Lunar eclipse to coincide with Yorkshire's Dark Skies Fringe Festival this October half term
Now, with a partial lunar eclipse to coincide with Yorkshire's Dark Skies Fringe Festival, this year is to be incredibly special.
The region's two national parks, the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors, are both designated International Dark Sky Reserve - meaning they are among the best places in the world to watch out for celestial wonders.
And this coming half term, as autumn turns to winter and dark nights draw in, all eyes are to turn to the skies.
From October 27 to November 5, the festival will see events from stargazing to guided night rides, sky walks and pop-up planetariums.
Phoebe Smith, from the North York Moors National Park, said there is something "awe-inspiring" to be discovered.
“October’s shorter days and lengthening nights provide a perfect backdrop for the Dark Skies Fringe Festival," she said. "It reminds people of the awe-inspiring enjoyment that comes with venturing outdoors to observe some of the darkest skies in the world.
“We have some fantastic astronomy experts on-hand during the festival,” she said. “ As well as businesses who are passionate about helping the national park showcase and protect our International Dark Sky Reserve status.”
This year's fringe festival, with the main headline events to be held in February, will see painting activities, opportunities to spot nocturnal wildlife, and special steam train runs.
The programme includes a guided night ride to introduce cyclists to the thrill of riding after dark and along tracks that make the most of the panoramic skies.
Then dark sky walks and night navigation sessions, before a stargazing evening with York Astro to mark the series of winter events from Sutton Bank's Star Hub.
There are stargazing safaris, and a pop-up planetarium with Astro Dog in Dalby Forest, inviting people to train their gaze - and telescopes – on a partial lunar eclipse of Hunter's Moors on October 28. Then, for November 2, Jupiter will be at its closest to Earth.
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is to host Light Spectacular, with heritage carriages to be lit up with thousands of lights as they travel between Pickering and Levisham.
For families, there are to be trails through the grounds of Danby Lodge National Park Centre, with planetarium shows at Guisborough. And, as the festival highlights how low light pollution helps nature, forest rangers are to host nocturnal adventures and with bird of prey experts to show winter owls.