New panels will guide stargazers in the Peak District

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New information panels have been installed to give stargazers a guide to the night sky over the Peak District National Park.

The Dark Sky panels, which will be changed seasonally, can be found close to Arbor Low stone circle and Minninglow burial mound, where the position of the stars seemed significant to our neolithic ancestors more than 4,000 years ago.

To help people appreciate the relation of these sites to the stars, the panels are positioned at nearby National Park car parks which are easily accessible and on clear nights provide good conditions for stargazing.

The car parks are both beside the High Peak Trail at Parsley Hay, off the A515 near Hartington and Minninglow, off the A515 at Pikehall.

Peak District Dark Skies co-ordinator Sue Smith said: “The national park’s night skies can be up to 15 times darker than nearby towns and cities so the stars are much more visible here. We hope people can use these panels to explore the universe and understand how the stars relate to these special landscapes.”

Interesting objects to look for in the January night sky include the constellation Orion and planet Jupiter.