Since spring 2012 we have been working with Sharples School - a Science Specialist College (on the North side of Bolton, see map below), who are running Astronomy classes for a group of their GCSE students.
We helped them to put together an array of observing and imaging equipment, including two Maksutov telescopes on GoTo mounts, a hydrogen-alpha solar ‘scope, a webcam imager, a Dobsonian and a small refractor. They’ve also bought a set of ten small Newtonians for their students to use at home.
During the Schools Science Week in March 2012 we had a very successful session for the pupils to view the Sun in both broadband (white-light) and narrowband (hydrogen-alpha) wavelengths.
And then later that month we held our first evening observing session at the School, with more than a dozen 'scopes set up (the School's and BAS members'). We had marvellous views of the Moon, Jupiter, Venus and Mars, plus the Orion Nebula - and we even glimpsed the Andromeda galaxy!
As well as giving newcomers their first views of the sky, these sessions are also the perfect opportunity for our newer members to bring along their own kit and get some advice on using it.
In September 2013, the School hosted a special joint meeting, where Dr. Chris North from BBC TV's The Sky At Night came along (flying in specially from a conference in Berlin!) to talk to us about his research work:
See also this report from The Bolton News.
We have more events planned in coming months - see our Members' Area for details of how to get to the site, and watch our Forum for details of forthcoming events.