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

Celestial treats summary for 2020, including planetary line-ups in the dawn and night skies, an Occultation of Venus by the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn coming to Opposition, Planet Vesta meeting the Beehive Cluster, and Mars at Opposition...
  [Read more about 2020 – A brief look ahead]

Christmas Meal 2019

Hardly seems like twelve months have slipped by, but once again society members found themselves in the Hare and Hounds, passing out Christmas cards, pulling crackers, donning paper hats, pondering the nature of the plastic toys inside, groaning at the terrible Christmas jokes, but most of all looking forward to the Christmas fayre... [Read more about Christmas Meal 2019]

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Venus, Mercury, Uranus, Mars and Jupiter
  • Meteors: Quadrantids
  • Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
  • Earth reaches Perihelion
  • January 2020 Sky Charts

The Hare & Hounds at Hawsker will again be the venue for the Society Christmas meal.  The date is December 14th at 19:00h.  Click to see the menu, and if you are interested in a festive feast, please let Mark know your course choices at the December meeting... [Read more about Society Christmas Meal 2019]

Off the Treadmill

After working the thickest end of four decades at Fylingdales, society stalwart Andy Lawrence has finally vacated the work treadmill and retired. After starting at Fylingdales in a cleaning capacity before moving to the stores, Andy eventually finished as a materials controller... [Read more about Off the Treadmill]

Transit of Mercury

Well, it wasn’t a total cloud out for the transit of Mercury on Nov 11th after all, that said, the window of observing opportunity was limited to an hour or so during the early afternoon (at least from the Whitby and district area).  Several members did manage to get out and view the transit during this period, taking a few nice images of the event... [Read more about Transit of Mercury]

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, Uranus, Neptune, Mercury, Mars... and stilll Vesta.
  • Meteors: Geminids, Ursids
  • December 2019 Sky Charts

The final star party in October, requested and organized by Chloe Barker and tied into ‘The Unblinking Eye: 55 years of space operations on Fylingdales Moor’ exhibition at the museum, looked most unlikely to go ahead less than six hours before it was due to start.  Rain was still failing during Saturday afternoon 24 hours after it had started!  However the forecast (and crucially the timing of it) was right for once, with colder, clearer conditions spreading down by late afternoon, just in time for the event to get a green light... [Read more about Star Party on 26th Oct 2019 for the ‘Unblinking Eye’ exhibition]

As you may know this was originally intended to be a two evening event, however as interest was more forthcoming for just the Saturday, Colin and Vicky dropped the Friday evening from the program.  Friday, as it transpired was a clear night, great for observing.  Saturday was ‘orrid (at least it wasn’t windy), and although the BBC forecast still offered some optimism, the Met office one did not.  The Met office was correct and any lingering hopes of some clear breaks were quickly extinguished by the rain... [Read more about Fox and Hounds – ‘Stargazing Night’]

Scouts visited

It’s been a while since i was last in the ‘drill hall’ on Bagdale, spent many an hour there in the past.  This was (and always has been) the venue for the Scouts, and as conditions in the sky were once again no good for observing, it was our destination on 3rd October 2019. [Read more about Scouts visited]