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Welcome to the Cockermouth Astronomical Society website. Hopefully you'll find all the information you need about our society and astronomy in West Cumbria here. If not contact us.

Monday, August 25

Dark skies return and the first meeting of the new season

The skies are getting dark at a more sociable hour now signalling the start of a new observing season. Last night I spent an hour or so under partly clear skies checking out the new society telescope readying it to be put into service. I am glad to say it acquitted itself well, efficiently locating a good section of Messier objects prominent at this time of year. The globular clusters M2,M15,M13 and the double cluster in Perseus looked particularly nice, as did the planetary nebulae M27 (dumbell)and M57 (ring) The Galaxies were less spectacular as the moon was rising by this time but M82 (cigar) showed up nicely.

Tomorrow, Tuesday 26th is the first meeting after the summer break so if you want to make use of the new telescope, come along and take your "driving test" which will enable you to borrow it between meetings, provided you are a fully paid up member.

Hope to see you there
Robin

Thursday, August 14

Lunar Eclipse Watch Saturday 16th August


The weather forecast does not look too promising for Saturday evening but they don't always get it right so given a chance of some clear skies, I will be down on the Memorial Gardens Cockermouth from about 9 pm BST setting up the Society Telescope.

It is a deep partial eclipse so most of the moon will be in full shadow of the earth with the remaining sliver in partial shadow.

Every lunar eclipse looks subtly different depending on the amount of dust in the earth's atmosphere so events like erupting volcanoes and burning rainforests can affect the appearance

This image was taken during the partial phase of an eclipse back in 2004 viewed by society members from the Caldbeck fells. More pictures of that event here.

Here's hoping for some
Clear Skies
Robin

Monday, August 11

New Telescope for CAS !

I am very pleased to report that the Society now posseses its own high performance telescope!

It is thanks to the generosity of our members and the general public who supported past society events and was partly funded with help of a grant from the Cockermouth and District Neighbourhood Forum.

For the technically minded it is an 8 inch F5 Newtonian on a fully computerised Goto Equatorial Mount. What this means in practise is we have a telescope capable of finding, tracking and revealing thousands of objects, from the moon and planets to distant galaxies, which will always be available for society and public observing sessions. Additionally it can be borrowed between sessions to suitably trained full members of the Society for their own observing programmes.

It is hoped that, weather permitting, first light for the telescope will be the Partial Lunar Eclipse on Saturday evening 16th August, so if you want be among the first to try it out, keep that evening free and watch out for more details later this week.



Clear Skies

Robin

Friday, August 1

Weather cooperates for Partial Solar Eclipse


Well the clouds parted long enough for a few dozen passers by to get a good view of the partial solar eclipse from Cockermouth memorial gardens today where I had my trusty solar filtered 80mm wide angle refractor set up. Sorry no pictures of the event from there (I forgot to take the camera) but here is one of the diamond ring taken on the line of totality by the Norwegian airforce from Kvitøya high in the arctic circle.
Of course if anyone did take some shots, don't forget to bring them along to the next meeting (26th August)


Clear skies
Robin