Astronomers at the University of Hertfordshire are taking part in Dark Sky Discovery – a pioneering new national and regional partnership of astronomy and environmental organisations led by the Science and Technology Facilities Council, which is being launched this week (24 October).
The Hertfordshire team is working with Exmoor National Park to set up a camera to monitor the sky at Exmoor, which has recently been designated Europe’s first International Dark Sky Reserve. The camera will join a network that includes identical cameras on the Isle of Wight, Guernsey and at the University of Hertfordshire. These cameras can discover anything that changes in the night sky. For example, they are poised to catch a supernova event and Exmoor represents an excellent dark site to do this from. Together the cameras regularly detect meteors and with views from different locations have the potential to find the path of an incoming meteor and help in the recovery of meteorites.
In the Eastern region, University of Hertfordshire astronomers are also considering a number of Dark Sky Discovery sites.
Professor Hugh Jones from the University of Hertfordshire says “An excellent example of an early partnership that we have established is with Lee Valley Regional Park Authority. The park provides a range of locations with access to dark skies along with good public transport links and other amenities.”
Coverage of the story can be found here