Last updated Monday 1st August 2016, 15:30 UT (16:30 BST).
Formed in 2010 by a group of local amateur Astronomers, Cam and Dursley Astronomy Club (CADAC) has grown to a membership of over 100 members on our email distribution list by March 2016.
Our membership ranges in ability from absolute beginners, to established Astronomers with many years experience in Astronomical observing and/or Astrophotography.
Observing and/or imaging sessions are generally (with the exception of special events such as ad hoc spectacular Solar events etc) held from Autumn through to Spring, when the evenings are dark at a convenient time. We usually meet on Stinchcombe Hill Golf Course, where there are unobstructed views in all directions making it an almost ideal place to observe/image the night sky.
There are always a number of different designs and apertures of telescopes and mounts available for anyone who wishes to come along and view the heavens first hand. These enable observers to explore whatever is visible in the evening sky at the time of year, be it Autumn, Winter or Spring. These telescopes and mounts range from (but not limited to), an autoguided HEQ5 pro equatorially mounted with 3" Refractor and 6" Ritchey Chretien, a 5" alt-az goto mounted Maksutov Cassegrain (our club scope) and a 10" Dobsonian mounted reflector with electronic setting circles. The sophistication of these telescopes allow for a quick alignment setup and optimum viewing of all types of celestial objects, be it the Moon, Planets or Deep Sky Objects such as star clusters and nebulae etc, without the hassle of neck cricking and wobbly mounts. There are even Hydrogen Alpha (Ha) filtered telescopes available for safe viewing of Solar prominence's, sunspots, eclipses etc when required, such as during a predicted or sudden solar event. In the event of a sudden Solar event an email will be sent out to members to alert of any impromptu observing session at Stinchcombe, to view it first hand (if you have have a dog you could even bring it to these daytime sessions for a run on the hill).
In early winter 2015 along came the arrival of Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) which exceeded magnitude expectations and provided a very photogenic object, see Astrophotography page for members images, click on the Flickr link at bottom of that page to see this and other images submitted by club members. These are the sort of objects we strive to observe and/or image as well as the predictable ones.
Major up coming events for the remainder of 2016 include, 3 major planets currently (as of early June) on view, Jupiter in the West after sunset, Brilliant red Mars at opposition low in the SSE after sunset, and to the east of Mars, Saturn with its now open ring system will be wowing the first time viewers of this magnificent spectacle of the skies. All of these will be on view from now until at least August. Keep your eye on some of the links from the link page for new and predicted events during 2016.
Check the Next Meeting page for planned upcoming Cam and Dursley Astronomy Club observing events where the hope will be that as well as the predictable viewing of celestial objects, there may be a nice new comet or other previously unpredictable celestial phenomena to observe.
After our evening observing sessions we usually retire to the Old Spot in Dursley for a warm up, and generally chat about all things Astronomical.