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.


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 background)
  • A good story – if you have a story of how you took the image it can’t hurt!

Entry criteria:

  • You can only enter if you are a paid up member (any tier of membership)
  • Entries must be to – feel free to post them on what’s app as well!



Images By Diane Clarke

Lunar Corona DC

Image By Diane Clarke. The two stars to the left of the Moon are Castor & Pollux in the constellation of Gemini Image details, Taken on 30.12.20 @ 21.48 Camera EOS 750D, Lens Sigma 18 -250 @18mm 1/2 Sec @ f3.5, Image as taken Static Tripod


Image by Diane Clarke This image shows the Moon and a 22° lunar halo, along with the stars of Gemini Aruga, Taurus & Orion Image details, Canon EOS 750D, Sigma 18 – 250mm lens @ 18mm 8 sec @ f5.6, ISO 800, 25.01.21 @ 20.48 hrs Static Tripod Image as shot

Images by Leigh Slomer

Leigh Slomer Lunar Corona

Image by Leigh Slomer Taken with a stock Canon EOS 200d and a Samyang 135mm lens. Exposure time was 1/5 of a second at ISO 400 at an f ratio of 2.8. Processed in GIMP.

Images by Jim Burchell


Image by Jim Burchel image taken on the Evening of 25/01/21. Image taken with a pentax K70. ISO 800/ F8 and 30 second exposure. Image showing some part of Orion Taurus and the Pleiades..

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 London and Kent have been lifted) – we intend to add a little of that Winchester magic (OK it’s food, drink and conversation) to the proceeding by streaming it at the Pavilion Sutton-at-Hone.

Price: (to cover costs only) £10 per person – on the door – cash only (the chip shop only takes cash)

(Fish & Chips is £7.80 at my local chippy, the rest is for cake, biscuits, milk, tea and coffee.)

Date: 10th April 2021 13:00

13:00 Registration: (Tea and cake)

14:00 BAA Winchester Agenda

15:00 Tea and biscuits & discussion about the lecture

15:15 BAA Winchester Agenda

16:30 Tea and Biscuits and discussion about the lecture, socialise.

18:00 Dinner (Fish and chips)

19:30 BAA Winchester Agenda

21:00 Tea and biscuits and discussion about the lecture

Observing (weather permitting)

At the moment I’m canvasing who might be interested, no commitment at this stage, just to see if it is worth taking further, closer to the event I’ll ask for confirmation and provide a menu.


This is a ticketed event, please contact the if you are interested in attending (no commitment at this stage)



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 August.


2020 Meteor stats collated by Simon Dawes from data reviewd and analysed by the Crayford Meteor Team.

December 2020Meteor report

December was particularly cloudy, but we still manage to detect 288 meteors, 115 from the Geminid meteor shower.


Sun spots! 2020-12-27

Images by Honor Wheeler


Image by Honor Wheeler Skywatcher ED80 refractor, Canon M6 Mark2 camera. EQ3 synscan mount. For the full disc I used a x2 Barlow and the close up x5 Barlow. Processed using PIPP, AS!3 & PShop elements6. I could have done better but didn’t have clear skies really for long enough and at the moment the sun is so darn low! Anyway happy to get these.


Image by Honor Wheeler Skywatcher ED80 refractor, Canon M6 Mark2 camera. EQ3 synscan mount. For the full disc I used a x2 Barlow and the close up x5 Barlow. Processed using PIPP, AS!3 & PShop elements6. I could have done better but didn’t have clear skies really for long enough and at the moment the sun is so darn low! Anyway happy to get these.

ISS transit of the Sun

Honor recently took this video of a transit of the Sun by the ISS, something she has been attempting for 10 years.


Image by Honor Wheeler This was taken using: Skywatcher ED80 refractor Canon 700D set in movie mode @50fps 2x Barlow EQ3 mount Date 2020.04.20 13:09UTC Transit time was 0.9 sec 16 frames extracted from the original video using PIPP and then the layers merged in Photoshop elements 6. Additional processing also done in Photoshop E6.

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 conjunction in 2080!

At its closest on 21st December Jupiter and Saturn will be 6 arc minutes apart (1/5 the diameter of the full moon) which is still easily discernable as two separate planets (some reports would have you believe the merge together into an ‘elongated star’)

The weather was poor on the 21st, but there was a gap in the clouds on the 20th, the images from the 20th the planets were at about 9 arc minutes vs 6 arc minutes at closest encounter.

Images by Steve Goldson


Image by Steve Goldson 1/8 sec f5.6. ISO 6400. taken at 18.02. 20/12/2020. (Inset image: 1/8 sec f5.6. ISO 3200 taken at 18.07. 20/12/2020. – Note Steve captured 3 of Jupiter’s moons)

Images by Martin Crow

S-J Conjunction MartinCrow

2020Dec20 17:06ut Equipment: 80mm equinox @ f15 and DMK41 mono video camera and an old laptop. Location: Top of Dartford Road, Hextable. Taken the day before closest approach due to likelihood of poor weather on 21st. Best views though were had through the eyepiece. Absolutely stunning.

Images by Simon Dawes


Image by Simon Dawes Skywatcher MN190 (modified), EQ6 Pro (modified) ZWO ASI 1600 MM Pro Bexleyheath England

EXO-Planet Paper features observations from two members

Members Simon Dawes and Martin Crow have been named as contributors on a scientific paper published this week, Martin and Simon along with other amateur and professional astronomers have been observing exo-planet transits – each observation takes between 4 and 5 hours typically so is quite a commitment. Well done Mrtin and Simon and all the other amateur astronomers who submitted observations.


The Ariel mission will observe spectroscopically around 1000 exoplanets to further characterise their atmospheres. For the mission to be as efficient as possible, a good knowledge of the planets’ ephemerides is needed before its launch in 2028. While ephemerides for some planets are being refined on a per-case basis, an organised effort to collectively verify or update them when necessary does not exist. In this study, we introduce the ExoClock project, an open, integrated and interactive platform with the purpose of producing a confirmed list of ephemerides for the planets that will be observed by Ariel. The project has been developed in a manner to make the best use of all available resources: observations reported in the literature, observations from space instruments and, mainly, observations from ground-based telescopes, including both professional and amateur observatories. To facilitate inexperienced observers and at the same time achieve homogeneity in the results, we created data collection and validation protocols, educational material and easy to use interfaces, open to everyone. ExoClock was launched in September 2019 and now counts over 140 participants from more than 15 countries around the world. In this release, we report the results of observations obtained until the 15h of April 2020 for 119 Ariel candidate targets. In total, 632 observations were used to either verify or update the ephemerides of 83 planets. Additionally, we developed the Exoplanet Characterisation Catalogue (ECC), a catalogue built in a consistent way to assist the ephemeris refinement process. So far, the collaborative open framework of the ExoClock project has proven to be highly efficient in coordinating scientific efforts involving diverse audiences. Therefore, we believe that it is a paradigm that can be applied in the future for other research purposes, too.

