Stargazing at Muirshiel

Thursday 15th February, 2024

A report from February’s stargazing session

After a very wet and windy January put-paid to any telescope time at our first Dark Sky Viewing Night, everyone was feeling more optimistic for February’s event.

Taking place under some of the darkest skies in Renfrewshire, the latest stargazing session moved to Muirshiel Visitor Centre.

We spoke to John Pressly, Science Curator at Paisley Museum and the man behind the Dark Sky Viewing Nights for a quick report on how February’s event went on Monday night.

“We did have a full house again and all 40 people who showed up also deserve a vote of thanks for making the journey to Muirshiel.

The sky was fairly clear just after sunset and there was a thin crescent Moon hanging invitingly in the sky, tempting us with the possibility of a good night of stargazing to come.

Unfortunately it was not to be and just before the event began we were treated to a deluge of hailstones!

Whilst waiting for the weather to improve a talk on Jupiter was given and there was an opportunity to ask any astronomy-related questions that anyone had afterwards.

A hopeful eye was kept on the weather, which for the most part delivered snow flurries, sleet and rain, but we did get the occasional clear patch of sky.

Not enough to get the telescope set up sadly but there were some binoculars available for our visitors and those that had them did get to see some astronomical delights, such as Jupiter, the Orion Nebula and the Pleiades star cluster.

The brief clear patches did help emphasise just how good a dark sky site Muirshiel is, with very little light pollution to mask the wonders of the night sky.”


We’ve got our fingers firmly crossed for clear skies and a little less rain for our March stargazing event, which has already sold out too.

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