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Galloway Astronomy Centre

Posted: 20 Dec 2016, 18:13
by Darren Henderson
During our Christmas night out I discussed with Paul that there was a B & B guest house situated near the Galloway Dark Sky Park. I was asked to look into this with the idea of maybe organizing a trip.

The B & B is run by Mike Alexander.

It has two rooms, one is a Double / Family room priced at £30pppn, the other is a Single / Twin room £26pppn.
Children 6 to 15 years - £15.00 per child per night (twin room). Children under 16 years sharing parent's double room - £6 each. Children 5 years and under sharing parent's double room - Free.

There is other guest house / B & B accommodation situated nearby if there is a group of us that want to go ( I believe that Mike could get us in touch with this ) & we could use his place as a base for observing.

The website has a calendar where you can see when the B & B is free to book.

Two course evening meal £13 per person.

Telescopes £7 per person per hour ( but you can bring your own).

B & B's Telescopes:

Emery 16 inch f5 Newtonian Reflector fork mount, based in a 3m square roll off roof observatory.
10 inch f6 Dark Star Dobsonian Reflector.
Orion Optics 8 inch Reflector with goto.

Demonstration Scopes from their shop:

Skywatcher Explorer 130P Reflector on goto mount.
Skywatcher Skymax 127 Maksutov on EQ3-2 Equatorial Mount.
Skywatcher Startravel 102 Refractor o EQ1 Equatorial Mount.

Course that are available (taken from the website).
Astronomy Courses for Beginners We offer short courses in basic astronomy for our guests. With over 40 years experience take advantage of the knowledge. Saving yourself frustrating nights trying to sort the planets from the stars or even hundred of pounds by buying a telescope that is right for you. With our beautiful dark skies we can show you how put the ideas and techniques into practice. Courses are run when requested by guests and do not require a minimum number.
A Guide to Observing the Night Sky
It may seem an easy thing to do, you buy binoculars or a telescope and a star map and outside you go. In reality most beginners are confused trying to match dots on the page to the stars in the sky and even more confused when looking for planets or nebulae through a telescope. The aim of this course is to provide an understanding of how to start observing the night sky by knowing what there is to see and where it is. At the same time we introduce some of the scientific theories behind the objects you are seeing. The course covers: Equipment needed to get started Astronomy Software / Apps Recognising the Constellations Finding the Planets Finding Deep Space Objects Why you cannot see the same detail as telescope images Duration : 3 hours (approx.) Cost - £35 (per person). Additional family members only £10 each.
A Guide to Buying a Telescope
With the range of refractor, reflector and catadioptric telescopes available to the beginner seeming to increase each year, it can be difficult to know which one to buy. A wrong choice can lead to frustration and the wasting of hundred of pounds. This course is designed specifically to help the beginner make the right choices and narrow down the list to those telescopes that best suit their needs and budget. The course covers: Types of Telescopes Types of Mounts Types of Finderscopes Types of Eyepieces Calculating Magnification Duration : 3 hours (approx.) Cost - £35 (per person). Additional family members only £10 each.
Setting Up and Using a Telescope
If you already own a telescope, but have difficulty in understanding how to use it, this course is for you. The course covers: Explaining all the parts of the telescope Balancing the telescope Polar Alignment (Equatorial Mounts only) Finderscope Alignment How to alignment a reflectors optics includes free collimation check worth £20* Use of Eyepieces Calculating Magnification Correct movement of the mount when locating objects Duration : 2 hours (approx.) Cost - £35 (per person). Additional family members only £10 each * Collimation price based on South Down Astronomy website If you are not able to bring your own telescope where possible we will demonstrate using our equipment. For non residents there is an additional charge of £10 per course above.
Tour of the Universe
Free (All you pay is the telescope time at £7 per hour) Take a guided tour of the heavens. We will tell you the story of how ancient civilizations named the constellations. Using our 16 inch telescope we can take you through the Solar System then venture far back in time as we go into the depths of space. Typically we will be observing the following objects or types of objects: The Planets - Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune Nebulae/Star forming regions Star Clusters Galaxies Double Stars Meteors Moon Satellites and International Space Station passes Comets Aurora Note: Not all objects are visible every night. Duration : 2 hours (approx.) Cost - You pay only for the Telescope time at £7 per hour per person Non residents - Please phone for prices.

Website www.gallowayastro.com
Telephone 01988 500594

I will bring some printed copies of this information along to the next meeting on 24th January 2017 where we can see if there is any interest or members can individually contact mike & book themselves.