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, July 29

July CAS meeting

The next CAS meeting is tomorrow night, Tuesday 30th July 2013 at 7.30pm in the usual venue (St Joseph's Church Hall in Cockermouth).

The meeting will cover an update on space and astronomy news in July and a talk by a local society member on the subject of Impacts on Earth!

See you there,

Wednesday, July 10

Wave at Saturn next weekend

If you are a regular BBC Radio Cumbria listener you may have heard Stuart Atkinson from Kendal's Eddington Astronomical Society being interviewed on the breakfast show this morning. Stuart was talking about an upcoming NASA sponsored event encouraging everyone to get outside and 'wave at Saturn' to coincide with a planned photo of the Earth being taken from Saturn by the Cassini probe.

If you'd like to get involved with this you have two options. Firstly you could just go outside at 10.30pm on Friday 19th July, or if you want to make more of an evening of it, get along to the EAS event at Kendal Castle and join in with the moon and saturn observation as well as a collective 'wave' at the appropriate time. Stuart has more details over on his Cumbrian Sky blog.

A simulated view of the picture Cassini will take
All this is, of course, just a bit of fun. The Cassini image will show the Earth as a small 'pale blue dot' just a few pixels across. So although we will all be in the picture, not details will be visible. But just knowing you are in a image taken by a probe sent by humans to a planet almost a billion miles away has got to be something to fire the imagination. It's an ideal opportunity for families to get involved in space exploration.


Wednesday, July 3

Tribute to Fearon Fallows unveiled in Cockermouth

Today saw the unveiling of a tribute to famous Cockermouth born astronomer Fearon Fallows, in the town centre.

A large piece of artwork dedicated to Fearon Fallows was created by artist Victor de Quincey and erected in the Lowther Went shopping street just off Cockermouth's Main Street, thanks to the Cockermouth Civic Trust. Described as one of Cockermouth's 'forgotten sons' Fallows was born in 1788 and studied mathematics at Cambridge before being appointed a royal astronomer and being despatched to South Africa to establish a southern observatory and map the southern skies.

Formal unveiling. 3rd July 2013
The Civic Trust kindly invited a representative of CAS along to the ceremony and I duly turned up at 11 o'clock yesterday to take part, only to find no-one around. Yes, I'd messed up my dates and in my enthusiasm gone a day early! Unfortunately I couldn't have attended today anyway.

Stuart Atkinson from Eddington Astronomical Society (and founder of CAS) faired much better than I did and managed to attend the ceremony and speak about Fearon Fallows and his difficult life. He even made the local TV news as you can see here.

So we now have a monument to a local astronomer in pride of place in the town centre, and while I ws there it was certainly attracting a lot of attention from passersby.

The full piece

A small amount of biographical detail on the artwork