What constellations and planets can you see from the Channel Islands?

  • ITV Channel journalist Sophie Dulson discusses how stargazing helps ease stress and how the Channel Island skies can bring joy to interest stargazers.

Stargazing is thought to be an ideal tonic for the stresses of everyday life. In the Channel Islands, there are many magical spots where you can roll out a blanket and watch the galaxy put on a show.

From remote castle ruins to magical walks with the stars above, you are sure to want to stay up all night to experience the splendour.

In the Northern Hemisphere during the winter months, people will be able to spot a number of planets from Saturn to Jupiter.

There are also various prominent stars that make an appearance in the colder months; like Orion, Canis Major and Taurus.

  • Here are some of the best constellations to spot in the winter months

Winter is thought to be one of the best times of year to go stargazing as the nights are longer and darker than in summer.

It is something local astronomer Neil Mahrer from Jersey has enjoyed since he was a teenager.

He's now inspiring the next generation of stargazers on the island.

Neil Mahrer founded the Jersey Astronomy Club in 1990 Credit: ITV Channel TV

Neil Mahrer said: "I think the thing I enjoy the most is showing people new things, I mean I do astronomy for my own pleasure but probably the best thing is if you get a line of children and they each get to see Saturn for the first time or something like that, they're always so surprised and they get such great reaction, it's just really nice to be able to give people the chance to do that."

For anyone wanting to enjoy Jersey's night sky, you can go along to the Sir Patrick Moore Astronomy Centre on any clear Monday night.

The venue features an observatory with a large-aperture telescope that offers amazing views of planets and deep-sky objects.

The Sir Patrick Moore Astronomy Centre was purpose-built in 2004 to offer a place for people to go stargazing Credit: ITV Channel TV

Jersey is not the only place to enjoy the night sky, Sark is one of the best places in the world to spot constellations and planets.

It was named a Dark Sky Island in 2011 and some of its most stunning sights are best enjoyed at night.

The night sky in Sark is exceptionally clear and free from light pollution Credit: Sue Daley

Joe Birch, from Sark's Astronomy Society, said: "It's easy to do, you can go outside your back door, go out and look, see what's around, it's perfectly safe and you wander around the lanes and see what's above you".

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