Laughton Astronomical society

July 4th 2018
By: Melanie Hollidge

Loughton Astronomical Society is the home of astronomy in West Essex; they meet on Thursday evenings between 8:00 and 10:00 p.m. in the Scout Hall, off Loughton Lane. With the approach of The Perseid meteor shower, which is one of the brightest meteor showers of the year, that occurs every year between July 17 and August 24 It might be worth getting along to find out more. 

The Loughton Astronomical Society say they welcome all levels of experience. “If you are serious, curious, want to learn or just fill an evening then come along. Try one of our observing evenings and look through the telescopes.” For our younger observers (6-14 years) they also have a junior section that meets monthly (except in April and August). They are called the "Astrokyds" on 13th July 2018 AstroKyds will be looking at  60 Years of NASA but they need to bring along a responsible adult.

But if you are interested the Perseid meteor shower which tends to peak around August 9-13 you don’t need to get your telescope in order. “The Perseid shower takes its name from the point in the sky from which the meteors appear to hail: the constellation of Perseus. Named after the mythical Greek hero who defeated the Gorgon Medusa by cutting off her snake-covered head, the constellation can be seen in the northern sky,”  says Chris Lintott, professor of astrophysics at the University of Oxford and co-presenter of The Sky at Night.

But, you don’t need star charts to enjoy the show. “You see more of the meteors when you are side on, so [look] east or west, and you’ll see them streaking past you, just wrap up warm, let your eyes adjust to the dark and look up. “My favourite thing about meteor watching is that the only equipment you really need is a comfortable chair,” he said. Get along to the Laughton Astronomical society to find out more.