The final public stargazing event of the 2013/14 season was held on the evening of Friday 8th March and coincided with National Astronomy Week. The weather was very kind for the final event of the season with clear starry skies, only brightened due to a first quarter Moon in the constellation of Taurus. As the forecast was very good, an crowd in excess of 200 individuals headed to the even in Dalby Forest.
Society founder and Honorary President John Harper FRAS opened the evening giving a short guided tour of the night sky pointing out some of the major constellations and objects before attention was turned to the numerous telescopes set up in the courtyard. The highlight of National Astronomy Week 2014 was the planet Jupiter as it reached its highest altitude for many years making it ideally placed for observation so it was no surprise to see many telescopes targeting the giant planet. Many were amazed at the detail that could be seen on the planet and that the Galilean satellites were visible with Io noticeably moving throughout the night closer to Jupiter.
In addition to Jupiter, attendees also had the chance to observe the Moon, star clusters, nebulae and binary stars.
Many thanks for all those who attended the evening and to all the society members and visitors who brought along their telescopes to help show the delights of the night sky and answer numerous questions.
Public stargazing events will recommence in October with details to be added later in the year to our events calendar. Until then, the society continues to hold its monthly events at Ayton Village Hall, East Ayton (generally on the 3rd Friday of each month) and will be present in Dalby Forest at a number of events throughout the summer observing the Sun.