Stargazers pack out Sidmouth’s observatory

Some 141 attend BBC Stargazing Live night at Norman Lockyer Observatory

A CLOUDY night at the Norman Lockyer Observatory, Sidmouth, did nothing to deter visitors to its recent BBC Stargazing Live event.

David Strange, the observatory’s chairman, writes: “One hundred and forty one attended the evening when we had hoped to show beginner stargazers views through our fine 140-year-old Victorian 8ins and 10ins refracting telescopes.

Occasional glimpses of Jupiter and Uranus were had, but more success was achieved by the NLO Radio group detecting the incoming Quadrantids meteors by their radio meteor detecting system.

There were plenty of telescopes set up in the entrance hall with members explaining the basics.

Two planetarium shows were held on finding your way around the night sky, and an introductory talk on the Quadrantids, the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction and the forthcoming partial solar eclipse was given.

Visitors much appreciated the bound copies of the BBC Stargazing Live Star Guides, which were freely distributed to all, and a quite a few booked for our one day Introduction to Astronomy Course to be held on Saturday, January 15.