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COSMOS 'working flat out' to find new gala speaker

The team behind the Community Observatory on St Martins are working "flat out" to find a speaker for their upcoming fundraising gala dinner after their original choice dropped out.

Internationally acclaimed astronomer and astrophotographer Damian Peach was meant to host the October 6th event but was forced to withdraw for personal reasons.

COSMOS Secretary Charlie Payne said the group are optimistic that a new speaker can be found but welcome help from the community in finding the right person.

She said: "It’s really disappointing for us that Damian is no longer able to attend, as we were so looking forward to his talk and enthusiasm about our observatory project.

"We are currently working flat out to secure a new speaker, and have a few irons in the fire, with help from friends and contacts. We are confident - and hopeful - at this stage that we will have an amazing speaker in place for the event.

"However, we know getting to and from Scilly at relatively short notice can pose problems, especially with the calibre of speaker that we are aiming for, so we’d love to hear from anyone in the community that could help."

Charlie added that the gala dinner, held at Karma St Martin's Hotel, is an important event for COSMOS as it will help raise the final funds needed to finish the Observatory and make it accessible to the public.

She explained: "A lot of work has gone into making the event a success, we have some incredible auction prizes - including art from Richard Pearce, Tree Baker, stays at Karma hotels in Goa and Bali, plus prizes from so many generous Scilly businesses.

"We have already sold a good number of tickets. We know that whatever happens it will be a fantastic evening. So I’d say to anyone interested in the Observatory project, please do come along and support us, especially now."

Meanwhile, the wood to construct the Observatory’s warm room has now arrived, with the two Pulsar domes and telescope equipment due to be delivered to Scilly imminently.

For more information on COSMOS and updates on the progress of the construction, visit

>> Building underway at St Martins Observatory


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