View delights of the Milky Way

Saturn

Saturn

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ISLE of Man Railways’ first two Pie in the Sky events of 2012 were greeted by clear skies and great views.

As part of Stargazing and Supper with the Isle of Man Astronomical Society, passengers caught the Manx Electric Railway from Douglas to Laxey, and then on to the summit of Snaefell, where they enjoyed dinner overlooking the sunset at 2,036 feet, before some guided stargazing.

Moon

Moon

Howard Parkin, chairman of the Isle of Man Astronomical Society, commented: ‘The first of this year’s Pie in the Sky events where an outstanding success. The skies were totally clear, and we cancelled any talks and discussions and just took the dinner guests outside to marvel at the clarity of the Manx night skies. Even though it was not fully dark, we were able to point out the very bright planet Venus in the west, and the two planets Mars and Saturn in the south and western skies respectively.’

Howard added: ‘The Moon was a popular sight in the telescope and, as it went totally dark, we gave everyone a tour of the night sky and even spotted a shooting star (meteor), as well as quite a few satellites. It really was a great night and hopefully we will have the same in September for the next two events.’

The photographs, taken through telescopes on the island by Isle of Man Astronomical Society members, show Saturn and a crescent moon, as seen during the Pie in the Sky evenings.

The next two Pie in the Sky events will be on September 28 and 29. Howard reveals what might be on offer: ‘If good weather continues, the Manx night sky will show Jupiter rising and the wonderful group of stars known as the summer triangle, as will our own Milky Way stretching right across the sky, and in the eastern sky the 2.2 million light years away Andromeda Galaxy will also be visible.’

Call 673631 to make bookings.

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