Star-gazing with Baker Street Astronomers

  • February 26, 2014 · 7:00 PM

Please note this event has been confirmed for tomorrow, Wednesday 26th.

The Baker Street Irregular Astronomers (BSIA) meet every month in central London to look at the sky and socialise. Bring a 'scope if you have one, if not, don't worry, everyone is very friendly and happy to share - some nights there are 30+ telescopes there.

February Message from the BSIA

For the February meeting we’re very excited to be welcoming Al Nagler to Regent’s Park.  Al is one of the most respected people in the astronomy equipment industry, having worked for NASA designing the optical simulators used by the Gemini and Apollo astronauts during training (and the emergency we all saw in the 'Apollo 13’ movie). He founded the Tele Vue Optics company to bring his unique eyepiece designs to amateur astronomers - eyepieces that let you feel like your walking into the telescope. Take a look through any Tele Vue eyepieces around at The Hub and I think you’ll be astounded at what Al’s created. We’re certainly looking forward to observing with him.

But onto the skies: with Jupiter only a month past opposition, (where the gas giant & Earth were at their closest point in their orbits) it’s still looking big and bright in the eyepiece and on the 5th February, during the event, we get to watch the Great Red Spot (a giant anticyclonic storm 3 times the size of Earth that’s been raging for at least 350 years) move across the face of the planet.

We also have a lovely crescent moon to admire before 10pm. This moon phase lets us gaze into the Sea of Tranquillity – where our guest, Al Nagler’s, optics allowed Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to train for their historic moon landing. If you haven’t seen the moon through a telescope before, this is one of the prettiest and haunting phases, with hundreds of craters that you can peer right into.

Looking further afield, the Hyades and Pleiades star clusters in Taurus won’t be too affected by the glow of the moon. To the naked-eye they look very nice, but absolutely come alive through binoculars or a small scope. Then there’s the double Cluster in Perseus and the Owl (or ET Cluster– you tell us which you think it looks most like) in Cassiopeia to gaze into.

But in deep sky observing in light polluted London, I think the object that will capture most people’s scope time is likely to be the Great Nebula in Orion, pictured below. This vast cloud of gas and dust over a thousand light years away (meaning we’re seeing it as it was more than a thousand years ago), is a stellar nursery, where new stars are being born and lighting up the gas and dust that compressed to create these new stars. Look out for the Trapezium Cluster in the middle. You should see four tightly bound stars right in the heart of Orion’s Sword.

Although you’re welcome to bring any equipment you like, please don’t worry if you don’t have a scope of your own, everyone is welcome from advanced to absolute beginner – there will be plenty of scopes around on the night and people will be more than happy to find objects for you to observe if you ask. And if you are new to astronomy – there are no silly questions, just ask away!

The nights are still cold so please do bring along plenty of warm layers and coats to keep the cold out. And to help out, there will be hot and cold drinks and snacks available from the café until around 10pm to cater for whatever the weather.

All the park’s gates are closed at 6pm, so only Monkey Gate (the one nearest to London Zoo see map), will be open to enter and leave through, and we must insist that you only use this gate and never try to climb over the fences. Parking outside Monkey Gate is free on the Outer Circle after 6.30pm and it’s about 150m walk from the road to The Hub along the floor-lit pathway.

Ralph Wilkins for

The Unofficial Force.

Visit the BSIA's website here for more details:





On a clear night, there can be over 100 people at this event, so to help us connect with other members of this group, we'll stake out a table inside the Hub, with a Meetup sign.


There are detailed directions on this customised Google Map.

Summary of directions:

Enter the Park through the Monkey Gate, which is at the very north of the park. If you have short legs like me, it's a 20-25 minute walk from either Baker Street or Camden Town stations. So instead, I'd recommend going to Baker Street or Camden Town and catching the 274 bus to London Zoo to save the walking.

Once inside the park, it's only 150 meters or so (3 minutes) to the Hub - please be vigilant when it's dark.


Geek Chic costs: Full Membership of this group is £15 a year. You can attend two events for free. You can pay any time by Paypal using the link on the left navigation pane, or

Click here now to pay your membership fee

**Please note, this cost is for Geek Chic Membership, not for attending the BSIA stargazing events, which are free and open to the public for no fee.**

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  • John M.

    Guess who saw Jupiter looking fly with three moons!!

    1 · February 26, 2014


    Didn't quite meet the group but had a very good night of learning and Jupiter was simply stunning. Hope to meet you guys next time.

    February 26, 2014

  • Fahd I.

    That was great fun, definitely going to be attending this next one!

    February 26, 2014

  • Jess

    Anyone around?

    February 26, 2014

    • Dan

      I have just come and am outside. Where is anybody?

      February 26, 2014

    • Jess

      In the long queue

      February 26, 2014

  • Jobeda A.

    Or find each other using comments - which table are you at or maybe someone will be good enough to post their number so others can find them?

    February 26, 2014

  • Jobeda A.

    Hello everyone. I just had an injury on way home from work and unable to attend myself as host. I have only just managed to get myself on to internet. If you have the App, please share this news with everyone. I hope some of the regulars will know each other and form a group. It's unlikely you'll have a sign now - any late comers can print one! Although I know Danny sometimes brings one on the off chance so find him! Please feel free to write up a Geek Chic sign if you have pen and paper - take the initiative! Grab yourself a table inside and put up the sign and other members will find you. I am sorry sorry this happened. I have missed this event for about 6 months and was so looking forward to it. Trust this to happen just as I thought I'd got well enough to start coming again. I'm sorry especially to newbies - please look after them, oldies! I'll make it up to you all.

    February 26, 2014

  • Dimitris

    A business dinner tonight, I have to pull ...So sad

    February 26, 2014

  • Fahd I.

    I'm definitely in! See you all there!

    February 26, 2014

  • Renee

    I am now a maybe. Been wanting to come to this event for ages but have a job application deadline. Will try.

    February 25, 2014

  • Lucas

    Cobditional dependent on clear skies

    February 25, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    First time in such an event, anything I need to do in advance ? e.g. booking ?

    February 25, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Wednesday 26th Feb..... same night as Science Museum Lates :'(

    February 10, 2014

    • Jobeda A.

      Yes, this is an annoying co-incidence, but doesn't happen often, Sadly you'll have to choose.

      February 20, 2014

    • Jobeda A.

      Having said that, please note this is 'window' event again, so it might end up being on the 27th.

      February 20, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Would love to make it tonight but busy

    February 15, 2014

  • Dinesh

    Due to the weather and tube strike (though I think it's mainly the weather) this has now been postponed until later this month.

    Provisional date is the 22nd of Feb, but they will confirm closer to the date. (source: Email List)

    February 3, 2014

  • Claire

    Hey, would love to go to this on Wednesday - but at the moment there's a tube strike (unless it gets called off) so I think it would be too tricky to get there this time.

    February 2, 2014

    • Dimitris

      I am worried about it also. But calling it off again is also tricky.

      February 2, 2014

    • Javier T.

      I don't think I can make it with the tube strike. Too bad this looked fun.

      February 3, 2014

  • Jill

    Would love to come but now have a clash. Next time!

    February 2, 2014

  • Fahd I.

    Stargazing sounds fun, I'm in! Hope to meet lots of interesting people there!

    February 1, 2014

53 went

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