Mid-Cheshire Astronomical Group 

Welcome to our website

view:  full / summary


Posted by Mid-Cheshire Astronomical Group on June 17, 2015 at 5:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Hi all

We're now mid-way through a very busy June month. So far we've had the Cosmic-Con event (several club members were helping run the event), and an extremely successful days outreach at the Northwich Artisan Market. Many many thanks to the club members who gave up their time to talk to the public about the club, and also to help promote the North West Astronomy Festival. If you are reading this and are one of the people who came along to the market and gave us your email address then you should have received some information by now. There were a couple of addresses that bounced back, so if you haven't received anything then do let us know!

Speaking of outreach, we will be having a table at the festival and welcome any club members who want to come and help man the table for a couple of hours. You should have recevied an email about this, but do let us know if you want to help and require more information. It's going to be a great event with some excellent speakers. The Astronomers Q&A will also feature a special guest... (I know who it is, but I'm sworn to secrecy. I can say that it's a really good one though). There is also an evening social and we're looking forward to catching up with some friends from other clubs and societies from around the country.

In terms of astronomy, the nights are very light making viewing more difficult. However, the extremely dedicated types (Craig Howman I'm looking at you), are getting treated to some very still skies and this is making Saturn much easier to see and image. The better weather has also allowed some solar astronomy to take place, and Jackie Goodwin has made a superb watercolour painting of the sun, complete with prominences. Sunday 21st June is the summer solstice and there are International SUNday events going on all around the country. We don't have anything specific organised ourselves this year, but do look out for events being run by other astronomy clubs and support them if you can.

We are still trying to arrange activities for July & August, but at this stage we are likely going to be having a meeting as normal in the classroom. If any club members would like to give a talk about a subject of their choice then they would be more than welcome. It only has to be 10-20 mins long (but longer if you want).

In this months meeting we will be welcoming Ken Campbell. Ken is a veteran with 50 years astronomical experience, and he will be discussing his trips into the desert. bring your bucket and spade just in case!

Meeting tonight, 29/05/2015

Posted by Mid-Cheshire Astronomical Group on May 29, 2015 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Hi all

Tonight's meeting will feature a talk from Malc Beesley on a topic which is the bane of many astronomers - light pollution! After the talk there will also be the opportunity to get involved in a project that's being developed around this.

Just a reminder to everyone: please can you use the Old Pale car park rather than parking on the road outside the meeting room.

See you all later!

Halfway May

Posted by Mid-Cheshire Astronomical Group on May 14, 2015 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Quick update for halfway through May.

The beautiful skies at Astrocamp in the Brecon Beacons on this occasion were as elusive as the phone and wifi signal. Needless to say there was rather more astrosocialising than astronomy... That said, the Sun did come out on a few occasions and there was a fantastic group of sunspots to enjoy, and everyone was treated to a very nice sun halo. He who does not sleep (Andrew) did manage in the early hours to get a nice image of M13 in Hercules, and there were fleeting glimpses of Jupiter and Venus.

A couple of members, plus friends from the RAW astronomers & other societies are doing final revision for this years GCSE Astronomy exam. On behalf of the club, we wish them all the best of luck.

There is a committee meeting on Monday, so if you have anything you would like to have raised or discussed then let us know. We'll be sending out emails regarding outreach and activities for July & August fairly promptly afterwards.

If you've been out and done any observing or taken any images then please do mail them in ready for the meeting on May 29th. Hopefully some of you will have started sketching for the competition to win a signed copy of Mark Thompson's book! This month Malc Beesley will be giving a talk about something we can all relate to - light pollution!

See you on the 29th


Posted by Mid-Cheshire Astronomical Group on May 4, 2015 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (0)

The month of May so far has seen an influx of rain and cloud, although over the last couple of days it has been better during the day. Anyone making observations of the Sun should have had more luck than the night owls amongst us!

Several members are off to the Brecon Beacons this weekend for 'Astrocamp'  - an event put together by members of the Baker Street Irregular Astronomers in London. It's a great event and is well attended by amateur astronomers (and a few professional ones) from around the country, representing a variety of clubs. We'll be touching base with a few old friends and hopefully making some new ones. The forecast is unsettled, but optimism for some clear sky remains!

Mercury and Venus are objects that hopefully everyone will get chance to see at the moment. Mercury is at its greatest Eastern elongation on May 7th (so you will be able to see it setting in the West around sunset). It's tricky to see, only becoming visible around 21:00, but well worth looking out for.

Recordings of meteors are progressing, with two seperate data sets being compared in order to ensure validity of recorded impacts. This will really come into its own during one of the main meteor showers later in the year; Keep an eye out for more details nearer August when the Perseids comes around again as we are likely to go out observing.

There is also some work going on behind the scenes to get a light pollution project going, the idea being to send intrepid astronomers out to various sites and make recordings of how dark the skies are. Again, more details to follow as plans develop!

For anyone who wasn't able to make the April meeting, a sketching competition has been launched. Pick an object of your choice (Sun, Moon, Galaxy, Neblua, cluster or any other celestial object you like) and draw it. The winner will recevie a signed copy of Mark Thompson's book "A Down To Earth Guide to the Cosmos". If it's possible, we'll try to get an artist to come to the club to give us some tips.

Get out, get observing, have fun! (And feel free to do some drawing).


