For millennia, people all around the world have gazed up, wide-eyed, towards the heavens, trying to make sense of the universe and our place within it.
But, with worldwide population growth and the expansion of industrial cities, a 2016 study found that 80 percent of the world – and more than 99 percent of the US and European populations – live under skies polluted by artificial light, impairing their views of the stars above them.
Fortunately, the glorious, unblemished Welsh countryside has helped Wales avoid the worst effects of wide-scale light pollution, and organisations – on both a local and international scale – have worked hard to ensure our dark skies are safeguarded for current and future generations to enjoy.
The result is that Wales is now one of the world’s great destinations for stargazing, attracting both adept and amateur astronomers alike, keen to behold the night sky in all its glory. Here’s an overview of the stargazing scene in Wales, with details of how the country’s dark skies are being protected and where visitors can go to peer up at the planets.
There are three Dark Skies sites in Wales, namely the Brecon Beacons, Snowdonia and the Elan valley.
Although Pembrokeshire is not a designated site, it does have some incredibly clear skies; just look up from the verandah at 9 Timber Hill and you will be amazed at what you will be able to see.
The following Photographing the night sky, gives an excellent overview on photographing the night sky.