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Kendal joins in with BBC “Stargazing Live”

As we have done every series so far, the Eddington Astronomical Society of Kendal has been supporting the BBC’s fine “Stargazing Live” series by holding astronomy events in our town.

On Monday night our monthly meeting was given over to a “Beginners Night”, when we invited people interested in getting started in astronomy and the hobby of starwatching to come along, learn about our Society and learn about the hobby too. And, brilliantly, 51 people came! Not all of them were potential new members, but the vast majority were, and they enjoyed presentations describing how to observe the night sky and how to use binoculars and a telescope. Hopefully many of them will join our Society as full members in the future! 🙂

Then yesterday was a HUGE day for us! BBC Radio Cumbria – always fantastic supporters of our society and of astronomy activities and events in Cumbria – came through to Kendal to broadcast live from the town all afternoon, and to promote our “Stargazing Live Skywatch” we were holding that evening. Here’s presenter Caroline Robertson by the Radio Cumbria gazebo, ready to start her show yesterday afternoon…


And here she is talking to Anna Hall, the Education Officer at kendal Museum who, as EAS members know, is one of our greatest supporters and most enthusiastic helpers too…


It was a brilliant afternoon, and Caroline and I chatted many times on air about Arthur Eddington, astronomy in Kendal, what people can see in the night sky, and more. Other guets also talked about Eddington and astronomy, and we were even allowed into the Mayor’s Parlour upstairs in the Town Hall to see Eddington’s medals, which was a treat and a privilege.

Of course, the main aim of the day was to publicise and support our big evening Stargazing Live event – a public Skywatch up at Kendal castle. We were hoping to be able to show people Jupiter, constellations and more, but when Caroline’s show started at 2 the signs weren’t good: Kendal was being smothered under a thick bank of mist and low cloud, hiding the Sun completely. And sadly that mist and fog didn’t lift – as it had been forecast to by many weather experts online! Curse them! – and as the time to begin the Skywatch arrived there was absolutely no chance of seeing anything up there…

But of course we went up anyway!

…and it’s a good thing we did, because lots of people trekked up to the Castle to see us and talk about astronomy despite the weather!


And ok, so we didn’t see any stars… or anything else in the sky… but we did get to “spread the word” about stargazing, and give out a load of Stargazing Live booklets, AND invite people to our third and final Stargazing Live event, an illustrated talk and ‘astronomy night’ at The Box…



And we had a lot of fun too, as we always do when the Cumbrian weather laughs at us as we try to observe the night sky…! 🙂



On Friday (11th) night our “Astronomy Night” at The ox, down near Kendal Museum, was a big success, withover 60 people coming along to listen to an illustrated talk entitled “A Tourist Guide To The Universe”, see and hold some rare meteorites, and be introduced to telescopes by members of the Eddington Astronomical Society of Kendal…


It was great to see and meet so many people interested in astronomy, and hopefully some of them will become members of the Society in the near future.

Our next event (to be confirmed) is a MOONWATCH in the gardens at the Brewery Arts Centre on Friday February 15th. Hope to see you there!