Scarborough Star Disc

At the South end of the South Beach of Scarborough is the Scarborough Star Disk. It is the  largest illuminated "Star Disc" anywhere in the UK,
 

It is 26 Metres across and is fitted with subterranean lights representing the 42 brightest stars and major Constellations that can been seen from Scarborough in the northern skies.
 

The stars include the seven stars of The Plough, the “W” shape of Cassiopeia, the Little Bear, and Draco the Dragon. The brightest star on the disk is Capella, the she-goat, in the arms of Auriga, The Charioteer.

The theoretically best time and date to view it is midnight on June 21st GMT (June 22nd 0100 BST). If you are here on this date and time, first locate St Mary's church on the Castle Headland. The bright star directly above it is Polaris, the Pole or North Star.

 

Stand on the June 21st date mark at the edge of the disk and imagine the entire disk placed in the sky above St Mary’s Church so that the far end of the disk is overhead and the edge nearest to you almost touching the castle headland.
 

Its very unlikely you can be here at that time and date. As the earth continues on its orbit around the sun the position of the northern stars change.  There are marks for other dates and you stand on any of these and look down at the star disk, you will see the pattern of stars in the northern sky at midnight on that date.

 

However to see them in the sky you must turn your head to face north, to St Mary’s Church, to see the stars in their correct position in the sky!
 

The star disc also shows the different appearances of the northern stars during the course of a single night. Suppose it is June 21st and you want to see how the northern sky looked two hours earlier, to midnight, at 10 pm.

 

Each of the converging lines on the chart represents 2 hours of time, so if you stand at the edge of the line labelled “21st May” the view across the disc shows you the appearance of the stars two hours earlier.

 

Similarly, if you want to see how the stars are positioned two hours later, at 2 am on June 21st, stand on the edge of the line marked 21st July. This method can be used for any date you require, but don't forget to compensate for British Summer time (BST), as the times on the star disc are GMT.


The Star Disc also shows the positions of sunrise. Stand in the centre of the disk, the positions of sunrise over the sea at various dates can be seen marked on the inner wave-wall seat.

The theoretically best time and date to view it is midnight on June 21st GMT (June 22nd 0100 BST). If you are here on this date and time, first locate St Mary's church on the Castle Headland. The bright star directly above it is Polaris, the Pole or North Star. Stand on the June 21st date mark at the edge of the disc and imagine the entire disk placed in the sky above St Mary’s Church so that the far end of the disc is overhead and the edge nearest to you almost touching the castle headland.


Its very unlikely you can be here at that time and date. As the earth continues on its orbit around the sun the position of the northern stars change.  There are marks for other dates and you stand on any of these and look down at the star disk, you will see the pattern of stars in the northern sky at midnight on that date.

 

However to see them in the sky you must turn your head to face north, to St Mary’s Church, to see the stars in their correct position in the sky!
 

The star disk also shows the different appearances of the northern stars during the course of a single night. Suppose it is June 21st and you want to see how the northern sky looked two hours earlier, to midnight, at 10 pm.

 

Each of the converging lines on the chart represents 2 hours of time, so if you stand at the edge of the line labelled “21st May” the view across the disk shows you the appearance of the stars two hours earlier.

 

Similarly, if you want to see how the stars are positioned two hours later, at 2 am on June 21st, stand on the edge of the line marked 21st July. This method can be used for any date you require, but don't forget to compensate for British Summer time (BST), as the times on the star disc are GMT.
 

The Star Disk also shows the positions of sunrise. Stand in the centre of the disc, the positions of sunrise over the sea at various dates can be seen marked on the inner wave-wall seat.

The centre of the disc is at exactly:
LATITUDE: 54 degrees, 16 minutes, 15.4 seconds NORTH 
LONGITUDE: 00 degrees, 23 minutes, 36.8 seconds WEST

 

The Star Disc is a joint project set up by the arts and culture agency, CREATE, the Scarborough and Ryedale Astronomical Society, and the Scarborough Urban Renaissance Public Space Group; funding was provided by Yorkshire Forward and Scarborough Borough Council.


It was officially switched on at 7 PM on Saturday January 28th, by the Deputy Mayor of Scarborough Cllr. Jim Preston. The occasion was attended by Scarborough and Ryedale Astronomical Society, Whitby and District Astronomical Society, together with 15 Telescopes and about 150 members of the public.
 

It is intended that the area will be used for open air art exhibitions and live performances.
The Star Disk can produce its own stars. the photo below was taken on the evening of 21st July 2007, when it hosted a fireworks display.

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