Help Bury look up to the stars

Jennifer Kretzmann with son Joshua, from Bury St Edmunds, take a close look at a large telescope ANL-150922-150736001
Jennifer Kretzmann with son Joshua, from Bury St Edmunds, take a close look at a large telescope ANL-150922-150736001
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An organisation that organised a second ‘sell out’ astronomy event at Nowton Park on Saturday wants to help set up a West Suffolk star gazing group.

Saturday’s event was organised by Orwell Astronomical Society from Ipswich (OASI) with Nowton Park’s rangers, to mark International Observe the Moon Night and its 60 places were quickly booked up.

David Murton's photograph captures the wonder of the  night sky at the Nowton Park event ANL-150922-150724001

David Murton's photograph captures the wonder of the night sky at the Nowton Park event ANL-150922-150724001

OASI chairman David Murton said a drop-in solar event held earlier in the year had also been popular, with park visitors stopping to see the sun through special telescopes.

David added: “At present there appears to be no organised astronomical society in the west of the county, while there are three in the east.

“OASI are looking to redress this situation and are asking anyone interested in setting up a new group to contact them so that they can organise something. “

OASI already has a provisional agreement for the use of a dark site for observing the skies in the Bury area.

David suggested: “They can either set up a branch of OASI in Bury or set up a new organisation. So, they can have their own events, but use our organisation, or set up a new group and we’ll advise them on what they need to do.

“Astronomy is becoming very popular – it is one of Amazon’s fastest growing leisure lines.”

Saturday’s event saw an illustrated talk from Fellow of the Royal Astonomical Society Paul Whiting and then the opportunity to make the most of a clear night by looking through various telescopes and binoculars at some of the wonders of the night sky.

OASI, which organises public and member-only events, has about 150 members who specialise in a variety of aspects of the hobby, including night time observing, solar observing, history, photography and spectroscopy, which analyses electromagnetic radiation, including light, to study the properties of objects in space.

OASI suggests anyone thinking of buying a telescope seek advice from an atronomical society, though belonging to such a group means you do not have to buy a scope to try out the hobby.

David said child telescopes are available from about £50 but a reasonable one costs about £150 and £300 will buy a good one. There are also phone apps to make observing easier.

Anyone interested in starting a West Suffolk society should contact David Murton at chairman@oasi.org.uk