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Sunday, January 5

Stargazing in Cockermouth 2014 - What will we see?

On January 10th and 11th Cockermouth Astronomical Society will once again be holding their annual 'Stargazing in Cockermouth' event to link with the BBC Stargazing LIVE series which airs for the fourth year running on 7th, 8th and 9th January on BBC Two.

This year we invite you to join us for a simple observing event in Memorial Gardens Cockermouth, which will provide a fantastic opportunity for everyone, young and old, to explore the night sky.

With plenty of telescopes, binoculars and amateur experts on hand to guide you, you'll see some amazing sights. Explore the craters and seas of the moon in amazing detail through telescopes that will make it seem you are hovering just above the surface.

See Jupiter, that 'bright star' in the evening sky, come to life as a real planet with cloud bands visible in its atmosphere. See its tiny moons, first observed by Galileo over 400 years ago, for yourself through a telescope or binoculars. Perhaps even catch a glimpse of the Great Red Spot, a huge storm, three times the size of the Earth, that has been raging in Jupiter's atmosphere for hundreds of years.

Jupiter imaged recently by CAS member Dennis Kelly
Observe the Orion Nebula, a vast cloud of gas and dust illuminated by the light of stars being 'born' within it.

Test your vision on the Pleiades, a cluster of stars known as 'The Seven Sisters' and used as a test of eyesight by many ancient cultures. How many of its stars can you see with the naked eye?

Learn where to find the Andromeda Galaxy, a twin to our own Milky Way. Light from this collection of over 200 billion suns started its journey two and a half million years ago. You can observe it with a simple pair of binoculars.

See many other 'deep sky' objects, like the Crab Nebula, the remains of a star that exploded as a bright star observed by Chinese astronomers in 1054 AD. The star has gone, but the remains are visible through telescopes today.

Learn how to photograph the night sky with fairly basic equipment that you may already have access to. We will have plenty of experienced society members on hand to show you how you can take some stunning photographs yourself.

If the Stargazing LIVE programmes have inspired you to explore the night sky further, wrap up warm and come along to Memorial Gardens in Cockermouth from 7pm on Friday 10th January and from 6pm on Saturday 11th January. We hope to see you there!

2 comments:

  1. well actually... to be precise the core of the star which exploded to form the Crab Nebula is still there. A Neutron Star no bigger than a city but with roughly the mass of the Sun, spinning 30 times a second, shining like a cosmic lighthouse. Although too faint to be seen by eye except in the biggest telescopes it is easy to pick up in photographs and with a bit of simple technology it is even possible to see it flashing as the beam of light sweeps in our direction.
    http://www.threehillsobservatory.co.uk/astro/astro_files/image002.gif

    Robin
    www.threehillsobservatory.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  2. well actually... to be precise the core of the star which exploded to form the Crab Nebula is still there. A Neutron Star no bigger than a city but with roughly the mass of the Sun, spinning 30 times a second, shining like a cosmic lighthouse. Although too faint to be seen by eye except in the biggest telescopes it is easy to pick up in photographs and with a bit of simple technology it is even possible to see it flashing as the beam of light sweeps in our direction.
    http://www.threehillsobservatory.co.uk/astro/astro_files/image002.gif

    Robin
    www.threehillsobservatory.co.uk

    ReplyDelete