Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting KS NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
The comet of the century
COMING soon to a sky nearby will be what has been dubbed ‘the comet of the century’.
From mid-November until mid-January, Comet ISON will be visible to the naked eye and is expected to be a once in a lifetime sighting.
Discovered in 2012, the comet – which is estimated to be three miles in diameter and could be 15 times brighter than a full moon – will be close to Earth this winter.
Those hoping for the comet sighting of a lifetime can maximise their chances by heading to remote areas on moonless nights and some suggestions of the best places for viewing it are possibly to head over to America, or maybe Scandinavia or more closer to home two possible venues are in the Channel Islands or the Lake District.
Florida Gulf Coast: Comet hunters wanting to scour the skies from the beach can head to the beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel on Florida’s Gulf Coast which has a full programme of special comet trips. Stay in the Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village which is offering a seven night comet package for £627 per person from November 1 to December 26. Accommodation is in balcony rooms for the best views and also included in the price is £20 resort credit and two ‘Christmas Comet’ drinks. The hotel is ideally located for comet excursions with a guided evening kayaking and comet trip for £30 per person with Gulf Coast Kayak www.gulfcoastkayak.com or a night sky astronomy cruise with Captiva Cruises, led by an astronomy expert who will explain about the stars, constellations and planets. To book: www.westincapecoral.com/ 001 239 541 5000 with code COMET. www.fortmyers-sanibel.com Nellim, Finnish Lapland: Step the astronomy up a notch and stay in the new ‘Aurora Bubbles’ in Finnish Lapland’s Arctic wilderness, where lucky visitors will be able to see the Northern Lights and Comet ISON. The bubbles each have a heated bedroom with a translucent roof allowing guests to gaze at the night sky for hours in complete comfort. aurorazone.com offers a four night trip staying in the Aurora Bubbles from £1,345 per person from November 11-14 when there is very little daylight. The price includes return flights from London, airport transfers, full board accommodation and guided Northern Lights activities. To book: www.theaurorazone.com/ 01670 785 012 .
Sark, Channel Islands: The small Channel Island of Sark is the World’s only dark sky designated island. Its dark skies result from very little light pollution with the ban on cars and no paved roads or public street lighting. Stay in La Sablonnerie on Little Sark, which is completely cut off from the island’s main village, and is considered the best night gazing location. The 22 bedroom hotel is a converted 400 year old farmhouse with plenty of open space to catch sightings of the comet. Overnight stays cost from £195 per room per night including breakfast and a five course gourmet dinner (based on two sharing a double or twin room). To book: www.sablonneriesark.com/ 01481 832 061 Also check on www.visitguernsey.com Lake Windermere, Lake District: Closer to home, the Lake District has Dark Sky designated areas, with hardly any interference from light pollution. Stay at the Holbeck Ghyll Country House Hotel from December 6-8, when there will be a new moon and therefore very dark skies. Guests can watch the skies from the garden or from the comfort of an armchair beside a roaring log fire. A two night stay in December costs from £420 based on two people sharing a double or twin room. To book: www.slh.com/ 0800 0482.
Comments are closed on this article.