Posted by Mid-Cheshire Astronomical Group on April 22, 2015 at 4:15 AM Comments comments (0)

We had a really successful nights viewing in Delamere last night, and a good crowd turned up. Looking forward to seeing the photos from Dave, Andrew, Craig, Paul, Tim & John. Jackie & Mike were flying the binocular viewing flag and were treated to the Moon, Aldebaran, venus, the double cluster in Casseiopea and Jupiter (amongst many other things!). One of the stars of the show was the radio setup that Malc had brought along. It was fascinating to see the meteor impacts registering. As the night drew on we did manage to get some visual observations of quite bright meteors, as well as a few really good captures in cameras. We hope to show some of these results on Friday.

Speaking of Friday, we are in April so annual memberships are now due. It's £15 for the full year. We'll be asking all members to complete a new application form so we have your contact details up to date, and in particular your email address.

See you all on friday!

Lyrid Meteor Shower tonight

Posted by Mid-Cheshire Astronomical Group on April 21, 2015 at 6:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Some of us will be heading in to Delamere Forest tonight (Tuesday April 21st) to see if we can spot any Lyrids. We'll be heading in for about 9pm, meeting at the Old Pale car park (see the 'Where to find us' section of the website for details).

We will have some radio equipment to try out. This should allow us to pick up any faint meteors, but will also validate any that are visually observed or picked up on a camera.

Hopefully we'll see you there!

April so far

Posted by Mid-Cheshire Astronomical Group on April 9, 2015 at 5:50 AM Comments comments (0)

After the excitement of the aurora and eclipse in March, April sees us moving into the time of year when the nights get longer and temperatures get warmer.

That doesn't stop astronomers though! It still gets dark early enough to allow good observations to be done. Both Venus and Jupiter are still prominent in the evening and make excellent targets for telescopes and binoculars.

In April the annual Lyrids meteor shower takes place, ocurring between the 16th and 25th and reaching it's peak on the 22nd and 23rd. There is a waxing crescent moon this year so viewing should be excellent assuming the skies stay clear. Meteor showers are best viewed early in the morning, so if you can stay out after midnight then you should be in for a treat. Some of the club members are getting to grips with radio equipment, meaning that even if the weather conditions aren't great then measurements can still be made of the frequency of the meteor impacts on the upper atmosphere. If conditions are good then we will aim to go into Delamere forest and make some recordings. There is a recording sheet for manual observation in the documents section of the website, and those people with cameras should bring them along as longer exposure pictures often capture meteor trails very well.

There is also much going on behind the scenes. The committee are meeting on a monthly basis, and plans are forming for an outreach day at the Northwich Artisan Market on June 13th We will also be looking to have a table at the North West Astronomy Festival on 27th and 28th June. We'd really like to have some of the club members at both these events, so if you can give us a couple of hours of your time to help promote the club then it would be fantastic. let us know either by using the form on the website or emailing us (midcheshireastro@outlook.com)

Speakers for club meetings are being contacted, and we have somebody excellent booked for November - more details to be released nearer the time.

As per the discussion in the March meeting, we also have plans to meet in July and August for the first time this year. An email will be sent out very soon asking members what activities they would prefer to do, so please look out for that and let us know what you'd like to do.

The next official club meeting is on 24th April in Delamere Forest, so until then, happy stargazing!


New Location

Posted by Mid-Cheshire Astronomical Group on March 4, 2015 at 6:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Hi all members and interested parties reading this!

The club meeting on Friday March 27th will be the first in our new location - the Forest Explorers classroom in Delamere forest. You'll need to park in the Old Pale car park and then walk up to the classroom. Details of how to get to both of these can be found in the 'where to find us' section of the website, along with a more detailed map.

Along with the usual news and discusion, Tony Barrett will be giving a demonstration of the 'Stellarium' software package. This excellent (and completely free!) computer program allows you to get detailed information on an enormous range of astronomical objects, plan your viewing sessions, and can even be attached to computerised telescopes and used to control them. If you have Stellarium installed on your laptop then please do bring it along. There will be a couple of exercises for everyone to have a go at so they can have a go themselves. If you would like to get a copy of Stellarium then it is available to download from here http://www.stellarium.org/en_GB/

If it's clear outside then we will head out after the meeting and do some observing in the Old Pale car park.

Clear Skies!

Annual General Meeting 30th January 2015

Posted by Mid-Cheshire Astronomical Group on February 3, 2015 at 4:40 AM Comments comments (0)

The AGM on January 30th 2015 was memorable for being both sad and exciting.

We are sorry to see Andrew, Jacqui and Emma stepping down from their respective committe roles as Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary. We thank them all very much for their hard work and enthusiasm in running the club.

Special thanks must go to Andrew for his work establishing the club, and for being a source of expert knowledge and inspiration. The new committee look forward to continuing to build on the legacy you have left. We wish you the very best of luck for your venture in France.


The new committe members voted in are as follows:


Chairman - John Liggins

Secretary - Craig Howman

Treasurer - Paul Kummer

Outreach officer - Dave Beesley

Social Media & website: Steve Astles & John Liggins

Librarian: Jacqui Lightfoot


Minutes of the AGM will be sent out to members & published on the website in due course.

North West Astronomy Festival 2014

Posted by Mid-Cheshire Astronomical Group on September 5, 2014 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (0)

This year the Mid-cheshire Astronomy Group will be attending and holding an information stand at the North West Astronomy Festival 2014 in Runcorn. It is hoped that as many members as possible will help contribute and support the group on their stand. 

For details: www.theknowledgeobservatory.co.uk