This Island Universe

Many amateur astronomers regard September as one of ‘the special’ months in which to explore the night sky. Evening conditions remain conducive for prolonged observation, yet skies are fully dark by 22:00h. During September the summer Milky Way is at its most conspicuous to the naked eye, though sadly for many inhabitants of the UK this magical aspect of the night sky is all too often rendered invisible because of light pollution. Fortunately the North Yorkshire moors and coasts still offer up numerous dark oases from which to fully appreciate our galactic heritage. Choose a moonless period, which in September is at the start or end. Allow a good 15 minutes for your eyes to adapt to the conditions before attempting to trace the path of the Milky Way through the brilliant starry canopy above. [Read more about This Island Universe]

The Autumn Equinox

The autumn equinox falls on September 22nd, the date autumn officially commences in the northern hemisphere.  For the second time this year the polar axis of our planet is at right angles to the Sun and all locations receive equal hours of daylight and darkness... [Read more about The Autumn Equinox]

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Venus, Saturn, Mars, and Mercury
  • Meteor Showers: sparse Piscids
  • September 2016 Sky Charts

No, that didn’t work either... moving Regatta to later in the month, that is.  Different dates, same weather. 

Saturday- clouded out both afternoon and evening.  We didn’t even bother to unload any equipment for these events, squally showers and really quite strong winds do not make for ‘quality’ observing.  Having said that, three people do technically qualify as a ‘party’ and we did briefly spot a couple of stars in the Plough handle, so that’s star party in my book.  Regatta Sunday would be better.

Sunday was a lot more encouraging, the Sun was actually shining, whoopee!... [Read more about Regatta and Folk Week Events]

We shall be making our pilgrimage over to Westerdale to host this year’s star party on the 2nd.  As usual the venue will be the village hall / car park area within the village.  Start time is 20:00h for the public... [Read more about Westerdale Star Party: Friday 2nd Sept 2016]

Hopefully the weather will improve for one of our observing highlights, our visit to Hook’s House Farm on the 3rd, should it be cloudy however we shall try again on Sept 10th.  The Moon will only be a few days old on the 3rd, and given clear skies deep sky observing will be a delight.  Mars and Saturn will also be visible over in the South-West. [Read more about Hook’s House Event(s) 2016]