Full article is available here


Two New Competitions

After the success of the last competition, we have decided to run another two.

Lunar Halo Competition

As the name suggests, take an image of a Lunar Halo.


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 background)
  • A good story – if you have a story of how you took the image it can’t hurt!

Entry criteria:

  • You can only enter if you are a paid up member (any tier of membership)
  • Entries must be to – feel free to post them on what’s app as well!

Orion’s Trapezium Competition

The Trapezium actually has more than 5 stars can you image them?


Whilst the points awarding is somewhat ambiguous I’ll be looking for the following…

  • Technically a good image (in focus)
  • you need to resolve at least 5 stars in the trapezium – this wil be challenging!

Entry criteria:

  • You can only enter if you are a paid up member (any tier of membership)
  • Entries must be to – feel free to post them on what’s app as well!

Winner of the Milkyway from your backyard competition

The winner has been announced, every image was great but there has to be a winner and our congratulations goes to Richard Bohner of Arizona (yes he is a member of CMHASD) with this marvellous image taken from his back yard.


The Winner of the ‘Milkyway from my back yard’ competition. Image by Richard Bohner Taken with Canon 6D with wide angle lens at 24 mm at iso 1600 for 60 seconds. Jupiter & Saturn at far left with Sagittarius Teapot to left of galaxy and constellation Scorpius to right of galaxy. Taken on 15 June in Arizona, USA. (Richard lives in the USA so this is a valid entry)



Meteor Report for November 2020

November 2020 was spent largely in lockdown due to the Corona virus, one thing keeping us from all going crazy is our astronomy and with our remotely operated meteor camera our members were still able to observe and had lots of candidates to look forward to, and it turned out this was our most productive November ‘since records began’ – ok the records only go back to August 2018 – so was it better weather, is COVID-19 actually space borne and arriving on the meteors, or perhaps it is just a useless fact? Personally I think it has something to do with 5G masts…

Sorry back to the report.

We observed 244 meteors, 39 of them Leonid’s and you can watch them all – thanks to our members of the meteor team – without having to wade through all the false positive sightings.

I’ve embedded the video below, but if your attention span isn’t what it was, then just check-out the highlights at the times listed below (if you click on them they will take you to the correct part of he video)


01:50     02:06      02:22     02:22     02:57     03:20     04:00     05:40     07:18     07:50 


Conjunction of Mars, Moon and ISS

Image by Dianne

Mars Moon ISS

Image by Dianne. Mars, the Moon, & the ISS Canon 750d, Sigma 18-250mm lens, @18mm Exp 6 secs @ f/5.6, ISO-400 Static tripod


Kelling Heath Autumn Equinox Star Party 2020

7 members of the society attended the Kelling Heath Autumn Equinox Star Party, some booking camping pitches and others static caravans. The weather was overcast with showers with long dry spells and whilst the astronomical observations were very limited between clouds it was still a great event which I’d recommend any keen observers try to book.

Meteor report for September 2020

This is the meteor report for the automated meteor camera operated by the Crayford manor house astronomical society Dartford, for the month of September 2020

This month we detected a total of 269 meteors, well over half were sporadic meteors, meteors from known showers only making a minor contribution to the total, the largest identified shower came from the September Perseids but contributed only 22 meteors to the months total

Perseid Meteor Shower Report 2020

The below video is a report for the perseid meteor shower, based on meteors captured by the semi-automated meteor camera operated by the society members.

Milkyway from my back yard competition

This is a simple competition, take an image of the Milkyway from your back garden – or close to where you live. The winning image will be the one that the webmaster is most impressed with.


  1. You have to be a member of the society
  2. No telescopes! This is for camera and lens only!
  3. Must be from your location not some superb dark sky you travelled to.
  4. Ends November-ish

What will impress the Webmaster most?

  • It’s all about effort taken and obstacles overcome.
  • Local sky conditions vs image captured

Good luck!


Cygnus Rift Closeup

mage by Leigh Slomer 26 light frames at 75 seconds ISO 800. 15 darks frames 20 flat frames Equipment used: Canon EOS200D Sigma 30mm f1.4 EX DC HSM lens @ f2.2 Skywatcher Star Adventurer tracking mount. Processed in Deep Sky Stacker and GIMP


Image by Leigh Sloamer I made an attempt at capturing the milky way last night. This is a 14 x 3 minute stack at iso 3200. I would have captured more but my new lens is a dew magnet. I also had to crop the image a bit due to amp glow in the lower left corner.


Image by John Archer Thought I would pop out and snap the Milky Way while the evening is still mild and the breeze has died down. Bit of a change from planet spotting….


Image by Honor Wheeler finally found this image of the Milky Way taken from my back garden on the evening of the 23rd of August 2014. I’d just got back from the cinema and the sky was amazing. As you’ll see it was a single shot with my Canon 1100D on a tripod, no tracking! Black and White as light pollution was an issue.


Image by Richard Bohner Taken with Canon 6D with wide angle lens at 24 mm at iso 1600 for 60 seconds. Jupiter & Saturn at far left with Sagittarius Teapot to left of galaxy and constellation Scorpius to right of galaxy. Taken on 15 June in Arizona, USA. (Richard lives in the USA so this is a valid entry)

Conjunction of Mercury, Venus and the Moon.

The recent conjunction of the Moon, Venus and Mercury in the evening sky has been delighting our members, below are some contributions from those who imaged it.


Image by Jim Burchell The Moon and Mercury showing Earthshine. Taken Dartford top road. Pentax K70.


Image by John Howarth Venus is at lower right on both photos, Mercury (faint, but visible) is about equidistant from Venus and the moon, practically level with the moon.


Image by John Howarth Venus is at lower right on both photos, Mercury (faint, but visible) is about equidistant from Venus and the moon, practically level with the moon. Taken from the park.


Image by Stephen Goldson ‘First time I’ve seen Mercury clearly’

Leigh Slomer’s Saturn Images

Images of Saturn are from the same 2 minute long raw format video, but stacked and processed differently. The last version had a 1.5x drizzle applied to enlarge the size.

