Stargazing in the Brecon Beacons

“Look at the Stars, how they shine for you”

Coldplay

Amateur astronomers delight in a starry starry night.  Located in the Brecon Beacons; an International Dark Sky Reserve, By the Wye is ideally placed to catch a few falling stars.  Avoid stargazing under a full moon.  It can diminish viewing possibilities, not to mention attract werewolves.

Righto, Galileo

Stargazing is a fantastic family activity while glamping. Anyone can point out the three familiars – the Big Dipper, the Little Dipper, Orion’s Belt – so why not wow your family with a lesser known constellation?  During prime glamping season in Hay on Wye in the northern hemisphere, spot the Summer Triangle.  At dusk, look for the brightest star in the eastern sky.  That’s the apex of the triangle, sparkly blue Vega of the constellation Lyra, the harp.  Down and to the left shines Deneb of Cygnes, the swan.  Farther down and to the right shines Altair of Aquila, the eagle.  If you’re still not seeing it, wait until midnight and look directly overhead.  There it is!

A Decent Proposal

Plan your glamping trip to Hay on Wye to coincide with the Perseid meteor shower. The shower is visible from mid-July each year, with the peak in activity between 9th and 14th August, depending on the particular location of the stream. During the peak, the rate of meteors reaches 60 or more per hour which you could watch wrapped up in blankets, cwtched in comfort on the deck.

Save Yourself

To find the North Star, Polaris, look for the Big Dipper, draw a line through the two stars on the outer edge of its scoop, and follow that line toward the horizon.  Polaris will appear as a fixed point that neither rises nor sets.  Walk toward it to go north.  (But you already knew that.  We hope.)

Need Some Space?

Impress your family and take advantage of super-cool celestial tech resources.  Sign up for a text alert from NASA which tells you when the International Space Station is flying over Hay on Wye.  Download a star map app to decode the sky simply by pointing at it with your smartphone.  Or if you want to keep it easy-breezy with low tech, come and borrow a telescope from us in The Hide. 

I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.

Vincent Van Gogh

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