planets and York’s historic astronomers! At this free event our expert volunteers will be opening up the historic observatory and helping you see and understand the night sky.

Price: FREE

No need to book. First-come-first-served activities.


  • Learn about the historic Cooke Telescope: Discover how our historic telescope was made in 1850, and how it operates today. The moon may also be visible through the telescope for part of the event. (Please note the viewing platform is very small and access will be turn-by-turn).
  • Take a sky tour: Gaze upward with our experts to guide you through the stars and planets! Bring or borrow binoculars to take a tour of the sky on the lawns of Museum Gardens. (If it is cloudy we will use tablet/smartphone apps to explain the sky. You may want to download an astronomy app in advance: The Independent has some recommendations).
  • Create a Crater: Young astronomers will love this chance to learn how craters are made and handle real space-rocks in the Astro-tent.
  • Walk to the Sun: Trace our illuminated planet trail to get an idea of the distances across the solar system.

The entire evening is on a first-come-first-served basis so your patience is appreciated in case of crowds and queues. Please note the full details below.

Important Information:

  • Lighting and torches: The external lights will be off to minimise light pollution. Please bring a torch to help see your way. A red bike light is ideal to help minimise glare.
  • Clothing and footwear: Wrap up warm and bring sensible footwear for damp, muddy lawns and slippery paths.
  • Access and facilities: The Yorkshire Museum will not be open during the event. Please access the Museum Gardens from Museum Street and note that the closest public toilets are at Bootham Bar (open till 8pm).
  • Bad weather: Everything will still run in poor weather and there may be a break in the clouds for a dramatic view!

Stargazing night is repeated on: 16 February 2016

Event details




Thursday 14 January 2016, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


York Observatory

York Museum Gardens,
Museum Gardens
North Yorkshire

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Your Comments

  1. Phoebe |

    Just wanted to doublecheck that we do not need to book in advance?

    1. Mike Linstead |

      Hi Phoebe

      Thanks for your enquiry. I can confirm that you do not need to book for our Stargazing events. Please note however the next event is on 16 Feb, 6-8pm.

      Mike Linstead
      York Museums Trust

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