The final monthly meeting of 2021 was a cracker with guest speaker Alan Bentley giving a wonderful presentation on his imaging set-up 'journey' from a novice with tripod and DSLR camera, to the highly sophisticated, observatory set up currently in operation. Alan recently had an image of the Crescent Nebula published in the December issue of Astronomy Now and it 's no wonder, the images' Alan is managing to capture are simply jaw dropping - and all from an urban back garden location in the town itself. It's a pity more members were not present that evening - but the weather had been pretty awful throughout the day. 

The Rosette Nebula. Image by Alan Bentley (click for full image)

We won't go into details of Alan's presentation, that would perhaps spoil matters for an updated version by Alan in the early spring, but it was truly remarkable to learn of the steps Alan had made, with help and encouragement from others, over a relatively short period, overcoming many snags along the way. The images speak for themselves. 

The Obsevatory itself - (click for larger image)

The set-up - Sky Watcher 120 Espirit scope (click for larger image)

For the January meeting - amongst usual business, Society member Phil Richards will be giving a short presentation on the work he has undertaken building a solar observatory, Richard Randle will be showing some images of the aurora borealis captured whilst in Iceland recently, whilst Mark will be covering some of the highlights visible in the sky until late summer of 2022. 

If you are new to the area and want to join the society, or have become interested in the night sky, and want to take 'one small step' into astronomy, please do come along, you will be very welcome. Meetings normally follow the format of a monthly review of the night sky with a look at upcoming celestial events, coupled with a talk or presentation on some particular aspect associated with space and astronomy. Meetings end by 21:15hrs. The venue is still Room H1 - Caedmon College - Normanby Campus (ie Whitby College) from 19:30hrs. All of the monthly meeting dates for this coming year apart from this coming one in January, which is on the 11th, fall on the first Tuesday of each month. Hope to see you. 

Sunday Open Nights - Bruce Observatory

Sunday evening open nights at the Bruce Observatory are now up and running once again. These on paper are every Sunday (barring one or two exceptions) until well into April. They are weather dependant, so if you are intending in coming along from further afield, please contact Mark on the day. The weather can be very different inland, or further up or down the coast, than here in Whitby. The observatory is also located at the Normanby Campus, at the bottom of the drive (the conical domed building). Events in December start from 19:30hrs and normally last a couple of hours, depending on conditions. Let's hope for some clear skies, so far they have been scarce on Sunday evening...or any evening for that matter!