Friday 1 March 2024

Soviet Cosmonauts arrive in Stockholm in 1964

 On March 1st 1964 soviet cosmonauts Yuri Gagarin  (Vostok 1) and Valery Bykovsky (Vostok 5)  arrive in Stockholm, for an eight day visit to Sweden 



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Thursday 29 February 2024

Occultation of Mars seen with a Cooke telescope in 1929

 Occultation by Mars of BD +24’ 1659 bf A F Bennett April 21st 1929 using a 6 inch Thomas Cooke and Sons Telescope

The observation was made from Leiston in Suffolk under good sky conditions. A bar had been fixed at the focus of the eyepiece, a Zeiss orthoscopic being used and giving a magnification of 240 on the 6 inch Cooke.

The star presented a minute sharp image, which without taking advantage of the bar to reduce the glare from Mars could be kept clearly in view until it had approached to within about 10” distance of the latter.

The star was held unmistakeably under observation until 20 h 39m 11s, when it could no longer be seen. The bar was now shifted so s to show the extreme edge of the Western limb of Mars, an the star was first glimpsed again, on reappearance at 20h and 50 min. The mean of these times gives 20h 45m for mid occultation.




Tuesday 27 February 2024

The Zodiacal Light

    If you have a very good horizon in the west where the Sun sets we are approaching the time       of the year when it might be possible to see the Zodiacal Light. The sky does have to be very      dark and clear.

     The zodiacal light is a cone of eerie light that can be seen in the sky just after the evening twilight ends in the spring, or before it begins at dawn in the autumn. These are periods during the year close to the equinoxes where the period of daylight and night-time are equal.

    The best time to look for the zodiacal light this year will be the first two weeks in March. Although the spring equinox is not until March 20th the Moon will be nearly full making the sky too bright.

    People used to think zodiacal light originated somehow from phenomena in Earth’s upper atmosphere.

    However today we know that the zodiacal light is produced as sunlight is reflected off dust grains that circle the sun in the inner solar system. These grains were once thought to be left over from the process that created our Earth and the other planets of our solar system 4.5 billion years ago.

    Today some astronomers believe that the grains of dust may have been blown into space during massive dust storm from the planet Mars.






Monday 26 February 2024

The Astronomy Show

 Join me, Martin Lunn MBE tonight and every Monday evening from 7.00 pm-9.00 pm on the Astronomy Show, probably the only regular astronomy show on any radio station in the country.

I will take my weekly look at the night sky and look at all the latest news in astronomy. There will be the astronomical anniversaries this week plus the A-Z of Constellations.



The Astronomy Show every Monday evening only on Drystone Radio live on line at www.drystoneradio.com DAB radio in Bradford and East Lancashire, or 102 and 103.5 FM and can also be heard later on the Drystone Radio Podcast.


Saturday 24 February 2024

Aurora seen over Liverpool in 1872

On November 10th 1872 Samuel Barber observed aurora over Liverpool at 11.20 pm. He described it was of the usual form, ruddy and radiating from a horizontal band of light in the north.

It was followed by a week of much colder weather than had preceded it.



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Thursday 22 February 2024

Meteor over Blackpool in 1872

 On November 6th 1872, D.Winstanley whilst looking over the sea a few minutes before 10.00 o’clock saw a meteor of large size. It was accompanied by a short scintillating train and moved slowly quite parallel with the horizon directly north. Its elevation was about 15 degrees and its rate of motion was about 1.5 degrees per second. The night was dark and somewhat cloudy, and the line described by the meteor was seemingly quite straight.


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Wednesday 21 February 2024

Moon passing close to Regulus on February 23rd

 The Moon will pass very close to the bright star Regulus on the night of 23rd February.

Regulus, Arabic for the ‘Heart of the Lion’, is the brightest star in the constellation of Leo the Lion. Leo looks like a giant backwards question mark in the spring sky. In Harry Potter, Regulus Arcturus Black was the younger brother of Sirius Black.