Equipment used:

•Skywatcher heq5 pro mount
•Skywatcher skymax 150 pro maksutov cassegrain telescope
•celestron 2× Barlow 
•Zwo asi290mc one shot colour uncooled CMOS camera

•Captured with ASICAP for android
•First and second version stacked in registax, the last version in autostakkert with wavelets in registax 
•Final processing in GIMP

Camera settings:

•Raw16 colour space 
•Gain 300
•Exposure time 82000ųs


Image by Leigh Slomer processed in RegiStax


Image by Leigh Slomer processed in RegiStax


Image by Leigh Slomer processed in AutoStakkert

Conjunction of Mercury and Venus


Image by John Howarth Image taken through glass in upstairs window. (Window will open but not in the right direction. Telephone wires are a nuisance too, just in wrong place..or perhaps Mercury’s in the wrong place!)


Image by Jim Burchell – no details provided


Image by Jim Burchell Image of Venus and Mercury taken this evening (2020,05/19) at Barn End Lane Dartford

Meteor Captured


A Meteor captured by Jim Burchell

Conjunction of the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn

Conjunction of the Moon Jupiter Sature and Mars

Image taken by Jim Burchell, in the early hours of 2020/05/12 capturing a conjunction of Saturn Jupiter and the moon .possible Mars far left of the image..

Conjunction of Venus and the Pleiades

Image by Honor Wheeler of the Moon and Pleiades imaged on the 3rd of April 2020 @ 20:08UT taken with her Canon 700D and a 300mm lens – ISO1600, f6.3, exp 2sec.


Imaged by Honor Wheeler on the 3rd of April 2020 @ 20:08UT taken with her Canon 700D and a 300mm lens – ISO1600, f6.3, exp 2sec.


Venus & Pleiades Canon 750D, Sigma F2/135mm Lens, CLS filter. Skywatcher Adventurer Tracking mount. 1hr of exposures. Bexley, Kent. © Kevin Langford

Exo-Planet HAT-P-30b

HAT-P-30b is a transiting hot Jupiter around a 1.25 solar mass star in the constellation of Hydra near the boarder of cancer.

Martin Crow and Simon Dawes observed this exo-planet transiting its parent start part of the exoclock project, to refine transit predictions for the Aerial space craft wich will be observing exoplanet transits to learn more about these enigmatic planets.



EXO-Planet TrES-3b

Martin Crow observed this Exo Planet


Observation by Martin Crow for the EXC-Clock project

Member Observing – not so isolated

We have had some lovely clear and moonless nights the last couple of days and on top of this few contrails from planes making the sky ideal for observing, and whilst alone with your telescope or binoculars you can still share your experiences using our WhatsApp groups, just contact if you want to be added…

Here is a selection of member observations shared over the last few nights.


Image by John Archer – 20s no other details provided


Image by Simon Dawes It’s been 11 years, 1 month and 5 days since I last imaged Venus, now I remember why…


Data measured by Martin Crow So my non transit resulted in showing up an error in NASA’s exoplanet archive. The mistake has now been corrected apparently. This is a good result as finding errors once Ariel is up would not be great


Image by John Archer of the ISS – no details provided


Here is a test CCD image of the galaxies M65 (left) and M66, part of the Leo Triplet, which I took last night. My guiding still needs sorting out…


Image by Kurt Appreciate this will be basic stuff to most of you, but here’s my first astrophotography effort of the full moon a few weeks back. Nothing too complex, 5inch SCT and snapped with a Pixel 4 phone.


Edited by Martin Just adjusted highlights and shadows mostly. You may already know this but it’s always worth looking from the edge of Mare Crisium to the limb of the moon. Due to libration you will see that this changes and sometimes we can see a little further around the moon.

Free Open University Courses in Astronomy

A brief introduction to Astronomy

Recently Mr Martin Crow, gave a talk entitled “A brief introduction to Astronomy” (The edges of the Jigsaw) for some of the societies new members, to help them better understand the “Jigsaw that is astronomy”.

Martin spoke amongst other things about.

·        Measuring astronomical distance by using astronomical units (au) & light years,

·        The spectrum of stars to determine their chemical components,

·        Looking at objects with different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum i.e. infrared, white & Ultra- violet light.


looking at the spectrum


Objects viewed in different wavelengths


Martin introducing the course

Informal Evening 2020-02-27

Another clear Thursday and an observing evening, below are a couple of images from the session.


Image by Jim of the Moon and Venus

Image by Leigh of the Flame Nebula and the Horsehead

Image by Leigh of the Flame Nebula and the Horsehead Taken at Sutton-at-Hone

The Moon Rochester

Gary organised a trip to Rochester Cathedral to view the huge 3D moon that is touring the UK and to hear a lecture on the moon. 





Informal Evening / Open Evening 2020/02/06

We had clear skies last Thursday (2020/02/06) and had many of the Societies Dobsonian telescopes out, a couple of members bought their own telescopes (both reflectors) and Leigh Slomer produced this image of the Great Orion Nebula (M42).


Image by Leigh Slomer Stack of 27 images at ISO 800 for 30 seconds, 400mm FL Refractor

AstroImageJ Demonstration

We had an informal meeting over Christmas where Martin took the members through using AstroImageJ (AIJ) he covered the following…

  • Loading an image
  • analysing stars in an image
  • plate solving an image
  • batch processing images to calibrate them
  •  aligning and stacking images
  • photometry on a sequence of images


Martin Demonstrating AstroImageJ

Final image.


Comet C/2017 T2 20191201 21:49 Simon Dawes

Christmas Imaging Session

About a dozen members used the 16″ telescope over the Christmas period with Keith providing a demonstration of the set-up and use of the new CCD.

The evening ended with cloud relatively early but they did get 10 light frames and below is a stack of these using Astro Pixel Processor.


Image by CMHASD Members. 16″ LX200, total of 360s unfiltered.

Cycle 25 Sun Spots

After checking out for any astronomy updates yesterday, Honor couldn’t believe the Sun had finally got some sunspots. Being up early anyway to walk her Mum’s dog, she got home and got her ED80 refractor set up on an EQ3 and took some photo’s. 

Christmas Quiz Night

Merry Christmas!


The legendary Quiz Night.


Our Quiz Masters

Meteor Report for November 2019

This is the meteor report for November 2019, by the Crayford Manor House Astronomical Society Dartford.

This month we were plagued with poor weather and this is reflected in the low number of meteors captured.

In total we observed 139 meteors from 29 different showers, none of these showers was particularly active, the most active being the Leonid’s where we captured 19 meteors compared to 55 sporadic meteors in the Month.

All Sky Cam Project

At a recent society night Keith described how he has built an all-sky camera, mainly from parts he had laying around, the camera is capable of producing a live view of the sky, time laps video summary of the night, can upload the images to a website for public viewing and can be used as an ASCOM compliant sky sensor.

