As part of the Dark Skies festival held throughout February half term across North Yorkshire and beyond, our society will be hosting a ‘star party’ at the Danby Moors Centre.  And the RAF Fylingdales event planned for January 18th, and organised by York A.S, the base, with assistance from us, had to be cancelled, victim of the wintry conditions... [Read more about Dark Sky Night – Danby Moors Centre]

Continuing the tour of stellar objects crossing the meridian line this month: a double-star in Canis Major, a unique object called "The Intergalactic Tramp" takes the place of our galaxy; we present the Eskimo nebula and the Heart-shaped cluster.

  • Star - h 3945 (145 Cma) in Canis Major: the ‘winter Alberio’.
  • NGC 2419: "The Intergalactic Tramp or Wanderer".  At almost 300k lightyears from the centre of our galaxy, this globular cluster is nearly twice as far as the Large Magellanic Cloud. 
  • Nebula: The Eskimo Nebula (NGC 2392) or Clown face nebula.  A disk of material containing a number of comet-shaped objects appearing to stream away from the nebula’s central star.

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, Neptune, Venus and Mercury
  • Meteors: Alpha Aurigids
  • February 2018 Sky Charts

Christmas Meal 2017

Our Christmas meal at the Hare and Hounds once again proved a great success with ten members making it to the banqueting table.  The food was excellent, the wine flowed (favouring certain parts of the table more than others) and the company, most convivial.  Crackers, crackers... [Read more about Christmas Meal 2017]

Continuing our new feature, we take a brief look at this month’s selection of objects of particular interest crossing the meridian line.

  • Star: 119 Tauri (CE Tau) – The Ruby star in the constellation Taurus.
  • Cluster: The 37 cluster – it would have been very easy to go for the Pleiades, however I'd like to highlight an object you may not have heard of, yet it certainly deserves scrutiny.
  • Nebula: The nebula Messier 78 (or NGC 2068) is a reflection nebula in the constellation Orion.

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Jupiter, Mars, Mercury and Saturn
  • Earth Reaches Perihelion
  • Supermoon and Blue Moon
  • Meteors: Geminids, Ursids
  • January 2018 Sky Charts

Starting this month is a new feature in which we take a brief look at various celestial objects of particular interest for one reason or another.  These are a star, a galaxy, a nebula and a cluster.  To keep matters simple all the objects are located on or close to the meridian line, due south, around mid month at 20:00h ( GMT time).  The objects are ranked as Easy, Medium or a Challenge to observe with the type of optical aid required to spot them... [Read more about Crossing the Line: objects of the month]

We have now booked the Hare and Hounds for Dec 15th (Friday).  The booking is initially for a dozen at 19:30h. 

If you would like to come along (the food is excellent and the evening most enjoyable) we shall continue taking names, rank and serial numbers at the December society meeting on the 5th, failing that please contact Mark Dawson.  First come, first serve. 

Taxi arrangements will be discussed at the meeting. [Read more about Society Christmas Meal 2017]

The Winter Solstice

The Sun reaches its lowest position in the sky on December 21st this year; the date of the winter solstice and officially the start of winter in the northern hemisphere.  From our latitude the Sun arcs little more than 12 degrees above Southern horizon at local noon, standing before the stars of Sagittarius.  Useful daylight amounts to just 7½ hrs - ’the shortest day’... [Read more about The Winter Solstice]

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Uranus, Neptune, Jupiter, Mars and Mercury
  • Meteors: Geminids, Ursids
  • December 2017 Sky Charts

Having bumped into Sean Paling, director and Senior Scientist at the Boulby Underground Laboratory the other week in a local watering hole, we briefly discussed the possibility of a visit to the facility down in the mine... [Read more about Boulby Mine – Dark Matter Facility]

We have been invited by York AS to join them for a star party at RAF Fylingdales on Jan 18th 2018.  We are however required to furnish Martin Whillock at YAS with details of all those wishing to attend by Nov 30th... [Read more about Fylingdales RAF base star party]

This was our second visit to the Kettleness Scout centre, which used to be the railway station back in the day.  Sleights cubs were spending the Halloween weekend camping there and had asked for a star party for evening of the 28th.  Conditions, although very in keeping with Halloween, were not very conducive for observations, being rather cloudy and very windy, too windy for the scopes.  Use was therefore made of the activities room for an indoor show... [Read more about Kettleness – Scout /Cub Event]

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Saturn, Mercury, Uranus, Neptune, Venus, Mars and Jupiter
  • Meteors: Leonids, South Taurids
  • November 2017 Sky Charts

The society meetings restart in October the date is Tuesday 3rd (not 4th as incorrectly stated last month). 

Apart from a roundup of our summer activities and a look at the current sky, Mark will be giving a short talk on Cassini and Andi hopes to have a talk ready too.  Hope you will be able to join us (see WDAS diary for venue and time etc )

Our open nights at the Bruce Observatory recommence on Sunday 8th Oct starting from 19:30h.  As always if you are unsure about the weather prospects on the evening contact Mark. [Read more about Society Monthly Meetings: Recommence]

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