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.
Events Calendar: http://www.scarborough-ryedale-as.org.uk/saras/calendar/
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,
The 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.
Eclipse data for Leeds, UK.
With less than a month to go until the much anticipated partial Solar Eclipse, visible throughout the UK, we would advise you to start turning your attention towards how you will safely observe this rare event. A useful guide has been produced by the Society for Popular Astronomy. The guide can be downloaded as a PDF here.
By far the easiest and cheapest way to safely observe the Sun during the Eclipse is to purchase a set of approved Solar Eclipse glasses. With the glasses protecting your eyes, you will be able to look at the Sun safely throughout the Eclipse. Glasses can typically cost around £1.50-£2.00 a pair but can be used again and again (although care should always be taken to check the glasses for damage prior to use).
The Eclipse will be 90.3% at maximum from our location, and an Eclipse of this magnitude will not be visible again from here until 2026. To avoid disappointment at missing this spectacular event, we advise you to purchase your Eclipse glasses now as they will be in high demand across the UK. Our closest and preferred retailer is Grovers of Northallerton, who are selling Baader Solar Eclipse glasses for £1.95 a pair. Other astronomical retailers are selling similar items. The British Astronomical Association is also selling an alternative type of Solar viewer from £1 (depending on quantity). If you are a regular BBC Sky at Night Magazine reader then you will find a free pair of Solar Eclipse glasses on the front cover of the March edition.
Society members should contact Secretary Andy Exton for more information about how the society plans to observe the Eclipse and what equipment is available for use.
The Moon. Image credit: Mark Tissington
Unfortunately due to illness, society founder and honorary president John Harper was unable to give the second installment of his talk on the Moon at the February meeting at Ayton Village Hall. Don’t worry though, we will reschedule John for later in the year to give this much anticipated follow up. As an alternative for the evening, several other society members were able to give short presentations of their own.
The evening started with Andy Exton giving a brief demo on producing a star trail image using a DSLR camera, tripod and software. A series of short exposures are taken from a static viewpoint and software cleverly automates the production of the star trails.
Howard Watson followed with a short talk on the Scottish telescope maker James Gregory. Inventor of the Gregorian reflector that predated the Newtonian design of Newton, Gregory was also a leading mathematician in the use of Calculus.
Concluding the evening was Mell Jeffery. Mell showed an entertaining video that catalogued the construction of her observatory, known as the JLO (the Jeffery’s Little Observatory).
As usual, the evening concluded with refreshments and an opportunity to chat and seek advice from members present.
Comet Lovejoy imaged by Andy Exton from Ravenscar on 24th January 2015
Members of the society have been very busy in the recent couple of weeks with some great opportunities for group observing around the local area. We were very fortunate to have the opportunity for observing from our Ravenscar site two nights over the weekend of 24-26 January. Member and Secretary Andy Exton managed to capture some images of Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy), and many Messier objects were observed.
On Monday 9th February following the outreach session with Pickering Brownies and Guides, some members gathered in Low Dalby to take advantage of the crystal clear dark skies. This allowed members to search for many deep sky objects through the society 16″ Meade Lightbridge. Lovejoy looked very bright against the background stars through the 16″ telescope, but no tail was visible. However, a motion sensitive security light which we could not turn off hampered the effort to observe and image low in the Western sky.
Members have a increasing number of events to look forward to in the coming months. Later this month members will visit Humble Bee Farm for the annual members winter star camp. This has been a great relaxed experience for the last couple of years, so we are very much looking forward to our weekend.
The next scheduled observing event on the calendar for members is the annual Messier Marathon from Ravenscar. Fingers crossed for a clear night! Further observing nights will hopefully be possible, so keep an eye on your emails, the society forum and our members Facebook group for notice of these. Obviously we cannot always plan these far in advance due to weather forecasts changing. As the winter months draw to a close, the society starts to turn its attention away from the night sky and towards the Sun, with our summer meet ups for solar observing due to start in May.
Don’t forget to submit notes and reports of your observing sessions to Skynotes for other members to read. It’s always interesting to hear what other people have been doing and see images other members have produced.