This short article provides some notes to help others wishing to do the same.


Parts needed:

  • PC/Laptop (windows)
  • A CCD/CMOS Astronomy camera (with ASCOM drivers)
  • Fish eye lens (Keith use a 2.1mm CCTV Cmount lens)
  • Long USB cable 
  • Rechargeable dehumidifier 
  • Water proof electrical junction box 
  • 3.5″ Acrylic dome (from
  • Plumbers Mate putty (to seal the dome to the junction box)
  • AllSkEye software 
  • Tektite Skies software (ASCOM cloud sensor software based on all sky camera)
  • 1 Ohm resistors (to make dew heater – although make them if you don’t want to make your own)
  • Rain-X Plastic – to reduce raindrops and dew on the dome.
  • USB female panel mount connector
  • 12v power supply – for the dew heater


Key Features provided by AllSkEye 

  • Can run 24/7 automonously
  • Acquire images during pre-set or calculated (e.g. night) times
  • Place latest image on the Internet (FTP)
  • Can automatically creates video files of saved images
  • Add overlay on images (e.g. timestamp, compass, text)
  • Can save files in FITS format
  • Detects meteor trails

Key Features provided by Tektite Skies

  • Able to detect stars and clouds
  • Can send an email or sound an alert when sky is clear
  • Start and stop times
  • Optional free ASCOM interface


All sky camera built by Keith Rickard

More information can be found in Keith’s Original Presentation.

Have you made one? Have other ideas on how to make an all sky camera? Leave a comment below

AM or PM for meteor observations?

It is well known that you see fewer meteors before midnight than after. This is explained by the fact that before local midnight Meteors hitting the Earth’s atmosphere must be travelling in the same direction as the Earth, so the relative speed of the meteor to the Earth is smaller, whereas after midnight the Earth is passing through Meteors on the Earth’s leading edge, so the relative speed of the meteors are faster, and since the speed the meteor hits our atmosphere affects its brightness we should see more after midnight than before.

My own experience sifting through the meteor candidates from our camera and observing over long periods, suggest this bias should be easy to detect, so now that we have over 15 months of data, I thought I’d see if this bias in observations was real. 

The UFO analysis software categorises the meteors into named showers, if a shower can’t be identified it is classed as a sporadic meteor. I have only used the sporadic meteors in the analysis to minimise any bias due to known meteor showers.

My (very simple) analysis suggests on average you are 2.7 times more likely to see a meteor after midnight than before, a much larger factor than I’d expected.


Plot showing the number of sporadic meteors per hour over a 15 month period as captured by the Meteor team using the Societies meteor camera. Overall you are 2.69 times more likely to see a meteor after midnight than before.

Does this reflect your experience? Comment below.



Transit of Mercury, 11th November 2019

Despite the poor weather our members were out in force observing the transit of Mercury across the face of the Sun, something that has to be done carefully to be safe.

There were 8 members and 4 visitors at the Observatory with a variety of ‘scopes . Rita and Honor also had their PST’s on hand. Other members observed at their homes or online.


White light photo by Mike Rushton taken 14:50 on 11/11/19. C8 with f/6.3 focal reducer on HEQ5 Pro. Full aperture glass solar filter Canon 60D at prime focus ISO 1600, Exp 1/400 sec.


Image by Janice McClean


Image by Martin Crow 2019-11-11 14:53UT Ha Image


Image by Honor Wheeler in White Light


Image of the Transit of Mercury 11/11/2019 by Richard Bohner

Star gazing at Hall Place

It was horizon – horizon cloud last Wednesday for the sold out star gazing event at Hall Place, however we were prepared for this and along with comet making, we held sessions on drawing objects in the night sky and a variety of talks about astronomy. We had brilliant support from our members – thanks to all – who bought a variety of telescopes, cameras, meteorites and other displays, overall the visitors went away happy despite not being able to view the heavens. 





Meteor Report for October 2019

In October 2019 we detected a total of 138 meteors associated with 29 different showers.
We observed 18 Orionids, which was the most active shower in October, the brightest being of visual magnitude -2.8, however sporadic meteors dominated our detections.
Overall we detected fewer meteors this year than in October 2018.



Observation of Exo-Planet KELT 16b

KELT-16b is an exo-planet in Cygnus, member Martin Crow measured the brightness of the parent star (KELT48) in order to capture the small drop in brightness when the planet transits the face of the star, this is a very subtle observation that requires a lot of attention to detail in order to capture such a small change in brightness.


Observation of Exo-Planet WASP-48b

Exo-Planet WASP 48b is a planet discovered around star WASB 48 in the constellation of Cygnus. Member, Martin Crow measured the brightness of WASP 48, using the same techniques used for variable star observations – although the changed in brightness are very small, in order to detect the drop in brightness of the star as the exo-planet transits across the face of the star. 


Observation of Exo-Planet HD 189733b

HD 189733 b is an extrasolar planet, in the constellation of Vulpecula. According to Wikipedia it is 64.5 light years away. Member, Martin Crow, used the same techniques used for observing variable stars to detect the drop in light from the parent star as the planet crossed in front of it. If you have data you want to share please contact the webmaster.


“Fun Palace” event at Bexleyheath Library

As part of our public outreach, a few of us represented the Society at a “Fun Palace” event at Bexleyheath Library on Saturday. These relatively low-key events are intended to showcase small, local interest groups such as arts & crafts, therapies, lizard / snake keeping and in our case, all things Astronomy!
We had a prominent and large display which meant good foot-fall and a lot of interest from the public. Former members from the 1960’s and 1970’s came by to say hello – these gents were quite elderly as you can appreciate but knew Dick Chambers, Dr Wilkins and John Wall.
Our telescope Olivia drew in visitors as did the planet game. It was encouraging to watch young children complete the planet game with little or no help. (Ask us about the 5-year-old and 3-year-olds completing it!)
We had Saturn sketched by one of the youngsters and also imaged a planet mounted at the far end of the Fiction section!
All in all, a very positive event – we received feedback from the Library team to say that we were a hit with their customers.  Likely we will pick up some future visitors or even members, so watch this space.
I want to thank the team who helped on the day – Steve, Terry, Andy and Rita – really appreciate you giving up your time. We presented the Society in a very positive light.


Meteor Report for August 2019

A huge number of meteors were detected in August 2019. August continues to be a bumper month for Meteors, dominated by the Perseid’s, but there are many other minor showers contributing to the number detected.

We also had our brightest meteor yet, a magnitude -5.5 sporadic meteor. 

If you look at the surface plot (bottom Right) it looks like there were three independent peaks in August.



