A large percentage of the world’s population dwell in city centers. Most of the time, city dwellers’ lives are scheduled with work, concerts, activities in a city composed of business centers, industrial parks, restaurants, and shopping districts. The night time is often presented as a time for partying and letting loose in the city, lit and regenerated by artificial lights.
However, city dwellers also look for peace and quiet in the countryside away from the fast-paced lifestyle of the urban centers. In Britain, more than natural settings and clean, fresh air in the country, you will also be able to enjoy a glimpse of the real night sky lit with twinkling stars – views that would make it seem like the Milky Way is actually within your research.
Such views as these are still accessible, especially in nature parks and other areas that have still preserved its natural beauty. Another major requirement of an earthly view of the cosmos is dark, evening skies. The Forest of Bowland in Bowland Fells, Lancashire is considered to be one of the darkest in England. It is even recognized and granted official status by the Dark Sky Discovery Sites.
What to See in Bowland Forest
Drawings that you only see in almanacs and astronomy encyclopedias can actually be glimpsed in the evening sky of the Forest of Bowland. The mythical creatures and legendary heroes of antiquity can be plotted in the stars found in the evening canvas above the forest. Some of the most recognizable ones are Orion, the giant hunter; Andromeda, a princess known for her beauty; Pegasus, the fabled winged-horses; and Taurus, the bull.
Many of these beautiful constellations named today and seen in the night skies in Bowland were found and named in Babylon and Ancient Greece. Other heavenly bodies can also be seen aside from the stars and the fascinating figures that they form. The planets of the solar system can be viewed at various times of the year, such as Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus, Venus, and Mars. More distant objects commonly seen only through cameras brought into space such as the Great Galaxy in Andromeda and the Orion Nebula could also be seen in the night skies of the Forest of Bowland.
Typically, stargazers are advised to visit the forest during the winter months as the night skies are darker and last longer. During these months, visitors are guaranteed visibility and thus, more objects of the night could be observed and admired. In some months, meteor showers and shooting stars provide an amazing spectacle.
A Calendar for Stargazers
As mentioned above, winter is the best time of the year when it comes to stargazing as it means darker skies and brighter stars. If lucky, during moonless nights that Milky Way galaxy also shows itself in the dark nights of Bowland Forest. Another bonus is that during winter, children do not have to stay late to see their favorite sights and constellations.
Spring can be more suitable for people who like warmer nights. Not to mention, the night sky still lasts longer so you can view seasonal Spring constellations like the Plough and Leo, the lion. Summer is not a good time for stargazing in Bowland except for the Perseids meteor shower in August. Autumn brings back the long and dark nights along with a view of the Andromeda galaxy and the constellation, Pegasus.