When to Stargaze
Stargazing can be enjoyed year around, the only requirement is that the skies are clear of cloud, so makes sure you keep an eye on the weather. It is also harder to stargaze in the lead up to a full moon, as the light from the moon will prevent you being able to see all but the brightest of stars.
Best Stargazing Spots on the Broads
- Hickling Broad, River Thurne
- Thurne Mill, River Thurne
- Horsey Mere, River Thurne
- How Hill, River Ant
- Herring Fleet Mill, River Waveney
- Beccles Marshes, River Waveney
Fairhaven Woodland Water Garden hold an annual stargazing ‘Star Night’ event in February, alongside Norwich Astrological Society where you can learn where, when and how to look for stars in our solar system and get advice on photographing the night sky. For more information visit www.fairhavengarden.co.uk
What you need
Even in summer, the clear skies can mean that the nights get rather chilly, especially if you are sat for long periods. So, wrap up warm, layers are particularly effective for extra insulation and you might also want to consider a woolly hat and gloves.
Whether you are on a boat or on land it is always a good idea to have something to sit or lie on so that you are comfortable, you could even use it as an extra layer if you do get cold.
Star wheel or Stargazing App
If you are new to stargazing it is a good idea to take a star wheel or ‘planisphere’ so that you know what you are looking at. Alternatively, there are now hundreds of apps dedicated to Stargazing that work with your phone’s GPS to see which stars and constellations you are looking at. We particularly like the Sky View App for iPhone or Google Sky Map App for Android.
If you have them, binoculars or telescopes are great for allowing you to see more stars and in greater detail. However, don’t worry if you don’t have them, you will still see plenty.
To help you to find your way if you are on foot. However, remember that your eyes will take a time to recover their sensitivity to low light after exposure to white light. If possible, use a red-light torch or rear bike light which won’t impact your night vision.
This is not really necessary if you are on a boat, as your kitchen will be right there with you. If you are on land however, you might want to consider a flask of hot drink and a few biscuits to keep you warm.
If you are stargazing from the deck of a boat remember to wear your life jacket at all times.