Welcome to Lockdown Stargazing

An introduction

Firstly, just to introduce myself…hey, I’m Abby and I love space. I’ve been a science journalist for seven years, covering a range of topics for various publications. Quite a long time ago now, I studied Physics and Astronomy at Durham University. Last year, I put my passion for stargazing into my work and wrote a book, called The Art of Urban Astronomy. Since then, I’ve been writing regular stargazing columns for BBC Science Focus and New Scientist.

I live in the UK. As I write this, we are a day away from going into the second lockdown of 2020. This time the nights will be much darker than the first lockdown, and many people will not be able to get outside after work for walks, runs or cycles. So I am here to suggest stargazing. It’s the perfect winter lockdown activity - you can do it from the warmth of your house, your garden, or your local park with a group of socially distant friends. I am putting this newsletter together in the hope that it can help provide some escapism for some, or perhaps a new hobby for others.

From personal experience, and from talking to others, I know stargazing can have a positive impact on mental health. Whether it’s the feeling of awe you get from seeing something new or the sense of perspective looking at the stars give you, everyone’s experience of stargazing is different. I am not sure exactly why it’s good for you, but I am sure it is.

This will be a weekly newsletter, going out every Monday. It will tell you what to look for in the skies that week, with a new activity every time. You won’t need any equipment (except perhaps a hot water bottle), and the activities will all be light pollution friendly.

Please feel free to forward this onto anyone you think might enjoy it.