On Thursday 23rd conditions were again clear, however on this occasion the Bruce Observatory at the college served as our observing location.  John, Keith and Mark ventured up to see how Jupiter, Saturn and Mars fared in the Cooke refractor.   Proceedings were not as straight forward as hoped for... [Read more about Bruce Observatory Expedition]

Bank Holiday Events

Saturday 25th proved to be a popular event, the conditions being far calmer and a bit warmer than the previous evening.  There were certainly a lot more public around, which all seemed to head in our direction once the (almost) full moon rose above the youth hostel across on the east side.  [Read more about Bank Holiday Events]

Folk Week Events

Folk Week proved to be a mixed bag, with the event on Saturday 18th falling foul of cloud; indeed conditions were very similar to the previous week at Regatta. 

Tuesday evening turned out unexpectedly clear, and being mild an unscheduled star party proved rather successful, with the Moon, Mars and Saturn the mainstays of the evening.  The images were surprisingly steady, and much appreciated by all... [Read more about Folk Week Events]

Regatta 2018

In principle, this article will be a great deal shorter than last year’s; the weather over the Regatta weekend preventing any War and Peace length article. So here is a précis of events.

Saturday: probably the best day, did allow some observations of the sun at the solar party event. As usual now our location was adjacent to trampoline/Go carts on the West Cliff and near to our friend Marcus at Grover Optics and the bird of prey display. The new gazebo acquired last year went up like a dream and once all the poster boards, inflatable solar system and scopes were set out, our pitch looked half decent- bordering pretty good... [Read more about Regatta 2018]

Perseids Obscured

On paper the prospects for this year’s Perseid shower were on the face of it as good as it gets for our society: no moonlight to interfere, a summer of seemingly endless clear nights, and for us the timing was perfect for the Regatta star parties... [Read more about Perseids Obscured]

The timing of this year’s event is somewhat easier to set than last year, when various factors hindered suitable dates.  So, ink in September 1st (Saturday) from 20:00h. 

As twilight deepens we should hopefully be able to observe Jupiter, Saturn and Mars, with a waning moon not rising until 22:30h allowing plenty of time for deep sky observations... [Read more about Hook’s House Farm / Westerdale Events]

Not long before we hit the peak season (we hope) as regards star parties.

The Regatta events follow the usual route – afternoon solar viewing, on the Saturday (11th) and Sunday (12h), with evening star parties on both dates.  The location of the solar viewing will i assume be as per last year ie – the grassy area adjacent to the small Go carts and Royal Crescent on the West Cliff.  Time wise, we are looking at 14:00–16:30h.

The Star parties will be held on the pitch and put area, above the archery green – like last year.... [Read more about Coming Events (Regatta, et al)]

The following evening skies cleared after earlier showers, leaving just interesting cloud formations to watch carefully.

Mark, Keith, Phil and John met up on the cliff and after deciding no more rain was forthcoming, set up the scopes hoping to entice people over. It turned out to be a decent observation session, with Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars all on show... [Read more about 24hrs later (28-Aug-2018)]

AAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh. Yep, the only evening required clear – or even partly clear; July 27th, turned out apocalyptic. Mark did venture up to the West Cliff for 20:45h, sat in the car, headlights on, peering through hell unleashed, along with a few other hardy and optimistic souls.

To paint the scene, you couldn’t even be creative and photograph the lightning strikes, because the rain was so heavy, which to add insult to injury grew even heavier around the time of the eclipse moonrise. Balrogs and demons, definitely the work of a wizard bent on ruining our chances of observing... [Read more about Lunar Eclipse, Mars opposition (27-Aug-2018)]

Well, the fireworks were quite good, but too early and it wasn’t dark enough.  The  cloud rolled in off the sea, so we hardly saw anything, but the evening was enjoyable and we may have gained some new members. [Read more about Star Party on Sat 7th July]

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