THE skies above Weardale are set to provide the backdrop for an astronomical display this weekend and stargazers of all ages are invited.

That's as Killhope Lead Mining Museum hosts a special family event on Sunday, August 12, as part of the North Pennines AONB Stargazing Festival, to celebrate the Persied meteor shower.

Meteor showers occur when the Earth passes through streams of debris left behind by comets and asteroids, with up to 70 shooting stars per hour expected this weekend.

Killhope will be welcoming visitors from 6pm, with live music from folk group the Cream Tees and children’s activities including water rocket launching and space-themed workshops.

Professional photographer and astronomer Gary Lintern will be on hand to share his knowledge and visitors will have access to Killhope’s on-site observatory.

The meteor shower is set to begin at about 10pm.

Maria McArdle, museum operations officer, said: “With 60 to 70 shooting stars an hour we’re promised a spectacular show on Sunday – weather permitting.

“It should be a fantastic evening for dedicated astronomers and budding stargazers alike.”

The event costs £4 for adults and £2 for concessions. Booking is essential. Call 01388-537505 or visit