Solar Observing at Hall Place Summer 2019

A big thanks to everyone who supported both of the recent Hall Place Solar Observing events which were an exciting mixture of hide and seek as far as the sun was concerned, but both in their own way very successful.

We had sideways rain at 1100 yesterday (18th August 2019), so we set displays up indoors for about half an hour, after which we relocated outside and never looked back.

Even the sun cream got an airing!

It was very encouraging to meet a couple of extremely bright 8 year olds asking / answering some great questions – future members I’m sure.

These things don’t happen by accident so for anyone who supported the two events with equipment, transport, setting up or engaging with the public, a huge thank you.

We will be back in the Winter for the pre- and post- Christmas Stargazing events and should consider any suggestions / fresh ideas to make these as engaging and informative as possible.

Once again, your support is greatly appreciated.

John (Chair)



Meteor Report for July 2019

As the nights start to draw in we have started to see an uplift in the number of Meteors detected. Interestingly the Perseid’s – a well known broadly dispersed shower (peaks on 13th August) were the highest proportion of meteors from known showers.


Meteor report for June 2019

A total of 11 Sporadic were identified, out of a total of 21 meteors analysed. The brightest being of magnitude -2.5


Meteor Detector Report for May 2019

MeteorCam2019-05The short nights and poor weather have conspired to reduce the number of meteors we have been able to detect, but we still managed to detect 44 meteors, 30 of them sporadic.


Building Dobsonian Mounts

Members Steve and Dave with some technical support from Keith have built another two Dobsonian telescopes for the society using donated Newtonian tubes, one is a 200mm F5 Skywatcher the other a 300mm F5.3 Orion Optics.

The design is the same as the previous Dobsonian mount they presented to the society last year, which is affectionately known as Anita.

The Telescopes are equipped with a ‘push-to’ system we call ‘Dob Buddy’ which was originally presented to the society by fellow member Simon. The Dob buddy allows members using an Android or Apple mobile device, equipped with Sky Safari Pro to locate difficult to find objects in the night sky with ease.




The Plans









The Dob buddy system uses an Arduino with low resolution encoders couples to the mount with timing belts, this system results in a very high resolution encoder system for a fraction of the costs (the encoders are £8!), all the heavy lifting in terms of tracking the telescopes position is managed by the Sky Safari Pro software. The limitations of the Apple IOS operating system not being able to send data over Bluetooth are circumvented by providing Wi-fi access to Dob Buddy. 


Two mounts were constructed from Birch faced ply. It was decided that Anita (our first Dobsonian) was a bit heavy, so the new Dob’s were put on a diet, by cutting holes in the ply. 


Parts ready for assembly. 


Our Dobs are named after gifted musicians, because we used their vinyl LPs as a bearing for the azimuth mount.  


The design of the mounts for the altitude bearings was changed (compared to ‘Anita’) to again reduce weight and reuse as much as possible of the old ‘scopes.

dobsonians-alybearingsOur Dobs are named after gifted musicians, because we used their vinyl LPs as a bearing for the azimuth mount.  


Isaac and Olivia complete.



Isaac and Olivia complete.



BAA Winchester Weekend 2022

At this years 2022 BAA Winchester weekend members Steve Floodgate and Dave Grist presented an update about their experiences of building Dobsonian telescopes for the society. Below is a link that you can click on to download a PDF version of the PowerPoint presentation they used at the event. 

Winchester presentation update1

First Light with a new CCD on RS Boo

A phase curve from Martin Crow’s first four sets of  test observations using the pulsating star RS Boo as a target. Period 0.37733days. Acquired with 235mm SCT @ f6.3 and SX694 camera and sxcon software . Processed with AIJ and VSS spreadsheet.

RS-Boo-phase-plot Results by Martin Crow. A phase curve from my first four sets of test observations using the pulsating star RS Boo as a target. Period 0.37733days. Acquired with 235mm SCT @ f6.3 and SX694 camera and sxcon software . Processed with AIJ and VSS spreadsheet.

Meteor Report for 2019-04

Only 54 Meteors captured this month, mainly sporadic meteors with a few obscure showers.

meteorreport2019-04 Meteor report for 2019-04. 54 meteors detected by the CMHASD Meteor group.

Double Star Measurements with a Meade 12mm Astrometric Eyepiece in 2018

Neil Webster, St Marys Platt, Kent

e-mail:            ******


The following measurements were made throughout 2018 using a Meade 12mm astrometric illuminated reticle eyepiece plus 2.5x powermate attached to an Altair Astro 115mm refractor (focal length 805mm, f7). The total magnification was 167.5x with a field of view of 0.3 degrees.

Fewer measurements were made this year due to relocation which finally happened at the end of February. Serious observing, measuring and imaging did not begin until the middle of April. Although St Marys Platt is a much darker site than Bromley measurements are still limited to 8.5 magnitude due to the red light in the eyepiece. However, a Southerly aspect is now available so many of the measurements are of systems previously unavailable.


Read the full report here

Lecture by Dr Matt Smith

A big thank you to Dr Matt Smith for coming all the way from Cardiff to speak to us. Matt spoke to the Society about Galaxies, the Interstellar Medium and Black holes, including the most recent image of a black hole, during the talk Matt demonstrated how they can all be observed in both the optical and infrared wavelengths of light as these photos show.

DrMattSmith20190509 FLIR Camera demonstration

DrMattSmith_20190509 FLIR camera Demonstration

Observing Evening 2019-04-18

Thursday, 2019-04-18 was an informal observing evening and whilst not ideal with an almost full Moon, we had lots of telescopes out and other members learning how to use the Peter Hindle Telescope.






The Pleiades, Mars and the California Nebula

In April 2019 Mars was close to M45 (the Pleiades) and NGC 1499 and this coincided with the Kelling Heath Star Party. Unfortunately at this time of year Taurus is very low, setting in the late evening making this a difficult object to image, my attempts to stack and then process with Deep Sky Stacker were hopeless, so I turned to Astro Pixel Processor (using a 30 day free trial) which has a very easy to use light pollution killer, this allowed me to remove the gradient that resulted from the very low elevation and trees that crept into the field.

Total exposure is 84 minutes, from 30s subs. Tracking was achieved with an iOptron Star tracker, camera was a Canon 600D with a full spectrum mod and a CLSCCD clip-in filter.

Mars_Pleiades_California_Nebula_48m-50pc_resize_for_BAA Image by Simon Dawes Total exposure is 84 minutes, from 30s subs. Tracking was achieved with an iOptron Star tracker, camera was a Canon 600D with a full spectrum mod and a CLSCCD clip-in filter.

