Isle of Wight - Campaign to Protect Rural England

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Star Count 2019

The Garlic Farm The Garlic Farm Photo: The Garlic Farm

Help Prove the Isle of Wight has the Darkest Skies

Saturday 2nd February 2019 - Saturday 23rd February 2019

Dark, starry skies are one of the most magical sights the countryside can offer. But light pollution means many of us can’t see the stars. Stargazers will be asked to count the number of stars they can see (with the naked eye) within the constellation of Orion, which is only visible in the winter months.

The national Star Count will take place during the darkest skies from Saturday 2 February until Saturday 23 February, to give families a chance to take part during half term, although the darkest skies are predicted for 2-9 February.  The Star Count is taking place with support from the British Astronomical Association.

The Star Count 2019 results will help us to create a new map to show how light pollution affects the nation’s views of the night sky, and raise awareness of light pollution as an issue.

This year’s event will be a small trial event, with a view to expanding it into a bigger engagement piece for next year.  For full details of how to take part and report your findings go to

It would be fantastic if you could all join in, also encourage your friends and family to do so.  No skill is required, merely the ability to count the number of stars you can spot inside the given outline of Orion.  The IOW Observatory in Watery Lane, Newchurch, will be open for public viewing of the skies on Thursdays 7th, 14th and 21st February depending on weather conditions.

Our Island is 50% Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).  Our dark skies are 100% AONB!


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