For the final day of October you would be forgiven in thinking that summer had made an unscheduled return, such were the balmy conditions which coincided with both Goth weekend and the ‘Creatures of the Night’ event held at the Danby Moors Centre.

Warren's distributed-beam
laser torch was a hit:
Christmas tree lights!
(Click for full-sized image)

Organised by Emma McKenzie, assistant events co-ordinator for NYM parks authority, they could not have wished for a better day weather wise. Four members (Andi, Keith, Mark & Warren) journeyed over to Danby, utilising various scenic routes, apparently some more scenic than others! On arrival it was pleasing to meet up again with Marcus from Grovers Optics, who had been pitched in front of the Centre since early afternoon; however our slot was from 17:30 to 19:30h.

Luckily we were able to drive onto the field, and scope deployment was far easier than we had being anticipating. First on the agenda was to terrify all and sundry with tales of impending doom (well it was Halloween). This time, of course, the ‘unseen terror’ also known as asteroid TB145t, (christened ‘Spooky’ by Nasa) hurtled passed Earth at 17.05h, approximately 300,000 miles (483,000km) distant. A chilling reminder that ‘things can still go bump in the night’ and given enough time probably will one day.

As darkness fell observing began in earnest with children and parents coming over to look at some of the autumn wonders on show. The only slight negative was the absence of the Moon and a bright planet to view, but with transparent skies and pretty dark conditions, deep sky objects appeared very satisfactory, so we shouldn’t grumble.

By 19:30 the event drew to a close and we packed up. One final spectacular sight greeted us on the way home: a fabulous last-quarter moon, just rising and veiled in a little mist, very ‘Gothic Romantica’, a fitting finale to Halloween.