In this month's edition:

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

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]

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]

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]

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]

Finally, castaway member Andi Ye (who is located in Tenerife) was back in Britain for a week towards the end of January.  So we thought it would be good idea to meet up and have a chinwag.  It was all last minute stuff, but seven members (Andi Ye, Andy L, Keith, Lee, Mark, Phil and Elaine) made it along to the corner bar at the Royal Hotel for ‘bingo and dominoes’ at the ‘pipe and slippers evening’.  [Read more about Members’ ‘Shearings Night Out’]

Subscription renewals for the coming year are due by the end of February.  Subscription rates are £12, for adults with subsidized rates at £8 for under 16s.

You can bring subs along to the W.D.A.S monthly meeting in February, or if you cannot make the meetings Cheques are made payable to;- Whitby & District Astronomical Society, Please address to Mark Dawson - 33 laburnum Grove, Whitby.  YO211HZ.  Many thanks for your continued support. 

As of going to press just a few copies of Night Scenes 2020 remain.  Price is £5. [Read more about Society Subs and Night Scenes – 2020]