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Leasowe Lighthouse event on Friday 22January 1999


This event took place on Friday the 22th of January at Leasowe Lighthouse at the end of the Wirral peninsula. The event was arranged by Geoff Regan and Dave Owen and where helped out by the Wirral Ranger Service and ‘The Friends of Leasowe Lighthouse’. The event was scheduled to run from 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Image left is of Leasowe Lighthouse.

Event report by Dave Thomson

Geoff and Dave persuaded me (Dave Thomson) that the weather would be OK even though the internet (Meteosat images) showed that there was a weather front coming in from the south west and was over western Wales in the late afternoon. The image below shows the weather over Great Britain at 1907pm.

Hazel (my wife) and I packed up the 30 inch TRO into my wife's Van late afternoon and loaded the Mirror and cell into the other car. Hazel would drive to the lighthousee to drop off the Mirror. Alan Cavalier (LAS member) offered to drop the Mirror back at the end of the night. THANK YOU, Hazel and Alan.


We arrived at around 6:30pm and the Rangers opened up a gate at the side of the lighthouse to give access to a large hardstanding area ideal for setting up telescopes and keeping feet dry! We began to set up and were almost finished as people began to turn up. The weather was clear but getting misty. The Moon was a waxing crescent phase and Jupiter and Saturn where also on view. Orion was rising in the East and I decided to leave M42 until later in the evening.

I pointed the telescope at the moon and the queues began to form with many more people than I had expected including a number of LAS members. There was a constant stream of 20-30 people waiting to look through the telescopes. Steve Southern and Phil Fitspatrick had their telescopes also set up along side with similar queues. As in Croxteth Hall and Park (LAS meting)last November the Moon was the object of the evening. People of ages from 4-84 waited to look through the telescopes and similar remarks like, WOW, THAT’S GREAT, WONDERFUL, kept on being heard (and sometimes shouted out!).

After about an hour the clouds began to gather and the Moon was being enveloped in more cloud. A number of short breaks followed but then the cloud began to clear again with much better transparency. M42 was now in a better position and after a few aborted attempts the famous Nebula began to show itself. The weather was getting good enough to show the outer regions of the nebula and the familiar blue/green glow. The orange/red straight southern edge near the Trapezium could also be seen. Juan Reviero had brought his OIII filter, we made a temporary holder for the 1.25inch eyepiece (35mm) and the filter. Even though the star images were horrible it showed up the Nebula much better with the sky background being much darker.

By now it was getting late and people started to drift away. Some of us stayed a little longer to look at M1, M31, and a few other objects.


Before packing up, Geoff directed all the cars to point there lights at the TRO for a group photograph. The total estimate of visitors ranged from 150 to 170 and little advertising was done. A very good and successful night overall and a good venue for future events!

Image right is a group photo taken at the end of the night. From right to left are: Ranger, LAS members, Gerald Oliver, Alan Cavaliere, Phil Fitspatrick, Juan Reviero, Ranger , Dave Owen, Steve Southern, Myself Dave Thomson, and Geoff Regan taking the photo.




Image right shows Liverpool Astronomical Society memberPhil Fitspatrick and his 8 inch Celestron basking in the flashlight (no dark adaption now eh!)



The light house is positioned at the end of the Wirral Peninsula. The map below gives a detailed view of its location. A good road map will show the lighthouse or railway station indicated below.