Planets still in a line!

Not sure whether this was worth the effort, from a photographic point of view, but it was still a glorious naked-eye sight from the trig point on The Helm yesterday morning just before 7 o’clock.  Mercury is there too, either behind that CIC (“curiously immobile cloud”) below and to the left of Venus, or lost in the sunlight.  Binoculars might have tracked it down, but scanning the eastern horizon with binoculars at sunrise is a mug’s game.

This is about 16 shots with a fixed 50mm lens, stitched together using a wonderful programme called PTGui.

Sky Watch Wednesday 10 Feb 2016

Thanks to Simon for his organising efforts and perseverance with Kendal weather.

Grand night learning a number of member’s techniques very quickly:

ISS kindly flew over to to set the evening off.

Simon W’s easy magnitude benchmark for the evening: Polaris and the rest of Ursa Minor give you: two Mag 2’s, a 3 and a 5 (there are a few near fours – and a nearly six if viewing is that good as well). We’re seeing mag 5 naked eye.

We can now all find the Andromeda galaxy from either Cassiopeia of Pegasus (easy in binoculars, I say).

Graham’s colour index, blue Rigel to red Betelgeuse. We’re all on the look-out for a supernovae from a red giant like Beetlejuice or Aldebaran in the next 1,000 years. Sirius is white, so say most of us.

Ian showed us Uranus near the horizon through a telescope (findable in binoculars noticing that the scope was pointing above a white drainpipe).

Jupiter and its moons rose: a steady image, easy to follow with manual controls on the society’s scopes and more impressive with increasing power in other scopes. On the other hand, the Orion nebula is brighter and more impressive in binoculars – for me, personally.

Graham and Moira kept us informed with the constellation legends. Some of us are stuck in our ways though. Perseus is no warrior but a horse crossing the sky in the direction of all the other characters while Pegasus is just a big (Autumn) square. Taurus is a ‘V’ on its side – okay it’s got a tail.

With a bit of luck, Leo the Lion next month. That’s the backwards question mark although some members see a coat-hanger.


To all members…

Just a quick note with two reminders…

1. Tonight (Wed 10th) looks very promising for the first of Simon’s SKYWATCH events, so I hope lots of you will support it, and him after all his hard work, by going along. I’ll be stuck at work… typical… but there will be lots to see and do I’m sure. Full details on the special page on the blog, which you can reach via the tab at the top of this page…

2. It’s our latest MOONWATCH at the Brewery Arts Centre this coming Saturday (13th) night. Again, I’ll miss it cos I’ll be stuck at work (the phase and visibility of the Moon dictated the date) but if you can go along, PLEASE DO! We always get lots of people at our MoonWatch events now, and the more telescopes we have there the better. Starts at 6 goes on until whoever is there decides it’s time to wrap things up.

Thanks all.


EAS February meeting report

Thanks to everyone who came along go our February meeting at Kendal Museum last night! It was a great evening – very busy, with lots discussed – and the triumphant debut of a new guest speaker too…

After our current Secretary gave an illustrated round-up of recent space and astronomy news – including the latest on Comet CATALINA, the 12th anniversary of the Opportunity rover’s landing on Mars and the possible discovery of a new planet out beyond Pluto – it was time for Simon White to outline his plans fir an observing evening later in the month (see the dedicated page for full details). Then, after the break upstairs, it was our AGM, which resulted in the re-election of existing Committee members, a change of Secretary and the addition of a new member to the Committee.

20150320_092651To close the meeting, EAS member Moira Greenhalgh (shown above at last year’s solar eclipse) gave a brilliant talk in the planet Uranus and her fascination with it. This was Moira’s first talk to the Society, so she was understandably nervous about giving it, but she needn’t have worried – she had the room engrossed in her presentation right from the start, talking very personally about why she finds Uranus so interesting. Her talk was illustrated with some beautiful and striking pictures, and at the end the huge round of applause she received was very well deserved.

comparative-size-of-earth-and-uranus(Pic: Jcpag2012 )

Many thanks to Moira for stepping up and giving us her talk – this is something we’re hoping more members will do this year, and although Moira will be a hard act to follow hopefully she will have inspired others to walk to the front of the room and tell us about their interests and activities.


EAS MoonWatch on February 13th at Brewery Arts Centre

Our next public observing event will be a MOONWATCH at the Brewery Arts Centre on Saturday February 13th…

Feb Moonwatch poster jpgThese events are really popular, and we regularly attract more than a hundred people to the Brewery to view the Moon through our telescopes. The MoonWatch events are free, and suitable for all the family – we even have stools so young ones (and short older ones!)  can reach the eyepieces of the telescopes to enjoy the view!

This is how the Moon will look through our telescopes at the MoonWatch…

moon feb 13At our February MoonWatch we will also try to show people the planet URANUS, which will quite close to the Moon in the sky on that evening…

URANUSWe might even be able to show people Comet CATALINA too…!

So, hopefully the sky will be clear on that night. If it is, come along to the Brewery and we’ll show you some beautiful sights through our telescopes.