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Chairman's Report

As we enter our second year I would like, first of all, to thank all those who participated in our 2023 programme of events and supported us during the Club's first year.

We carried out a survey of our members in September/ October last year, which gave us some valuable suggestions for 2024.

The strongest message was for more observation sessions. After all, as an astronomy club, this should be at the heart of what we do, so see our Programme and observation evening alternative. The arrangements set out there should make sure an observation session is never excluded from the programme just because of bad viewing conditions. Members should also look out for the blue logo on WhatsApp, which will announce extra “spontaneous” viewing sessions when the weather turns out clear. These sessions can be great fun as you will see from our blog on our visit to Duncliffe Woods.

Another 'mission' for the second year is Outreach: this means, firstly, closer links with other astronomy communities around us; we have started this with Fordingbridge Astronomers by looking at ways of participating in each other's programmes; and also with “National Landscapes” (formerly AONB) observation events in the Cranborne Chase area announced on www.gostargazing.co.uk.

The second outreach plan is to extend our connections with local schools. Our exhibition “No better place” is about the status of the Earth in the Solar System and why it is “just right” for human habitation. You can see a photo of the exhibition on display at Salisbury District Hospital on our blog. At the end of 2023 we displayed four panels (out of a total nine) at Shaftesbury Secondary School. Over this coming year we are hoping to develop a programme with Shaftesbury Primary School. If your school or institution would like to display the exhibition, or arrange a visit or a programme with us, please get in touch by email.

We hope, with these changes and other plans our second year will be as successful as our first.

Finally, we owe thanks toYou're very welcome!

Thank you for your support too.
your committee, for their support and dedication during our first year.

Remember you don't need to be an experienced astronomer to join; you don't even need a telescope.

We are an inclusive friendly group, so come and find out more about being a member and joining us this year.