Mid-Cheshire Astronomical Group 

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News from Gaia - 2 million stars, 5 million years

Posted by Owen Gwynne on April 20, 2017 at 6:45 AM Comments comments (0)

The Gaia mission from ESA continues to provide a wealth of data on stellar positions and motions.

If you're not familiar, it's a satellite that continuously scans the sky as it rotates, plotting the position of stars with unprecedented accuracy. As the satellite moves with the Earth around the sun, this gives it the scope to measure the parallax of a billion stars in our galaxy, and measure the proper motion of a lot of them too. The satellite is fitted with a spectroscope so that it can measure the radial velocity of stars as well, allowing ESA to develop a catalogue of stars with velocity measurements in 3 dimensions. 

ESA has recently issued a subset of measurements, showing the movement of 2 million stars projected forward for the next 5 million years. 


Details from the ESA Gaia mission web page


What's up this month

Posted by Owen Gwynne on April 3, 2017 at 6:05 AM Comments comments (0)
The Jodrell Bank website has a regularly updated page showing what's up each month. Find it here... http://www.jb.man.ac.uk/astronomy/nightsky/

How to Photograph Meteor Showers

Posted by Mid-Cheshire Astronomical Group on August 31, 2016 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (0)

In our July meeting, Tracey gave us a heads-up for August's Perseid Meteor Shower. She also gave us a great advice sheet to take away.

A copy has been linked to from the Resources Page

July Meeting report

Posted by Mid-Cheshire Astronomical Group on August 3, 2016 at 6:05 AM Comments comments (0)

A quick summary of the July Meeting.


We had a round-up of images from club members from July -


  • a 'beginner' image of Saturn comparing software processing
  • hand drawn images of the Moon
  • solar prominences and filaments
  • some 'summer special' images of Noctiucent Clouds
  • deep space images to make you wish you just had more time


We didn't have an external speaker this month, so we had short talks from Group members about


  • the Juno Mission to Jupiter
  • a revision of the number of Black Holes in the Galaxy
  • BlueDot festival at Jodrell Bank (which took place the previous weekend)
  • North West Astronomy Festival, which had been a great success
  • plus the usual "What's up in August"


After the formal meeting closed, we had the rare opportunity to do some summer observing in the Old Pale carkpark.


Several 'scopes were in action, but the highlight was Craig's 12" Newtonian, which gave us superb views of a range of objects - the great Globular Cluster M13, The Dumbbell Nebula M27, the Cigar Galaxy M82, and the Blue Snowball Nebula NGC7662.


In other scopes we also saw the Ring Nebula M57, and the lovely double star Albireo.


However, what many of us will remember is the very rare sight of the Milky Way clearly visible in Cheshire.

North West Astronomy Festival

Posted by Mid-Cheshire Astronomical Group on May 21, 2016 at 6:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Once again we're having a stand at the North West Astronomy Festival at the Heath Business Park, Runcorn


Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd July 2016

The North West Astronomy Festival is an annual spectacle of stars, planets and space!


Held annually, the festival brings together a wealth of knowledge, experience and passion then shares it with a keen public audience. The festival prides itself on the variety of exhibitors from clubs and societies, educational groups and traders - it is so much more than a trade show.

For more details and to book your VIP tickets, visit: http://www.nwastrofest.co.uk/


Posted by Mid-Cheshire Astronomical Group on May 6, 2016 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (1)

We're going to be at Delamere Forest for the transit, arriving around 11:30am on Monday May 9th. The transit begins at 12:12 and ends at 19:41. We may not be there for the whole event so get in touch with me or Malc if you want to come much later on.

If anyone from the club wants to join in, please arrive whenever you can at the Old Pale car park.

March Meeting - put back a week

Posted by Mid-Cheshire Astronomical Group on March 9, 2016 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (0)

With our normal 'last Friday of the Month' schedule clashing with the Easter weekend, we have put our March meeting back to 1st April.

BBC Stargazing Live

Posted by Mid-Cheshire Astronomical Group on January 4, 2016 at 1:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Hi everyone, and a Happy New Year. I hope everyone has managed to get some astronomy done, even with the awful weather we've been having.

New years Eve was a nice clear night, and (glass of champagne in hand) I spent some time wowing my neigbours with the winter hexagon, the Orion nebula (clearly visible as a hazy looking cloud) and pointing out Jupiter.

BBC Stargazing Live is almost upon us again, and the club has been invited to attend the event being run by High Legh observatory. This will be on the 12th and 13th january, but only if the weather allows. Members will be emailed in regards to this with more info when it is available, and it will also be posted on the Facebook and twitter pages. I'll add the dates into the calendar.

I'd also like to remind you all that the AGM is on the 29th January. Please see the previous blog post for further details. I encourage you to all to nominate yourseves for a role if you have the time and would like to have a bigger say in club business. It is a rewarding experience, and an active commitee helps keeps the club running smoothly.

Clear Skies!


AGM in January

Posted by Mid-Cheshire Astronomical Group on December 16, 2015 at 4:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Hope Everyone had a good time at the christmas party! We're winding down until the new year now (although there is still plenty of astronomy to be done in the meantime!). As per the meeting, can you please have a think about committee roles. If you would like to take up a role then send your details through to the club email address - midcheshireastro@outlook.com


The nominations will need to be sent through by 15th January at the latest.


The roles are:





Media manager (website / Facebook / Twitter)

Librarian / PR manager

Meeters & greeters (x2) - (unofficial, non-committee roles)

Please do consider putting yourself forward for a role.

Just a small note

Posted by Mid-Cheshire Astronomical Group on July 1, 2015 at 7:30 PM Comments comments (0)


I'll post a longer entry a bit later this month, but for now could I ask that if David Cooney sees this that he gets in touch?

David - your initial enquiry didn't include your full email address so we weren't able to reply! Send another message with the full details and we'll get back in touch with you.