Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 9°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.



Call for tightening of UK border controls

Suffolk’s “horrified” Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has demanded EU border control reforms after a convicted paedophile banned from the UK was jailed again for returning to work with teenagers.

The large scale police operation in Potash Road, Wyverstone.

A Suffolk police officer whose enquiries led to the discovery of more than 400 firearms - one of the biggest weapon finds the UK has ever seen - is set to be recognised.

Bury Magistrates' Court

Shutting Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court will have a “shocking” impact on access to justice in west Suffolk, leaving public transport journeys 245% more expensive on average.

The dog walking group.

The woman in the playing field looks respectable enough. “Expensive-looking hair”, I think; “pricey jacket”. Her dog is big and rangy. He gambols around her feet, before bounding several feet away and squatting, writes Matt Gaw.

Bridge Farm Day Nursery in Martlesham is celebrating an ‘outstanding’ grade in its most recent Ofsted inspection

A day nursery is celebrating being given an outstanding grade by Ofsted at its most recent inspection.

Pupils and staff at Thomas Wolsey School on the site of the teepee that was vandalised.

The headteacher of a special school in Ipswich left devastated after a much-loved teepee was destroyed in a fire has thanked the community for its fundraising help.

Pair claimed a neighbour in Wellington Street, Ipswich had a gun

A couple who sparked a full-scale armed police response over gun claims must pay £1,000 compensation to Suffolk Constabulary.

Framlingham from above. Aerial photo by Mike Page.

A revised housing bid from Persimmon Homes for a site off Mount Pleasant in Framlingham has again been recommended for approval.

Prime Minister David Cameron in his hotel room as he prepares his conference speech that he will deliver to his party's annual conference at Manchester Central tomorrow. Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Prime minister David Cameron will label his tenure the “turnaround decade” when he addresses his party faithful today.

Joe Underwood outside the new wildlife education hut in Christchurch Park.

A new outdoor learning space in Ipswich’s Christchurch Park is set to improve knowledge of Suffolk’s wildlife.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages