Astronomers aim to share the planetary secrets

Chance to view the night sky over Moray this evening.

CLEAR SKIES ARE hoped for this evening when Moray’s Astronomy Club are to host their seventh annual ‘Stargazing Night’ event at the Lhanbryde Community Centre.

Kicking off at 7.30pm, club members will be on hand to demonstrate the stars, planets and galaxies through their telescopes to the interested and just plain curious.

There is, however, a backup plan should the Moray weather prove uncooperative – there will be a host of things to do and see including a short talk on the winter night sky, a range of amateur telescopes on display and a selection of meteorites to examine – also there will be Morayvia’s 1.4m robot ‘Murray Morayvia’ to engage with.

As many people consider buying an astronomical telescope then it is an ideal opportunity to talk to members about their equipment, as telescope options can be bewildering for beginners. There will also be the opportunity to make your very own paper star wheel or mini-orrery.

For those who don’t know what a star wheel or mini-orrery is then it’s another reason to go along and – the event is free but donations will be gratefully received to defer costs, and tea and coffee will also be available.

Club Chairman Stan Barber said he hoped that SIGMA’s Stargazing Night event would encourage more people of all ages to engage in the science of astronomy and to appreciate Moray’s clear dark skies.

He added: “The moon will be just past first quarter so will make a good target as many will not have seen it through an amateur telescope.

“There will also be a number of other objects to view such as the Andromeda Galaxy and the Orion Nebula, weather permitting of course. Members of the public are advised to dress appropriately as it can be very cold outside, so suitable coats, hats, gloves and boots are essential; additionally, pets should be left at home for hopefully obvious reasons.”

Further information can be found at SIGMA’s website