: Waiting for next track...

: Waiting for next track...

Dark Skies Festival returns

Dark Skies Festival returns

Published by The Stray FM News Team at 5:00pm 17th February 2017. (Updated at 5:02pm 17th February 2017)

Stargazers are being encouraged to head for the Dales and North York Moors over the next week.

The National Parks are hosting more than 100 events this half-term to mark the second Dark Skies Festival.

Highlights include a dark skies run, a night road cycle ride, an opportunity to create a Northern Lights painting, a space-themed cinema evening sitting in a deckchair by the beach, rocket making, model moon buggy racing and astro photography sessions.

There are also opportunities to stargaze in the company of expert astronomers at beauty spots including Malham Tarn, Aysgarth Falls, the Yorkshire Arboretum, Danby Castle and Boggle Hole.

The Dark Skies Festival even has its own poem created by famous Yorkshire poet Ian McMillan, called 'The Darker The Sky'.

Astronomer Richard Darn said: "There are shooting stars, little grains of sand that burn up in the upper atmosphere and produce a firework. It's a tremendously exciting thing to be under a night sky - you've just have to be quite patient. On rare occasions, you'll get the Northern Lights, but you never can quite predict when that's going to happen, so there's always that sense of chance.

"It's the kind of thing you'd pay thousands of pounds for and yet it's free, it's over our head and it's just a little way from our towns and cities. People come and their imaginations are fired with what they can see."

More information at www.darkskiesnationalparks.org.uk

What's the best Christmas film of all time?