Regulus was one of the four Persian Royal Stars, the others being Aldebaran, Antares and Fomalhaut.

The green line in the image shows the path that the Sun follows across the sky.



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Jodrell Bank and Zimenki radio observatories begin joint work in 1964

 On February 21st 1964 the first exchange of signals between Jodrell Bank and Zimenki observatories is made using the Echo 2 satellite. The test opens a series of joint US/UK/USSR communication experiments for later in the year.

The observatory which was built in 1947 was located in the village of Zimenki around 20 miles from the city of Nizhny Novgorod which lies to the east of Moscow. The observatory is derelict today. It was part of the Radiophysical Research Institute.

The Zemenki observatory was used for research including solar flares, radio monitoring of solar activity and observations of the ionosphere.



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Tuesday 20 February 2024

Satellite to enter Earth's atmosphere on Wednesday, bur experts are not sure where it will land

 An uncontrolled 2,200kg (5,000lb) space craft will enter the Earth’s atmosphere on Wednesday 21st February at around 11.15 GMT however there is a 15 hour window of uncertainty. This space craft is not Chinese it’s European.

The uncertainties of when and where The European Remote Sensing 2 (ERS2) will land are complicated by solar activity which can alter the density of the upper parts of the atmosphere which means that predicting where it will land are to say the least difficult.

ERS2 was launched in April 1995 by the European Space Agency (ESA). At the time it was the most advanced Earth observation satellite. The mission finished in 2011. It was estimated it would re enter in 2024.

The problem is that ESA did not save a small amount of fuel to control the space craft on its last orbit of the Earth before it re entered the atmosphere. This means that it will enter in an unguided way. In other words the experts are not sure where the space craft will land.

In all probability it will land in the ocean as over 70% of the surface of the Earth is covered by water. However you can be sure that there will be many concerned eyes watching the sky on Wednesday morning.




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Monday 19 February 2024

The Astronomy Show

Join me, Martin Lunn MBE tonight and every Monday evening from 7.00 pm-9.00 pm on the Astronomy Show, probably the only regular astronomy show on any radio station in the country.

I will take my weekly look at the night sky and look at all the latest news in astronomy. There will be the astronomical anniversaries this week plus the A-Z of Constellations.



The Astronomy Show every Monday evening only on Drystone Radio live on line at www.drystoneradio.com DAB radio in Bradford and East Lancashire, or 102 and 103.5 FM and can also be heard later on the Drystone Radio Podcast.

The Micro Snow Moon on February 24th

 You have probably heard of the Super Moon, but did you know we also have the Micro Moon? The Moon takes around one month to orbit the Earth. Its normal distance from us is 239,000 miles. The Super Moon is when the Moon appears larger in the sky than normal because it is closer to us, but of course the opposite can also happen; occasions when the moon is further away than normal and we have a Micro Moon. On February 24 we will see the first Micro Moon of the year.

A Super Moon is less than 230,000 miles away while the Micro moon is more than 250,000 miles away. The discrepancy happens because the Moon does not orbit the Earth in a circle but in an ellipse or egg shape.

The Full Moon in February is called the Snow Moon. This is the month when we are most likely to see snow and have the coldest weather of the year.



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Friday 16 February 2024

A Cooke telescope for a steel merchant in Doncaster in1858

 The steel manufacturer and merchant Charles Daniel Doncaster from Broomhall Park Sheffield purchased from Thomas Cooke & Sons in 1858 a 3.25 inch telescope on a tall tripod, with steadying rods, finder, three astronomical eyepieces and one terrestrial pancratic eyepiece, plus vertical and horizontal slow motions.



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Thursday 15 February 2024

Thomas Cooke telescope to Rugby in 1858

 In 1858 C. Evan of Rugby purchased a 4.5 inch Thomas Cooke & Sons telescope. The telescope had a focal length of 78 inches. It was mounted on a fixed equatorial stand with clockwork motion, illuminating apparatus, micrometer with eyepieces, astronomical eyepieces .

