EAS August Meeting

Since the last meeting, the Museum projector has been fixed, so we can now see pictures in colour! (For those who missed the July meeting, everything was a deep, deep green….) So Stuart Atkinson was able to show his latest NLC photos to best advantage. After 10 years in Kendal, he has finally managed to capture NLC above the Castle, and it was truly a gorgeous image.

Richard Allen (the son of our ex-treasurer David Allen, it turns out) gave a nicely-pitched lecture on how the size and orbit of the Earth determine the weather patterns that exist on it, and also how the climate has been affected in the past by things such as the tilt of the Earth’s rotation axis to its orbital plane (why we have summer and winter) and the changing eccentricity of the Earth’s orbit over time. He finished with a sobering summary of the current evidence that mankind’s activities on Earth have very recently upset long-standing balances between the carbon dioxide entering and leaving the atmosphere (man-made climate change).

Liz Hodgson

NLC Displays seen from Kendal

In the past few days there have been two – yes, count them, TWO! – big displays of noctilucent clouds visible from Kendal and right across the northern UK. I hope some of you saw them, seeing as I’ve been banging on about these for months now! 🙂

Anyway, illustrated with a gazillion pictures there are full reports on my blog…


…but here are a couple of the pictures I took for you to see just why I’m prepared to lose so much sleep over these strangely beautiful clouds…



cockrel best s


NLCs shine over Kendal

The 2014 NLC Season is now at its half way point, and although we’ve missed some because of the weather (same old story, I know) there have been a couple of pretty good displays visible from Kendal, which I managed to get photos of from the Castle. First, a display seen June 19/20th…


waves sm


Then we had a display the other night, July 6/7th… which was spectacular from further north, and the east, but from here in Kendal my view was ruined by lingering cloud (which followed the NLC as it drifted east!!)…





…and I had a fleeting moment of fame when the “Good Morning Britan” weather presenter, Laura Tobin, retweeted one of my pics to all her Followers and recommended my NLC blog page, too…


Hopefully there are a few more good displays to come between now and the end of the month, but oh, the weather has to buck its ideas up…!!!

NLC activity picking up…


Hope some of you saw the rather impressive display of noctilucent clouds last Thursday night/Friday morning? I saw it from Kendal Castle (of course!) and took lots of pictures (of course!) but rather than write all that up here, can I ask you to wander over to my blog where there’s a full report? Ta.



Heavens Above Podcast – June 2014


Just a quick note to say that the June edition of the Heavens Above Astronomy Podcast is now available, featuring Dan Beale, John Pye, Stuart Atkinson and making her Podcast Debut this month Carol Grayson, we also include an interview with our special guest speaker from this months meeting Prof Lionel Wilson

In this months episode, we talk about viewing Saturn, Mars, Jupiter & The Moon, and the conjunctions that are taking place in the next few days. We also give the best advice for looking at NLC & Carol talks about Lunar X & Lunar V that she talked about in the previous months talk.

There are several ways to listen to our podcast,

You can listen on iTunes using this link: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/heavens-above-astronomy-podcast/id798939375

You can listen on YouTube using this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sEdvBhymGQ

You can use this DOWNLOAD LINKRight Click and ‘Save Link As’ to download to your computer

Or you can listen on our website using the online player using this link: www.heavensabovepodcast.co.uk

Thanks – Dan

The 2014 NLC Season has begun!

Last night, around midnight, NLC were seen from Germany and Scotland, so the season has begun! Of course, here in Cumbria the sky was cloudier than the water in a fish tank that hasn’t been cleaned for a month, so no luck for us but tonight’s forecast is better so fingers crossed…

What are NLC, what do they look like, when can you see them and how do you observe them? There’s a full guide on my blog. I hope you’ll take a look…

Cumbrian Sky Guide to NLC

12th May 2014 – Meeting

The meeting was well attended (around 40 members) and Stuart Atkinson kicked off with a description of his recent observing sessions, and the resulting beautiful photos. EAS members have been searching all round Kendal and the surrounding areas for good observing sites, and we have tracked down quite a few dark places. As well as finding places suitable for an evening session, some members are interested in sites where we could hold our own Starcamp. Stuart has found a local campsite that would offer very dark skies but is quite close and accessible.

That would be for later on in the year. In the meantime, there has been a prediction of a possible meteor shower on 23/24th May 2014, from a new trail of dust, i.e. not one of the regular showers. Since it is new, no-one knows how bright it might be, but we are always hopeful, and a Meteor Watch is planned up on Scout Scar for the night of the 23rd. This will not be a public event, just for EAS members.

Stuart also reminded everyone to look out for noctilucent clouds, as we are approaching the season for them There were some really good ones last year, and several members got good photos.

After the break, we had a presentation from Simon White, who explained the hard work that goes into his amazing photos (and also the occasional glitch!). He had managed to capture comet PANSTARRS c/2012 K1 and M51 in the same frame, but they put up a fight.

Simon was followed by Ian Bradley showing his holiday snaps of the restored 72″ telescope built at Birr in Ireland by the 3rd Earl of Rosse in the mid-19th Century. It was an astonishing technical achievement in its day, but central Ireland was perhaps not the best place to site it. The cloud cover rivals Kendal’s!

Lastly Carol Grayson showed us how she had managed to capture two unusual optical highlights on the Moon, the Lunar X and the Lunar V. In both cases, these are the result of the way the oblique sunlight hits the mountains and crater ridges as the Moon turns, and they can only be seen quite briefly.

Liz Hodgson