Search

Star gazing at West Ham Park worth braving the cold

12:06 04 March 2014

Nicky Brown, left, Lyndsay Jones, and  Shaan Johal look at the stars in West Ham Park.

Nicky Brown, left, Lyndsay Jones, and Shaan Johal look at the stars in West Ham Park.

Archant

March 1 to 8 is National Astronomy Week and to find out more reporter Kay Atwal spent an evening at West Ham Park star gazing.

Although I wasn’t sure how much we would see, my daughter Shaan and I arrived at the park in Upton Lane, wrapped up warm and armed with the binoculars I have had since I was a teenager. I have used them on and off to teach my children about the moon and stars I wasn’t sure they would be strong enough to show us anything of value.

Once at the park we met Sue Banks, support officer at the park and Lyndsay Jones who was going to lead the star gazing session.

Sue Banks told me that although it was the first time the park was holding the event, it was fully booked within 24 hours of its announcement.

And despite the fact that it was cold, cloudy and a school night the park’s office quickly filled up with keen youngsters accompanied by parents and other grown ups.

Lindsay, who is fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, briefly took us through the night sky, pointing out which planets and constellations we were hoping to see. Among them were Jupiter, the constellations Orion‘s belt, Castor, Pollux and the one that almost every child is taught to spot, the Plough. The one that I was most excited to see, which Lyndsay described as “a fuzzy cloud”, was a nebula. It is a region of gas and dust in space where new stars are being formed or the remains of dead or dying stars.

Once outside we spotted Jupiter, known as the gas giant and the largest planet in our solar system. As we moved into a clear patch of the park and as our eyes became accustomed (in a matter of minutes) to the dark we spotted the North Star, another star called Sirius which 8.6 light years from Earth and to my surprise the nebula. At this point it was difficult to tell who was most excited- me or my daughter. Even the numb fingers were worth it.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Candidates at our social media hustings last month

Newham – along with the rest of the country – goes to the polls on Thursday, and we’ll be bringing you live coverage every step of the way.

Boleyn Development 100 are calling for total social housing at the West Ham ground

Activists campaigning for total social housing at the Boleyn Ground development have demanded its developers be “kicked off” the project.

Stephen Timms
Pupils at St Antony's are preparing for the future by learning business skills

Pupils at St Antony’s Primary School have raised £200 for a church in Forest Gate.

Fundraiser Paul Ennis

More than 60 people took the plunge and abseiled down the UK’s tallest sculpture to raise funds for a children’s hospice on Saturday.

Most read news

Competitions

Limited edition Opihr Gin goodies up for grabs!

Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin is a unique style of London Dry Gin created at G&J one of the world’s oldest gin distillers, using exotic botanicals, herbs and spices.

Read more
Pop on the most stylish eyewear around from Specsavers.

London eyecare specialists Specsavers are offering London24 readers the chance to win a £150 voucher to spend on stylish eyewear in the city.

Read more

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder