Stargazers breathed a sigh of relief as the clouds parted to give them a good view of the night sky.

The North Essex Astronomical Society (NEAS) held its latest Stargazing Live event on Friday at Great Notley Discovery Centre.

About 50 people attended the event to either look into the sky through a telescope or simply to observe the stargazers in action.

IT manager Gary Pringle, 40, of Juniper Crescent, Witham, said: “It was a great night, but it was looking very worrying when we got there at 6pm and it was cloudy.

“Thankfully by about 7.30pm the sky was clear and we were able to see lots of stuff.

“I got a telescope for Christmas and it was the first time I had gone down there with it to get advice from the society.

“My wife and kids came along later too and it was a really busy night.”

NEAS is holding its next stargazing event on Saturday at Abberton Reservoir Nature Reserve, in Layer-de-la-Haye, near Colchester, from 5pm to 9pm.

The event costs £5 for adults and £3 for children. Call 01206 738172 to book.

For more information about NEAS, visit