The 1st North West Astronomy Festival in Runcorn


1st North West Astronomy Festival, Runcorn 2013

365Astronomy attended the 1st North West Astronomy Festival in Runcorn on the weekend of 26-27 October 2013.

The 1st NW Astrofest took place at the Knowledge Observatory in Runcorn near Liverpool. Others attending included Astronomia and APM Telescopes. The atmosphere was friendly and relaxed and the event was well organised. Several presentations were put on for the public by some of the astronomy outlets, including advice on buying your first telescope and solar imaging. There was good attendance from the public who showed a keen interest in the 365Astronomy stand.

A large range of products were offered on the 365Astronomy stand. An Fornax 10 equatorial mount with a new counterweight system was being demonstrated and is currently offered at a reduced price. Also being offered at a discounted price is an Fornax 51 equatorial mount, only set up and demonstrated twice at the IAS 2013 and NW Astrofests 2013.

A Celestron Nexstar 6 SE and Celestron Nexstar 4 SE were demonstrated to promote the special autumn discount for the whole range of Celestron Nexstar SE telescopes. They are catadioptric telescopes (combining refracting and reflecting optical systems) ranging from 100mm (4″)- 200mm (8″) of aperture. They are computerised (GOTO) telescopes on a simple Alt – Azimuth mount, although the Celestron Nexstar 4 SE and Nexstar 5 SE incorporate a wedge for conversion to a rudimentary equatorial mount. The Celestron Nexstar SE range is easy to set up and transport. They offer an excellent choice for beginners and more experienced astronomers at excellent value for money, especially by taking advantage of the autumn discount being offered on the whole Celestron Nexstar SE range by 365Astronomy.


A number of accessories were on the 365Astronomy stand including focal reducers, eyepieces, planetary imagers, barlows, diagonals, finderscopes, and filters. Many customers showed an interest and purchased some of these products, taking advantage of discounts being offered specifically for this Astrofest on some accessories. A lot of interest was shown in some tents that will be available for a limited period next year. The tents are open at the top so can be used like an observatory by placing a telescope and accessories inside the tent. The new 180 degree fisheye lenses for iphone and other smartphones were also popular.

The 365Astronomy stand at the 1st North West Astrofest in Runcorn, Oct 2013

The 365Astronomy stand at the 1st North West Astrofest in Runcorn, Oct 2013

It was also interesting to talk to members of the public, both new to astronomy and more experienced, about their existing telescopes or their plans to get more involved in the exciting subject of astronomy. It was also a good opportunity to touch base with friends and colleagues from other astronomy outlets. Unfortunately the weather was not conducive to an observing session on Saturday night.

Another North Western Astrofest is being considered for next year and 365Astronomy are already discussing possibilities with the organisers for getting involved.

(update: in the end we didn’t participate in the next event due the fact that we were extremely busy that time with the launch of our new shopping cart system,  and we just couldn’t afford the extra  time that the journey would take from West Sussex to Liverpool and back… we are now participating in the Astronomy Festival organised by the Herstmonceux Science Center.)

Article by Zoltan Trenovszki

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Posted on January 22nd, 2014.