I don’t know if this is the Rev C Evans of Rugby who was elected a FRAS in 1858, or if he had any connection with Rugby school.



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Wednesday 14 February 2024

Another Cooke telescope for Cambridge in 1867

 In 1867 William Henry Mandeville Ellis of St John’s College, Cambridge purchased a 4 inch Thomas Cooke & Sons telescope. I think that William Ellis was an architect.

The telescope came with six astronomical, one comet, one eclipse and one terrestrial eyepieces. All the eyepieces had to be packed in a mahogany box.




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Tuesday 13 February 2024

St Valentine Eve Northern Lights

There could be a heavenly addition to St Valentine’s day this year.

Since February 7th the Sun has been throwing a series of CME’s (Coronal Mass Ejections) into space. A new forecast from NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) which suggests that the Earth could get hit tonight, February 13th the eve of St Valentine.

There is also a chance that some of these CME’s will pile up and form what astronomers refer to as a Cannibal CME. This happens when one fast moving CME catches up with a slower moving CME. Cannibal CME’s contain much stronger magnetic fields that can produce powerful geomagnetic storms.

The magnetic energy from the CME’s interacts with the magnetic fields of the Earth and one of these results are the Northern Lights.

If such a pile up does occur expect to see some really good Northern Lights tonight and maybe even on St Valentine’s night itself.

If you want to see the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis look to the north after if gets dark.



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Monday 12 February 2024

The Astronomy Show

 Join me, Martin Lunn MBE tonight and every Monday evening from 7.00 pm-9.00 pm on the Astronomy Show, probably the only regular astronomy show on any radio station in the country.

I will take my weekly look at the night sky and look at all the latest news in astronomy. There will be the astronomical anniversaries this week plus the A-Z of Constellations.


The Astronomy Show every Monday evening only on Drystone Radio live on line at www.drystoneradio.com DAB radio in Bradford and East Lancashire, or 102 and 103.5 FM and can also be heard later on the Drystone Radio Podcast.

Project TRUMP concluded in February 1964

 On February 12 1964 Project TRUMP which stands for Target Radiation Measurement Program  concluded at Elgin Air Force Base, Florida finished its interim phase.

An official said " We have acquired more data per dollar in TRUMP than in any other probe borne radiation study".

The project investigated ICBM light intensity in the infrared and ultra violet regions. 

For the future TRUMP will continue the researches employing a more powerful booster rocket in place of the NIKE-JAVELIN used in the interim phase.



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Saturday 10 February 2024

A Cooke eyepiece for a Doctor in Cockermouth in 1865

 Dr Henry Dodgson FRAS a medical practitioner form Cockermouth, Cumberland in 1865 purchased from Thomas Cooke & Sons York an astronomical eyepiece for a reflector with an aperture of 8 inches and a focal length of 69 inches and an 8 inch aperture prism.



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Thursday 8 February 2024

Thomas Cooke telescope mounting for India in 1868

 In 1868 F Doderet in Madras in India purchased a simple Thomas Cooke equatorial mounting for a 5 foot telescope.

I have not yet been able to establish if this was for a Cooke telescope or not or indeed what size the telescope was. The mounting came equipped with leather straps to hold the telescope, on a short tripod.



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Wednesday 7 February 2024

Small Thomas Cooke telescope from 1857

 W T Dewesbury of Skelton I assume near York purchased in 1857 a 3.5 inch telescope with a plain mounting. There was a finder, steadying rods, four eyepieces, sun mirror, pancratic eyepiece. All of the above was in a box. The cost was £30,



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Tuesday 6 February 2024

A Thomas Cooke telescope for Belgrave Square in 1859

 Sir Thomas Cunningham of Eaton Place Belgrave Square London purchased in 1858 from Thomas Cooke & Sons a universal 3.5 equatorial telescope.

 Later in 1859 he purchased from Cookes an equatorial mounting with tangent screw motion on a tripod for the latitude of Great Britain.



