Welcome to the WDAS monthly newsletter for August 2016: a digest of the month's latest contributions to our website.  Below you'll find Society News, Sky Notes and In-Focus articles printed in full.  There's also future events, and trailers for other articles which appear in full on the website - just a click away!

On the website you'll also be able to comment on articles, and if you'd like to play an editorial role in creating new content, just let us know!

03h

Sunset picture taken by Warren from West Cliff, looking NW, on 30-July-2016 at 2103h.
More pictures from July's Events in the Gallery (click here).

Society News

This was our first Parkfest event, held at the Moors centre, Danby. Keith and Mark had an early start, arriving at the grounds by 9am. Because the forecast was for overcast skies, turning to rain by late afternoon, Mark had loaded the car for almost every eventuality (the kitchen sink wouldn’t quite fit).

The gazebo, complete with side walls, two scopes fitted with solar filters, laptop, screen, power station, generator, fuel, poster boards, handouts, flyers, solar system demo, table, cuddly toy, a fondue set, meteorites, inflatable Mars globe, his and hers watches, refreshments- it was all there.

Erecting the gazebo uncovered a problem, it went up alright, however, it was found that two side struts were broken and the effected sides could not be pulled fully taught. A little tinkering with metal work is required before the next outing. On the positive side the sun was actually out!  A bit of a bonus there then, and once the scopes were set up we eagerly viewed through the eyepieces to seek out the rash of expected sunspots. Nothing, zilch, now’t, not even a speck, typical!

Although we had managed to attach 2 walls to the gazebo, it was still far too bright inside, and plans for projecting onto the screen had to be abandoned. The laptop screen was just about viable to watch hemmed into the darker corner of the gazebo. So with all the poster boards distributed around our ‘stall perimeter’ W.D.A S was open for business.

Initially custom was slow, the two perched Falcons on the adjacent stall eyeing our scopes – or Keith, inquisitively.

By midday crowds were flocking into the field, a busy afternoon lay ahead, just not at the scopes, unfortunately. The cursed cloud thickened, and then rain began to gently fall. Bizarrely, a Lancaster bomber was spotted by Keith, flying just above the moors horizon to the north. Then we remembered it was Sunderland Air. Not a figment of our imagination or a side effect of the homemade scones.

We did have visitors, including a chap from St Helena, who regaled us with tales of how brilliant the night sky is there, the trouble being it was cloudy more often than not!  Despite this the island elders were pushing the island as an Astronomical observing destination. I think Sir Edmund Halley would have disagreed on this viewpoint.

Mark had already got dispensation to leave earlier, and by 14:45h the process of packing away and loading the car began. All in all not a bad day, reminding us a little of one of those Regatta afternoons.

It would seem that a regime change has been encouraged at Whitby Museum. Although exact details of hire charges etc, have yet to be verified, it’s looking likely these will be similar to what the society used to pay for use of the Normanby room. Better news still, food is back on the menu!  Watch this space for further news on a likely date for Paul Money.

Finally, a star party actually that went ahead, July 15th.  It was a bit last minute, but conditions were clear, a little breezy, but nevertheless observations were actually possible.  With skies still quite bright, the 10 day old moon was our first target. 

Jupiter was the first planet to appear, followed shortly by Mars and then Saturn.  Mars showed little detail, Jupiter appeared somewhat washed out in the brighter twilight, making ringed Saturn the best of the bunch.  People were delighted with all three, and the moon, so we were quite happy.  The following night’s scheduled event again fell victim to the cloud, c'est la vie.

We shall once again be travelling over to Westerdale to host a star party on Friday Sept 2nd.  The venue will be the village hall/car park area within the village.  Start time is 20:00h for the public, but will members wishing to attend (contact Mark) be there for 19:30-45h to allow time for equipment to be set up.  Anyone who has been before will know the site is reasonably dark and the natives are always friendly, and it will be nice to see our friend John.  Plan B (indoors) will be initiated if cloudy.

This year’s event will be held on Sept 3rd (or 10th if clouded out on the 3rd) Definitely, one of our observing highlights, let’s hope skies are clear, as the moon will only be 3 days old.  As you know Hook’s House is an excellent dark site location situated on the B1447 overlooking Robin Hood’s Bay.  The campsite should still be busy, so we plan to get set up for 8pm.  Members bringing scopes please be on site for 7:45pm if possible.  If conditions are forecast to be decent, it would not surprise me to have a bit of a ‘in boot barby thing’ going on as well.  Fingers crossed for a cracking evening.

