Another ‘will it, wont it’ evening, for our visit to Westerdale on September 14th, which in some respects was similar to the Hook’s house event.  Setting off from Mark’s in a two-car convoy, managing to shoehorn in the LX 200, Mark’s dobsonian, a small refractor, John L, Keith, Barabara, and a couple of Marks, we arrived at the village hall with already a gathering at the car park.  Westerdale legend and fellow member John Randles was on hand as usual, and it was nice to meet Nola, who had organised the event at that end.

Sky conditions were 50/50, the good 50 being to the south, which fortunately was where the planets were located.  Jupiter was actually only visible because of the dip in the moors, and although unstable in the eyepiece, you could make out the Galilean moons.  Saturn was much clearer, the wow factor clearly evident as people stepped up to the eyepiece.  Mars refused to come out and play, hid behind the trees to the south, and eventually cloud.  Yes, the cloud did eventually build up, so we all ventured into the village hall for plan B, Mark giving a presentation using the Starry night program.

As skies refused to clear outdoors, this lasted until almost 22:00h.  Stepping back outside to dismantle the scopes, we were a little surprised to find a very light rain shower must have crossed over Westerdale, the telescopes and equipment covered in individual rain drops.  Fortunately the scopes were orientated pretty much horizontally so no harm was done to the optics.  Having said our goodbyes and pencilled in a date for next year, we headed back to Whitby under clearing skies.  Many thanks to Barbara and Mark, who went above and beyond in helping out with transport.