Astronomy on Romney Marsh
The dark nights once provided cover for smugglers on Romney Marsh but today the same dark skies make the Marsh of the country's best areas for stargazing due to its wide horizons and lack of light pollution.
Romney Marsh juts out into the English Channel and is often cloud free; you can often see clouds building up further inland whilst the sky here remains clear. There are records showing Lydd was the sunniest place in the UK in the 1920’s.
Due to the low population density there is little light pollution from local sources. Inland and away from the coastal strip the sky at night can be really good for astronomy. The Milky Way can be seen easily along with distant objects such as galaxies and star clusters.
Astronomers measure the darkness of the sky in units of “magnitude per arc second square”; a reading of 22 is regarded as being very dark. Readings of 21.3 taken recently near Old Romney show that Romney Marsh is indeed a really good place to pursue astronomy.
There are public viewing evenings run by local amateur astronomers during the winter months at the Romney Marsh Visitor Centre where visitors can see the wonders of the night sky.
Find our more about Astronomy at Astronomy Know How
Night sky over Romney Marsh, the Messier 33 Galaxy (Ack. 11)