FRIDAY 25 JANUARY 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:-

Wirral Ranger Service 0151 678 5488

Liverpool Astronomical Society

Geoff Regan, Observatory Director 0151 292 7165

Dave Owen, LAS Sidewalk Astronomers 07778 454524


Persistent rain and 100% cloud cover for most of Fri 25 Jan 2002 looked like it was going to produce the first clouded out Sidewalk event at Leasowe Lighthouse. However, the weather forecasts indicated a clear spell of weather moving in from Ireland. Would it get to us in time?

Trusting in our luck so far with this venue, clear every year since 1999, Geoff Regan helped load the 16 inch telescope, ladder, and other essential items from the LAS Pex Hill Observatory into my Micra. At 18:45 we were ready to roll and arrived at the Lighthouse at about 19:10. The Ranger, Adam King opened up the car park so we had a fairly solid surface to set up the 16 inch telescope. However, for the first hour or so it remained 100% cloudy, except for brief glimpses of the Moon. It even started raining again.

A little bit of entertainment was provided by the site of a burning car about 200 yards down the road leading to the Lighthouse, this was almost certainly set on fire by the people who stole it. Jim Stacey set up his 8 inch GoTo reflector by the front door and we waited for the skies to clear. The Friends of Leasowe Lighthouse, as usual, provided tea and coffee, especially welcome on this fairly cool and breezy evening.

At about 20:15, while Geoff was doing a slide show indoors, a noticeable clearing started to come in from the West. It was time to find some help to set up the 16 inch. Adam King and LAS members John Moffat and Dave Sakho enabled me to have the scope ready to use in about 15 minutes. A long queue quickly formed once it was announced that the big telescope was ready.

The Mooon was razor sharp in the 40mm 2 inch eyepiece which also gave fine views of Jupiter and Saturn. Eventually Geoff tried a 26mm Plossl eyepiece which gave a magnification of about 100x. John Moffat set up the third telescope, his own 5 inch Maksutov.

Meanwhile, indoors, LAS members Graham and Pam Roberts managed to sell 15 LAS booklets, including two of my Guides to Observing the Messier Objects!

Eventually, at about 21:45, it was time to start dismantling the 16 inch. The Ranger estimated that we had about 40 visitors. My faith in weather forecasting was justified, at least for this evening.

The next Sidewalk event is on Thu 21 Feb 2002 at Edge Hill College in Ormskirk, 19:30 - 21:30. Work goes on to remake the 30 inch telescope, but this will probably not be ready until later in the year.

Dave Owen

HOW TO FIND LEASOWE LIGHTHOUSE - Maps from www.multimap.com