Friday, December 23
Wednesday, December 21
The 'scope is a Meade LX90 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope and comes with a computerised 'GOTO' mount and accessories including eight eyepieces.
The owner describes the telescope as 'hardly used' and as this is a high end telescope is looking for £1250 for it. If anyone is interested please contact me and I will pass on the sellers details to you.
Thursday, December 15
Tuesday, December 13
Thursday, December 1
The moon was the main topic for our November meeting. Denis Kelly provided us with some new insights on the moon and it origins based on a recent distant learning course he has completed on the subject. The talk not only provided details on the moon which were new to most people in the audience but demonstrated just how much knowledge is out there on the Internet for interested amateurs to learn more about the hobby.
Following a brief news update from Chris we discussed and agreed our plans to support the BBC Stargazing LIVE programmes to be shown in January. We agreed that we will hold a afternoon and evening event on Saturday 28th January in the United Reformed Church on Cockermouth Main Street. We will also have hands on observing in Memorial Gardens, weather permitting. The event this January was a success, although the weather was not kind to us, let's hope it is better this time.
Society members' help will be essential for success. We need volunteers to help with displays, bring along telescopes and other equipment and generally be around to point people in the right direction and answer questions if possible. You don't need lots of knowledge and experience to help out.
To help with planning it would be useful if you could book the date in your diary and let me know via email if you are available to help.
Monday, November 28
Wednesday, November 16
Tuesday, November 8
Friday, November 4
On the weekend of 25th to 27th November the Low Gillerthwaite Field Centre in Ennerdale are holding an astronomy event to encourage people to take advantage of their newly awarded Dark Sky Discovery Site status. We have been asked to get involved by providing some talks and exhibitions on afternoon of 26th November and helping with observing on that evening.
So we need as many members as possible to come along and join in with this event. You don't need to be an expert, or do anything in particular other than join in. It would be great to get a few telescopes along for the evening, so if you have one that's portable please bring it along.
You can find details of Low Gillerthwaite Field Centre at www.lgfc.org.uk.
To help me give the field centre an idea of numbers it would be helpful if you could let me know if you can make it. If your not sure now it is fine to just turn up on the day. The event is open to anyone, and there is now charge for attending, so feel free to encourage friends and family to come along. More details will be available here, on the field centre website and hopefully in local press nearer the event.
Thursday, October 27
We had a great turn out for our October meeting, and it was particularly good to see a few new faces at the meeting. That was particularly good as our topic 'finding things in the night sky' was aimed at helping out beginners getting to grips with a telescope.
We had loads of good questions and plenty of tips from some of our more experienced members. One topic which is always an issue is setting up and aligning an equatorial mount. We had one available at the meeting and were able to provide some demonstration, but I said I would try and find a suitable video which might help for future reference. I found a useful video on YouTube here.
We discussed the planned observing night at our meeting on Tuesday and although we didn't reach a firm conclusion at the meeting it was clear that many people were unavailable due to the half term holidays. We are therefore postponing the planned observing until November. Keep an eye in the website for details of where and when to meet.
In the meantime make the best use of any clear skies we get!
Saturday, October 22
Thursday, October 20
Our next meeting is on 25th October. The topic this month is "Finding things in the night sky".
This is always a topic of many questions and frustrations, particularly when trying to get to grips with a new telescope. I will be talking about some equipment and techniques which will hopefully help. It would be good to have a few telescopes around to help demonstrate and this would be an opportunity to bring yours along if your are struggling with set up etc. So if anyone can bring a telescope along please do.
Tuesday, September 27
Tonight at our meeting I showed a video from the ISS showing the view from orbit in time-lapse form. A few people were looking for the link. As luck would have it the video actually features as today's Astronomy Picture of the Day. Look up the 27th September APOD here.
Saturday, September 24
Monday, August 29
Monday, July 11
Today marks a special date in Neptune's history it being exactly one year since it was discovered!
Of course that's Neptune years not Earth years. Neptune takes 164.79 years to orbit the Sun and was discovered on 23 September 1846.
It's quite mind boggling to think that all the time we've known about, observed and even sent probes past, Neptune it has only just completed one orbit of the Sun. More information is available here and here.
