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Basic Astronomy and Observation Programme

Welcome to Cranfield Astronomical Society.

We look forward to welcome the new arrivals to Cranfield University.

Our ‘normal’ regular weekly meetings shall resume online from 12 October. To receive the link 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.

Basic Astronomy Course

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

The programme starts in October and runs to just before Easter. It is designed to help you to do astronomy without coming to the observatory.

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.

Membership fees are waived until we can meet face to face again.

2021 Autumn Term Programme

Programme from October 2021

Shall be published soon.
Regular meetings are online in this term.

The Teams link for meetings is email to members who registered.

Registration Link

All meeting are on Teams for now.
The Teams link shall be emailed to registered members one day before the meeting.
DateTopicMoon ephemeris
12 October 19:30-20:30
An Introduction to Practical Astronomy
How to how to get started with observing and an explanation of terminology used.
sets 22:12
19 October 19:30-20:30Navigating the Sky
A first look around the sky at night and some principals of locating particular objects.

Demonstration 1; Astronomical binoculars.

Full Moon
26 October 19:30-20:30Astronomy Software and Apps
A guide to Stellarium and other astronomical apps.

Skywatch for November

rises 20:54
2 November 19:30-20:30Observing The Moon
Visually interpreting the Moon’s features.

Demonstration 2: Refractor telescopes

sets 15:55
no moon
9 November 19:30-20:30Astrophotography using Smartphones.
How to get the best images using your mobile phone’s camera.

Demonstration 3; Reflector telescopes

sets 20:11
no moon later
16 November 19:30-20:30Astrophotography and Image stacking.
A guide to taking longer exposure photographs and image staking software.
transit 22:05
23 November 19:30-20:30The Jupiter/Saturn conjunction.
How and why this phenomenon occurs.

The Galilean Moons of Jupiter.
The structure of Jupiter’s four largest moons.

rises 18:43
transits 02:44
30 November 19:30-20:30The Voyager Missions. 4 Decades and Counting.
A look back at the highly successful Voyager Missions and their current mission exploring interstellar space outside of the Sun’s heliosphere.

Skywatch for December

sets 14:00
no Moon
7 December 19:30-20:30Q & A, Discussion session and a chance to show your Astro images.15.7%
no Moon later
The programme is subject to change; depending on sky conditions and availability of speakers. Issued 26 September 2020

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.


At the moment, all meetings are online. The links shall be posted one day before the meeting.

During NORMAL term time the Society meetings are held on Tuesday evenings in the CSA lounge 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.