SPOG at Seeing Stars Live 2

SPOGgers Mark, Garry, Nick and Jon had an excellent time at Castledown Radio’s Seeing Stars Live event at Tidworth on Friday 25th October. The weather let us down but nevertheless there was a really good turnout of about 100 people, lots of kit and expertise on hand and a good time was had by all.

Jonathan Gale and Nick Smith at Seeing Stars Live 2

Jonathan Gale and Nick Smith at Seeing Stars Live 2

As is now standard practice at this event microphones were pointed at various people who tried not to make fools of themselves. Click the links below to see if they succeeded…





Garry on the weather and Autumn stargazing

Mark on telescopes

Jon on software and telescopes

Mark chasing sucker holes


SPOG at Seeing Stars Live tomorrow night

Why not join Garry, Mark, Nick and Jon at Seeing Stars Live – hosted by Radio Castledown – tomorrow night? If the weather is clear then we will have scopes out and anyone is welcome to take a look, and if the Gods are not kind to us then we will be in the warm and dry talking scopes, imaging and anything else Astro. There will be interviews and activities and the UK Space Agency, MC2 Telescope and others will also be in attendance. All are welcome and entrance is free.

The venue is the Wellington Academy, Tidworth, Wiltshire, SP11 9RR: Map Link

Fri 19 July: Have your picture taken by a spacecraft!*

Bit of a weird one this: this Friday at about 10.30 BST a unique event will occur. The Cassini spacecraft, in orbit around Saturn will take a full view image of Saturn & it’s rings and will include an image of Earth from 1 billion miles away.

We are all (yes everybody), invited to go outside, raise a glass & smile (saying “cheese” is optional). Saturn is currently quite low in the South-West at about this time.

See web site: http://thedaytheearthsmiled.com/info.php

* Not really. The earth will occupy a single pixel on the image. Sorry about that. It’s a symbolic you see… oh, never mind.

SPOG at Seeing Stars Live

SPOG members Jon Gale, Garry Keenor and Kevin Morgan took part in a very successful outreach event last Wednesday with Castledown Radio. “Seeing Stars Live” took place at Wellington Academy in Tidworth, organised by Chris Steers and with a good turnout despite the intermittent cloud.

Kevin Morgan with his new Dob

Nevertheless we managed to get good views of the 1st quarter moon and Jupiter for a crowd of around 50 people. Chris and the radio team ran a very professional outside broadcast, with suitably star-themed music – although we are still trying to work out the connection between astronomy and Harlem Shake!


Garry looks on as punters get their first view of the Moon

Jon and Garry were desperate to get on the radio reluctantly interviewed, and Castledown Radio have been kind enough to let us have copies of the broadcast – click on the links below to listen if you dare!

Chris, who is only 15, got a Blue Peter badge for his efforts in running the event, and struck us as a very promising young stargazer. On the back of the event the school are now considering buying a scope for the benefit of the pupils.

Chris Steers - the new Brian Cox!

Chris Steers – the new Brian Cox!

On the back of the success of this event, Castledown are now looking to run another one, perhaps to coincide with the Perseid meteors in August. I’m sure SPOG will be there in support again….


SPOG live on the radio! Weds 20th March

Castledown Radio is running a live outside broadcast stargazing event next Wednesday at Wellington Academy in Tidworth, and SPOG members Garry, Mark and Jon will be supporting the event and attempting to provide intelligent commentary and observing! Castledown Radio is a community station run by volunteers. The event is free and runs from 6pm to 9.30pm, so please come along and support it if you can. In the event of poor weather we will be showing scopes and giving presentations in the school, so there will be something for everyone.  Alternatively if you are local to Tidworth you can listen on 104.7FM, or pick up the live stream at this link.

The school address is The Wellington Academy, Tidworth, Wiltshire, SP11 9RR.


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