Second Hooks House Farm Event

The second star party held at Hook’s House was every bit as fortuitous as the first, with all the grotty weather endured during the day, scooting off into the north sea just in time for party goers to enjoy crystal clear skies. Admittedly it was a little chilly for the time of year, but the curry and rice, poppadoms, sausage rolls and crostinis all helped to warm members and public alike.  Indeed it was a veritable feast!

Because the weather had been so autumnal earlier, it was pleasing that so many campers came out to view the dark skies at such short notice. To start, Saturn was on show for longer than we dare hope for, but the deep sky objects looked fantastic, noticeably better than normal, much to the astonishment of those queuing to look through the eyepieces. An excellent evening all round. Thanks to Warren and Andi for the banquet, Keith and Lee for scope assistance and the Halder’s for the use of the campsite. Let’s hope next year is every bit as good.

West Cliff Events

Making up for the poorer conditions earlier in the summer, our late summer West Cliff star party schedule, bar one event, was largely unhindered by the weather, a real bonus! Indeed the final two star parties on the 25/26th greatly benefited from clear skies and healthy public interest. Moonlight did somewhat hamper deep sky viewing, but those objects we did observe provoked the desired reactions.

The final event on the 26th was sponsored by Wrestles dot dogs, apparently one had to be eaten before each new object was targeted a satisfying way to round off our ‘culinary’ summer observing season.

Westerdale Visit

Our good fortune continued for the annual pilgrimage over to Westerdale, as conditions for the event on Sept 19th were very much to our liking, clear and relatively mild. For once the navigation held up, with no one going astray on route, and we all arrived in good time to set the scopes up. Indeed plan B never made it out of the car.

Our colleague John Randles was on hand to greet us at the village hall car park and was in fine form. Quite a gathering turned up and once Mark had ‘sorted’ the nuisance security flood lights, the venue was plunged into darkness and observing could begin.

Saturn and a waxing crescent moon were first up, before setting in the SW and despite the low altitude both looked remarkably clear. Numerous deep sky objects were then targeted, all tied in with Mark’s laser pointer presentation of the night sky.  With a sky tour supplied by Mark and quiche supplied by Warren; a most enjoyable way to spent a few hours was the general consensus of opinion.