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Get starry-eyed surveying Holyrood's dark skies

24 February 2010

DISCOVER THE WONDERS OF ASTRONOMY WITH EXPERTS FROM THE ROYAL OBSERVATORY, EDINBURGH

Give yourself some space this weekend – come star-gazing at Holyrood Park and learn all about the wonders of the night skies over the capital city.

The Historic Scotland Ranger Service, which cares for the Park, has joined forces with experts from the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh to host a unique, inter-active astronomy event this Saturday, 27th February.

‘Dark Skies’ takes place in the Holyrood Park Education Centre and at its two sessions - from 2pm to 5.30pm and from 7pm to 9pm - you’ll have the opportunity to learn how to locate and identify planets, stars and galaxies, and to discover why the Park is such a great place to star-gaze.  There’s also a chance to enjoy hands-on activities such as comet making, rocket launching and meteorite handling, and to experience an interactive inflatable star-lab.

As places for ‘Dark Skies’ are limited, booking is essential. Please call the Ranger Service on 0131 652 8150 to reserve your place.

Nathan Bryceland, Education Ranger said: “Edinburgh’s skyline is shaped by Arthur’s Seat and the distinctive crags of Holyrood Park, and as the city’s biggest open space, the Park provides a fantastic vantage spot to view and appreciate the night skies.

“We all may admire the stars on a clear night but few of us really understand what it is we’re seeing or know what to look out for, so this event offers a great opportunity to get some fascinating astronomical insight into the superb night sky views we can get here from the Park.

“We’re delighted to be joining forces with the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh to give local people and visitors alike the chance to learn about the dark skies over Holyrood and make the most of this incredible natural wonder.”

Notes for editors

  • Holyrood Park is one of Edinburgh’s most famous and popular historic landmarks. It encompasses a 5-mile radius of land and has probably been a Royal Park since the 12th century. It designated as both an Ancient Monument and Site of Special Scientific Interest.

  • Holyrood Park is in the care of Historic Scotland, which is responsible for maintaining the natural environment and presenting the Park for the enjoyment of the local community and visitors.  The Ranger Service based at Holyrood Park cares for this unique historic and natural attraction and provides a range of important educational services.

  • Historic Scotland cares for over 345 heritage properties and sites throughout Scotland, from the Highlands and Islands to the Borders, ranging from prehistoric dwellings to medieval castles, and from cathedrals to industrial buildings. These include some of the leading tourism attractions in the country including Edinburgh, Stirling, and Urquhart Castles, Fort George, Linlithgow Palace, the Border Abbeys, and Skara Brae. For further details visit www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/places.

  • Historic Scotland’s mission is: to safeguard Scotland’s historic environment and to promote its understanding and enjoyment.

  • The Royal Observatory, Edinburgh is unique among UK scientific establishments in that it houses on a single site a university astronomy research group, an establishment of a UK Research Council and a Visitor Centre. For information on The Royal Observatory, Edinburgh, visit www.roe.ac.uk/vc/ or call 0131 668 8404.

For further information


Ellen Drummond Ferroni
Marketing
0131 668 8685 / 07801 820757