Alston Observatory

Alston Lane, Preston, PR3 3BP

Location description

Purpose-built teaching and public outreach facility run by the Jerimiah Horrocks Institute division of the University of Central Lancashire. Home to the Moses Holden Telescope, one of the largest telescopes in the UK, as well as the historic Wilfred Hall Telescope the site also has a planetarium all of which are used for undergraduate teaching and encouraging public engagement in science. Access to the facility is strictly by prior booking on one of their monthly open evenings.

Location event organiser

Alston Observatory organises stargazing events at this location.


Location has an observatory that is accessible to the public by prior arrangement or during public events.

Location light pollution

This location is estimated to have light pollution levels similar to a semi-rural setting based on satellite data from CPRE.

Dark site
The above demonstrates the estimated effect of light pollution - graphics created using Stellarium.

When to stargaze at Alston Observatory

This location's semi-rural setting means it benefits from dark skies depending on the time of the year and lunar cycle. In the calendar below where you can see stars indicates when the skies will be dark and the best time to stargaze. Yellow areas show the adverse effects of daylight (bold) and moonlight (faded). Hover over a day to see darkness times or click on a date for more information.

Stargazing events at this location

There are no known forthcoming events at this location. Previously there have been 25 events with the last one being on 4th March 2020 organised by Alston Observatory.


When to visit

The best time to visit Alston Observatory can be found on this dark skies calendar.

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