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Please let our star group spy at night; ASTRONOMERS AIM TO OBSERVE FROM SUMMIT CAFE.

A GROUP of astronomers is trying to gain permission to be among the first to stay overnight on Snowdon.

The star gazers from North Wales & Llandrillo College Astronomy Society plan to carry portable telescopes to the 3,560ft peak in September.

As it will still be light during their ascent they want to stay after dark - long after the caf closes at around 6.30pm.

NWLCAS vice chairman Steve Reid, of Llanddulas, also hopes to ask a crew from long-running BBC series The Sky at Night to film the adventure.

Several years ago, the Daily Post took Sir Patrick Moore to Steve's Llanddulas home to inspect his back garden ob-servatory. Steve has also visited the astronomical knight's Selsey home in West Sussex, and mixed with enthusiasts including Queen guitarist Brian May, impressionist Jon Culshaw and sci-fi novelist Terry Pratchett.

Mr Reid said: "The idea is called One Man and his Dob.

"This is a play on words, and involves taking collapsible, Dobsonian style telescopes to the top of Snowdon to raise money for charity.

"The Sky at Night team have ex-pressean interest in joining us.

"We are waiting to hear from the people at Snowdon Mountain Railway to see if we can use the caf facilities overnight to make it a public event which could increase the amount raised. If not I expect it will just be a few of us."

They hope to see the Andromeda Galaxy - the nearest spiral galaxy to our own, a mere 2.5 million light years away - and the Ring Nebula, a dying white dwarf star surrounded by fluorescing gas.

The group hope to stay at the new Hafod Eryri Visitor Centre due to open in mid June 2009.

Snowdon Mountain Railway general manager Alan Kendall said there are safety and insurance issues to overcome for any star gazers to stay overnight.

He said: "We are operating a com-merciabusiness but it is feasible.

"The railway doesn't operate in the dark (for them to come down) but we are happy to help if we can. It would be fantastic."

Mr Kendall invited the society to e-mail its plans to him at


Amateur astrologer Steve Reid with famed SIr Patrick Moore during a visit to the knight's West Sussex home
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 25, 2009
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