Occultation of the Beehive by the Moon

On Saturday 13th April I’d hoped to go to the Observatory and image the occultation of the Beehive cluster by the Moon but alas Diane and I had forgotten that we were taking part in a local RSPB quiz. We’ve taken part on a number of other occasions with fellow member Deborah and David, her husband, who are also keen bird watchers, so we had said yes to this quiz before we knew about the events clashing.
The skies were still clear after the quiz so we headed to the observatory, we got to the Pavilion at about 22:30BST (21:30UT) to find that no one else was using it. We imaged the Moon with the Beehive cluster from the patio then imaged some lunar craters and took a tour around the sky with the 16″. The skies remained clear until 02:10BST at which time Diane and I packed up and went home.

201904132319UTMoonM44 The Moon and M44 taken by Honor Wheeler at the Pavilion on 2019-04-13

Kelling Heath Star Party Spring 2019

4 Members and 2 ex-Members travelled to the Kelling Heath Star Party, this star party has notoriously poor weather, but on this occasion we were blessed with reasonable views on Wednesday night and clear skies from dusk ’till dawn on Thursday Night, Friday Morning.

Many, many objects were observed with Keith’s 10″ Dobsonian and Simon’s 12″ Truss Dobsonian, Julian and another Simon both allowed us to view objects with their 20″ Dob’s. 

Apparently the food was epic…


no images were found

Camp Site

KellingHeath2019Spring Campsite at night Image by Simon Dawes

Mist on Sunday

KellingSpring2019Mist The mist closed in Saturday Night and was still around Sunday morning

BAA Winchester Weekend 2019

13 Members made the annual pilgrimage to Sparsholt College for the BAA Winchester Weekend.

Winchester 2019 Members of the Society at the BAA Winchester Weekend

Observing Evening 2019-02-21

We had a clear night on Thursday 21st February 2019, and before the Moon rose a few members had a go at the Orion Star Count, showing the diversity of eyesight and experience in our group.

The moon rose above the trees as a golden gibbous Moon and some of our group took to observing it with one of the Societies telescopes, affectionately known as Anita.    

On the right is an image from Honor Wheeler taken through Anita, a Fuller Scopes 8″ F8 recently converted to a Dobsonian by a couple of our members.

Plane crossing in from of the Moon

Other members were experimenting with the new CCD camera purchased by the society for the Peter Hindle telescope, a 16″ LX200, using the F3.3 focal reducer we got a wide field view of the Orion nebula (M42) and M1 the Crab nebula.

Observing evening 2019-02-21 first light with a new CCD camera

Another member, Leigh Slomer, was experimenting with his Skywatcher Star Adventurer, DSLR and a 70-200mm zoom to capture images of M42.

Orion M42 Leigh Slomer, 2019-02-21

Meteor Repoprt for January 2019

A cloudy January resulted in a small number of meteors detected, 97 in total, most sporadic, but we did detect 20 Quadrantid’s and identified meteors from 17 different showers.

If you want to join in and help with the observations please contact Janice.


The Moon, Venus and Jupiter in the morning sky

We were treated with some lovely clear skies in the mornings of January 2019 and members were able to capture a few images of the conjunction of the Moon, Venus and Jupiter.


Images by Kevin Langford


Images by Leigh Slomer


Images by Jim Burchell

Moon Venus and Jupiter in a January Morning Sky (2019)

Moon Venus and Jupiter in a January Morning Sky (2019)

Images by John Howarth


Total Lunar Eclipse 21st January 2019

The Dick Chambers Observatory was open for observing the ‘blood moon’ on the evening/morning of the 20th-21st January and for a change the weather was good. Other members observered from their homes and below are a few images by members.


Images by Jim Burchell

20190122- LUnnar Eclipse Montage by Jim Burchell







Images by Martin Crow

Jan21-2019 Martincrow bloodmoon

January 21st 2019 Total Lunar Eclipse, this image was featured on BBC TV Breakfast news.


Eclipse B 210119


Eclipse A 210119


Eclipse end A 210119

Images by Leigh Slomer















Images by Honor Wheeler



Images by Kevin Langford

Lunar Eclipse 21-01-2019

Images by Mike Rushton

Images by Janice McClean


Meteors Detected in December 2018

Our automated meteor camera and meteor team, detected 239 meteors in December, despite the cloudy weather, 60 of these were identified as part of the Geminid meteor shower. The brightest meteor detected was a magnitude of -1.8.  During December we identified meteors from 22 different showers, but the geminids was by far the strongest.

Below is a video of the meteors detected by the meteor camera operated by the society, in December 2018, the meteors are ordered by brightness based on analysis by UFO analyser.


46P Wirtanen

Comet 46P Wirtanen was billed to be brighter than ever this apparition and when at its brightest it would be passing within 1 degree of M45, however the UK weather conspired against us, some members got images from outside the UK and others from before it reached its brightest, but our visit to Ashdown forest was cancelled due to 100% cloud cover and rain. 

On Thursday 13th December 2018 many members observed the comet at the Dick Chambers Observatory, through binoculars (a very faint fuzzy blob only visible with averted vision) and through the 16″ Peter Hindle telescope.




Comet Wirtanen, 46P taken 16 Dec. 2018 @ 0030 hrs., in Cottowood, Arizona, USA by Richard Bohner

Canon 6D, 200mm f2.8 lens, ISO 800

75 second exposure time.


Image by Richard Bohner

Here is my latest image of Comet 46P.  Taken Thursday night.

Canon 6D, 200mm lens f2.8, ISO 800 60 second exposure.

It was a little windy Thursday night with gusts of 25mph and moon


Image by Richard Bohner, tahen on 8th December 2018 in Cottonwood, Arizona 

Comet 46P Wirtanen on 8 Dec with Canon 6D with 200mm f2.8 lens, 60 second exposure.


Image by Honor Wheeler

I’ve been getting some practice with deep sky stacker, not as scary as I thought here is my first attempt using it to stack some images of the comet.


Image by Honor Wheeler

I’ve been lucky to have imaged the comet twice myself, once on Friday 7th & again on Sunday. The seeing has been pretty poor but it was just visible in 10×50 binoculars and looked pretty good in my 72mm refractor and 40mm eyepiece.

Comet-46P-Wirtanen Kevin Langford

Image by Kevin Langford

Taken on 11-12-2018 using a Canon 750D with a 75 to 300 zoom lens on a Sky Adventurer tracking mount.

Astronomy Outreach with Sutton-at-Hone School

We welcomed the Children of Sutton-at-Hone Primary school to the Dick Chambers Observatory on the 12th December 2018. They had a chance to look through the Peter Hindle telescope and from the photos it looks like they had a great time, whilst learning a bit about the science of Astronomy.

