AINSDALE VISITORS CENTRE

SEFTON

ASTRONOMY EVENING

FRIDAY 22 MARCH 2002 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM

Members of the Liverpool Astronomical Society, (founded in 1881), will display several telescopes for viewing the Moon, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, if clear. There will also be an illustrated talk on astronomy.

This event is free, and is open to all members of the public.

For more information contact:-

Ainsdale Visitors Centre - 01704 570173

Liverpool Astronomical Society

Geoff Regan, Observatory Director - 0151 292 7165

Dave Owen, LAS Sidewalk Astronomers - 07778 454524

EVENT REPORT - By Dave Owen

The weather prospects did not seem too hopeful for this event, but I arranged for my 6 inch f4 scope to be taken to Ainsdale Visitors Centre by Geoff Regan. I also, successfully, encouraged Jim Stacy to bring his 8 inch GoTo scope from Southport. Yvonne West from Hightown, near Formby, also brought her 4 inch reflector. Steve Southern, from Skelmersdale, brought two pair of binoculars, and his folding chair.

I arrived at Aisdale train station at about 18:30 and almost immediately saw the first quarter Moon in a twilight sky, despite the almost 100% cloud cover.

When I arrived at the Visitors Centre, at about 19:00, Geoff was already here with his wife Beverly, and his three children; Jessica, 10, Christopher, 6, and Samantha, 11 months. Jim Stacy was setting up his scope just outside the Centre and I set up my 6 inch next to his. We were later joined by Yvonne and Steve. Indoors, Geoff gave an illustrated talk using the Liverpool Astronomical Society slides and a laptop PC.

Meanwhile, outside, it was starting to clear up! The Moon, Jupiter and Saturn became visible. However, when people left the talk, at about 21:00, it was a lot cloudier. Some patient souls were eventually rewarded by telescopic views of the Moon and Jupiter, including Rachel Northover, the Sefton Ranger. Rachel not only opened up the building but she also opened up her tea/coffee/sugar supplies to provide hot drinks for the people looking after the telescopes outside. Rachel used to work at Pex Hill, where the LAS observatory opened up in 1994. It was great to see her again. We discussed a return visit, hopefully with a much bigger telescope. If not the TROK 30 then a 16 inch scope would do very nicely.

There were 25 people who had booked in advance for this event but the number of vistors was closer to 35 as some had tried to book but had not been able. So, they just turned up.

At 21:00, John Simcock, another lAS member, from Widnes, turned up with three of his mates. He took longer to find this place than I did!

The next Sidewalk event is on Fri 13 Sep 2002. One week before John Dobson arrives in Liverpool, we hope.

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