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Monday 5 February 2024

The Astronomy Show

 Join me, Martin Lunn MBE tonight and every Monday evening from 7.00 pm-9.00 pm on the Astronomy Show, probably the only regular astronomy show on any radio station in the country.

I will take my weekly look at the night sky and look at all the latest news in astronomy. There will be the astronomical anniversaries this week plus the A-Z of Constellations



The Astronomy Show every Monday evening only on Drystone Radio live on line at www.drystoneradio.com DAB radio in Bradford and East Lancashire, or 102 and 103.5 FM and can also be heard later on the Drystone Radio Podcast.


Rev J Spear observed planets with Cooke telescope from India in 1870

 The Rev J Spear observed Jupiter, Saturn and Mars in 1870 from Chukrata N W Provence's, Bengal using a Thomas Cooke & Sons 4.5 inch telescope.

He also observed double stars using a Barlow lens more than doubling the telescopes powers.



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Sunday 4 February 2024

Possible TLP seen by TGE Elger with a Cooke telescope in 1867

TLP’s or Transient Lunar Phenomenon are bright patches which can be seen on the surface of the Moon. They are caused by gas escaping through cracks on th surface of the Moon. The term Transient Lunar Phenomenon seems to have been first used by the TV astronomer Patrick Moore.

On the 9th April 1867 TGE Elger from Bedford using a Thomas Cooke and Sons of York 4 inch telescope was waiting for the occultation by the Moon of the star 150 Tauri when a bright spot as bright as a 7th magnitude star appeared in the crater Aristarchus.


The spot was seen from 7h 30 min to about 8h and 15 min and it became much fainter. At 9h it was scarcely visible through the 4 inch telescope. Elger used powers of 75 and 115 on his Cooke telescope.


Could this be another example of an early observation of a TLP?



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Saturday 3 February 2024

Mercury seen with small Thomas Cooke telescope from Hull in 1868

On February 15th 1868 at 6.15 pm William Lawton of Hull observed the planet Mercury, it was as he described one of the clearest views he had of that planet.

Using powers of 50 and up to 100 on the 2 inch Cooke and Sons telescope he was able to observe the gibbous aspect of the planet and also took note of its brilliancy.



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Friday 2 February 2024

Colour changes seen on Jupiter in 1860 with a Thomas Cooke telescope

 Part of a note on the changes in the colour of the equatorial belt of Jupiter by John Brown esq.

On a fine night in January 1860, I turned Mr Pritchard’s 6.75 inch equatorial by Cooke, for about half an hour on Jupiter. The planet was so well defined, and the details of the markings on the equatorial belt were so peculiar, that I mad a sketch of them, noting at the same time the remarkable brown colour of the equatorial belt. One of the edges of the belt (I think the upper side in the instrument) was beaded or divided into egg shaped masses, which must have been of brighter or lighter colour than the background of the belt, to have given them so much prominence.



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Thursday 1 February 2024

For Sale Thomas Cooke telescope property of G F Chambers

To be Sold in 1867 


The property of a fellow removing


A well constructed wooden observatory with revolving polygonal dome, the internal diameter of which is about 9 feet.

Also a completely mounted 4 inch Cooke Equatorial on iron pillar.

Application to be made to G F Chambers, esq, Junior Carlton Club, 16 Regent Street, W


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Wednesday 31 January 2024

Drawings of Mars made in 1862 using a Thomas Cooke telescope

 Mr Grove of Upper Harley Street London made drawings of Mars on October 26th, 31st and November 3rd 1862. He used a 4.5 inch telescope made by Thomas Cooke of York, the focal length was 6 feet.


He was perfectly satisfied of there being notable changes in the distribution of the lights and shadows, inconsistent, it appears to him, there being land and water, or, as he should perhaps say, land and water only:



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Tuesday 30 January 2024

Comet observed from Gibraltar in 1860 with a Thomas Cooke telescope

 Colonel De Rottenburg wrote in a letter dated June 24th 1860 from Gibraltar. “ I observed a brilliant comet in the constellation of Auriga this evening, a line from beta through a Geminorum continued about three times their distance passed through its nucleus.

