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Enjoy getting star struck this month!

Pontypridd Standing StonesResidents in Rhondda Cynon Taf can enjoy seeing a rare partial eclipse of the sun at a special event being held this month.

A partial eclipse is where a percentage of the Sun is covered by the Moon. On March 20th, 2015 at 8.23am, a partial eclipse will begin and at 9.28am, the Sun will be approximately 86 per cent covered, meaning, in RCT, we can enjoy spectacular views.

Star gazers of all ages are invited to go along to Tesco car park, Talbot Green on that date and look through Dark Sky Wales solar telescopes which are all filtered and safe to view through. Dark Skies Wales and Rhondda Cynon Taf Council's Tourism Team have teamed up to put on the viewing from 8.00am - 10.38am and the Tourism team will also be providing free solar glasses for everyone to enjoy this rare event.

The solar glasses will be offered on a first-come first-served basis.


The county borough is fast securing a reputation as one of the best star-gazing locations in the UK and now has six internationally-accredited Dark Skies sites. They are:

- Dare Valley Country Park, which is classed as Orion Standard, as the atmosphere is clear enough for you to see Orion's Belt with the naked eye

- Hendre Mynydd Car Park on the top of the Rhigos, which is classed as Milky Way standard as conditions are good enough to see the Milky Way with the naked eye.

- Garn Eiddel Car Park on top of the Maerdy Mountain, which is also Milky Way class.

- Bwlch Mountain Lay-By, which is also Milky Way class.

- Daerwynnno Outdoor Centre, which is Milky Way class.

- Barry Sidings Countryside Park, which is Orion class.

Cllr Paul Cannon, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council's Deputy Leader & Cabinet Member for  Safer Communities, Tourism & Heritage, said: "These sites have been accredited due to the wonderful star-gazing opportunities they afford. On a crisp, clear night, you can marvel at the constellations, satellites, planets and even the Milky Way.

"I hope people of all ages will enjoy finding out more about our solar system and view the partial eclipse during our special daytime event being held this month."

For more information go to www.visitrct.co.uk or www.darkskydiscovery.org.uk

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