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Basic Astronomy and Observation Programme

Welcome to 2021.

We wish you a good year ahead despite all the uncertainties.

Our ‘normal’ regular weekly meetings are online at the moment. 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 Winter Term Programme

Programme from January 2021

All meetings are online.

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 posted one day before the meeting.
DateTopicMoon ephemeris
12 January 19:30-20:30
Informal Open EveningSets 15:14, 1%
Virtually New moon
19 January 19:30-20:30An Introduction to AstrophotographySets 21:22, 28%
2d before 1st Qtr
26 January 19:30-20:30Mars. Why? Why not?
A webinar by one of our former students.
Rises 13:43,
Sets 05:28 90%
2 February 19:30-20:30Introduction to stellar spectroscopy Rises 22:56, 78%
2d to 3rd Qtr
9 February 19:30-20:30Image processing of Astro-photographsSets 14:06, 6.5%
2d to New Moon
16 February 19:30-20:30The Development of the HR diagram and it’s usesSets 21:30, 15%
5d crescent
23 February 19:30-20:30Synthesis of Elements in the UniverseRises 13:45, 93%
Sets 06:37
2 March 19:30-20:30The Cosmic Distance ScaleRises 22:04, 90%
3d after Full
9 March 19:30-20:30The Galilean Moons of JupiterSets 13:04 17%
4d to New
16 March 19:30-20:30Galaxy distribution and current cosmology from the Big Bang till nowSets 21:33, 9.5%
3d after New
23 March 19:30-20:30Meteorites-Origins and Evolution of the Solar SystemRises 11:23, 72%
Sets 04:34
30 March 19:30-20:30Open night and results of the photo competition or observing night if conditions and restrictions allow
Rises 22:06, 98%
2d after Full
6 AprilCommittee meetingRises 13:08, 30%
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.