max temp: 12°C

min temp: 8°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Darsham: Astronomy society sees sky-rocketing member interest

16:33 20 January 2014

Annaliese Matheron, of Dash Astro astronomical society, stargazes in Darsham.

Annaliese Matheron, of Dash Astro astronomical society, stargazes in Darsham.


A fledgling east Suffolk astronomy group has reported a surge in membership as part of a trend which has seen stargazing become one of the UK’s fastest growing hobbies.

The Darsham based group DASH Astro welcomed 50% more visitors to its latest session, which founding members have attributed to the increased media attention devoted to the subject.

“It’s very topical at the moment with programmes such as the BBC’s Stargazing Live,” said group secretary Annaliese Matheron. “I’ve also read that astronomy is one of the fastest growing hobbies, with (online retailer) Amazon’s section on astronomy equipment for sale one of its most rapidly expanding.”

Ms Matheron also welcomed recent coverage in this paper which previewed a number of stargazing events held in conjunction with the Quantatids meteor shower in early January.

Although the Star Party held by DASH Astro was unfortunately a “wash out” Ms Matheron said it enjoyed “bumper” attendance at its following meeting thanks to the coverage, which highlighted the exceptional viewing conditions available in Suffolk’s rural areas.

The group, which held its inaugural meeting on the midsummer solstice, will be enlisting experts to increase members’ knowledge.

Its constitution states: “Dash Astro will actively work to promote astronomy as an accessible science and worthy pastime through the education of its members and the community at large.”

Many of the group’s latest recruits are youngsters, which may soon lead to the formation of a spin-off Space Cadets Club.

General meetings are held every other Wednesday from 7pm at All Saints Church, Darsham, with observation sessions hosted at the club secretary’s own private observatory.

Guest speakers are also invited to lead discussions, with Professor Michael Rowan-Robinson, head of astrophysics at Imperial College London, scheduled to attend on March 12.


Picture of Ellough Park Raceway. Owner Nick Gill is hoping to expand the track so they can hold national Karting championships and attract motorsport businesses to the stie. Photo: Angela Sharpe Copy: Sarah Brealey For: EDP EDP pics © 2006 (01603) 772434

The man who died while celebrating his brother’s birthday at a Suffolk go-karting track suffered a traumatic chest injury, the opening of his inquest has heard.

Saskia Clark party at Mersea Yacht Club on Sunday night as she returns home with her gold medal from Olympics

Two Essex mothers have received strong support online after launching a campaign to bid farewell to one of the county’s biggest stereotypes,

CCTV of an aggravated burgury in Bury St Edmunds

Police are hunting two tracksuited robbers who held up a branch of the Co-op last night.

Empty classroom

Education bosses in Suffolk have welcomed latest figures which mark the county’s highest school attendance record in the last decade.

David Wood, 61, from Woodbridge, went missing while walking in the French Alps in August. Pictured: David Wood and his Wife Valerie Armstrong

The wife of a Woodbridge man who went missing while walking in France three months ago says she has been ‘wrapped in a cloak of love’ by people in the town since his disappearance.

Kim Sale has had her leg amputated to save her life from cance. She is now officially in remission. Kim is pictured at her home in Kesgrave with mum, Kellie Thorndyke.

An anonymous donor has handed £20,000 to a Suffolk charity helping disabled youngsters and families affected by cancer in what was labelled “an overwhelming act of kindness”.

The incident happened near the Orwell Bridge. File photo

Councillors in Ipswich are set to find out how successful speed restrictions on the Orwell Bridge have been on Thursday, when the Highways Agency will present its findings.

Most read

Great Days Out


Click here to view
the Great Days Out


Most commented


Show Job Lists


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24