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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Monday, January 24

Image processing comparison

After reading Nik Syzmanek's imaging article in the recent Astronomy Now magazine I decided to go back to my recent picture of M42 to try out the Photoshop-Highpass filter technique he described.

Results are below and I think the increased contrast and structure within the nebula is very apparent.

Above: Original image

Below: Image with highpass filter blending


Tuesday, January 18

Stargazing LIVE in Cockermouth - Report

As expected, the weather prevented us doing any actual observing at our event on Saturday night. The clouds and rain were well set in all day so there never was any real prospect of setting telescopes up in Memorial Gardens.

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

Stargazing tonight

Today is our Stargazing LIVE day and the heavy rain has already set in!

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

Stargazing Live in Cockermouth - Update

I've just finished watching the weather forecast this evening and couldn't help but notice that the presenter stressed at least THREE times that Cumbria could expect 36 hours of rain this evening and tomorrow. Typical!.

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

Getting ready for our own Stargazing Event

I hope everyone enjoyed the BBC2 Stargazing LIVE series last week. Although the weather didn't cooperate well especially in Cumbria.

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.