It was easily seen with the naked eye, the nucleus was a little less brilliant than Castor . Its altitude above the western horizon about eqwual to that of Venus at the same time.

I turned my 6 feet equatorial of 4.5 inches aperture made by Messrs Thomas Cooke & Sons of |York on the comet.

It has a bifid tail, very like that of the year 1846 as shown in Keith Johnsone’s Atlas of Astronomy which is edited by Mr Hind. I used powers of 26, 50 and 100 on the comet; the nucleus has a very sensible disk. It bore the powers of 100 very well; one portion of the tail is much longer than the other, the south preceding being the longer.

With 100 power the nucleus was situated within the nebulosity, and the nebulosity was more arched and prominent on the south preceding part. It was first seen by a gentleman here on Saturday evening 23rd June.



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Monday 29 January 2024

The Astronomy Show

 Join me, Martin Lunn MBE tonight and every Monday evening from 7.00 pm-9.00 pm on the Astronomy Show, probably the only regular astronomy show on any radio station in the country.

I will take my weekly look at the night sky and look at all the latest news in astronomy. There will be the astronomical anniversaries this week plus the A-Z of Constellations.



The Astronomy Show every Monday evening only on Drystone Radio live on line at www.drystoneradio.com DAB radio in Bradford and East Lancashire, or 102 and 103.5 FM and can also be heard later on the Drystone Radio Podcast.

Thomas Cooke telescopes bought and sold in Chester

In 1865 Dr William Murray Dobie of Kings Buildings, Chester purchased a 6inch Telescope from Thomas Cooke &Sons. 

Dr Dobie was advertising for sale a 5.5 inch telescope that he had brought from Cookes in 1863. I have no idea why he was replacing this telescope as he described it as nearly new, it was only 2 years old and he described it as being of the first rate. He was selling this Cooke telescope without its stand,



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Sunday 28 January 2024

Two Thomas Cooke telescopes for London in 1868

 Jonathan Crowley of Clarendon Road, London purchased in 1868 a 3 inch telescope with total reflection prism from Thomas Cooke & Sons. This was subsequently changed for a 4 inch telescope also from Thomas Cooke & Sons.



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Saturday 27 January 2024

A Publican who bought a Thomas Cooke telescope in 1864

 Alfred Compton a Publican from Barnsbury Terrace in London I don’t know what pub he ran ordered a 3.75 inch telescope from Thomas Cooke & Sons in 1864. The instrument had a focal length of 4 feet.

This particular instrument was made in York but sent down to the Cook & Sons shop in Southampton Street London to be collected




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Friday 26 January 2024

Another Thomas Cooke telescope for Edinburgh

 Yet another Cooke in Edinburgh. In 1867 Richard Collins of Capel’s Place, Leith Walk, Edinburgh purchased from Thomas Cooke & Sons a 3 inch object glass to go with the tube that had already been sent.

I have no further information regarding this telescope.



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Thursday 25 January 2024

Derby astronomer uses Thomas Cooke eyepieces on a Dollond telescope

I came across James S Clarke of Derby who purchased an astronomical eyepiece from Thomas Cooke & Sons in 1868, after some research I discovered that he had a 5.25 inch Dollond, but he was using a Cooke & Sons eyepiece.



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Wednesday 24 January 2024

Carpet dealers buy Thomas Cooke telescope in 1865

 It would appear that carpet sellers were also interested in astronomy. In 1865 Thomas Carter of Carter and Mercer, carpet dealers of Ripon in Yorkshire purchased a 2.5 inch telescope plus 3 astronomical eyepieces together with a pancratic terrestrial eye piece and a sun cap.

I have no further information on Thomas Carter.



