Observatory News

During our March meeting, it was agreed that the best method of weather proofing the observatory dome and roof was the one put forward by Saul, ie. by applying a new fibre glass surface over coated directly onto the existing felt.  Following the generous donation by Norman Wright and perhaps other monies forthcoming from the college, we should have enough funds to carry out the necessary work for the refurbishment... [Read more about Observatory News]

Our association with Ayresome Primary School & Lego Innovation Studio will again be renewed this year when a group of pupils (around 30 or so) when we will host a star party event for them on either the 9th, 10th, or 11th (depending which evening according to the forecast)... [Read more about Coming Event: Whitby Youth Hostel]

The beginning of March saw two star party events coinciding with the half term ‘dark sky window’, one at Fylinghall School and the other at Danby Moors Centre.  After a very fine and unseasonal end to February (almost summer like) it was almost inevitable conditions returned to those normally associated with late winter:- in a word, unpredictable.  Observations outdoors was not possible at either event, and yet they could be construed as being successful. [Read more about Dark Sky Events: Fylinghall and Danby]

Sky Notes - April 2019

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: AM: Venus, Jupiter, Saturn; PM: Mars
  • Meteors: Virginids, alpha Scorpiids, Lyrids
  • Features: Dwarf Planet Pallas, Moon & Beehive Cluster
  • April 2019 Sky Charts

After receiving a most intriguing email from Mr Jim Storey, concerning a Mr Norman Wright, who was keen on visiting the Bruce Observatory, it was arranged to meet with Jim and Norman at the observatory on February 17th. [Read more about Bruce Telescope: Family Visit]

Our association with Ayresome Primary School & Lego Innovation Studio will be continued again this year after been contacted by Elizabeth Labelle; assistant Head Teacher (phase3).  This year’s group of pupils (around 30 or so) will be stopping at the Whitby Youth Hostel from April 8th - 12th and we shall be hosting a star party event for them on either the 9th, 10th, or 11th, whichever evening according to the forecast looks best. [Read more about Forthcoming Event: Ayresome Primary School Visit]

The exhibition has now opened and is most definitely worth a visit.  Sponsored by the Royal Society, the exhibition showcases the area’s connections investigating the cosmos, from Captain Cook’s 1768 voyage observing the transit of Venus to the search for Dark Matter at Boulby Underground Laboratory.  The exhibition runs until early July... [Read more about 'Whitby and the Cosmos' Exhibition (Whitby Museum)]

On Saturday March 2nd we will be in action again at the Danby Moors Centre for their Dark Sky half term event.  This is their ‘flagship event’, and if skies are clear we shall definitely require assistance from members regarding scopes/transport, similar to the event held last October.  Hopefully skies will be clear this time round, if so, we shall be observing some of the jewels of the winter sky.  The event runs from 7pm- 9pm, so we shall have to set off shortly after 6pm to allow time to set up equipment etc if conditions look promising... [Read more about Dark Sky Event#2: Danby Moors Centre]

On March 1st we will be hosting an event at Fylinghall School, which is also being co-promoted by Baytown Coffee.  It’s 3 years since we last visited the School for a star night event, and it will be nice to renew ties.  If conditions are satisfactory (not chucking it down, blowing a Hooley, or knee deep in snow- none of which look likely) the boarding students will be flogged enlisted to help out with a scaled solar system demonstration before observing is commenced, or the implementation of plan B (indoor presentation)... [Read more about Dark Sky Event#1: Fylinghall School]

The Spring Equinox

The date of the Vernal Equinox and of astronomical spring in the northern hemisphere (the official start of spring) falls on March 20th this year.  This is when the Sun's path (‘the ecliptic’) first crosses the celestial equator on its apparent journey northwards into the sky.  The orientation of the Earth at the spring or autumnal equinox is such that neither of Earth’s poles are inclined toward the Sun and all locations experience equal hours of daylight and darkness; hence the term equinox. [Read more about The Spring Equinox]

Sky Notes - March 2019

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: AM: Venus, Saturn, Jupiter; PM: Mercury, Mars
  • Meteors: Virginids
  • Spring Equinox
  • March 2019 Sky Charts

Cursa in EridanusContinuing the tour of stellar objects crossing the meridian line this month: Cursa: the most northerly star of the River constellation Eridanus. [Read more about Crossing the Line: objects of the month]

This exciting exhibition sponsored by the Royal Society at Whitby Museum opens on February 16th and will showcase the importance of Whitby and the surrounding area in investigating the cosmos, from Captain Cook’s 1768 voyage mapping the transit of Venus to the current search for Dark Matter at Boulby Underground Laboratory.

The exhibition will be opened on the evening of the 15th, with a public lecture in The Normanby Room entitled “The Search for Dark Matter”, given by Professor Henrique Araujo of Imperial College London, telling of the internationally important work being carried out at Boulby Underground Laboratory... [Read more about ‘Whitby and the Cosmos’ Exhibition: Whitby Museum]

Blimey O’ Reilly, I don’t believe it, skies were actually clear for one of this year’s astronomical highlights, so I hope you set the alarm and viewed it. 

I had set my camera and tripod up the previous evening, so when the phone alarm jolted me out of my slumber around 04:45h, I only had to don some warm attire and wander out into the back garden to view proceedings... [Read more about Lunar Total Eclipse – Report by Mark Dawson]

On Saturday 2nd February 2018, we shall, weather permitting, be called in to action again at the Danby Moors Centre, for their Dark Skies Week event. The date coincides with the schools half term.  This is their ‘flagship event’ and if skies are clear we shall need assistance from members regarding scopes/transport, similar to the event held last October... [Read more about Danby Moors Centre: Dark Skies Night]

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