The final star party in October, requested and organized by Chloe Barker and tied into ‘The Unblinking Eye: 55 years of space operations on Fylingdales Moor’ exhibition at the museum, looked most unlikely to go ahead less than six hours before it was due to begin.

Rain was still failing during Saturday afternoon 24 hours after it had started!  However the forecast (and crucially the timing of it) was right for once, with colder, clearer conditions spreading down by late afternoon, just in time for the event to get a green light.

The party location was to the rear of Archery green on the West Cliff, and my, was the ground sodden; the grassy car park next to the pitch and putt was exceedingly messy and wet (it was also the 25th Goth weekend and the town was bursting, with cars parked all over the place).

Mark, who was met at the location by Keith, had brought just the two Dobsonians along and having eventually located some firmer, less muddy and squelchy ground, they set up the equipment.  Chloe joined us soon after with a very small party who had not cancelled.  Elaine, Phil and Richard also made it along and with a few members of the public coming over, there was a decent little gathering given the nature of the day. 

Conditions were rather chilly and a little breezy, but UK astronomers are hardy souls, and with clear skies overhead we set about targeting a few objects.  Jupiter was close to departing and looked decidedly ‘wobbly’ through the eyepiece.  Saturn on the other hand was a reasonable prospect with the rings and Titan quite well resolved.  Other ports of call included M57, M13, Alberio, M31, Mizar and M27, whilst also giving a laser pointer tour of the constellations, brighter stars and other luminaries of interest. 

Mark even spotted a meteor, when everyone else was looking in the other direction... honest guv!  Although the event was only an hour in duration, it was nevertheless most enjoyable, only near the end did Elaine’s proposal to decamp to warmer climes...Jamaica or St Lucia, seem to make perfect sense!

(See all images form WDAS 2019 Events in the Gallery!)