Welcome to the WDAS monthly newsletter for October 2020: a digest of the month's latest contributions to our website.  Below you'll find Society News: including Member photos and Sky Notes for the coming month.

Society News

Unfortunately due to a dreaded combination of fresh Covid 19 restrictions, a spike in local cases and then the wrong weather at the wrong time, the scheduled events all fell victim to these circumstances.  

It's been dire to say the least as far as Star Party events are concerned, with the last one being held in February.  In fact the only occasion two or more society members have met to do some observing over the summer months was to try out Keith's Eviscope, and even then the sky conditions were far from ideal.  The chances of a public 'comet' watch, even passed us by.  Then again, decent comets always seem to bring trouble with them!.  Safe to say, it has been most frustrating since Covid 19 'road into town' and trashed the place.  It has been far worse for others though, we have just been inconvenienced. 

Although by no means out of the Covid woods (just lost in them),  we do intend to hold some 'Mars party' events in October and, hopefully November (see Mars Observation evenings). 

As for our annual summer star party assessment, i think that would be stamped 'abject failure', however in accordance with government policy we left the Star Party assessment calculation to 'a world beating algorithm'.  Apparently, so it said, we had a fantastic summer with successful events at least 3 times a week.  Well done all!  To summarise then, Aaaaaahhhhhh.

It is looking increasingly unlikely there will be a society meeting this October, or for that matter probably November.   As of going to press meetings of six or more people are prohibited, more places are in some form of local lockdown scenario and the College is understandably curtailing 'evening classes' etc anyway.  We are planning some select Mars observing nights at the Bruce Observatory in October and November (see Mars Observing Evenings), but there are no other scheduled public star party events planned.

Covid 19 looks as though it's here for the immediate foreseeable future, with the possibility of further prohibitive measures being introduced by the government.  So, unfortunately the October meeting will have to be cancelled and we shall review matters for November nearer the time.

The nature of this pandemic and hence government responses are rather fluid..... and circumstances can change rapidly, but prospects do look pretty bleak for any full blown meetings or public events without current restrictions or safety measures in place until well into the New Year.  But we shall see.


Observe the night sky with us at the Bruce Observatory, Caedmaon College - Normanby campus (formally Whitby College).

Observing Nights are held weather permitting: check for a relatively clear sky before leaving home. If in doubt, Mark can be reached on tel 01947 605516.

Please note the college drive gate is now operated via a electronic key code - so anyone wishing to attend must be at the car park at the top of the drive by 19:00hrs, unless an arrival time has been arranged with Mark/Keith after 19:30hrs.  Otherwise shout or bip car horn - we'll hear.

8 December, 2024 - 18:00 to 21:00
Bruce Observatory, Caedmon School Normandy Site (Whitby School)
Prospect Hill
YO21 1LA Whitby
United Kingdom