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Basic Astronomy and Observation Programme

Welcome to Cranfield Astronomical Society.

Our regular weekly meetings are Tuesday evenings. To receive the information to join the events, please join using the registration link.

Our main communication is through emails to registered members. Our Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp are also channels used by the community.


The Cranfield Astronomical Society aims to provide a forum at Cranfield for the discussion of all astronomical matters, to encourage amateur observation and to operate, on behalf of the University, the observatory which was built to house the telescopes.

We are a friendly group and a happy blend of novices and experts.

As we are a community of volunteers, we do not have the resources to entertain personal events like birthdays, anniversaries and ad hoc visits.

Basic Astronomy Course

As part of our regular meetings, the Society runs a Basic Astronomy and Observation course on Tuesday evenings.

The programme starts in October and runs just before Easter. It is designed to help you enjoy astronomy without any background.

The cost of membership is £10 for students and staff of Cranfield University (this includes the course and use of equipment). Persons not related to Cranfield University can join as Associate Members.

2024 Winter/Spring Term Programme

Programme from January 2024

Regular meetings are in person this term.

The location for meetings is emailed to members who registered.

DateTopicMoon Ephemeris
(% illuminated, Rise/set).
16 JanAstrophotography using DSLR cameras33% Illumination
Sets 23:17
23 JanImage Processing of Astronomical photos96.7%
29 Jan
Visit to Bedford Astronomical Society’s Piazzi Smythe Observatory and Planetarium. Places are limited so will be awarded on a first come, first served basis.

Sign up form emailed to registered email address..

Rises 20:50
30 JanThe Cosmic Distance Scale.

Skywatch Highlights of the month ahead

Rises 21:59
5 Feb


Visit to Bedford Astronomical Society’s Piazzi Smythe Observatory and Planetarium. Places are limited so will be awarded on a first come, first served basis.

Sign up form emailed to registered email address.

Rises 04:21
Dark night
6 FebCepheid Variable Stars and the Discovery of Galaxies.17.4%
Rises 05:36
Dark night
13 Feb Stellar Spectroscopy and the HR Diagram
Part 1
Sets 22:23
20 FebExoplanets: Are they Small. or Just very Far Away?88.3% Rises 12:33
Meridian pass 21:38
27 FebStellar Spectroscopy and the HR Diagram
Part 2
Rises 20:59
6 MarThe Galilean Moons of Jupiter
Skywatch for March
Sets 21:22
12 MarAsteroid Hazard MitigationSets 1451 0.4%!!
Dark sky
19 MarPhoto competition and Log Book competition.
Announcement of winners and presentation of prizes
Rises 11.32
Meridian pass 20:25
All programme are subject to changes.

About us

The Cranfield Astronomical Society membership is mainly Cranfield University students and staff. It is one of the active local amateur astronomical societies and helped many to enjoy the night sky.


The Society meetings are held on Tuesday evenings at 7:30pm on the main Cranfield campus, except when events or lectures are organised elsewhere.  As much as the weather permits, observation at Loxham Observatory is prioritised. Special observing sessions are arranged, not necessarily Tuesdays, to enable newcomers to gain experience or to observe incidental astronomical events.

The Observatory

The observatory is equipped with a Celestron C11 telescope on a powered equatorial mounting. Facilities exist for simple astrophotography through the main equipment. Some computer software is available for demonstration and observation calculations. There is also a range of portable equipment for offsite observation.

Members of the Society are permitted to operate the telescopes at their own convenience, provided they are able to demonstrate competence in doing so. Training is provided.

Get in touch

We published event information on Facebook and Twitter.

You can also email us.