Pex Hill Visit of North East Astronomical Societies – 22nd August 1998

Report by Robert Simpson

Inside Pex Hill Visitors' Centre (now the Leighton Observatory). Date unknown but likely 22nd August 1998 or 20th March 1999


Solar observing at Pex Hill


On Saturday, August 22nd 1998 a group of astronomers, representing six North East of England astronomical Societies, came to Liverpool to meet members of Liverpool A.S. The Previous Wednesday night was spent preparing the William Brown Street Observatory. That entailed putting up displays and generally tidying up the room so that everything would look nice when the visitors arrived.

Members of Liverpool AS and visitors from the North East Astronomical Societies outside Pex Hill (now the Leighton Observatory) on 22nd August 1998

All happy Astronomers

When they arrived at 12:00 noon we took them around the NMGM Liverpool Museum to show them some astro photographs and we talked to them on an individual basis to get to know them. After this the visitors were taken to the NMGM Liverpool Museum Planetarium, the best outside London. They were shown two programmes, the first was about asteroids and comets and the effects on the Earth if one of these were to impact. The second, called Night Watch, showed the night sky as seen from Liverpool for the coming months.

The Planetarium shows were followed by a visit to the City Observatory. Ron Kelley gave a talk to the visitors about the history of the LAS, while Geoff Regan showed them the observatory room and the 5inch Cooke Telescope. The visitors were then taken to the NMGM Conservation Centre, also in the City Center, to see the replica of William Lassell’s 24 inch telescope built in 1996 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Lassell’s discovery of Neptune’s large moon Triton.

Solar observing at Pex Hill during the visit by the North East Astronomical Societies on 22nd August 1998

Solar observing

A coach trip to Pex Hill observatory was next on the agenda. When we arrived tea, coffee and biscuits had been laid on for everyone. Telescopes, belonging to Liverpool A.S. members, were made available for everyone to use to observe the Sun, and then we looked at some astro slides, and were given a talk by Liverpool A.S. member Morad Ghorbal.Geoff Regan and David Galvin showed the visiting group around the observatory at Pex Hill, which houses the LAS 16 inch Robertson Newtonian Telescope, they explained the work that has been done and what still needs to be done on the dome,telescope and its mount.

David Galvin demonstrating the reception of live weather satellite images from Meteosat, at Pex Hill during the visit by the North East Astronomical Societies on 22nd August 1998


David Galvin also demonstrated his work on collecting weather satellite images “Live” from space. Our visitors left at about 6:00pm and we just tided up the room – everyone had a good day and I hope that one day we can organise a return trip to the NorthEast sometime soon.

Article © LAS/Robert Simpson

Many Thanks to everyone for helped to make it an enjoyable day

Geoff Regan, LAS Director of the Observatory