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Tuesday 23 January 2024

Liverpool optical firm order Thomas Cooke tripod in 1864

 In Liverpool between 1851 and 1890 the optical company of Abraham & Co traded on Lord Street, Liverpool. In 1864 they ordered from Thomas Cooke & Sons a plain equatorial mounting on a tripod stand. This was for a 4.5 inch telescope.


As an instrument maker I don’t know why they could not provide a stand for this instrument, unless perhaps the buyer had asked for a Cooke mount.


The cost of this mount was £30 which today would be £4,800.




Monday 22 January 2024

The Astronomy Show

 Join me, Martin Lunn MBE tonight and every Monday evening from 7.00 pm-9.00 pm on the Astronomy Show, probably the only regular astronomy show on any radio station in the country.

I will take my weekly look at the night sky and look at all the latest news in astronomy. There will be the astronomical anniversaries this week plus the A-Z of Constellations.




The Astronomy Show every Monday evening only on Drystone Radio live on line at www.drystoneradio.com DAB radio in Bradford and East Lancashire, or 102 and 103.5 FM and can also be heard later on the Drystone Radio Podcast.

Two Thomas Cooke telescopes for Edinburgh in 1865

I have come across another two Cooke telescopes in Edinburgh.

They were both purchased by Daniel Barton of Clarendon Cr. Edinburgh in 1865.  The first was a 3 inch telescope  and the second was a 4 inch telescope  

I have no further information regarding Daniel Barton, I am no sure if his name has any historical reference in Edinburgh.



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Saturday 20 January 2024

Thomas Cooke eyepieces for London optical company in 1866

 In 1866 the optical instrument makers of Charles Baker 244 High Holburn, London ordered from Thomas Cooke & Sons a Barlow lens of power either 300 or 350. Also purchased was an astronomical eyepiece, unfortunately I do not know the power.

The firm of Charles Barker had been formed in 1765 at the above address and they sold optical and surgical equipment. In the mid 1850s they were also selling not only telescopes but also microscopes and accessories.

The firm was acquired by Cooke Troughton and Simms in 1959.



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Friday 19 January 2024

The Full Wolf Moon is approaching

 The Full Moon in January is known as the Wolf Moon, as in ancient times, hungry wolves were heard howling more often than normal at this time of year.


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George Browne of Liverpool purchased a Thomas Cooke telescope in 1865

 In 1865 George Mansfield Browne of Liverpool purchased a 3.25 inch telescope  for £125 that is £19,682  in today's prices from Thomas Cooke & Sons. 

I have no information at all about George Mansfield Browne. I don’t know if he had any connection with the Liverpool Astronomical Society?



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Thursday 18 January 2024

Thomas Cooke telescope for Jesus College Cambridge in 1866

 In 1866 Rev Henry Boys of Jesus College, Cambridge purchased from Thomas Cooke & Sons, a telescope with a lens which I believe had a diameter of 4.5 inches. The telescope came with a leather case and was being given as a prize.


The instrument came with 6 eyepieces, prism, dark glasses, micrometer &c, divisions on glass, a clip to fix to window sill.


About all I know regarding The Rev Boys is that he died in 1870, he had become a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1866 but there is no mention of him in the obituaries.



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Tuesday 16 January 2024

A Thomas Cooke telescope for Rotherham in 1865

In South Yorkshire, Jonathan Booth of Moorgate, Rotherham purchased a 4 inch educational telescope on a mounting with latitude adjustment. This telescope was purchased from Thomas Cooke & Sons in 1865.

As is often the case I unfortunately have no other information on Jonathan Booth.



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Monday 15 January 2024

The Astronomy Show

 Join me, Martin Lunn MBE tonight and every Monday evening from 7.00 pm-9.00 pm on the Astronomy Show, probably the only regular astronomy show on any radio station in the country.

I will take my weekly look at the night sky and look at all the latest news in astronomy. There will be the astronomical anniversaries this week plus the A-Z of Constellations.



The Astronomy Show every Monday evening only on Drystone Radio live on line at www.drystoneradio.com DAB radio in Bradford and East Lancashire, or 102 and 103.5 FM and can also be heard later on the Drystone Radio Podcast.

