My first interest in astronomy was through a book I received, aged 11, about Galileo. Secondary school had an observatory and astronomy club and I remember my amazement at first viewing the brightness and features of a full moon.
University and most of my career happened in big cities so the sky receded a little from my focus, although Brasilia and the deserts of Tunisia reminded me it was there.
On retirement I joined the Torquay Astronomy Society - a large and active group with access to an observatory, which rekindled my interest. Moving to Shaftesbury I was surprised, being on a hill near a Dark Sky Area, there was no club, so I decided to start one. The rest is (recent!) history.
My main interest has continued to be the Moon, on which I have given talks and had photos and sketches in a couple of astronomy journals (and the TAS Calendar for 2016!)
Deputy Chair and Venue Manager
My interest in astronomy probably began in Girl Guiding - I was in the Cassiopeia patrol! Growing up in the London suburbs I was always fascinated on holiday when I looked up and saw the twinkling skies but it wasn't until 2012 that I got more serious about it. It was around then that Professor Brian Cox did his Wonders of the Universe series followed by him and Dara O'Briain doing Stargazing Live. I was living in Frome where there was a telescope shop and I requested one for my 40th birthday. I have to admit it mostly remained in its box so when I moved to the Cranborne Chase and its Dark Skies I resolved to make more use of it. I got in touch with Tony Deyes via This Is Alfred and we decided to see if there were any more people around the area who were also interested in astronomy and the Cranborne Chase Astronomy Club began.
Technical Assistance Secretary
I have been interested in astronomy and all things space science since reading about the upcoming Halley's comet when I was 10. I never did manage to see it due to having no idea what I was doing but it has led to an interest in spotting & imaging comets, supernovae, close passing asteroids and other ephemeral stuff going on in space (still waiting for my first supernova in this galaxy - might be here a while).
More recently I mostly enjoy deep sky observing under dark skies with a simple manual dobsonian telescope and helping newcomers find their way around the sky.
I've been a keen visual observer for over 20 years since attending a local astro club meeting on a whim one evening and becoming hooked. Shortly after I bought the 10" Dobsonian that I still own and that many of you have looked through, and I've never looked back since. I've viewed from the Peak District, star parties at Kelling Heath, Galloway Dark Sky Reserve (though it hadn't attained that status then), many times at the Dark Sky Reserve in Wales, from La Palma in the shadow of volcanoes and giant telescopes, and, of course, at Win Green!
I moved down to this gorgeous area 8 years ago for the darker skies - having lived for many years close to Manchester Airport, I still find the views outside the front door breathtaking on a clear night and I'm ever thankful to be away from the big city.
Though I've had occasional trips to the Dark Side of imaging, my day-job is in computing so I try to stay away from them outside of work. My interests remain then mainly with visual astronomy and unless chasing down very feint objects at ultra-dark sites I most enjoy showing others the sights - there's nothing to beat sharing someone else's delight at seeing new things up there.
My Dad inspired my interest in Astronomy with his admiration for Patrick Moore and the Sky at Night . I have inherited his telescope ( the scope and I are roughly the same age … don't ask !) and try my best to observe when the skies are clear.
I enjoy observing and learning from more experienced astronomers and try to watch as many space documentaries as I can.
I also enjoy painting and some of my art is inspired by the amazing images coming from the James Webb Telescope, there aren't enough hours in the day to paint everything but I am having great fun trying.
My interest in astronomy, from the age of about 10 years, was inspired by my mother who watched the early episodes of the Sky at Night presented by Sir Patrick Moore. During the 50s and 60s I was stimulated by the advent of the space age - Sputnik, Yuri Gagarin the first man in space and the Apollo program to land men on the Moon.
During this time I started building telescopes, the largest being a 25", F4.4 Dobsonian. This telescope ended up at 2150m altitude on the island of Tenerife and gave me and my friends a great deal of pleasure over the years. I spent a great deal of time over a 20 year period with this scope studying remote objects in the Universe. Over the years I have been looking at astronomical objects from Namibia, Australia, Morocco, Austria, Spain and Kenya.
My main interest has been looking at all deep sky objects especially galaxies and cluster of galaxies, the most remote being a group known as Abell 2065 in the Constellation of Corona Borealis.
My passion for astronomy, like most, started when I was young. My elder brother calling me over to his telescope and showing me Saturn's rings. I said the obligatory 'wow' and I was hooked.
Then life just got in the way until last year when I decided to join an astronomy club. Now I had a telescope given to me and have been borrowing equipment all over the place.
I love photography but have found overserving planets and stars as much as a pull as taking photos of them.