Star Gazing

There are all sorts of amazing and beautiful things to be seen in our night skies. Ancient civilisations were fascinated by the patterns of stars in the sky and interpreted them in terms of their mythologies. Their culture has been handed down over the centuries, giving us the constellations we know today.

But how do I know what I am looking at you ask? Have a look at our Planetarium Apps Page to see our top choices of free and low cost planatarium software for your computer or smart phone. These apps will show you what constellations are visible at any time of the night throughout the whole year.

The Orion Nebula
The Orion Nebula
Naked Eye Star Gazing

Even if you only have your own two eyes to admire the night sky with you will be surprised at what you can see. In fact, without any optical aids at all, it is possible to see our neighbouring galaxy which is 15 million trillion miles away! To find out more take a look at our “Naked Eye Astronomy” page.

One of the most stunning night time sights in northern Scotland are the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. Check out our tips for maximising your chances of seeing the Northern Lights here.

Shooting stars are spectacular trails caused by small particles of debris burning up in the upper atmosphere at speeds of up to 160,000 miles per hour. Discover the best times to look out for Shooting Stars here.

Binocular Star Gazing

If you have a pair of binoculars head over to our “Binocular Astronomy” page to find out more about the wonders of the universe that can be spotted through binoculars. You will be able to see quite a bit more detail than with your naked eyes, and a fair bit further as well. Some of the best views of open star clusters can be had with binoculars. Binoculars will also enable you to see some of the brighter nebulae, galaxies and globular clusters.