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Solar eclipse: Astrotourism WA event set to light up Darkan

Daniel RooneyNarrogin Observer
The Darkan night sky.
Camera IconThe Darkan night sky. Credit: Kerryn Chia

Renowned for its starry night sky, the small Wheatbelt town of Darkan is preparing to host a Dark Sky Stargazing event on April 26 as the Astrotourism WA Eclipse Discovery Tour brings space-madness to the masses.

The tiny town is a stargazing mecca.
Camera IconThe tiny town is a stargazing mecca. Credit: Kerryn Chia

The tour follows the solar eclipse that will occur on April 20.

Part of the Astrotourism WA network, Darkan has several astro-sites that provide visiting stargazers and astrophotographers with light-pollution-free vantage points.

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The events will examine the solar eclipse, explain why WA stargazing is special and explore the night sky.

Powerful lasers will point out the constellations of the Southern Hemisphere while a telescope will enable attendees to get up close with the Milky Way and other star clusters.

“One of the big advantages we have is that we are close to the city, so Darkan is easy to access,” Shire of West Arthur project officer Kerryn Chia said, “We’ve got very clear skies and a small population so we have very little light pollution making the stars very easy to see.”

Around 26 Dark Sky events will take place around WA to coincide with the eclipse, drawing an estimated 40,000 tourists into the State.

Shire of West Arthur Project Officer Kerryn Chia.
Camera IconShire of West Arthur Project Officer Kerryn Chia. Credit: Daniel Rooney

“It’s a huge international event,” Ms Chia said.

“If you’re into night skies and stargazing it’s a pretty significant event on the calendar.”

The Darkan Dark Sky Star Gazing Night will be held at One Gate Farm on Dardadine Road.

The event will be the first time that One Gate Farm opens up to visitors and a local food van will be onsite.

Following Darkan, Dark Sky Stargazing will be coming to Narrogin for an April 28 event on Thomas Hogg Oval.

Organisers of the events advise that they will take place regardless of the weather.

Registration for the free events can be made on the Astrotourism WA website.

The event will be held at One Gate Farm.
Camera IconThe event will be held at One Gate Farm. Credit: Daniel Rooney
Lake Towerrinning.
Camera IconLake Towerrinning. Credit: Kerryn Chia

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