The astronomer Carl Sagan once said, ‘We live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe.’
And a very Merry Christmas to you too, Mr Sagan.
We’re joking, the American astronomer Carl Sagan did brilliant work explaining the mysteries of the universe.
Stellar Big Deal
And, if you have any interest in life beyond this planet, or know someone who does, then you should point your rocket at this stellar Big Deal from the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory.
Occupying a fantastic hilltop site on the edge of the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park, the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory sits under some of the darkest skies in the UK and has two large telescopes through which to observe the night sky.
Gold tier Dark Sky Park
It is the only publicly accessible research-grade astronomical observatory in Scotland to be located in a gold tier Dark Sky Park, one of only two such parks in the UK.
Available Monday to Friday, this offer is for two people to enjoy an evening session in the Observatory.
Your visit will include an introductory presentation, followed by a tour of the facility and guided use of the telescopes, all hosted by the Resident Astronomer.
Stars and planets
If the night is clear, you’ll spend time observing the night sky, viewing with both the naked eye and using the powerful telescopes, as the Resident Astronomer points out stars, planets and constellations.
There may also be time for further astronomy presentations, particularly if the weather is bad.
Lasting around 90 minutes, or possibly slightly longer if it’s a completely clear night, you’re sure to have a fantastic experience, even if the weather isn’t completely on your side.
So get out to one of Scotland’s most incredible landscapes and look up to see the magic!
Happy star gazers
The Observatory has attracted lots of enthusiastic reviews on TripAdvisor:
‘Truly amazing, even on a cloudy night. Myself and my partner visited last night, amazing. Firstly, the staff made it. They were so welcoming, knowledgeable and friendly. Alan the astronomer was fantastic and the two volunteers Brian and Alan were so helpful. Brian even made sure I captured an incredible photo of the moon. Fab… The night started very clear so we got to see everything we wanted. The clouds started to roll in and Alan done everything he could to still show us as much as possible. He really went over and above. Loved it, will definitely be back in winter time to try see the Milky Way.’
Fascinating gift idea
This Big Deal writer has spent an evening in a Dark Sky Park observatory and it was absolutely fascinating. If you have ever looked up at the night sky and wondered what is up there, then a visit to an observatory is mind-blowing.
This offer with the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory would make a thoughtful and unusual birthday present; a very romantic date or an alternative night out.
Of course, it would also make a fascinating Christmas present for anyone who thinks that the sky is not the limit.