Dark Skies Discovery Day brings together astronomy talks, film and comedy

  • Published on: 10th December 2021
See all news

The Hebridean Dark Skies Festival is partnering with the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and Lewis Castle College UHI for Dark Skies Discovery Day, a day of events at An Lanntair on Saturday 12 February.

The day will include talks by leading astronomers, an astrophotography workshop, a film screening and a Bright Club comedy night hosted by Bruce Fummey.

Tickets for Dark Skies Discovery Day are on sale from today, including a £15 (£13 cones) day ticket that grants you access to six events.

Dark Skies Discovery Day will include:

  • A Brief History of Everything, a whistle stop tour of the Universe from the Big Bang onwards with Sheona Urquhart of the Open University.
  • The Mysteries of The Multiverse, in which Scotland’s Astronomer Royal Catherine Heymans, pictured above, examines the science behind the theory that there are an infinite number of possible worlds.
  • The Next Steps in Space Travel, a look at the future of space tourism with Dr Chris Macleod of Lews Castle College UHI.
  • Losing the Cosmos, in which Steven Gray of the International Dark Sky Association explores the importance of dark skies to our health and wellbeing.
  • The City Dark, a film exploring the impact of light pollution.
  • Bright Club, the first ever Lewis show by the international comedy night that challenges academics to turn their research into stand-up comedy. Hosted by stand-up comedian and science buff Bruce Fummey, pictured below.

The day will also include a free astrophotography workshop by Stornoway Astronomical Society. This workshop is a limited capacity event so is not included in the day ticket. However if you book any Dark Skies Discovery Day ticket we will notify you in advance when workshop places become available.

Hebridean Dark Skies Festival director Andrew Eaton-Lewis said: “We always try to pack as much as possible into our opening weekend and with this day of events we’re offering a voyage through all kinds of astronomy and space-related ideas. We’re delighted and grateful to have the support of Lews Castle College UHI and the IET for this event; we hope that the low price tickets will encourage students – and everyone else – to come along to a few events throughout the day.”

While Dark Skies Discovery Day is aimed at teenagers and adults, the Hebridean Dark Skies Festival will also include a day of workshops for younger children on Saturday 19 February.

The Hebridean Dark Skies Festival will run from 11 to 25 February, with an arts and astronomy programme bringing together Scotland’s new Astronomer Royal Catherine Heymans, singer-songwriter Rachel Sermanni, award-winning science communicator Roberto Trotta and lots more. Now in its fourth year, the festival is supported by new funding from Caledonian MacBrayne, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Culture and Business Fund Scotland.

The Hebridean Dark Skies Festival is led by An Lanntair, in partnership with Stornoway Astronomical Society, Lews Castle College UHI, Gallan Head Community Trust and Calanais Visitor Centre, with support from Caledonian MacBrayne, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Outer Hebrides Tourism, Visit Scotland, and Cala Hotels.

Catherine Heymans, Astronomer Royal for Scotland, said: “I’m delighted to join the 2022 Dark Skies Festival in celebration of one of the Hebrides’ most famous natural resources – its pristine dark view into the wilderness that is our Universe.  With music, art, theatre, comedy and science there is something for everyone to enjoy whilst we wait for the Sun to set and the clouds to clear, to stargaze out into the cosmos.”

Hebridean Dark Skies Festival tickets can be booked at www.lanntair.com or by calling 01851 708480. Look out for further programme updates throughout the winter.

To request interviews or images, please contact Hebridean Dark Skies Festival director Andrew Eaton-Lewis at andrew@anlanntair.com.

Website: www.lanntair.com/darkskies
Twitter @anlanntair
Facebook www.facebook.com/anlanntair