Our dark skies project aims to add an extra dimension to Callander’s visitor offer. With good quality darkness within easy reach of the town centre and clear night skies during the winter months; our project will designate a Dark Sky Discovery Site that will connect people with the wonders of the universe.
Aims & Objectives
This project will:
- Provide volunteer opportunities to help survey the night sky at key locations in and around Callander
- Identify the best places for viewing the night sky, using the Dark Skies Discovery Site criteria
- Encourage people to embrace the cold and dark of the winter months in order to explore the night sky
- Host a number of events and activities for residents and visitors to learn more about the night sky
- The project kicked off with an evening of stargazing at McLaren Leisure Centre in November 2018 which was attended by over 240 people.
- In 2019 two training evenings were held for volunteers to learn how to measure the quality of the Callander night sky. Over the last three winters, a small team of volunteers have surveyed 32 different locations to identify the best places for stargazing. We are currently looking at the results and hope to designate our Dark Sky Discovery sites in this year in 2021.
- A weekend of astronomy was planned for March 2020, The Sky Above Us; unfortunately this had to be postponed due to Covid-19. We were able to run an adapted programme of online events through the winter and then a weekend programme in March 2021. We had a number of guest talks, astrophotography workshop, self led activities including a space trail and cosmic experiments, and outreach activities with young people. Thanks to the Institute of Physics Scotland for funding our events programme.
Partners include U3A Callander and West Perthshire Astronomy Group, Stirling Astronomical Society and the Core Callander Landscape Partnership Team. The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Stirling Council’s Community Pride Fund and the Institute of Physics Scotland.
News & blog
During our warm August evenings, the most prominent feature in the night sky
In July the skies remain light and the opportunity for seeing noctilucent clouds
Being high summer the nights are short and not particularly dark making observations