Given the overcast conditions (until near the end of the event), proceedings at the Centre unfolded remarkably well. For our part, events started at midday when Keith and Mark journeyed up to Danby to deposit the two dobsonian scopes (just in case the forecast proved to be incorrect). This foray also allowed time to meet up with fellow member Paul Wood who does voluntary work at the centre and familiarise ourselves with the IT set up.

By the early evening, it looked less likely observations would be possible, nevertheless Keith, Mark, Barbara and Mark set off for Danby with plan B stored away in the car boot. On arrival we located Paul and Dr John McCue, already setting up in the study room. 


Mark on the mic- the scaled solar system show! (click for full image) By Keith D

The event had been provisionally tailored so that some Covid measures were in situ and everyone were not all in one room, but split between two locations. Mark was presenting in one room and Paul in the other. Only for the initial outdoor scaled demonstrations was everyone together. These proved successful and at times hilarious; especially when one young chap launched the toy space shuttle used for one of the demos as far as he could chuck it, only for someone then to tread on it in the dark. Priceless. Still, no damage done. 

The Earth- at night- the Blue Jewel. (click for full image) By Keith D

Following the audience participation demos outdoors, attention moved back inside the centre and to the plan B presentations. Paul's was about App's and control of telescopes with them. Mark gave a presentation on the type of deep sky objects visible in the autumn sky. These were less than 25 minutes each, allowing time for the groups to swap over and have a refreshment break. Timings were pretty accurate for once, and with only a few niggles on the IT side of things, people appeared to enjoy the evening even though no observations had been possible. Certainly feedback has been very positive. Having packed up in double quick time and reloaded the vehicles, it was noted that Jupiter and Saturn had emerged, too late for this event, but one day, one day!  

Mark giving his presenatation in one room. (click for full image) By Keith D

By 20:45h it was time to call a halt (Mark only overrunning by 5 mins)  I think the evening had been a great success, much appreciated by all those attending who perhaps don’t often get the opportunity to view deep sky objects from dark sky locations (not that happened this time either). Karen was delighted with the positive feedback, a good number intending to come along to the February event. By 21:00h everything was packed away into the cars, and after final goodbyes we headed back home.

Paul Wood's presentation in the other room (click for full image) By Keith D

Many thanks to Paul wood, John McCue, Keith, Barbara and Mark and all the staff at the Moors Centre, for making the evening work.