Parental permission given for all images used.

Annual General Meeting 2018

1st November 2018

Chair: John Archer

Attendees: Mike Rushton (MR), Keith Rickard (KR), Martin Crow (MC), Rita Whiting (RW), John Archer (JA), John Howarth (JH), Andy Barber (AB) 

Apologies: Simon Dawes (SD)

Minutes: 2017 minutes read by JA and Signed by JA

Matters Arising: None

Chairman’s report:

JA’s first year as Society Chairman.

Summary of report & highlights provided to members as a PPT

Report (in Word) not reproduced here, but will be circulated to Committee for review / amendment then provided via website to members and forwarded to the PC.

Thanks extended to Trustees, Committee Members, Project contributors and members for supporting the Society at events, meetings and project work throughout the year.

Membership was at 66 members in total

Results of member survey were presented in part, then deferred to a later date due to Internet connectivity issue mid-way through.

Treasurers Report:

Keith presented the Treasurer’s Report covering the period to 31/8/2018

Accounts were awaiting examination– funds healthy, with contingency in place.

Gift Aid had allowed another £1k (approx.) to be recovered from membership dues.

Election of Trustees as per Constitution:

Retiring Trustees this year, Mike Rushton and John Archer, put themselves up for re-election.

Vote by show of hands: Mike and John re-elected.


AGM closed at 20:33UT


Meteor Observations 2018 October

October saw us identifying 308 meteors from 32 different showers, the October Draconids and the Orionids being the most interesting.

The brightest meteor was -3.7 vMag

October Draconids Report

21 October Draconids were identified in the charts below you can see they are a very narrow peak, suggesting a narrow stream of dust the Earth is passing through. The average magnitude was 1.2018OctDraconids

Ground map of the Draconids showing the meteors that were triangulated with the Nemetode group, our observations are the ones detected by the ‘Dartford’ Observatory


Orionid Report

We identified 53 Orionids, peaking on the 21st October and an average magnitude of 1


Below is a 15 minute video of all 308 meteors verified in October.

Ground map of the Orionids showing the meteors that were triangulated with the Nemetode group, our observations are the ones detected by the ‘Dartford’ Observatory.



Back to Basics Workshop

We hosted The 2018 British Astronomical Association Back to Basics workshop on 6th October.

These workshops are great for beginners just starting out in astronomy and wanting to learn how to use their telescopes or get started in Astronomy and over 50 people turned up – well done and thank you to all the Crayford Members who helped out.


The slideshow below is of photos taken of the day by member Jim Burchell – Thank you Jim.


The 2018 Perseid Meteor Shower

The society run an ‘almost automated’ meteor camera, if you want to be part of the meteor team checking the results every morning then please speak to the coordinator – Janice.

A total of 535 Meteors were captured, with 340 of them being Perseid meteors. Below is a video of the 20 brightest meteors during August.

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Summary of the report sent to the Nematode meteor group.


The Nematode group were able to match 11 of our meteors with observations from other observers in the group producing these orbits.

Perseid orbits 2018[3450]

2019 Calendar

Some of you who were present at the Pavilion on the 29th of March will be aware of the following changes to the Society’s Calendar rules. Each month will now consist of a collage of member’s images rather than just one per month.

The Calendar size will also increase from 21 x 28cm to 28 x 37cm picture size to accommodate the collage of images, I am unsure how many images can be accommodated per page but it may be between 6 to 8, actual numbers TBA. Price TBA.

Rather than the list of 4 groups such as the Moon, Sun, Deepsky etc. there will be a list of ‘Targets’ for member’s to photograph or sketch.

Important: Image/s to be submitted for the 2019 Calendar must have been photographed or sketched after the 1st of January 2012 but no later than 8pm (GMT) on the 3rd of October 2018.

(All images for the 2020 Calendar will need to been photographed or sketched AFTER the 3rd of October 2018 but before the 2nd of October 2019 so keep this in mind when submitting your images).



Target images for the 2019 CMHASD Calendar are as follows:

1. Earthshine 

The Moon’s shadow side can often be seen when the young crescent Moon is visible. Images must show the Moon with the shadowed side also visible 

2. A Rainbow

Images can be an Arc or a portion of the Rainbow.

3. The Planets

Images can be of any of the Planets (not the Earth that would be cheating 😉

4. Lunar and/or Planetary Conjunctions

Images can be of the Moon in conjunction with Planet/s or a planetary line-up of 2 or more Planets.

5. The Orion constellation

Images that show the Orion constellation in full as the left image or as the image on the right with the four stars Betelgeuse, Bellatrix, Saiph and Rigel at each corner.

6. Lunar Eclipse

A Lunar eclipse will hopefully be visible on the 27th of July but any images photographed or sketched after the 1st of January 2012 can be submitted. The Moon partially or fully eclipsed will be acceptable.

7. Atmospheric Optics

Images of any of the following: Solar Halo, Sundogs, Circumzenithal Arc, Cloud Iridescence and Crepuscular Rays etc.

8. The Andromeda Galaxy

A close-up image of this wonderful Galaxy.

9. Sunset or Sunrise

Any photograph or sketch of a Sunrise or Sunset over land or water.

10. Lunar crater Copernicus

A close up of the crater Copernicus photographed or sketched using a Telescope or a Telephoto lens.

11. Sunspots

Images of Sunspots in White Light or a projected image only, not H-alpha (as only a few members have H-alpha telescopes).

12. Ursa Major constellation

Images of the whole constellation or the Plough will be acceptable.

13. A Full Moon

The Moon must be between 98 – 100% to qualify for this Target, you’ll need to make sure as I will check the date and the image was photographed or sketched.

14. The Pleiades and/or the Hyades

An image of either the Pleiades or the Hyades or an image of them together.

I am aware there are 14 Targets, not everyone will be able to image all of the Targets so hopefully this way everyone will be in with a sporting chance of obtaining at least one image for the Calendar.

Rules: And please make sure you read them!

  • You may only enter one image per category.
  • Sketched, Single, Multiple Stacked or Mosaicked images are acceptable, Composite images are NOT acceptable.
  • All images entered must have been Photographed or Sketched by the person entering the image/s.
  • If too many images (maximum numbers TBA) are entered for one ‘Target’ then a vote will be taken on each image and the images with the most votes will be included in the Calendar.
  • All images MUST have been taken AFTER the 1st of January 2012 but before 8pm (GMT) on the 3rd of October 2018.
  • The two ‘Targets’ with the least number of images received will not be included in the Calendar.
  • Images can be taken using another member’s telescope but the camera used MUST belong to the member submitting the image/s.
  • Poor quality images will have to be omitted so make sure the image resolution is good enough for printing.
  • All images MUST be submitted to this email address: honor . draconis @ talk21  .com (remove spaces) BEFORE 8pm (GMT) on the 3th of October 2018, no exceptions.

