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Following an excellent run of meetings of The Baker Street Irregular Astronomer­s (BSIA) over winter, none of us foresaw the impending upheaval of COVID-19. Our 10th anniversar­y was coming up in June and we were wondering how to celebrate, being the only group allowed to use London’s Regent’s Park after hours. We knew we would have to suspend our meetings, as our venue

– a high security Royal Park flanked by embassies – was not going to stay open.

We considered virtual meetings, but we wanted to do something different. BSIA is different from most other societies in that we draw a lot of newcomers each month to our gathering place at The Hub, often about a third of the circa 100 attendees, so we wanted to accommodat­e them too.

We decided to try evening YouTube sessions hosted by Irregulars (as we call ourselves) discussing their astronomy passions and these drew an audience far larger than our typical meetings. The format is very effective and popular and we will do it again soon. We’re also looking to the future when normality resumes, and our eventual return to Regent’s Park.

We will continue to live broadcast our meetings, opening up the world of amateur astronomy to an even wider audience who are unable to attend in person. We’re fun, free and for everybody, and we hope that more will consider joining us next time. Nicholas Joannou, committee member, The Baker Street Irregular Astronomer­s


 ??  ?? ▲ Pre-lockdown, BSIA meetings were a busy affair in Regent’s Park, London
▲ Pre-lockdown, BSIA meetings were a busy affair in Regent’s Park, London

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