The history and scope of the society
Altrincham & District Astronomical Society was formed in November, 1964 by a group of 15 year old schoolboys who acquired a small plot of land from the Council in Timperley at the edge of the recreation field where they built an observatory. As well as weekly meetings at the observatory site, meetings were held on the first Friday in the month from September through June at various venues, including Altrincham Library, Timperley Village Hall, 1st Timperley Scout HQ and, finally, now at Timperley Community Centre.
During the early years the members built their own telescopes and often observed in winter all night in sleeping bags under the stars. Other activities included visits to dark sky sites, such as Tegg’s Nose, Lamaload and Llyn Brenig in North Wales and camping trips were also organised.
The society now acts as an educational centre for local schools, scout/cub groups and guide/brownie groups which feature astronomical activities, slide shows and telescope demonstrations. Star parties are also held to which the public are invited and include poster displays, telescope operation, sunspot viewing, barbecues and Martian (pea) soup. The society also has an interactive relationship with Jodrell Bank and is often present at open days at which they display their optical telescopes.
Members of the society have been active in observing eclipses in various parts of the world including India, Curacao and Hawaii and several members had adventurous trips to observatories in South Africa. One member has a special place in the society’s history in that he was the first amateur to observe supernova SN1987A in the Large Magellanic cloud in 1987.
If you wish to learn more about our committee click here