Due to the current restrictions associated with the Corona virus outbreak, (or those very likely to come into force) it is regrettable that all foreseeable events until June have been cancelled or postponed. If the situation changes we shall let you know. We are all navigating unchartered skies.  [Read more about WDAS Diary – April/May 2020]

Unfortunately due to current Corona virus restrictions the annual visit by pupils from Ayresome Primary School & Lego Innovation Studio has been postponed until later in the year. Mark was contacted by Elizabeth Labelle; assistant Head Teacher (phase3) with the not too unexpected news, but hoped they would come to Whitby when restrictions are relaxed.  [Read more about Ayresome Primary School – Whitby Youth Hostel visit]

Dark Sky Events

Fylinghall School Star Event: held on March 28th the ‘dark sky’ star gazing evening was, like last year, somewhat effected by external conditions – cloud. At least it wasn’t raining so some activities possible, and Mark was able to press gang some of the attendees to help demonstrate the scale solar system in the Stack yard...

Hunley Hall Event: the following evening Mark drove over to Brotton and the Hunley Hall complex, to assist in some capacity with the dark sky event being run by the Hall management and members of Cleveland and Darlington A.S. At the Hall Mark met up with John McCue, one of the key organisers, who many moons ago was instrumental in setting up NEGAS (the north east group of astronomical societies) with whom WDAS was also affiliated. The ‘Edinburgh excursion’ organised by NEGAS was worthy of been made into a comedy drama- but that’s another story!..

Errington Primary School – Friday 13th: Having been contacted by Allan Fishpool, lower key stage 2 Leader at Errington Primary School, regarding a visit to coincide with the culmination of their science week activities, Keith and Mark journeyed over to Marske by the Sea, on Friday 13th March...

  [Read more about Dark Sky Events]

Sky Notes - April 2020

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Venus, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn
  • Meteors: Lyrids, Virginids, alpha Scorpiids
  • April 2020 Sky Charts

Because of the timing of Caedmon College’s Easter break we have decided to have our ‘April’ meeting on the last day of March – Tuesday the 31st March 2020.  [Read more about ‘Blue meeting March’ - April Meeting in March!]

Our association with Ayresome Primary School & Lego Innovation Studio will be continued again this year after been contacted by Elizabeth Labelle; assistant Head Teacher (phase 3).  This year’s group of pupils (around 30 or so) will be stopping at the Whitby Youth Hostel from April 6th-10th  and we'll be hosting a star party event for them on either the 8th or 9th, whichever evening according to the forecast looks best...

 

We have been invited to Errington Primary School, Windy Hill Lane, Marske by the Sea, to assist with an event they are holding on March 13th 2020.

The School is running a science week that week, culminating in the Year 3/4s being invited for a sleepover in the school on the Friday night, the theme for the week being space and astronomy.   They would like a star gazing evening, maybe with a campfire and stories of constellations myths, as well as indoor practical activities...

 

So, what would Saturday evening throw up?  Well, Mark first returned back to the Fox and Hounds in the late morning to reload the stored equipment and relocate to the Moors Centre.  This took quite a while, but at least it meant equipment was ‘on site’ for the evening.  Looking at the forecast for the evening prospects looked quite encouraging... and rather pessimistic at the same time!  Evening fell, Keith, Mark, Barbara and Mark journeyed up under ‘pessimistically encouraging’ skies, joining Paul Wood, who had been there quite a while already.  Paul Cass and Dr John McCue also brought their scopes along.... [Read more about Danby Moors Centre – Dark Sky Event]

Our first event of the Dark sky festival weekend (first weekend that is) saw us return to the Fox and Hounds at Ainthorpe.  Our first visit last October had proved rather frustrating with low cloud and then persistent heavy rain, preventing any chance of observing, or indeed any outdoor demonstration occurring.  Indoor presentations were the order of the evening, which turned into an enjoyable affair... [Read more about Fox and Hounds – Dark Sky Event]

Sky Notes - March 2020

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Venus, Uranus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn
  • Meteors: Virginids
  • Spring Equinox
  • March 2020 Sky Charts

Over the Christmas break society members finally carried out some necessary remedial work on the observatory dome roof, stripping and then re-felting the door flaps.  Saul had noticed earlier in the month that the felt looked somewhat ‘dodgy’ especially on the flaps and on closer scrutiny in daylight it was clear it had deteriorated to such an extent it needed to be replaced. [Read more about Society News - Observatory Roof Work]

On the 28th February 2020, we will be back down at Fylinghall School who have invited us to host their Stargazing Party.  Again, last year’s event, although successful was clouded out, so the ‘stack yard’ served as the ‘solar system’ for the scaled planetary demo, which went down very well indeed.  Then the Barn theatre acted as the venue for the indoor presentation.  I suspect if conditions are clear we shall be setting up on the front lawn in front of the main building. [Read more about Dark Skies Night – Fylinghall School]

On Saturday 22nd, weather permitting, be we will be called in to action again at the Danby Moors Centre, for their Dark Skies Week event.  The National Park ‘Dark Sky’ events have all been highlighted widely in the media, including Astronomy Now Magazine, various local newspapers and radio, so if skies are forecast to be clear, public attendance will be high (over 50 -60) and we shall definitely require assistance from members regarding scopes /transport.  The event runs from 18:30h-20:30h, and we aim to be setting off around 17:45h to allow time to set up. [Read more about Dark Sky Night – Danby Moors Centre]

This year’s official ‘Dark Sky’ week falls during the end of February – coinciding with the half term break.  The society is delighted to be involved in a number of events, hopefully actually managing some observing outside this time.  Our first event is a return to the Fox and Hounds, Ainthorpe, on Friday February 21st for a stargazing evening.  The event held here last October fell foul to some diabolical weather (low cloud and rain) so it was purely an indoor affair lasting all evening!.. [Read more about Forthcoming Society Involvement: Fox and Hounds – Stargazing Night]

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Venus, Mercury, Uranus, Neptune, Mars and Jupiter
  • Meteors: Alpha Aurigids
  • February 2020 Sky Charts

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