Dates for 2017
- September 15th (MUST be booked by 4th August)
- October 20th
- November 17th
These dates are close to the New Moon so there is the best opportunity to get dark skies for observing.
Whether the you are an absolute beginner or a serious amateur astronomer, we promise an enjoyable and worthwhile weekend amongst the stars.
Here is an outline of what we do:
- Friday Evening from 8pm till 10.30pm, Intro and Stargazing.
- Saturday Morning from 10.30 till 12.30, Talk on 'Our star, the Sun' and observing the Sun with special telescopes.
- Saturday afternoons are free, when attendees could visit the Island Observatory, if pre-arranged or Needles Battery Space Display or just do their own thing.
- Saturday Evening from 8.00 till 10.30, Talk 'Life and Death of Stars' and more stargazing.
- Sunday Morning from 10.30 till 12.30, Talk 'How to continue your interest in the Stars' and more solar observing .Course ends.
Most talks and teaching sessions use our virtual reality planetarium dome.
Each course is limited to 15 attendees, ensuring opportunities with telescopes and personal attention from the planetarium astronomers. We have number telescopes up to 10 inches in diameter and purpose made solar telescopes.
£60 per person for the whole weekend.
Payment in full must be paid no less than 3 weeks before the weekend. Invoices will be sent out around 4/5 weeks before the event.
For details or to book please call us on 01983 761555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Weekends will ONLY run if we have 6+ people booked, so want to ensure it runs invite your friends!
Need help with finding somewhere to stay, we can point you towards some places close by.
I visited the planetarium on a weekend stargazing course. We had talks and stargazing on Friday and Saturday evenings, and talks and sungazing on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Paul and Andrew who run the planetarium are clearly very passionate and committed to what they do, very knowledgeable about their subject and hugely enthusiastic about communicating their knowledge and answering questions.
We were a bit unlucky because the weather was not good so we didn't get much visibility. However, during the brief times when the cloud and rain cleared, the skies were very dark and there was very good visibility. Unfortunately, poor weather and visibility is always a risk you take on any stargazing course in the UK, and is completely out of the control of the organisers. The stargazing course here was different from the other courses which I found, in that when there was bad weather we could at least watch a show in the planetarium. In addition, this stargazing course offered solar viewing with the solar telescope, which other stargazing courses don't. The price of this course was also very reasonable compared to other courses which I found.
The museum next to the planetarium is very small, but the information is well-presented and interesting. The small bookshop has well-chosen books, telescopes and other bits and pieces for beginners.
Overall this is an under-used and under-appreciated resource. If you are looking for a stargazing course and can't make it to Mauna Kea or the Atacama desert, this one on the Isle of Wight is a good one, you just have to keep your fingers crossed for good weather and clear skies.
Karen M says
Well the weather hasn't been kind BUT Paul and Andrew have filled the time with fantastic information around the cosmology of stars, the universe and everything. I've managed to get the hang of some of the physics I've struggled with previously and feel like I've taken a huge step forward. Thank you Paul and Andrew and thank you to my wonderful partner for a brilliant present.
Great place to visit. Really enjoyed our star gazing weekend organised by the planetarium. Paul and Andrew are great and the skies there are fab on a clear night.