Think this may have always been a challenge to view Venus’ occultation by the waning moon. And so it proved.  The day itself was much improved on the previous 8 or 9 days and I had some optimism that something would be viewed.  The start of the occultation occurred at 08:38h from Whitby, so with compass, tape measure, binoculars and camera on hand... [Read more about Venus Occultation by The Moon (by Mark Dawson)]

Lockdown measures continue to eased, but I think that July is still too early and impractical to host a star party. It will actually be rather light anyway until the end of July. I think therefore we shall revisit the situation in a month’s time as it may be possible to host a few star parties in August... [Read more about WDAS Diary: July-August 2020]

Sky Notes - July 2020

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Jupiter & Saturn (Opposition), Mars, Venus, Mercury.
  • Meteors: Lyrids, Virginids, alpha Scorpiids
  • Comets
  • Noctilucent Cloud Watch
  • July 2020 Sky Charts

Strawberry Moon

They say June's Full Moon got its name as it's the month when wild strawberries begin to ripen.  ('Evidently not named by a Canary Islander!' --Andi)  Be that as it may, Mark has been out in force to take some photos for you pleasure and delight.  So ('Odd-one-out' round) which of these Moons is Mark's teaser?

 

  [Read more about Strawberry Moon]

Sky Notes - June 2020

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars
  • Lunar Ocultation of Venus
  • Meteors: Lyrids, Virginids, alpha Scorpiids
  • Comet: C/2020 F8 SWAN
  • Summer Solstice 2020
  • Noctilucent Clouds 2020
  • June 2020 Sky Charts

Sky Notes - May 2020

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Venus, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn
  • Meteors: Eta Aquarids
  • Comets: 2019Y4 (ATLAS), C/2020 F8 Swan
  • May 2020 Sky Charts

The start of April offers up an interesting stellar challenge, testing the observing dexterity of astronomers; casual or otherwise in a race against time.This is all about spotting first magnitude stars; those ranked brightest in the sky.

Piercing the spring twilight dotted around the sky, no less than thirteen of these are currently visible, more than at any other time of yearHowever the window of opportunity in which to identify these stellar jewels rapidly diminishes as we head deeper into April... [Read more about The Stellar Baker's Dozen Challenge]

Due to the current restrictions associated with the Corona virus outbreak, (or those very likely to come into force) it is regrettable that all foreseeable events until June have been cancelled or postponed. If the situation changes we shall let you know. We are all navigating unchartered skies.  [Read more about WDAS Diary – April/May 2020]

Unfortunately due to current Corona virus restrictions the annual visit by pupils from Ayresome Primary School & Lego Innovation Studio has been postponed until later in the year. Mark was contacted by Elizabeth Labelle; assistant Head Teacher (phase3) with the not too unexpected news, but hoped they would come to Whitby when restrictions are relaxed.  [Read more about Ayresome Primary School – Whitby Youth Hostel visit]

Dark Sky Events

Fylinghall School Star Event: held on March 28th the ‘dark sky’ star gazing evening was, like last year, somewhat effected by external conditions – cloud. At least it wasn’t raining so some activities possible, and Mark was able to press gang some of the attendees to help demonstrate the scale solar system in the Stack yard...

Hunley Hall Event: the following evening Mark drove over to Brotton and the Hunley Hall complex, to assist in some capacity with the dark sky event being run by the Hall management and members of Cleveland and Darlington A.S. At the Hall Mark met up with John McCue, one of the key organisers, who many moons ago was instrumental in setting up NEGAS (the north east group of astronomical societies) with whom WDAS was also affiliated. The ‘Edinburgh excursion’ organised by NEGAS was worthy of been made into a comedy drama- but that’s another story!..

Errington Primary School – Friday 13th: Having been contacted by Allan Fishpool, lower key stage 2 Leader at Errington Primary School, regarding a visit to coincide with the culmination of their science week activities, Keith and Mark journeyed over to Marske by the Sea, on Friday 13th March...

  [Read more about Dark Sky Events]

Sky Notes - April 2020

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Venus, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn
  • Meteors: Lyrids, Virginids, alpha Scorpiids
  • April 2020 Sky Charts

Because of the timing of Caedmon College’s Easter break we have decided to have our ‘April’ meeting on the last day of March – Tuesday the 31st March 2020.  [Read more about ‘Blue meeting March’ - April Meeting in March!]

Our association with Ayresome Primary School & Lego Innovation Studio will be continued again this year after been contacted by Elizabeth Labelle; assistant Head Teacher (phase 3).  This year’s group of pupils (around 30 or so) will be stopping at the Whitby Youth Hostel from April 6th-10th  and we'll be hosting a star party event for them on either the 8th or 9th, whichever evening according to the forecast looks best...

 

We have been invited to Errington Primary School, Windy Hill Lane, Marske by the Sea, to assist with an event they are holding on March 13th 2020.

The School is running a science week that week, culminating in the Year 3/4s being invited for a sleepover in the school on the Friday night, the theme for the week being space and astronomy.   They would like a star gazing evening, maybe with a campfire and stories of constellations myths, as well as indoor practical activities...

 

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