About the society

The Scarborough and District Astronomical Society was founded in 1976 by John Harper F.R.A.S., its President. After meeting at the Osgodby Community Centre on the southern outskirts of Scarborough, it moved to the old North Riding College on Filey Road, then into the town's library. Its present home is East Ayton Village Hall, four miles west of Scarborough. A couple of years ago the Society was renamed the Scarborough and Ryedale Astronomical Society, to more accurately reflect its membership, and the establishment of the Astronomy Centre at Low Dalby. Sir Patrick Moore F.R.A.S. opened this facility in 2001. Currently there are approximately 50 members.

The annual subscription is £15 commencing in September. The subscription includes the Society's monthly "Sky Notes" and Newsletter. Members may also borrow telescopes belonging to the Society.

Meetings are held on the third Friday of each month at East Ayton. The December meeting is the Society's Christmas Dinner and there is no meeting in August. Instead, an annual Summer Star Festival is held for amateur astronomers from all over the U.K. in Adderstone Field, and the Society contributes to the annual Night Watch at the Visitors' Centre. The monthly meetings start at 7 o'clock for 7.30pm and finish at 9.30pm, followed by refreshments and observations if feasible. Every other Friday in the month is an observing night should the weather permit.

Members have access to the Society's two newly built observatories, situated outside the New Visitors' Centre. One will house a 12" motor-driven Meade LX 200 Schmidt- Cassegrain telescope. The other will house an 11" motor driven Newtonian reflector.

Other Activities
One of the chief aims of our Society is the promotion of astronomy within the community. With this aim in view, we visit local schools and contribute to the National Curriculum's "Earth and Sky" area at different age levels. We train and examine Cubs, Scouts and Guides in their endeavours to gain their astronomer badges and are frequently called upon to give illustrated talks and Star Parties to local groups in the Scarborough and Ryedale areas. We are also involved in adult education, offering ten-week courses in basic astronomy. The frequent meteor watches and Star Parties incorporating "Tours of the Night Sky" which we organise, are very well attended.

On the first Friday of each month, from September to May, the Society hosts a Public Observing Night at Low Dalby Visitors' Centre from 8PM to 10PM. This event is free of charge. Members of the public are shown the many, various objects visible in the night sky during each month In the event of inclement weather; a presentation is given in the Community Education Room. The observing nights are not held during the months of June and July because of the twilight, which persists all night. The dates of forthcoming events are detailed on the events calendar.

Scarborough's Star Disk
The society were extensively involved in the preparatory work for the Star Disk located in the South Bay in Scarborough. Full details are on the Star Disk page.