Coronavirus news - 4th June 2020

If you are planning a trip to the Sedbergh area please read this advice to help keep yourself and our community free from Coronavirus.

  • If you think you may be ill, please stay at home.
  • Only day trips are currently allowed. Please do not stay overnight in your caravan, campervan, tent or second home.
  • Toilets and most shops in Sedbergh remain closed, as do pubs and cafés.
  • We have an ageing and at-risk community. Please help us by respecting social distancing rules both in the town and on footpaths in the countryside.
  • Many of our footpaths pass through farmyards and the ageing farming community are particularly vulnerable.
  • We are blessed with lots of empty space so please plan your route to avoid other people as far as possible.
  • Mountain rescue teams may not be available as they rely on volunteers, many of whom work in the NHS and other frontline professions.
  • Motorcyclists – the roads may be emptier than usual but please ride safely and responsibly.

Further details and information about the risks and problems facing rural areas such as ours can be found on the Yorkshire Dales National Park and Lake District websites.

Useful resources

We took part in the National Parks Dark Skies Festival in February 2017. The Festival saw events across the Yorkshire Dales and North Yorks Moors National Parks. One event here in Sedbergh was a talk, ‘A Voyage Round the Universe’, by Richard Darn (contact him for advice on equipment buying), and another was a talk on astro-photography by Pete Collins. They have kindly passed on these links to useful resources:

Stellarium – interactive planetarium programme. Easy to use and shows the night sky realistically. Available for Windows and Mac, and free.

Heavens-above.com – great for finding out when the ISS will be passing over, moon rise, set times, phases, comet and planet info, times of astronomical darkness and much more.

Google Skymap – identifies the stars using GPS when you hold up a phone to the sky. Free.

Meteor Shower Calendar – tells you when showers are due and if the moon will spoil the show. Free.

ISS Detector and ISS Spotter – both will alert you when the ISS is due to pass overhead. Both free.

Aurora Alert – predicts possible Northern Lights displays. Small fee.

Lancaster University’s Aurora Watch allows you to sign up for free aurora alerts.

British Geological Survey’s alerts service is another web site offering aurora predictions.

Sources of Information

Society for Popular Astronomy

Heaton Park Astronomy Group has a Guide for Beginners with an introduction to wide-field astrophotography, plus choosing a telescope and binoculars.

Good Astronomy Shops

Green Witch – West Yorkshire-based reliable astro retailer.

Grovers Optical – Northallerton-based reliable astro retailer.

Rother Valley Optics – South Yorkshire-based reliable astro retailer.

UK Astro Buy and Sell – Well used by astronomers to buy and sell used gear.

Novice’s Books

Turn Left at Orion

Stargazing for Dummies