It is a couple of years since Good Day Out held our last small group “Evening with an Astronomer” sessions, but we still remember both the amazing reviews of participants, and also the tense nervous run-up to each event with the inevitable CLOUD / No-CLOUD / CLOUD forecasts alternating for the 5 days preceding any given date. In the end, the GDO team could take the stress no longer and decided to let people view the skies at their own leisure!
The Brecon Beacons are still one of the best places to view the night skies, and if you see a clear night predicted then there are a couple of places with really easy access that offer great viewing potential, and the area’s Dark Skies status means that much of the National Park has made efforts to curb light pollution, so just about anywhere away from a road or building gives great views!
Mynydd Illtud, Libanus
The home of the Brecon Beacons Observatory, which you can sometimes be lucky enough to use, but even without the use of this telescope you will get a good view of the night sky from all areas to the middle and south of the common, and with small lanes and flat land, it is accessible and quiet at night.
The Usk Reservoir, Nr Trecastle, Upper Usk Valley
Recorded as the darkest part of the Brecon Beacons, this is quite a remote location but with quiet lanes and a car park overlooking the reservoir, you can easily find a good spot to stargaze. The Usk Reservoir is also a great place to visit in the daytime for long level walks, and with abundant bird life.
For more information about the National Park’s dark skies and other places to view the stars, have a look at the area website www.breconbeacons.org and do have a look at the amazing video