Review of the Stargazing at Carnewas

On Saturday 18th May, my ‘up for anything’ friend and I went to check out a Stargazing event at National Trust Carnewas, which is near Bedruthan Steps in Newquay. This little event, which happens a couple of times a year, was hosted by the Kernow Astronomers group who meet once a month in St Columb Major. The members brought their own telescopes, all varying in size, colour and monetary worth. One of these telescopes was large, hexagonal shaped and made of wood; we soon found out that this was built with a budget of £400 by a couple of the members, yet the craftsmanship was exceptional.

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For an hour or so we were able to view the moon whilst it was still daylight; the conditions were perfect too, no light pollution and the sky was cloud free.

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I learnt that each telescope has varying specifications; some you had to manually move, where others moved with the aid of coördinates or GPS tracking. My favourite one was most probably a Bresser model, which was picked up for £50 at an Aldi superstore! We were able to take a few photos of the moon on our phones with this telescope, simply by putting the camera lens up to the eyepiece. If you ever wanted to take good photographs with a Digital SLR, it is possible to attach them to a telescope and capture what you’d see with the naked eye; something I really would love to do in future.

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Throughout the evening we were able to look at the moon and its craters, the sun (through a special red filter) and it’s sun flares, Venus and Jupiter. I could see three of Jupiter’s four moons; the fourth was just too tricky to glimpse. Yet it was simply mind-boggling how, by fiddling with the focus knob, you could see the sand spots across Jupiter’s surface as well as its moons. The members within the group were very friendly and very willing to share their knowledge and expertise in astronomy and telescopes; I learnt quite a bit about our Sun and that you can actually see planets with the naked eye, even with my dodgy eyesight! Overall an impressing evening…

Review by Becky, who works in the Boscastle NT cafe

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