4th March 2016 Public Viewing Event Cancelled

Due to the weather forecast for tonight, 4th March 2015, we have decided to cancel our March Public Observing in Dalby Forest.

Heavy rain is forecast all day, with snow on higher ground which is likely for Dalby.

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Starry Skies for the First Public Stargazing Event of 2015/16

Milky Way over Dalby - 2nd October 2015.  Image Credit: Mark Tissington

Milky Way over Dalby – 2nd October 2015. Image Credit: Mark Tissington

The first public stargazing event of 2015/16 took place on Friday 2nd October under the dark skies of Dalby Forest.  Starry skies although with some high cloud did not disappoint around 60 members of the public.

Visitors were able to see many deep sky delights including the Andromeda Galaxy, the Double Cluster in Perseus, the Dumbell Nebula in Vulpecula and double stars including Albireo.

Visitors were also able to see some basic astrophotography with a DSLR camera attached to a telescope taking shots of some of the deep sky objects.

Annotated MilkyWay over Dalby.  Image Credit: Mark Tissington

Annotated MilkyWay over Dalby. Image Credit: Mark Tissington

The next public observing in Dalby Forest takes place on Friday 6th November.  For more information on this or other events, please visit our event calendar.

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Autumnal Equinox – 23rd September 2015

Earth lighting equinox

Illumination of the Earth during an equinox. Image Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Earth-lighting-equinox_EN.png

08:22 UTC (09:22 BST) sees the Southward equinox.  For ourselves in the Northern Hemisphere, it is known as the Autumnal equinox and the Vernal or Spring equinox for residents in the Southern Hemisphere. The Sun falls on the Celestial Equator during the Autumnal equinox resulting in equal lengths of day and night across the planet.  From today on-wards  as the name suggests, the Sun is seen to be moving southwards, resulting in shorter days and longer nights for us.

celestial sphere

The Celestial Sphere. Image credit: http://www.kirchdorferweb.com

The point on the Celestial Equator where the Sun lies during the Vernal equinox is known as the First Point of Aries.  However, due to precession (the continued change in the rotation of the planet on its axis), the Sun is no longer in the constellation of Aries and has not been since around 100 BC.  At the moment, the Sun is in the constellation of Pisces and by the year 2600 it will be in the neighbouring constellation of Aquarius.

As the Sun rises at an equinox, the Sun will appear to cross the horizon due east and recrosses the horizon at Sunset due west.  Over the next 3 months leading up to the Winter or December Solstice, the Sun will appear to rise and set further to the south of these points as it appears to follow the path of the ecliptic.  It will then move back north approaching the northward equinox in March when the Sun will again rise and set due east and west respectively.

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Event Confusion Clarification

Following some confusion over a recent public stargazing night in Scarborough, held to observe the planet Saturn, we would like to clarify the situation with the following:

All events organised and run by Scarborough and Ryedale Astronomical Society are listed on our website, events calendar and on our social media pages (links below). Any cancellation of our events is also advertised through these means.

Website: http://www.scarborough-ryedale-as.org.uk/

Events Calendar: http://www.scarborough-ryedale-as.org.uk/saras/calendar/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/scarbastro

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ScarboroughRyedaleAstronomicalSociety

Please note additional astronomy events in this area may be run and promoted by other individuals or groups. This Society does not take responsibility for events it does not run. Any enquiries or comments about such events must be directed to the individual organiser.

John Harper organises occasional informal public observing sessions in Scarborough. John promotes these events through his own website and other media such as local radio. John is honorary president of this Society in recognition of his efforts in promoting astronomy to the public in this area over many years. However both he and the Society wish to stress that his events are completely independent of this Society. The status of John’s events and his contact details can be found on his website (www.jonvran.co.uk). Anyone planning to attend one of these events must check there before setting out, to avoid disappointment in the event of a late cancellation. The Society website and other media will not carry details of these events.

Kind regards and clear skies,

SARAS Committee

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Website and Forum Maintenance Scheduled – Sunday 31st May 2015

TMaintenencehe Website and Forum software will be undergoing maintenance on Sunday 31st May 2015 and may be unavailable during certain periods that day.

Apologies in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.

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