© Croydon Astronomical Society 2012 Croydon, Surrey, England. Charity Registered in England and Wales No. 251560
Croydon Astronomical Society
Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find answers to most questions. If you can’t find the answer you need then please email the webmaster. If it’s an answer that others will benefit from then it will be added to the list below.
If you have any additional questions please email our Membership Secretary, the address can be found on our Contact Us page. If you wish to contact us by telephone please leave a message on our answer telephone service on 020 8668 9642 and we will contact you.
All you need to do is to fill in a membership application form, available from here, meetings at the Royal Russell School or at the Kenley Observatory. It should then be handed either to the membership secretary or to a committee member. If you have any questions about our membership please contact our membership secretary whose email address is on the Contact Us page. There is no obligatory fee for attending our meetings or observatory, the society is funded entirely by donations from our members and visitors and by the sale of raffle tickets at our lectures at the Royal Russell School.
Our constitution requires that members reaffirm their membership each year -
Please inform the Membership Secretary -
We have no obligatory fee, even when attending a meeting. Instead we rely on voluntary contributions, raffle tickets etc. The society’s costs are mostly hiring the meeting room, speakers, and costs associated with running the observatory. We are a charitable organisation and rely on members volunteering, and no individual of the society receives any money for any work they undertake.
The society is funded by donations from both members and visitors. This income is supplemented by the profits from the raffle that we hold at the lecture meetings.
Under the Gift Aid scheme HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) allow us to reclaim the basic rate of income tax you have paid on your donations. As a result we can recive an extra £2.50 for each £10 you donate. Only one Gift Aid declaration form needs to be completed for your first donation and this form covers all further donations in subsequent years, which enables us to reclaim the basic rate of income tax on current and all future donations until the form is cancelled. We can also claim the basic rate of income tax on any donations made during the four years prior to the date of signing this Gift Aid form. For higher and additional rate taxpayers you can also claim additional tax relief via your tax return.
If at any time you have forgotten how much you donated please contact the Membership Secretary, the address is on the Contact Us page.
If you require any additional information on Gift Aid please have a look at the HM Revenue and Customs Gift Aid website. If you are a higher rate taxpayer and require advice on reclaiming your tax on the donations please contact your professional advisor.
Important note: If the total amount reclaimed under Gift Aid from HMRC from all (not just to the CAS) donations subject to Gift Aid exceeds the amount of Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax that you have paid in each tax year, then it is your responsibility to remit the difference to HMRC. In such circumstances we still welcome your donations, but please contact the membership secretary for the option of possibly cancelling your Gift Aid declaration.
By several means:
We do not have a junior section at present but accompanied young members are very welcome to the lecture meetings and to our observatory. The short lecture is aimed at beginners and should be understood by our younger members. The difficulty of the main lecture very much depends on the subject but often it is at the level of a documentary.
The meetings and lectures are held in classroom G4 below the Great Hall at The Royal Russell School, Coombe Lane, Croydon CR9 5BX. It is towards the further end of the school grounds. More details and maps are on the School Location page.
There are very good public transport links, and free parking in a large car park on site close to the gate. The best method of public transport is to use Croydon Tramlink, with the Coombe Lane tram stop very near the school entrance. Croydon Tramlink links to East Croydon, West Croydon, Wimbledon, Addington and Beckenham stations for those travelling from further away. More transport details are available here together with some maps.
Lectures are held on Friday evenings every two weeks from September to July with a 3 week break at Christmas and Easter. Dates of the lectures meetings can be found on the Meetings page.
Our society encompasses membership from beginners to experienced, and so we try to make the lectures interesting across the range. We normally start with an introductory talk aimed at those starting astronomy followed by the main talk after a break that covers a particular topic in more depth, though not necessarily requiring technical knowledge. Ultimately the society’s principle aim is to educate and share in astronomy.
Our observatory is open to the public on Saturday evenings from September to May. The actual dates are announced on the Events page of this website, Facebook, forum and the observatory telephone 020 8668 9642 where a message is left each Saturday afternoon confirming what time the observatory will be open, typically at 8 pm in the winter to later during shorter nights.
On public evenings there are people on hand to show you many of the objects that are visible through our telescopes. Members’ evenings are to allow members to use the facilities to carry out their own observations. Anyone wishing to become a member can apply from the Membership page.
The observatory is located near Kenley Surrey to the south of London, with good horizons and a surprisingly dark sky especially to the south. Parking is nearby just a few minutes walk away. Unfortunately public transport is not nearby, a consequence of a flat horizon and dark sky site. More details on the observatory location page.
We have a small clubhouse, electricity, Wi-
We tend not open on public evenings if it is raining or cloudy, and notification is given in the usual way as mentioned in item 13 above. If you have arranged a group visit and the weather is poor there will be a prior agreement.
The Public Visits page gives suggestions on clothing, footwear, some equipment items and also site etiquette.
We welcome groups of up to about 20 and we are well suited to accommodate visits of this size. Please contact our group visit co-
Telescopes are classified primarily on aperture and our main telescope is a 14-
Needless to say the more distant objects are smaller and fainter and most people find the nearer objects more satisfying.
The detail you can see depends on your acquired skill and experience, how well your eyes are dark adapted, the observing conditions and level of light pollution, but it is a reasonably large telescope.
Some people are content to simply enjoy the views and nothing is required as there are always people happy to assist. We do encourage members to use the equipment, and to get the best out of any it is necessary to learn how to operate them. We are happy to provide tuition and training, not just for the society equipment but we encourage members, guests and the public to bring their own; however please notify us in advance as preparation can go a long way.
Send an email to our enquiry address listed on the Contact Us page and we will reply with the answer.
First please check that the email address is current, as some have changed recently, by looking on the Contact Us page. Alternatively use the webmaster address from this website (bottom of most pages) as this is always current. There is always the observatory telephone 020 8668 9642 where a message can be left and this is monitored regularly.