Astronomers boldly go for funding grant

The Cygnus regrion of the Milky Way, as captured by the TweedAstroS.

The Cygnus regrion of the Milky Way, as captured by the TweedAstroS.

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The sky is no longer the limit for a group of Peebles astronomers following a grant of £9,700 from Awards for All.

The Tweeddale Astronomical Society (TweedAstroS) is putting the cash towards new equipment which will allow them to see farther than ever before, as well as a storage unit.

The society, which scans the skies above Kailzie Gardens near Peebles, hopes to use the money to bringing the mysteries of space closer to people who may not normally be able to see it.

“We were very pleased with the award,” said the society’s Tom Johnston this week. “It is part of a fundraising project we are running to hopefully raise about £30,000 to buy a storage unit and equipment.

“We hope to purchase one of the largest telescopes in operation in the Borders, and to use that and the other equipment to help us to encourage interest in astronomy and the night sky amongst groups that wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity, particularly disabled groups where perhaps eyesight is not as good as it could be.

“We are looking at getting a telescope with a camera which can be hooked up to a projection system so that people can see what the telescope sees, on a large screen and we will be using it to help in educational ways to help local schoolchildren with their curricular activities.

“we are really pleased that this first step in our fundraising has been successful and we have other applications which are pending and we hope they will add to the pot to help us achieve our ultimate goals.”

Several other local organisations were also successful in their funding applications.