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.

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Friday, December 24

Season's Greetings

I'd like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2011. My apologies to those attending the Christmas Social last week, unfortunately I was unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances at home.

Hopefully people are taking advantage of the long run of clear (if VERY cold) nights we have been having.

As an early heads up, we will be needing the help of as many members as possible on 15th January for our Skywatch event linked to BBC Stargazing LIVE. We will have observing sessions open to the public in Memorial Gardens and indoor displays and activities in St Joseph's Church Hall. Se we need members to help out by bringing along telescopes, binoculars and other equipment if possible. If not please just come along and help man displays, or show people the night sky.

If you can help please reserve the date in your diary and let me now via email so we can refine our planning.

Stuart has a special blog with details of all the Cumbria events here.

All the best.

Monday, December 13

Pacman Nebula (NGC 281)

Finally managed to get some h-alpha footage to add to the colour data from October... of the Pacman Nebula or NGC 281 in Cassiopeia.

Unfortunately only got about 1/2 hour of h-alpha. So the colour still is a bit "pink" rather than red.

NGC281 - Pacman Nebula
1000mm f/5.3 Skywatcher MN-190
Canon 300D Modified
EQ6 pro autoguided with PHD
25 x 5min colour exposures + 25min h-alpha (5 subs)

Sunday, December 5

Christmas Social

As is traditional this time of year we will be meeting in a local hostelry for few drinks prior to Christmas rather than having a formal December meeting. (Our next formal meeting will be on 25th January 2011).

This year we will meet on Thursday 16th December at 8pm in the Swan Inn, Kirkgate, Cockermouth.

I look forward to seeing you there.

January Public Observing Event

As mentioned briefly at our last meeting we will be running a public astronomy event in Cockermouth in the new year to link with the BBC Stargazing Live series. We have fixed on a date; Saturday 15th January 2011. The event will, weather permitting, include observing the night sky as well as an indoor exhibition of astronomy equipment and information.

If you are a society member then please reserve the evening in your diary as we will need as many members as possible to ensure the event's success. More details will be made available on this site in the next few days.

November Meeting

Thanks to everyone who came along to our November meeting despite the snow and ice. Special thanks go to our guest speaker, Robin Bellerby, from Dumfries who made it down to Cockermouth to tells us about the Wigtownshire Astronomical Society's activities and in particular their project to establish the UK's first Dark Sky Park in Dumfries & Galloway.

It was certainly no easy task and Robin provided a fascinating insight into the project from concept to conclusion, including his interview with Sir Partick Moore following the opening of the park.

Thanks again to Robin and to Jeremy for organising the talk.