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Hello !

Thank you for visiting the Junior Astronomers' page.

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The Junior Members' section in RAG is for children and young people aged from 8 to 18. The benefits of being one of our Junior Members are similar to those for adult members. You can find the benefits on the Membership page.

To become a Junior Member you must be accompanied by an adult Member at all the meetings and events.

Here's what two of our Junior Members think about the Club .....



Hey Friend!

My name is Sam! I joined RAG in Summer 2017, back then I was only 10, now at 14, I have managed to photograph using a camera and my telescope, and trust me it feels great, its like you get to see what lies beyond our safe blue planet.

Around a hundred years ago astronomy was something only professionals could grasp, but now..... Now we can get telescopes, cameras, even specific computer programmes designed to help us!

Being at the group has allowed me to be part of an ever growing community of people who, like me, are fascinated by what is beyond our atmosphere. I even got one of my friends from school to join, and he, too, loves it! The Group has constructed an Observatory named after our founder: Peter Bolas. Its a wonderful thing to be a part of.

Red Moon Sam Leonard

This is my image of the 'Red' Moon

So why should you join?

Well for one, its gives me something look forward to on Friday nights (other than the weekend!). And also Astronomy is interesting, and now we have our own Observatory, equipped with a huge telescope and other things for research. It's also - and I've kept saying this and I will keep saying it - an awesome community to be a part of!    



Hi, Rauf here....

RAG is a well organised Society where members can enjoy being involved with many like minded enthusiasts. There are meetings at the middle and end of every month with fascinating presentations and talks coming from well known astronomers, scientific experts and RAG members themselves.

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We also have meetings in the Observatory, as well as Group Observing evenings, when we get together outside with our telescopes and binoculars.                

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I joined RAG with my Dad in January 2018.               

While I have been a Junior Member I have studied Astronomy as part of my Duke of Edinburgh Award programme. I have passed my Bronze Award, and I have completed my Astronomy Skills section at Silver Level. I have helped to give talks to Cub-Scouts, and to show members of the public the night sky, and the safe way to look at the Sun, through my telescope - and now I am learning how to photograph the galaxies and nebulae, also using my telescope - it’s called Astrophotography !

This was my first image of the Moon that I took in 2019.

The junior page is the part of the website intended for us, the younger members, so that we have a dedicated section of the website, covering the things we want to know about. In this Junior Members' section we cover interesting topics including the solar system, stars, planets and galaxies plus many more exciting subjects. The content is targeted to be engaging, full of facts, and it’s a fun, inviting place to learn and develop interests - I certainly have. 


Hi there !                                              

I'm Bethany, RAG's Junior Space Detective. My job is to find out and share lots of interesting facts about Astronomy ! You can read my report here - every month it has a different Focus.

So why don't you, my Readers, hop on board my 'Curious Comet' and join me as I travel around our Galaxy ....!

  Hi Friends and fellow Space Detectives !

Glad you could join me for my next journey of discovery !

Last month my 'Curious Comet' took me to Mars - you can find out what I discovered below.

This month I have travelled thousands of miles further away from the Sun - to discover facts about what can be found  between Mars and Jupiter.

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The first Asteroid was seen in 1801, then others were discovered. This group of objects were given the name ‘Asteroids’ by William Herschel in 1802 - the word means ‘star-like’.
Other scientists talked about them being minor planets.
By 1851 astronomers knew about 15 asteroids - and now in 2021 there are over 1,070,856 known asteroids ! (NASA facts)

Asteroids are rocky leftovers after the formation of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago.

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Here is one of my drawings of an Asteroid showing craters where it has been hit by others.

In early times after the Big Bang - dust and rocks circulating the Sun were pulled together by gravity. This resulted in the formation of Planets.

Not all of these rocky substances were captured together, and a great many bits of the debris formed a kind of ‘belt’ shaped collection orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter.

This is known as the Asteroid belt.

The first Asteroid to be seen was discovered by accident by an astronomer called Piazzi when he was making a star map. He named it Ceres - the Roman goddess of Harvests. We know now that Ceres is the largest Asteroid - so I suppose it makes sense that Ceres was the first one to be seen. Back then, in 1801, telescopes were not as powerful as they are now.

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   Image credited to NASA

Image of Ceres taken by the Dawn Spacecraft.

A Ceres Year (one orbit of the Sun) takes 4.6 Earth Years (1,680 days).

Ceres is heavily cratered showing how it has been hit by loads of other bits of asteroid debris as they jostle around in their orbits of the Sun.

