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Amateur astronomy is a fascinating hobby.

It can be an introduction to several practical and useful technologies. Instruments used in amateur astronomy range from the unaided eye, binoculars & standard DSLRs to video cameras, large computer-controlled telescopes and even radio telescopes.


For observations, the hard part is finding dark skies that are conveniently located. Although we can't necessarily provide dark skies and the weather that goes with, we can help introduce you to this awe inspiring activity! We can provide access to field trips in Anglesey and the opportunity to observe from Tegg's Nose.


One doesn’t always require dark, just a clear sky to observe the Sun. The Sun can be viewed as white light through low cost simple filters and specialist Hydrogen Alpha telescopes that are now within the price range of an amateur.


Joining the Society provides the opportunity to look, learn, record and be enthralled.

Our members range from novices to those who have spent a lifetime in astronomical research.

Whether an armchair astronomer, visual observer or skilled astrophotographer you will find a kindred spirit within the Society.


Founded in 1990, our aim has always been to make astronomy accessible to everyone. We meet three times a month for a Workshop, Social evening and Lecture.

Astronomy is often seen as a daunting pastime in which to become involved. The Society works hard to ensure that our welcome to existing and new members alike is friendly and informal. We are simply enthusiastic amateurs who love learn about & look at the Night Sky.


In order to become a member of Macclesfield Astronomical Society you need no formal scientific qualification. However, it is as well to bring enthusiasm and an enquiring mind along with you!

Astronomy is the one science where an amateur can still make a fundamental contribution. Though scientific research is not their main goal, many make a contribution to astronomy by monitoring variable stars, tracking asteroids and discovering transient objects, such as comets and novae.


As amateurs we do not depend on the field of astronomy as a primary source of income or support, and do not have a professional degree or advanced academic training in the subject. Many amateurs are beginners or hobbyists, while others have a high degree of experience in astronomy and often assist and work alongside professional astronomers.

One doesn’t need to invest heavily in equipment to appreciate the heavens, though if one gets enthusiastic, the budgets required can be extensive. One can use nothing more than one’s eyes, however, tools for amateur astronomy more commonly include portable telescopes and binoculars.


Today, many amateurs are keen Astro Photographers. The quality of images taken by our members exceeds those taken by professionals only a few years ago. This ranges from using a compact camera at a telescope eyepiece, a Digital Single Lens Reflex camera instead of an eyepiece, use of a simple webcam to specialist Imagers.


People have studied the sky throughout history in an amateur framework, without any formal method of funding. It is only within the last century, however, that amateur astronomy has become an activity clearly distinguished from professional astronomy, and other related activities.

It has been said that the fundamental difference between the amateur and the professional, is that the amateur actually knows where the stars are as they are the astronomers who get out under the night sky.

All images on this page are courtesy of MaccAstro members.
except banner image, 'The VLT observatory'. © ESO


If you've not visited us before, please feel free to come along ...  


© Macclesfield Astronomical Society 2016


This page was last modified on 20 October 2016