In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars and Mercury.
  • Meteors: Perseids
  • August 2018 Sky Charts

Event Horizon

With the continuing good weather we have hosted a number of unscheduled star parties – and probably could have done more – but even Mark needs a break sometimes.  Ironically the scheduled event on the 21st was almost called off with cloud cover during the day forecast to persist well into the night.  It didn’t...  well not enough to hamper our observations... [Read more about Event Horizon]

Park Fest 2018

This was our second Park Fest event, a family fun day organised by North York Moors – Parks authority and held at the Danby Moors centre.

Keith and Mark made the journey over to Danby, Mark’s car packed with equipment and paraphernalia both necessary and in the ‘just in case’ bracket.  Having made good time over and then unloaded pretty pronto too, allowed everything to be erected, laid out, hung up and arranged at a leisurely pace... [Read more about Park Fest 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]

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)]

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)]

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 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]

Constellations of Lyra, Serpens, Ophiuchus and SerpensContinuing the tour of stellar objects crossing the meridian line in August: a star and three open clusters from constellations lying in the South, currently above Mars and Saturn:

  • Star: Epsilon Lyrae, in Lyra
  • Cluster: NGC 6633 in Ophiuchus
  • Cluster: Graff's Cluster (IC 4756) in Serpens
  • Cluster: Wild Duck Cluster (M11, NGC 6705) in Scutum