When emailing your images please use the email subject heading ‘CMHASD CAL2019’ that way I can save the images easily all in one place!

Small print – Feel free to ask me any questions that are not covered by the rules but if you do ask me a question that IS covered by the rules…then I’ll know you didn’t read them! Simon, Martin, Jim….! [this is scandalous Ed.] 

Solar Observing at Hall Place – August 2018

The Society were at Hall Place on Sunday 19 August 2018 showing members of the public the Sun using safe observing techniques and talking to people about Astronomy in general. Whilst there was a fair amount of cloud about and the Sun was playing ‘hide-and-seek’  the day was a massive success.


The Society were at Hall Place on Sunday showing members of the public the Sun using safe observing techniques and talking to people about Astronomy in general. Whilst there was a fair amount of cloud about and the Sun was playing ‘hide-and-seek’  the day was a massive success.


hall place solar observing0

hall place solar observing4

hall place solar observing1

hall place solar observing5

hall place solar observing2

hall place solar observing3

2018 Summer BBQ

The summer BBQ was a great hit again. About 25 members attended and we had food for about 100! The day was very relaxed. We had a few glimpses of the Sun through our Dobsonian telescope, Anita using Baader Solar Safety Film, unfortunately there were no Sun spots visible.











Welcome to our new website!

Our new website is live, come back regularly to see new updates.

This post lists the progress of migrating data from the old website to the new one.

Our old site remains operational for a short period as sections from it are migrated more and more of the old site will point to this new site, however please be patient at we have 560 pages and 2.5Gb of images to migrate!


Added Making dew heater controller and dew bands to equipment section


Added Automatic Photometric Telescope post to Papers  and Equipment sections


Added new post for BAA Exhibition meeting in 2010
Added new post for BAA Summer Exhibition Meeting 2012
Added Paper
Added Paper
Added Paper


Added book review posts

Updated Aurora page

Added news posts

Updated Atmospheric Optics Page and added some posts


Added Frankenscope to equipment section

Added Observatory Section


Added post on summer BBQ

Fixed Event section which wasn’t displaying event posts


Updated space Junk section and added post


Added Equipment Section and added to Activities menu

  • CEM post
  • Drift scan post
  • Battery Free electric focuser
  • DIY Finderscope
  • Variable Barlow
  • Large Telescopes

Added Variable star page and 3 posts showing observations


Updated Mars Page


Added Spectroscopy page


Added post for 2015 Lunar Eclipse – all Lunar Eclipse reports from old website are now covered.
Modified the Programme- you can now import our programme into your own Calendar!


Added page on Detecting meteors with Radio
Updated Lunar Eclipse Page added posts for 2001 and 2007 Lunar Eclipses


Complete upload of member solar images
Papers section added and 2 papers published
Meteor Page updated with posts for previous society reports of meteor showers
Radio Section Added, added SID page
Double Stars Section Added


Comet page updated, including all the previous comet reports by the society.
Venus page updated with members images plus a paper on the dichotomy of Venus 
Sun pages updated with members images


Changes to Membership

New Membership Fees: 

Our society is booming, as a rsult our income has become a little high so we have made the decission to reduce membership fees .

The new membership structure is as follows…

Full Membership

  • £95 per annum
  • All meetings including lectures

Basic Membership

  • £35 per annum
  • All meetings except lectures (lectures can be attended at £7 per lecture)

Student Membership

Only availble to full time students 

  • £35 per annum
  • All meetings including lectures

John Wall 1932 – 2018:

On Saturday the 27th of January 2018, the Society learnt of the death of Mr John Wall, an inspirational inventor who make telescopes out of household items and inventor of the Crayford Eyepiece Mount (referred to now as the Crayford Focuser), John was a member of the Society for many years and will be remembered for his laugh, inventive genius and great character. An obituary was posted in ‘The Times’ and the ‘BAA Journal’

Below is a copy of the obituary for the BAA Journal 

John Wall Obituary

Obituary as it appeared in the BAA Journal

BAA Summer Meeting 2012

This meeting was hosted by Crayford Manor House Astronomical Society, the weather wasn’t great but we did manage to get the Solar scopes out for a short while. The lectures were great.

Europe goes to Jupiter

Dr Chris Arridge
All about project JUICE an ESA mission to Jupiter


Dr Dan Andrews
All about missions to comets with some insight into the Beagle 2 mission

Application of penetrators for the Exploration of planets & the Moon

Dr Rob Gowen
Title says it all really

Differentiating between dead comets and Asteroids

Prof. Iwan Williams
All about categorisation of asteroids and coments and how/ if they can/should be classified differently

Working on Mars

Dr Craig Leff
All about how to manage robotic missions on Mars.



BAA Exhibition Meeting 2010

Location: Greenwich, London, UK.

This meeting included a (Free) trip to the Planetarium organised by the SPA, and then the BAA exhibition meeting down the hill. At the meeting our founder, Gordon Taylor received an Award from the BAA.

Solar Eclipse 2008 August 1st, China

This eclipse was special for its colours around the horizon. There were wonderful oranges and reds all around, the clouds lit up, some dark in silhouette, some golden, glowing yellowy-orange in the distance. You could see the shadow approaching against the clouds and then rushing away as it left. A great and wonderful experience that we will all never forget.

During the eclipse it was possible to see a prominence at about 2 o’clock and the planets Venus and Mercury were easily visible.

The desert venue for this eclipse was a little windy, buffeting equipment and making imaging and video at high magnifications a little difficult.

Totality video by Member Andy Barber. Also featuring Maddy and Martin Crow and family. Venus and Mercury are also visible.

The video above shows the site used to observe the Solar Eclipse. Video by Andy Barber.

Images by Mike Rushton

Eclipse China 2008 Mike Rushton

Images by Martin Crow

Eclipse2008 Martin Crow

Images by Andy Barber

Solar Eclipse 2008 China  ANdy Barber01/08/2008 10:25

 Total Solar Eclipse Image by Andy Barber 01/08/2008 11:18

Eclipse China Image by Andy Barber 01/08/2008 11:07

 Total Solar Eclipse Image by Andy Barber 01/08/2008 11:33

 Total Solar Eclipse Image by Andy Barber 01/08/2008 11:07

 Total Solar Eclipse Image by Andy Barber 01/08/2008 11:07