Salford Astronomical Society is reaching for the stars as it plans to upgrade its pre-World War One telescope.
A computer will run the proposed new model to track specific targets rather than the previous manual model.
Light pollution in the area poses an issue for the current 18.5 inch Newtonian Reflector telescope, which was made by Captain G. T. Smith-Clarke in his back garden.
Gary Yule, Chairperson of Salford Astronomical Society, said, “Light pollution is a nightmare in Salford… if you’ve got back garden lights, have them pointing downwards.
“If local businesses could turn their advertising off of a night that would help in a big way. It’s nice for people to be able to see the night’s sky.”
The society runs a public observatory on Chasley Field, Salford, and works with groups such as Beavers and Guides. They also hold open evenings in which members of the public are free to use the telescopes.
Gary said, “We’re trying to get a few links now with local schools to try and get them involved and start doing work within the National Curriculum using STEM.”
Gareth Lever, Director of Salford Astronomical Society, said, “I think it’s a facility that would be greatly missed if it wasn’t there.”
Salford Astronomical Society aims to one day become a science discovery centre for the people of Salford and is currently hosting monthly lectures until May for the public.
Gary also said, “We’re really the only place around here where people can come and use the telescopes like they can.”
A report from Coventry University suggests that stargazing as a leisure activity that releases positive emotions. This results in it being considered a ‘life enhancing’ hobby.
Stargazing has also been described as ‘free therapy’ by many.
More information about Salford Astronomical Society can be found at https://www.salfordastro.org.uk/