Archive for February, 2012
A few webcam images taken tonight. Caught between the scudding clouds before the sky completely murked over.
Venus & Jupiter
A few of the Moon
With a glorious day of sunshine we assembled at Bedford School for a day of sheer astronomy indulgence.
With various trade stalls set up, we had some excellent talks to keep us all highly amused throughout the day:
David Bryant – Meteorites.
Andrew Lound – A Starry Night & The Titanic.
Dr Carolin Crawford – The Cool Universe – Infra-red Astronomy.
Paul Money – The Binocular Universe.
Nik Szymanek – Astrophotography.
Nik Szymanek Speaking. Peter Truscott.
It was a fabulous day with well over 100 attendees.
(One person travelling from well south of London).
Many thanks to our speakers for the day, the traders who spent the day on their stalls, giving us lots of goodies to drool over.
The Trade stands – Peter Truscott
But a very special thanks to everyone in BAS who was involved in making our 25th anniversary year celebration an outstanding day of astronomy.
Who would have thought when I embarked upon the process of opening the society back in 1987 that it would be as successful as it undoubtedly is?
Here’s to many more years of astronomy enjoyment for Bedford Astronomical Society.
You can’t fail to see both these planets in the evening sky after sunset.
Over the next few weeks they will get closer together. Venus currently has an almost half phase.
I took these images quickly tonight before getting in out of the cold.
Jupiter & Ganymede.
With a weather front having passed over the previous afternoon, it looked like it was going to be clear all night. I was already cold from the RSPB observing session, so I went to bed for a few hours to warm up and get some kip. I woke up well before the alarm at about qtr to 2. The skies were still clear, so I set off outside (With lots of layers of clothes) to open the dome. The atmosphere was very calm with very little twinkling, so the seeing looked to be quite steady. I set everything up for autoguiding and started taking images through the 8″ Newtonian. I started with what, over the past few months, has become good old reliable Comet Garradd.
I then moved onto The Great Hercules Globular Cluster (M13).
I then swung round to capture one of my favourite galaxies, the edge-on spiral NGC 4565 in Coma Berenices.
By the end of this series of exposures at quarter to 6, the eastern sky was now starting to brighten as the dawn started to break.
Yet another imaging session comes to an abrupt end. But very satisfying.
Now that’s why I go without my sleep, when you get a great morning out under the stars, it makes you really appreciate this hobby even more. I love it!
Met up with some of the others from Bedford AS for a stargazing evening arranged by The RSPB at their headquarters at The Lodge in Sandy, under the lights of the Sandy Heath transmitter. After a miserable day of rain and wind, the front that caused it passed over about 4:00pm to leave clear skies and just a few scudding clouds.
Orion above the glow of Biggleswade.
We had a good turn out of members and from 7pm we had about 20 people looking through scopes of various sizes, taking inVenus & Jupiter, M42, Sword Handle in Perseus, The Andromeda Galaxy and many more. An extremely enjoyable evening was had by all thanks to the largely clear skies. We packed away at around 9pm and on my drive home I could still see Venus still shining just above the horizon shortly before it set. Another triumph for Bedford AS.
My friend Andy Green, of Stardome Planetarium, is currently in Iceland doing a number of talks on the Aurora.
Sounds like the trip is going well.
He has pasted some images on Facebook.
Here’s my favourite so far:
Here is a write up of the event at Delapre Abbey in Northampton with the Northampton Natural History Society by the local Northampton newspaper.
That much dreaded word “Astrology”crept in once again, but it was edited out of this on-line version after we asked them to.
We had about 150 people at this event, with fairly cloudy skies, but we did manage to show some objects through the clouds.
We had around 250 at the Salcey Forest event a week later. I did 4 talks to show people what to look out for and the last hour of the event was very clear, so great views were had by most of our visitors.
25 years eh? Wow! Half my lifetime! Doesn’t time fly?
We were interviewed by the local paper a few weeks ago, here’s the result:
Click here for a copy of the newspaper article.
Pity about the dreaded word Astrology creeping in (again!).
It was removed from the on-line version when we pointed this out.
There were two more opportunities to observe and image the ISS as it passed across the front of the Moon this week.
The most favourable apparition on Thursday morning at 2:00am was completely clouded out.
Another opportunity occurs at 1:00am tomorrow morning and is visible from my back garden.
This apparition is less favourable with the ISS being further away and much smaller.
But it does take over two and a half seconds to go across the Moons face.
But, looking at the fog out there, and the temperature, what are the chances of seeing it?
I will let you know.