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Corona Virus COVID-19 Update

We continue to meet every week on zoom, normally for a 1hr professional lecture followed by society chat/presentations. We are also active informally on emailWhatsApp – Twitter – and of course here on the website – New members welcome!

If you are new, or want to be added to any of our contact channels please contact our secretary (Mike) at secretary @ crayfordmanorastro.com 

Competition: Image the Trapezium

In this competition we are looking for images of the Trapezium at the heart of M42, the great Orion nebula. We normally think of the Trapezium as 4 stars but in large telescopes you can make out other stars, so all you need to do is submit an image of the Trapezium with more than 4 stars.

Sounds simple, but the main 4 stars of the trapezium are bright making it difficult to resolve the other stars.

This is possible in an 8″ telescope – possibly smaller.


  • use lucky imaging with short exposures.

Images by Simon Dawes


Image by Simon Dawes EQ6 Pro, MN190mm, ZWO ASI1600, 500x 0.5s exposures. THIS IMAGE IS DISQUALIFIED FROM THE COMPETITION – SIMON IS THE JUDGE!

Images by Richard Bohner


Here is a photo of Trapezium cluster I took a few weeks ago with my iPhone through my 102mm Maksutov scope. I think the magnification is about 100X. Don’t know ISO because it was taken with phone camera. You can see five stars. I plan to take out my bigger scope and try again. “Cheers”

Sir Patrick Moore Prize

Congratulations to our very own Rita Whiting for being awarded the Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Astronomy outreach, Rita does so much for our society and outreach with local groups  over such a long period of time this is a well deserved award. Well done Rita!


Dartford Grammar School Astronomy Club – Virtual Observing Session

Our society currently supports the Dartford Grammar School Astronomy Club, and on the 25th January 2021 we held a virtual observing evening using Simon’s observatory.

The students really enjoyed the evening

‘The boys from last night have been on the google classroom leaving you rave reviews’  

‘Last night blew their minds! They loved it.’


Image by Simon Dawes & Dartford Grammar School Astronomical Society


Image by Simon Dawes & Dartford Grammar School Astronomical Society


Image by Simon Dawes & Dartford Grammar School Astronomical Society

Lunar Halo/Corona Competition

Lunar Halo Competition As the name suggests, take an image of a Lunar Halo. Rules: Whilst the points awarding is somewhat ambiguous I’ll be looking for the following… Technically a good image (in focus) Well composed  Other points of interest (foreground or...

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The BAA Winchester Weekend comes to Crayford (hopefully)

Correction: It’s not a weekend (just Saturday Afternoon) and it’s not at Crayford (it’s at the Pavilion Sutton-at-Hone). The BAA are running a virtual ‘Winchester Weekend’ – and COVID Restrictions permitting (i.e. restrictions and social distancing in...

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Best Meteors of 2020

Almost 2000 meteors were detected in 2020, we would have had quite a few more but for the cloudy skies in August that limited the view of the Perseid’s in...

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The Great Conjunction of 2020

Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions happen every 20 years (the last one in 2000.) however this particular conjunction will be especially close – the closest since 1623 and the closest observable since 1226! Don’t worry, if you miss it there is another close...

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