Wednesday, June 29
Tuesday, June 28
It's organised by the Samuel Lindow Foundation and is being held at Westlakes Science and Technology Park near Whitehaven.
Full details are here
Sunday, June 26
After this meeting we will have a break during July and August and meet again on the last Tuesday in September.
Tuesday, June 14
So there is only about 15 mins of full eclipse remaining. The moons will then move into the penumbra for another hour or so. This part will be less noticeable as the moon will not be in as dark a shadow.
The best observing plan is just to find somewhere with a low eastern horizon and watch as the moon rises.
Saturday, June 11
Before the meeting Robin took the opportunity provided by some clear skies and sunshine to show us the sun through a couple of solar telescopes. Thanks Robin.
After the formal AGM business was complete I gave a talk on "Particle physics for astronomy" looking at the links between the very large ( cosmology) and the very small (particle physics).
Next month is our last meeting before the summer break.
Sunday, May 8
Wednesday, April 20
Tuesday, March 15
Saturday, March 12
Wednesday, February 23
Many thanks to Dennis who gave a short introduction to web-cam imaging showing us some moon images he had recently captured as well as demonstrating the Registax software use to process webcam movie files into still images. The cameras Dennis referred to and details of how to get hold of them were discussed by Robin in this previous post.
I mentioned the Globe at Night project which everyone can get involved with (assuming we get some clear nights!). I had left the details at home but you can find out all you need to know at the project's website. It's easy to get involved so have a go.
Our question and answer session went well with quite a few questions around observing and equipment. We will definitely try to do more of that. Our discussion inspired Paul to do a bit of follow up research and he posted the following comment. . .
"Very interesting meeting tonighht.
A bit of googling turned up transient lunar phenomena, which nasa is taking a great deal of interest in
and auoral sounds
this guy even records them allbeit with a special antena
Monday, February 21
Monday, January 24
Tuesday, January 18
Efforts were focussed in St Joseph's church hall, and it was great to see so many people turn out despite the awful weather.Even before 7.30pm people were arriving and there was plenty for them to see. Displays of astrophotography greeted people as the arrived along with some impressive telescope set ups.
Computer simulations of the night sky and solar system proved very popular, especially with our younger visitors! People were particularly impressed when we pointed out that both software packages were free downloads.
Lots more people were interested in astronomical equipment and were able to get some advice on buying telescopes, and setting up the ones they already had. Jeremy's photography displays were popular with visitors who wanted to know how they could get started taking photographs of the night sky.
Many thanks to all the CAS members, and families, who turned out to help with displays, talk to visitors, make refreshments and clear away afterwards. The event was a great success (weather apart) and judging by the website statistics, a lot more people know about CAS now.
If you were one of our visitors it would be great to see you at our routine meetings (the next one is 25th January, 7.30pm in the same location). We will also be trying again to beat the clouds and actually see something through a telescope at some point in the future. So keep an eye on this blog (or subscribe to the email service via the side bar).
Saturday, January 15
It's likely most of the activities will be taking place in St Joseph's Church Hall in Cockermouth (close to The Trout Hotel). You will spot the Statgazing LIVE banner outside. Activities start at 7.30pm.
Friday, January 14
Not to be disheartened our event will still go ahead. We have the back up plan of indoor displays and simulations in St Joseph's Church Hall from 7.30pm to 10pm (that's Saturday 15th). So there will be plenty to see and members on hand to give advice. The aim will still be to help you find your way around the night sky and learn how to start photographing the night sky.
I hope to see as many of you there as possible.
Sunday, January 9
However, we have another chance with our own observing event this Saturday 15th January. We will have a public observing event in Memorial Gardens, Cockermouth. We already have a number of telescope planned but if you want to bring your own instrument (scope or binoculars) the more the merrier!
Should the weather not cooperate (or even if it does) we have a back up plan. In nearby St Joseph's Church Hall we will have displays of astronomy photographs and information as well as computer simulations of the night sky. Members will also be on hand to shown you how to find your way around and even photograph the night sky with simple equipment.
So whatever the weather throws our way we'll be set to have a great evening. Everything kicks off at 7.30pm Preparations are well underway and I'm looking forward to seeing you all there.