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 Newham News Stories

North Beckton Primary School donating a cheque to Newham City Farm

It was thumbs up all round as pupils handed over a bumper cheque to Newham City Farm.

Yesterday, 17:00
This latest production of The Chairs has been updated for a modern audience. Picture: Lily Owen

Whether or not you enjoy this modern telling of Eugene Ionesco’s absurdist play at Stratford Circus will be decided by your propensity for radical theatre innovation over traditional structure and character development.

Yesterday, 09:00
Fred Meade is raising funds in memory of Newham school teacher Lucia Devine

A friend of a popular Newham school teacher who died last October is cycling part of the Tour de France route in her memory.

Fri, 17:00
London mayoral candidates Zac Goldsmith and Sadiq Khan at the London Citizens' Mayoral Accountability Assembly

Zac Goldsmith and Sadiq Khan have appeared at Stratford’s Copper Box Arena together to back new housing proposals.

Elizabeth Olympic Park

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Read more
Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Read more

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe