Author(s): Gary Fildes
'You don't need a science degree to enjoy the night sky. Put aside your worries, look up, and feel part of an incredible universe.' Meet Gary Fildes. Not your average astronomer. After leaving school at 17 he went to work on a building site, where he stayed for a quarter of a century. Then one day, middle age approaching alarmingly, he acted on his life-long passion. The stars. Today Gary is the founder and lead astronomer of Kielder public observatory, a state-of-the-art visitor attraction that is amongst the best in the world. Nestled in the Kielder forests, officially the darkest place in England, the observatory sits beneath a sky that is so clear that thousands of stars can be seen every night, unlike the thirty or so that the rest of us can see due to light pollution. At Kielder, Venus casts a shadow on the Earth and even the Northern Lights can often be seen. In this inspiring and accessible book, Gary shares his life's enthusiasm for the night sky.
Alternating between chapters about his own remarkable journey, and an accessible month-by-month guide to stargazing for the general reader, it tells a story of a man reconnecting with the wonders of nature, and how we all can too.
The Shepherd's Life meets Brian Cox - the inspirational memoir of a former brickie who followed his passion for the stars
Gary Fildes was born in Sunderland. He is the founder and lead astronomer of Kielder observatory, located in the forests of Northumberland. Among the world's best sites for watching stars, it receives over 20,000 visitors a year. Gary did not attend university and left school at 17. In 2012 he was given an honorary Master's degree from Durham University in recognition for his services to astronomy. He is currently leading a multi-million pound fundraising drive to make Kielder the world's biggest public observatory.