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Gloucestershire astronomers take part in Stargazing Live 2014 in Cheltenham

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: January 10, 2014

Youngsters joined members of the Cotswold Astronomical Society (CAS) in Montpellier Gardens to take part in Stargazing Live 2014

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ASTRONOMERS took advantage of a long awaited clear night to take part in Stargazing Live 2014.

Members of the Cotswold Astronomical Society (CAS) took to Montpellier Gardens with their telescopes to take part in the annual event.

With stormy weather in Gloucestershire since the start of the year, the stargazers had feared cloudy skies, heavy rain and strong wind could force them to down telescopes.

But a clear night on Thursday allowed them to set up telescopes in Montpellier and they were joined by more than 100 members of the public.

Peter Cadogan, the co-ordinator of the group, said: “We had a great night with children from local schools.

“Mostly, we were looking at the moon and Jupiter. But we had a good view of the Orion nebula later on.”

Stargazing Live has been broadcast on the BBC every January since 2011 and is presented by Professor Brian Cox and comedian and amateur astronomer Dara Ó Briain.

The show, which encourages people across the UK to join in with the stargazing, has been a big hit with astronomers and CAS has been taking part since 2011.

Mr Cadogan said: “The great thing about Stargazing Live is that so many people want to get involved and see the night sky for themselves.”

In recent years, the society has almost doubled its membership from 60 to 120 people and its events have attracted a large following.

Mr Cadogan added: “The increase is not solely down to Stargazing Live. Lots of really exciting things have been going on in space recently, like Curiosity on Mars or the discovery of water on Mercury.”

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