The Secret Campsite is fortunate to be located in a dark sky reserve in the South Downs, and has little light pollution. We encourage all our campers to use head torches and not festoon their tents with fairy lights. This makes the Secret Campsites star gazing opportunities much richer and more accessible for everyone on site.

Astronomical Society visit

We have recently met with The Seven Sisters Astronomical Society, headed up by Derrick Elliott. Derrick and his team have visited the Secret Campsite with their professional telescopes at some recent key star gazing and astronomical dates this summer.

Perseid meteor shower

Derrick and other members, Alex and Paul, visited The Secret Campsite on the 12 August.

This visit was timed to watch the Perseid meteor shower that arrives every August, and is a major part of the astronomical calendar. The Perseids are among the best and most visible of the year’s meteor showers. This is due to their high hourly rate and bright meteors. It’s caused by the Earth moving through the trail that’s left behind, by the comet Swift-Tuttle, in July and August each year.

Derrick arrived at 8.30 pm to lovely clear skies, and assembled his 10 inch Skywatcher Dobsonian Telescope and Alex set his 70mm Meade Telescope.

night time at the Secret Campsite Lewes
Night skies and stars by the barn area.

By 9.00pm it was still light and we were all viewing a beautiful crescent Moon, that was slowly setting in the West. We had a steady stream of campers viewing the Moon until it disappeared behind the trees. At about 10.15pm Saturn was visible, closely followed by Jupiter and it’s four Moons.

The rings of Saturn were visible through both Telescopes as were the four Moons of Jupiter. We then started seeing the Perseids meteor shower zipping across the now dark skies. Albireo was visible, the double star, which is also one of the brightest in the system.

By 11.00pm most of the campers had retired to their tents, which was a pity because the stars were really coming out in our local galaxy the Milky Way and it looked fantastic.

Albireo at the Secret Campsite Lewes
Albireo, the double star. The brightest star in the constellation! Photo Derrick Elliott

This was the Seven Sisters Astronomical Society first public event in nearly a year and a half, and it was great that they were able to share their knowledge of the nights skies.

Awesome

The Seven Sisters Astronomical Society returned again last weekend, the August Bank Holiday.

This time, the campers were lucky enough to view Jupiter and its four moons, Saturn, a Ring Nebula, Andromeda Galaxy and even a bright meteor going right through the summer triangle.

In the words of chairman Derrick Elliott “Awesome”!

We hope to run more stargazing and astronomy viewings here at the Secret Campsite, so keep your eyes peeled for future announcements via our Facebook page.

Starburst at the Secret Campsite – photo Paul Foster

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