This event had been planned last year, and coincided with the centre being awarded ‘Dark sky status’ making it three sites in the North York Moors area.  Richly deserved it is too, as we consider it the best ‘observer friendly’ venue of the three.

 You never know what the weather will throw at you in February, so at least it was comforting that no snow lay on the ground, or that it wasn’t sub zero or blowing a gale, just cloudy, with just a hint of meatballs... [Read more about The Moors Centre – Danby Escapade: A long expected party]

It has been rather a hectic mid-month, with numerous star parties and events hosted to coincide with the schools half term.  Here then is an account of proceedings.

An Unexpected Journey and A Very Expected Return

'Would you be able to help out?' came the plea from John T at Fylingthorpe.  'They're hosting a couple of ‘star nights’ down at Boggle Hole Youth Hostel and i think we need help'... [Read more about A Boggle Hole Adventure]

Stargazing Live

Hope you managed to catch the BBC Stargazing live shows in January. With Major Tim Peake’s stay on ISS already a month old, the emphasis was very much on the work he is doing, astronaut training, and the future direction of manned space flight... [Read more about Stargazing Live]

Observatory Nights

Well, err, mmm, very little to report really, just about every Sunday night has been rained off, clouded out or blown away.  But don't despair... [Read more about Observatory Nights]

Dr Alan Chapman
(Oxford University)

This was Dr Chapman’s personal homage to Patrick, not his life story as such, but an attempt to compare his likeness with other great science communicators, publishers and educators of the last 300 years. [Read more about Astromeet 2015 Lecture 4: The Life of Sir Patrick Moore]

Dr Melvin Hoare
(Leeds University)

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project is an international effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope, with eventually over a square kilometre (one million square metres) of collecting area. The scale of the SKA represents a huge leap forward in research and development towards building and delivering a unique instrument and preparations are now well under way. [Read more about Astromeet 2015 Lecture 3: Developments in Radio Astronomy]

Dr Richard Massey
(Durham University)

Dr Massey’s subject matter was something we have visited several times over the years, what is stuff made of. Chemists would say elements; atoms molecules etc, Physicists would say;  muons, quarks, bosons, up and down particles etc.  Ask an astronomer and he would suggest 4% baryonic or ordinary matter, 23% dark matter and 73% dark energy! [Read more about Astromeet 2015 Lecture 2: What's the (Dark) Matter?]

Prof Tom Marsh
(Warwick University)

In the first of four summaries from Leeds Astromeet 2015, Mark tells us about Prof. Tom Marsh's talk, subtitled "Delving the depths of white dwarfs, neutron stars and black-holes".

Tom and his team specialise in the high-speed data acquisition and analysis techniques needed to track them. His major project of the last few years has been the use of ULTRACAM, a high-speed CCD camera, but is now working on a successor instrument, bigger and better, with more channels called HiPERCAM. [Read more about Astromeet 2015 Lecture 1: Astronomy at High-Speed]

Mark waxes lyrical (or dreams poetically) over the 2015 Society Christmas Dinner:

"A long time ago (about a year actually) in a galaxy far, far away, (truth be told it was really quite close, like this one) a party of intrepid rebels ventured forth to eat and be merry..."

Custom luxury comet building.The November meeting proved most educational and entertaining. After our usual look at the comings and goings in the heavens, society news and business etc, our attention turned to the more exotic and intoxicating.

Andi had prepared a presentation on Comets, to commemorate the 1st year anniversary of Philea landing on comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P). In particular Andi thought it would be informative and fun to make a comet in the classroom using ingredients that are now known to be found in comets. He had furnished everyone with a bucket, a bag, gloves and then the ingredients; among which... [Read more about 'Comet Ye' causes a stir]