It turned out to be a pleasantly warm evening on July 30th for a Star Party on West Cliff.  Warren arrived just in time to photograph a rainbow dropping to the sea through the hole in a cloud, and capture a magnificent sunset a few minutes after. (See the Gallery for larger images.)

As the Sun melted below the horizon, observations switched from ships at sea to more distant celestial bodies, and the Star Party got underway with a good number of visitors; who were soon under the spell of Mark's guidance.

It was a Moon-less night, but Saturn and Mars were on display.

 

 

Events

Public viewing open night at the Bruce Observatory - Caedmon College, Normanby Campus, Whitby.  

Date:
16 January, 2022 - 19:00 to 21:00
Address:
Bruce Observatory - Caedmon College
Prospect Hill
YO21 1LA Whitby
United Kingdom
GB

Public viewing open night at the Bruce Observatory - Caedmon College, Normanby Campus, Whitby.  

Date:
23 January, 2022 - 19:00 to 21:00
Address:
Bruce Observatory - Caedmon College
Prospect Hill
YO21 1LA Whitby
United Kingdom
GB

Public viewing open night at the Bruce Observatory - Caedmon College, Normanby Campus, Whitby.  

Date:
30 January, 2022 - 19:00 to 21:00
Address:
Bruce Observatory - Caedmon College
Prospect Hill
YO21 1LA Whitby
United Kingdom
GB

Caedmon College Normanby Site (you may know it as Whitby College or Whitby School), Room H1.

In Members' monthly meetings we usually take a tour of the night sky for the coming month using the Planetarium program. Have talks and presentations on various topics of astronomy/space etc, and discuss future events etc. New members welcome.

 

Date:
1 February, 2022 - 19:30 to 21:15
Address:
Room H1, Caedmon College, Normanby Site (Whitby School)
Prospect Hill
YO21 1LA Whitby
United Kingdom
GB

Public viewing open night at the Bruce Observatory - Caedmon College, Normanby Campus, Whitby.  

Date:
6 February, 2022 - 19:00 to 21:00
Address:
Bruce Observatory - Caedmon College
Prospect Hill
YO21 1LA Whitby
United Kingdom
GB

Public viewing open night at the Bruce Observatory - Caedmon College, Normanby Campus, Whitby.  

Date:
13 February, 2022 - 19:00 to 21:00
Address:
Bruce Observatory - Caedmon College
Prospect Hill
YO21 1LA Whitby
United Kingdom
GB

Public viewing open night at the Bruce Observatory - Caedmon College, Normanby Campus, Whitby.  

Date:
20 February, 2022 - 19:00 to 21:00
Address:
Bruce Observatory - Caedmon College
Prospect Hill
YO21 1LA Whitby
United Kingdom
GB

The North Yorkshire Moors Centre in Danby is the venue for a star party for the Dark Skies night festival.  This event calls for all hands on deck – assuming the weather plays ball. 

This is due to start at 18:45h until 20:45h.  Transportation and instruments are therefore requested to ensure the event is successful.

Directions: The nearest postcode is: YO21 2NB

But we've also been given a Grid Reference.  Here it is in various formats:

  • NZ 716 083
  • 54.465035 -0.896868
  • 54°27'54.1"N 0°53'48.7"W

 

Date:
26 February, 2022 - 18:30 to 20:45
Address:
The Moors National Park Centre near YO21 2DT Danby
United Kingdom
GB

Public viewing open night at the Bruce Observatory - Caedmon College, Normanby Campus, Whitby.  

Date:
27 February, 2022 - 19:00 to 21:00
Address:
Bruce Observatory - Caedmon College
Prospect Hill
YO21 1LA Whitby
United Kingdom
GB

Caedmon College Normanby Site (you may know it as Whitby College or Whitby School), Room H1.

In Members' monthly meetings we usually take a tour of the night sky for the coming month using the Planetarium program. Have talks and presentations on various topics of astronomy/space etc, and discuss future events etc. New members welcome.

 

Date:
1 March, 2022 - 19:30 to 21:15
Address:
Room H1, Caedmon College, Normanby Site (Whitby School)
Prospect Hill
YO21 1LA Whitby
United Kingdom
GB