Introduction to astronomy at your gite in France
starry sky in Cevennesstarry sky in Cevennes
©starry sky in Cevennes

Astronomy in the Cévennes-EN

During your holiday in a gîte in France discover the stars and learn about astronomy.

Contemplating the stars and observing the night sky with the naked eye is one of the simplest, most accessible and most certainly one of the most exciting activities.

Discover the sky with your host

In your vacation rental in a gite village in France, your hosts are there to help you discover the region, their passion…. In your gîte en Cévennes in Saint Jean du Gard, discover thanks to Cédric with his laser pointer the Milky Way, the constellations and, listen to the legends surrounding them for young and old.

And if by chance you benefit from a clear sky without clouds, and the planets of our solar system are up, you’ll have the joy of contemplating them through the telescope. A C8 schmidt-cassegrain for connoisseurs.

The night sky in the Cévennes

The Cévennes are part of a réserve internationale de ciel étoilé (RICE). It has been Europe’s largest since 2018, a classification valid for 5 years. It has been renewed in 2022 with congratulations for the involvement of public and private players. Particularly with regard to lighting, since light pollution from public lighting for observing the night sky is particularly harmful. It is also harmful to wildlife, which becomes disorientated and its biological cycle deregulated. Your Cévennes gite for astronomy respects the RICE lighting requirements, namely ground-oriented lighting and warm white light because, our eyes and those of the surrounding fauna are less sensitive compared to cold white light.

Night sky observation

When observing the night sky. Our eyes have to get used to the dark, it takes about 15 minutes for the rods to be most receptive and, for the cones to be deactivated. To avoid disturbing this night vision, we use red light, as we’re not very sensitive to this wavelength.

In the city today it’s not possible to contemplate the stars, at best you see the brightest ten or so stars. During our initiation to astronomy at your gite in France’s Cévennes region, you’ll catch a glimpse of around 3,000 stars in our galaxy, spread mainly across the Milky Way. With good eyes and a sky free of impurities you might make out a gray spot in the constellation of Andromeda, this is a tiny piece of the galaxy of the same name, its light is very faint because it is so far away from us however, it is immense, its apparent diameter is about 6 times that of the moon.

Observing the moon and planets

The moon, our only natural satellite, is visible even with intense light pollution. Anyone can learn from home, understand and observe the phases of the moon. We see the full moon when it’s in opposition to the sun, and it rises at the same time as the sun sets. Discover all this with your family in your vacation rental gite in the Cévennes accompanied by Cédric.

At the telescope the moon dazzles us, we have to filter its light, a simple pair of binoculars allows us to contemplate the craters quite clearly. For the planets in our solar system, we need maximum light and good magnification, the telescope is necessary. This is obviously the moment everyone is looking forward to. Observe, mars, jupiter and saturne for the first time and a real source of wonder for the whole family.

Join us for your vacation in a gite to learn about astronomy