Another Thomas Cooke telescope for Leeds

 Another clergyman the Rev T Bland of Leeds purchased a Thomas Cooke & Sons 3.25 inch telescope in January 1867. Together with the telescope he also purchased an astronomical eyepiece of either 220 or 240 power.

To date I have not been able to discover any astronomical observations by the Rev Bland, it is possible he was a member of the Leeds Astronomical Society.



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Sunday 14 January 2024

The man who brought two Cooke telescopes, changed his name and was murdered.

Henry John Tuberville who was formerly known as Henry John Blackmore was something of an eccentric with a taste for science and in particular astronomy. He was the elder brother of Richard Doddridge Blackmore who wrote ‘Lorna Doone’


As Henry Blackmore in April 1865 he brought a 4.5 inch educational telescope from Thomas Cooke & Sons and in October 1866 as Henry Tuberville he brought a 5.5 inch telescope with a finder, 6 eyepieces, sun prism on an equatorial mounting, strong but as light as possible, on a stout polished mahogany stand. With both telescopes his address was the village of Pilton near Barnstable in Devon.


He changed his name in 1865 it appears due to some family issues, Tuberville was a Catholic family name and he appears to have changed his name with the aim of offending his Church of England relatives.


I cannot find as yet any evidence of any astronomical observations he made or whether he was a member of any astronomical societies in Devon. I also have no idea what happened to his two Cooke telescopes.


Henry Blackmore was born in Berkshire in 1824, his father John Blackmore would become the vicar of Ashford near Barnstable in Devon. In 1857 he inherited some money after an uncle died, and by the time of his death had amassed a fortune of £20,000 which today is worth £2.4 million.



In 1875 when he was 51 Henry Tuberville started to visit Yeovil in Somerset where he became engaged to Elizabeth Maggs who was 23 and the daughter of a chemist Thomas Maggs, he had made several wills the last in 1875 he left everything to Thomas Maggs and his family. There were not surprisingly many objections to the will.


He was taken poorly on August 16th 1875 and as he was a chemist Thomas Maggs was called in to see him, he apparently had a great pain in his leg, the following day he died. The physician Dr. Allridge stated that Tuberville had taken potassium cyanide, although it was never decided how he hot this poison. In the end a jury decided that in a state of unsound mind Tuberville had taken the potassium cyanide.


His brother Richard, believed that Henry had been murdered and tried to get the inquest re opened in this he failed. The mystery is still there today did he commit suicide or was he murdered?



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Tuesday 9 January 2024

Cooke telescope for Tynemouth in 1859

J. Biggs of Tynemouth purchased in 1859 a 3.25 inch telescope from Thomas Cooke & Sons. It had a 4 feet focal length with finder, eyepiece and prisms with a tripod with steadying rods. The cost was £36, today(2024) that would be £5,580.




Monday 8 January 2024

The Astronomy Show

 Join me, Martin Lunn MBE tonight and every Monday evening from 7.00 pm-9.00 pm on the Astronomy Show, probably the only regular astronomy show on any radio station in the country.

I will take my weekly look at the night sky and look at all the latest news in astronomy. There will be the astronomical anniversaries this week plus the A-Z of Constellations.



The Astronomy Show every Monday evening only on Drystone Radio live on line at www.drystoneradio.com DAB radio in Bradford and East Lancashire, or 102 and 103.5 FM and can also be heard later on the Drystone Radio Podcast.


John Couch Adams and a Thomas Cooke telescope stand

 Thomas Cooke & Sons of York had a very interesting number of celebrated and famous customers. In 1859 John Couch Adams of the discovery of Neptune fame ordered a universal portable equatorial stand of best construction to carry a telescope of 3.5 inch aperture.

As far as I know the telescope was not made by Thomas Cooke, but I do not have any further information regarding this telescope. Maybe if he had it in 1846 he could have looked for the planet we now call Neptune!!



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