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  (An artist's impression of the Asteroid belt)

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The four largest Asteroids in the Asteroid belt are Ceres, Vesta, Pallas and Hygiea.

Ceres, is the only object in the Asteroid belt that is large enough to be a dwarf planet. It is about 950k (600 miles) in diameter.

The diameters of Vesta, Pallas and Hygiea are around 600km.

Some Asteroids are large, solid bodies. There are more than 16 in the belt with a diameter greater than 240km (150 miles).

Other Asteroids are piles of rubble held together by gravity.

Most Asteroids aren’t quite massive enough to have reached a spherical shape and instead they are irregular, often resembling a lumpy potato.

The Asteroid 216 KleoPatra resembles a dog bone !

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If you are a Junior Member in RAG - you can find loads more facts that I discovered about Asteroids in the MEMBERS ONLY Section, on the Junior Members' page.  

FACTS IN FOCUS LAST MONTH: All about MARS                    

Did you know ?

A Day on Mars (one rotation on its Axis) takes 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35 seconds - which is very similar to a day on Earth (24 hours).

A Martian Year (one revolution of its orbit around the Sun) takes 687 Earth days.

Mars is 'tilted' on its Axis, just like Earth - at 23 degrees - but its tilt is at a completely different angle to Earth's tilt.

Mars  Image credited to   NASA

Mars is someties called 'the Red Planet' - that's because it has rusty iron in its ground.

Mars is like Earth in that it has seasons, weather, polar ice caps, canyons,  and volcanoes - but the volcanoes are no longer active like the ones on Earth.

Mars is the second smallest Planet in our Solar System - Mercury is the smallest. The Diameter of Mars (at its equator) is about half the size of Earth's Diameter (at our Equator).

Mars is the fourth and last of the four 'rocky' planets. Those nearer the Sun are Mercury, Venus and Earth. It is a 'terrestrial' planet

Mars is the only planet that we have sent Rovers to.

Try checking this out !       (Using the pictures from the Perseverance Rover)

During the Martian day the sky is pinkish-red, and during the Martian night the sky is blue.

See  you next month !


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Luke is fascinated with Space - just like his Mum, and he loves making things.

When the Perseverance Rover landed on Mars on 18th February, 2021 Luke made a solar powered Rover. His Mum sent the picture of his Solar Rover to NASA and they put it on their website in the 'Mars Mission Student Showcase'.

 The picture on the left is taken from the NASA website.       


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Hi Everyone !

We are Nick and Nicci ........the Astro-nics !

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If there is something about astronomy that you would like to know the answer to - why not get in touch in the Contact Us section, and ask us a question ?

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Astronomy is a science that is really fun ! It is full of interesting things to find out about. There are lots of words in Astronomy that sound interesting when you say them, or they mean interesting things.

Here are a few of them beginning with A and B.

Asterism -


Apogee -


Binary star -

This is the word given to a group of stars that form a shape or pattern in the sky, but they are not part of a full Constellation.

If an object is orbiting the Earth or another planet - to be at Apogee is the point where the object is furthest away from the centre of the Earth, or Planet. Our Moon orbits the Earth and can be at Apogee. The closest point to the Earth, or planet, is called 'Perigee'.

A binary star is one of two stars both orbiting around their centre of mass. As they are both moving around each other, because they are so far away they can look as if they are only one star - you can see the two stars if you look at them through a telescope.


Next month we will be looking at some words beginning with C and D.


  • Approximately half the mass of the belt is contained within the four largest Asteroids: Ceres, Vesta, Pallas and Hygiea. The total mass of the Asteroid belt is 4% of Earth’s moon mass.
  • Ceres, the only object in the Asteroid belt that is large enough to be a dwarf planet, is about 950k in diameter. The diameter of Vesta, Pallas and Hygiea is around 600km.



  • C – type Asteroids make up more than 75 percent of known Asteroids. The ‘C’ stands for Carbon, the surface of these super dark Asteroids is almost coal black. Carbonaceous Chondrite meteorites that have crashed onto earth have a similar composition, and are thought to be pieces smashed off the larger Asteroids.
  • S – type Asteroids are the second most common type, making up about 17 percent of known Asteroids. They dominate the inner Asteroid belt, becoming rarer further out. They are brighter and have metallic nickel–iron mixed with iron – and magnesium – silicates. The ‘S’ stands for silicates.

M – type Asteroids (The ‘M’ stands for metallic) are the last major type. These Asteroids are fairly bright and are composed of pure nickel-iron. They tend to be found in the middle region of the Asteroid belt.