Westerdale Star Party

Our annual jaunt over to Westerdale will be a little later this year.  The 27th September 2019 is the date for your diary, from 19:0022:00h.  More on this next month. [Read more about Westerdale Star Party]

Our annual visit to Hook’s House Fm will be slightly earlier this year – Saturday 31st August 2019.  It will be a no-Moon period and if skies are clear it should be ideal for deep sky observations.  We shall of course be observing both Jupiter and Saturn on show to the south and carrying out a sky tour.  We anticipate the campsite will be busy, so if you make along with a scope all the better.  We hope to be setting up equipment for shortly after 20:00h with a view to a 20:30h start... [Read more about Hook’s House Farm / Westerdale Events]

Regatta Events

The evening star parties will be held on the pitch and put area, above the archery green, as per last year.  Parking is adjacent to this area - down the side of pitch and put, accessed over the parking area behind the bowling green.  It is actually quite convenient.  We shall be setting up from 20:30h.  If conditions are fine and you can make it along, assistance would be most welcome... [Read more about Regatta Events]

A really fine display of Noctilucent cloud was observed by Mark and other society members, including Elaine and Phil during the late evening of July 11th 2019.  Mark first noticed something developing low to the north shortly after 23:10h. 

Observing from his back bedroom window –which faces north, Mark followed the display until almost midnight, taking some images in the process.  Visible only at this time of year, Noctilucent cloud forms almost exclusively between latitudes 50 and 60 degrees north, at altitudes in excess of 50 miles... [Read more about Display of Noctilucent Cloud]

We finally manage to host a scheduled star party on July 6th.  Conditions were not, shall we say ‘summery’ but at least there was enough clear sky to view the crescent Moon and fortuitously, Jupiter, in a slender gap.  It has to be said public were a little scarce on the ground, but those who did venture over were impressed with the lunar views, and really wowed by Jupiter and attendant Galilean moons... [Read more about Star Party: 6th July 2019]

No, not from the society, but from work (lucky so-and-so) Keith has worked for the last 41 years as a science technician at what was Whitby School, then Whitby College and finally Caedmon College.  Most of us still refer to it as the former. 

You can almost say Keith has worked there ‘man and boy’... [Read more about Keith Retires (...escapes?)]

Partial Lunar Eclipse

Think back to July 2018, when during a long heat wave with the majority of evening’s fine, it was greatly frustrating to have apocalyptic weather for the total lunar eclipse on July 27th 2018.

Almost a year on (July 16th 2019) another lunar eclipse would grace our skies and again would already be underway as the moon rose.  Not a total, but a partial eclipse.  This time however prospects looked encouraging with clear skies forecast... [Read more about Partial Lunar Eclipse]

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury
  • Meteors: Perseids
  • August 2019 Sky Charts

July sees the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, quite an alarming fact for many over a certain age, whilst for many more it is just a milestone event in the annals of the history books, which barely relates today.

For those who can remember, we watched in awe when Apollo 11 blasted off from Cape Canaveral on July 16th 1969.  Four days later the world held its collective breath as the lunar lander 'Eagle' touched down on the Sea of Tranquillity with just a few seconds of fuel left to burn... [Read more about 'One Small Step': one large anniversary]

Society News/Events

Unsurprisingly, our star party events in June all fell victim to the poor weather conditions, either cloud or rain ...or both.  It’s a quite a few years since we last endured a soggy June, but it was bound to happen sooner or later.  Let’s be philosophical; better June than late July, August or September, when we need fine evenings.  Hope things buck up during July. [Read more about Society News/Events]

Sky Notes - July 2019

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Earth's aphelion, Jupiter and Saturn
  • Partial Luar Eclipse
  • Meteors: Capri-Cornids, Alpha Cygnids and Delta-Aquarids
  • July 2019 Sky Charts

Next month sees the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing, which I shall be covering in greater detail in July’s notes, but for this month I thought perhaps to take a look at The Moon from an observing standpoint, especially as June ‘nights’ are so short... [Read more about Our Neighbour in Space: The Moon]

After skies cleared quite late for our scheduled star party on the May11th, (and having not erected any placards as a result), we decided to utilise the conditions by trying out the LX 200 and power pack for a pre-season shakedown run.  

Keith, John, Phil and Elaine all came up to the college where we hoped to have a good shakedown test of the Meade scope.  Initially, things did not look promising, problems with the power station/power cable, locking/motor synch mechanism and hand controller, gave some cause for concern.... [Read more about Society News: Recent and Coming Events.]

Sky Notes - June 2019

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn
  • Meteors: Ophiuchids, June Lyrids
  • Summer Solstice
  • Noctilucent Cloud
  • June 2019 Sky Charts

Star Party season

If the Moon had been at a better phase, (ie. pre Full Moon), we could have almost started the outdoor star party season at Easter, with the weather being as good as it was.  But it was rising just a little too late, and with no planets visible – (Mars being well passed its best) the spring sky is not ideally suited to the passing public... [Read more about Star Party season]

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