For our Winter Stargazing evening on Saturday 10th January, the public were entertained at a star party on Wells Cathedral Green, run by WMA Technical Advisor and Stars Over Somerset director, Adrian Dening. We were joined by members of Somerset groups CADAS and the Sowy Stargazers who brought along their telescopes. The Cathedral floodlights were switched off so we were able to enjoy good views of Jupiter and the winter sky until rain stopped play after 9pm.
Meanwhile, in the magnificent Wells Town Hall, WMA Vice-Chair Keith Cattell welcomed members of the public to the magnificent ballroom, where they were able to discover the wonders of Simon Ould's 'Space Odyssey' Planetarium and take part in family activities with Jo Richardson's 'Space Detectives'. There were also exhibitions and stands on topics of current interest in astronomy and space exploration, including information on ESA's Rosetta comet probe and this coming year's climax to the Dawn and New Horizons robotic planetary missions.
Bob Mizon FRAS MBE was a popular guest as always, with his 'Campaign for Dark Skies' stand, and we were treated to spectacular displays of astrophotography by CADAS Chairman Ron Westmaas, and WMA member Pete Richardson, who was a finalist in the 2014 international Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition, and whose work is currently being exhibited at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich.
Special thanks go to all the WMA team who helped set up and run this big event, welcoming some 250 people and keeping them plied with warm refreshments on a chilly night.
Click here to hear the interview with Chris on BBC Somerset on Saturday morning 10/01/2015
(Visit our media page here to see and hear the BBC broadcasts of this event last year)