Earthshine, by Steve Richards

Welcome to February’s edition of Eyes on the Night Sky. This month, there are still plenty of early, dark evenings to view your favourite objects, even though the nights are starting to draw out.

The New Moon occurs on 15th February and around that time, watch out for earthshine before dusk on 19th February, which is where the rest of the Moon’s surface can be seen, illuminated by the Earth’s light. It is also more poetically known as the “ashen glow” or, “the old Moon in the new Moon’s arms” and is very lovely to look at. If you were standing on the Moon looking at the Earth, you would see that the Earth is fully illuminated by the Sun which causes this effect. This can be seen any time in the year around the time of a New Moon at twilight. There is no Full Moon in February, as the previous one was on 31st January, which is commonly known as a Blue Moon month, a second full moon in a calendar month. In fact, there will be a second Blue Moon month in March, where another two Full Moons occur on 2nd and 31st March! Click here for the full article.

Penbont House Tearoom and B&B

UPDATE: 8th January 2018. Elan Valley Trust have finally secured planning permission to extend and renovate Penbont House subject to planning conditions. We are in the process of discharging these conditions and hope to commence highways improvements once the relevant permissions have been given. Subject to these permissions it is proposed that building works commence Spring 2018. It is not anticipated that Penbont will be open until at least Mid to late Summer 2018. 


The night sky in January 2018

A Happy New Year to all stargazers! We hope you had a great Christmas and that you are keen to try out your new telescope or binoculars! Even though the Christmas rush is over, there is still plenty going in the night sky, with a great planetary conjunction, two full Moons and deep space objects to study.


The night sky in the Northern Hemisphere for December 2017

December is a fabulous month for star clusters, nebulae and meteor showers. It is also the darkest part of the year as the Winter Solstice falls on 21st December, where the Sun is at its most southerly declination (it is one of two angles which indicates a position on the celestial sphere). It also means the North Pole is tilted at the furthest point away from the Sun. The Full Moon falls on 3rd December and New Moon on 18th December.


November is a wonderful month for star gazing as you don’t have to burn the candle at both ends! After the Full Moon on 4th November, the best time to get out there is from the middle of the month (12th onwards, with a New Moon on 18th November) when astronomical darkness starts at 6:30pm. At that time, it is possible to view the summer targets in the early evening and watch the autumn and early winter ones rise majestically across the sky as the night progresses. At this time of year, the night sky becomes a visual feast for the eyes, binoculars and telescopes. This month, we’ll try to provide sky targets for all. Click here for more information.


The night sky in the Elan Valley, Oct 15 midnight

This month, the nights really start to draw in, so take those opportunities after dinner to wrap up warm, get out there and explore the night sky. Astronomical darkness will occur at around 8pm in the middle of the month, which means that the Sun is low enough below the horizon (below eighteen degrees) not to cast its light into the night sky. This is an opportune time to study more distant and dimmer objects, and see our favourite celestial objects in more detail.  This article and future ones will provide interesting targets and sky maps for those who have small and large telescopes, a pair of binoculars, or even a pair of eyes!
For more information recommending planetarium apps to assist in your exploration of the night sky, information about planets, deep sky objects, stars and even a possible bright comet to view in October, please click here for our full article.

View from the Estate Office

Having submitted the Landscape Character Action Plan and developed project plans to HLF we have finally had a chance to take breath. It was a huge undertaking to get the documents ready and submitted in time and a big WELL DONE is deserved by all.

News from the Elan Valley Trust

Hello All. It has been a crazy few weeks and I'd like to thank everyone for their patience and consideration to the ewes and lambs which call Elan Valley home. Lambs are learning their green-cross code and wising-up to the people, dogs and cars about.

Notes from Head Ranger 24/04/17

Notes from the Head Ranger A Nervous Tick Well …. What an Easter it has been, we have begun in earnest with our Events and the guide and have welcomed a record number of Visitors over the Easter Holidays who have enjoyed walks, the adventure playground and our Easter Egg Scramble. Both the Rangers and the Café Staff have worked incredibly hard to provide the visitors with an excellent service. There is always a degree of breath holding as we encounter our first busy period after the winter but there was no need!

Elan Valley Visitor Centre staff Team Building courtesy Elan Lodge

Elan Valley Visitor Centre staff had two great days partaking in team building exercises hosted by Elan Lodge.

Roy and Steve kindly gave us a taste of what they offer groups wishing to develop their skills at the Elan Lodge.

There were some team building exercises on their high ropes course which involved high platform trust falls, tower building, high ropes through the trees, a little fear and a lot of laughs. Kayaking was hoped for, but the weather was against us.


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