Dark Skies Cumbria

Light up February with a spectacular array of online events celebrating the wonders of our night sky

Live events over 17 evenings in February give you the opportunity to explore our dark skies with astronomers, astrophotographers, authors, filmmakers, lighting and design professionals, performers, poets and outdoor adventurers.

Book Now for individual event information and booking options. We've also produced this handy little leaflet which you can download as a reminder of what's in a line-up which we think is out of this world!

(View / Download Festival Line-Up - pdf)

Saving Our Night Skies

Cumbria's dark skies allow us to see the natural wonder of the stars, but are also critical for the health wildlife and our own natural well-being. Sadly light pollution in Cumbria is increasing each year, threatening to obscure our view of the stars and blinding and confusing animals so they can’t feed or find a mate. We need urgent action now to stop light pollution. Stargazers, photographers, wildlife lovers and local communities… please help.


Or you can give by text to 70085. Just message DARKSKIES along with your chosen donation amount (eg DARKSKIES 5 to donate £5). Standard message rates apply.

The Lake District and Cumbria offers some of the most spectacular and precious skyscapes in England and we want you to join us on an interstellar adventure. Download our Dark Sky Discovery Pack and get started today!

7.30pm Tuesday 16 February

Prof John Stott presents the history and state-of-the-art of using dark skies for astronomical research. The UK has been an important centre for astronomical research for hundreds of years. However in the last 50 years, the desire for stable weather conditions and the darkest skies have attracted UK astronomers to perform their observations on giant telescopes in far flung places such as the Canary Islands, Hawaii and Chile. These dark sky locations reveal very distant galaxies and otherwise unseen features of those nearby, allowing astronomers to explore the workings of the Universe itself. He will also show results from the darkest skies of all, telescopes in space!

John Stott is a Senior Lecturer in Astrophysics at Lancaster University, having previously held research positions at the universities of Oxford and Durham. His research focuses on the evolution of galaxies and their environments across 10 billion years of cosmic history. He is also the Director of Lancaster University's Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw Observatory.

Lancaster and Morecambe Astronomical Society

This will be a live online presentation via Zoom. Please sign up using the booking button below and we will email you links and instructions for joining the session. (Please check your spam email box if you don't receive a confirmation email.)

Image above: The Large and Small Magellanic Clouds pictured above the Very Large Telescope in the Atacama desert in Chile. Image credit: ESO/B. Tafreshi

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Prof John Stott: Dark skies for astronomical research

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