There are many different ways of enjoying astronomy and the night sky, and at Macclesfield Astronomical Society we try to cater for all of them.
Some stargazers want to be out at night observing with equipment, others want to know what’s going on in terms of space exploration and discovery, others want to see and hear more information about the spectacular sights in the sky, and many now want to try photographing the night sky for themselves.
You may want to know more about the sky’s stars and constellations, or maybe you are interested in the sun, moon, planets, and deep space star clusters and galaxies. You might want to find out more about equipment, or maybe how astronomy has developed through the ages, or are keen to keep up to date with the astounding science of how the universe works. Perhaps you simply find the heavens uplifting and inspiring, and feel mesmerised by the splendour and beauty of it all (well, let’s face it – we all do!).
Well, whatever your interest in astronomy, you will find kindred spirits within MaccAstro, and plenty of information, activity and events to expand your enjoyment and enthusiasm, whether you are a novice to astronomy or experienced in the subject, whether an active observer or an armchair enthusiast. You don’t need any equipment or level of knowledge, just bring along your interest, whether it is practical, thoughtful, scientific, or spiritual.
Our Events Each Month
We offer at least three events every month to our members at Macclesfield Astronomical Society, who are a sociable group of men, women and juniors in a well-mixed spectrum of novices and newcomers to veterans and even professionals. These include a lecture by a visiting expert, plus a session involving informal presentations, tutorials, and demonstrations on a range of astronomical topics, and also a general social get-together with astronomical banter and information. There are various additional highlights through the year as well.
We also hold local observing sessions when conditions are good, arrange field trips to dark sky locations during the year, deliver public presentations and observing events for Cheshire Rangers, and are fortunate to participate and assist in public events at Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre. Our very dedicated Outreach team also provide astronomy sessions to schools, youth activity groups, and other events.
You can participate in as much or as little as you want, it’s all yours to enjoy. So, if ever you’ve been tempted to take your interest in astronomy further then come along and visit us and hopefully what we do will appeal to you
The Shed is an occasional informal meeting which focusses on on a particular topic of interest, such as choosing a camera, photo processing software, imaging techniques etc. It’s a way that members can share their extensive knowledge with others.
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Our Workshops are held on the first Tuesday of every month. This is where our members showcase their passion for astronomy in a variety of short presentations. We start this meeting with a session for those new to astronomy. The meetings are generally recorded and available in the members pages for viewing by those who can’t attend at the time.Workshops cover a diverse range of topics aimed at all levels of astonomer from beginner to advanced. Recent topics include:
• Plate Solving - an astronomer's panacea
• Development of an observatory
• A Brief History of the Universe
• What there is to see in the constellation of Auriga
• Is Anyone There?
• New adventures in Narrowband
• Astronomy in Art
Macclesfield Astronomical Society organise frequent observing sessions from Tegg’s Nose Visitor Centre, usually on Friday or Saturday Evenings.
The majority of our observing sessions are for members only and will be announced at meetings, on our Forthcoming events page and via a dedicated e-mail notification list.
The use of Society equipment can requested, but on most occasions members bring their own.
Obviously the weather will affect these dates but they are based around times of a New Moon.
The Cheshire East Council Rangers regularly arrange public Star Parties which we support with lectures and telescope observing. These events are strictly by ticket only and are announced on the Tegg’s Nose website.
Dark Sky Field Trips
For many a moon, our Field Trip Coordinator Steve Warbis has been conducting field trips for MaccAstro which take place over selected weekends during the year on the beautiful Isle of Anglesey.
It will obviously depend on significant changes in the Covid-19 restrictions and requirements in both England and Wales before we can resume our Field Trips in reality, but nevertheless we have reserved the following dates for 2022 in the hope that we shall resume at some point during the year, and of course the dates will also be the general occasions for a Virtual Field Trip on Zoom in the meantime (with specific arrangements to be determined near the time).
The reserved Field Trip dates for 2022 are:
- Friday 28th-30th January 2022 (2 nights)
- Friday 25th-27th March 2022 (2 nights)
- Friday 20th-22nd May 2022 (2 nights)
- Thursday 11th-15th August 2022 (4 nights)
- Friday 23rd-25th September 2022 (2 nights)
- Friday 25th-27th November 2022 (2 nights)
Lligwy is described as “a glorious combination of golden sand and deep blue sea” where “the water and the sky merge into a seemingly infinite blue expanse as they stretch off towards the horizon” with the nearby village of Moelfre “one of the prettiest on the island” (Isle of Anglesey County Council). Moelfre is also the site of the Sea Watch Centre. Other places to see include Puffin Island, Maritime Museum, Plas Newydd Country House, RSPB South Stack, Plas Cadnant Hidden Gardens and Amlwch Copper Kingdom.
Together with good chances of clear unpolluted skies you will enjoy the opportunity to discover more about the heavens, as well as listening to members who have wide ranging interests in fields as diverse as geology and music to keep you entertained and educated when the viewing conditions are not too propitious.
On Anglesey you will have the company of 700 red squirrels, be able to see 143 scheduled monuments, view ancient burial chambers and hill forts, and learn about 1,800 million years of geological history. Part of the fun is in the wide-ranging conversations about the world, ourselves and the universe…
…not to mention the stars and planets….
Our Social Evening is held on the second Tuesday of every month. This is our chance to get together and build camaraderie which makes astronomy special. During Covid we moved on-line but we hope to be back in the Blacksmiths Arms in Henbury before too long!
Our members lead by the Outreach Team, volunteer to support local groups of children such as cubs, brownies, scouts and primary or secondary schools to further their interest and understanding in astronomy. Our presentations support the national curriculum or help groups achieve their astronomy badge.
We are also privileged be a contributor for the NHS Recovery College in Macclesfield exploring the theoretical and practical application of astronomy with discharged patients to aid them in their rehabilitation from illness.