Shooting star season is almost upon us, and award-winning Northumberland hotel Battlesteads is celebrating with the return of its popular Shooting Star Suppers.
The only hotel in the UK with an on-site observatory, Battlesteads Hotel & Restaurant in Wark will be hosting a series of events starting on Monday 8 October, to coincide with successive meteor showers over the coming months.
Starting at 9pm, the Shooting Star Suppers are suitable for ages 14+ and begin with a light supper of sandwiches and soup in the Battlesteads Restaurant before heading to the observatory – a Designated Dark Sky Discovery Site – for a tour and talk.
Battlesteads' expert astronomy team, led by Roy Alexander, will be on hand to explain the origins of shooting stars, meteors, comets, asteroids, and will teach you how to collect micrometeorites in your own back garden.
Then guests will settle down to watch the celestial fireworks shows, which typically peak after midnight. For any guests who would like to learn more about how to capture shooting stars with a DSLR camera, the Battlesteads team will be on hand to give you some top tips, and the observatory will be kept warm and cosy with free hot drinks – although wrapping up warm and bringing a blanket is recommended.
Shooting Star Suppers will take place on Monday 8 October, Sunday 21 October, Monday 5 November, Saturday 17 November, Thursday 13 December, Friday 21 December and Thursday 3 January; when the Draconids, Orionids, Taurids, Leonids, Geminids, Ursids and Quadrantids meteor showers are at their respective peaks.
The Draconids meteor shower on 8 October produces about 10 meteors per hour and it is produced by dust grains left behind by comet 21P Giacobini-Zinner. This year will be a particularly good time to see the shower, as there will no moonlight, and it can be seen earlier in the evening than most.
Shooting Star Suppers at Battlesteads Observatory start from £27.50pp with concessions available. Overnight stays at Battlesteads Hotel can be added from £50pp on a bed & breakfast basis.