Dark Skies Discovery Sites Church Stretton

A Dark Skies Discovery Site is a place where the Milky Way (not the chocolate bar) is visible in the night sky with the naked eye. There are four Dark Skies Discovery Sites across the Long Mynd, Church Stretton.

The Milky Way over the Swiss Alps

These locations need to be accessible to the public and have a good clear view of the sky to be accepted as a Dark Skies Discovery Site.

There are degrees of classification, Milky Way Class being the highest. The degree of darkness determines the classification.

The four sites at Church Stretton are at Carding Mill Valley, Cross Dyke Car Park at Boiling Well, Pole Cottage and Shooting Box Car Parks, and are shown on the map below.

An OpenStreetMap of Dark Skies Discovery Sites, Long Mynd, Church Stretton

OpenStreetMap of Dark Skies Discovery Sites

Star in Your Skies organises events on Long Mynd supported by Shropshire Astronomical Society.

Events are often arranged at short notice by local enthusiasts and of course weather-dependent.

Stars In Your Skies Walk 20th June 2019, starting at 10pm in Carding Mill Valley. It is a two hour stroll around Carding Mill Valley and the foothills of the Long Mynd. Lots of facts figures and stories to keep you entertained. £6 guided walk. www.churchstrettonwalkingfestival.co.uk

Solstice Sleepout organised by the National Trust , look at events for Carding Mill Valley, on the 20th and 21st June 2019. See Sunset and Sunrise under the stars. Booking is essential £20. Bring warm clothing and a small tent. Meeting at 10p.m. place to be arranged.

I am certainly thinking of doing the walk.

The image at the top of this post shows the night sky during the lunar eclipse over the Swiss Alps. Along with the eclipsed moon, visible in the photo are Mars below the moon, Saturn in the middle, and Jupiter to the right. The Milky Way arises above them all, shining through wispy high clouds. Numerous satellites and aircraft make it a happening Friday evening in the sky. The image is from Wikimedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

The Wikimedia article on Church Stretton notes that the town was once nicknamed “Little Switzerland”.