Doncaster stargazers are over the moon with £10,000 cash boost

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A group of South Yorkshire stargazers are over the moon with news of cash funding.

Mexborough and Swinton Astronomical Society (MSAS) announced this week that the Big Lottery Fund has awarded a grant of £10,000 towards its Project Aquarius.

Project Aquarius is aimed at improving MSAS’s JA Jones Observatory at Hoober in Rotherham in the group’s 40th anniversary year.

Chairman Les Marsden sid: “The society has a fantastic set of telescopes at the observatory that are used by the public and our members to look at the wonders of the night sky. However, there is no running water or toilet and this means that not everyone can come and use our instruments in comfort. Project Aquarius aims to install a disabled rated toilet and a larger work space allowing many more people to come and explore the night sky.”

Les went on to say that the Big Lottery Fund’s grant has gone a long way in securing the £29,000 needed for the project, alongside the £15,000 the society had raised so far, but help is still needed to complete the project, he added: “If you can help us with materials, services or donations please contact us through our website at msas.org.uk.”

The society meets every Thursday at Swinton Working Men’s Club for talks, demonstrations and workshops. It also works with schools, youth and adult groups in Rotherham and South Yorkshire providing demonstrations and talks on astronomy. In addition the society has close working relationships with RSPB Old Moor and RMBC (Parks and Amenities). The public is welcome to any of the meetings, but visits to the observatory presentations should be booked via the contact page on the website.