Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Martin's Haven

Event on 19th October was cancelled by the PCNPA due to lack of support,

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Solar Day at Newgale 3rd August

The weather made this a now it's on, now it's off occasion.

Chairman Jim loaded his car in Haverfordwest, then it clouded over and began to rain so he declined to go.

A comment from Richard sums it up:

""A few of us arrived at Newgale and gave it a go, but the weather wasn't very co operative, though we did manage a few glimpses of a featureless sun. 
We did see a bit of interest from the public, one couple we will likely see at meetings in the near future.""

Things can only improve for the October event at Martins Haven. 😊 😊

Monday, 15 July 2019

Letterston Carnival - 13th July

Intermittent views of sun through the afternoon and no solar activity apparent.

Of course when the 'scopes were put away the sky cleared for the rest of the evening.

Richard commented that quite a few showed interest and were surprised that a club was in the area.

It is hoped that this will translate into a few new attendees at meetings.

Next event is the Solar Day at Newgale

Sunday, 9 June 2019

2019 Events

The event scheduled for 11th May at Gupton with the NT & PCNP was cancelled.

Next on the agenda is Letterston Carnival on 13th July at 1.30 p.m.

Then it is the annual Solar Day at Newgale on 3rd August. In the event of bad weather this will be moved to 10th August.
Note that this will not be held in the Lifesaving Club premises as work is being done there but it will be in the car park instead.

Later in the year - October - the venue is Martins Haven. More details will follow.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Broad Haven South 21st April 2018

With several clear nights before this event we were hopeful but as the night drew in the cloud around St. Ishmaels was enough to put us off but having made the commitment we set off around 7 p.m.

When we arrived there was enough cloud and sea mist to discourage all but the valiant.
The 5 day old Moon was on show most of the time which was good as one of the objects I was hoping to show was the Theophilus chain - a particularly handsome group of three craters best seen at that time of the lunar cycle.

This is it - a stock photo not one of ours!!

We showed it to several attendees who seemed suitably impressed.

1 gentleman commented that it was the best view of the Moon he had ever seen.

Such comments make it all worthwhile.

10 members of the group provided the "expert" back-up. Along with the NT and PCNP people there was "more of us than there were of them" to quote the biblical phrase.

Around 9.00 pm Venus appeared from behind the clouds and off and on was visible for many hours.

Most members seemed to be showing something for at least part of the time so it was a worthwhile effort spoiled somewhat by the weather and lack of attendees.
Kim was enthusiastically showing Mizar A and B along with Alcor (Ursa Major) to some and even managed to find the globular cluster M13 a little later.

I heard next day that a few Lyrid meteors had been seen - Vega itself was visible around 9.30 and with the Moon in the other half of the sky the potential was certainly there.

What next?
We have been invited to Dale airfield on 29th April - a radio program with a little astronomy content, UFO's and the like. Some of the group are likely to attend weather permitting.
July 14th heralds the Letterston Carnival - we are often asked to make an appearance and if the Sun shines we have the equipment to view it and show it to the public.
In August we will have our regular annual solar event at Newgale and at the end of the year we meet up again with the NT and PCNP people - much to look forward to so keep an eye on the website/forum to keep informed.


Sunday, 23 April 2017

Fully Booked - April at St Brides with PCNP

The astronomy night arranged with Pembrokeshire National Park coincided with the peak of the Lyrid meteor shower on 22nd April - the event was timed (officially) for 9.00 pm - 11.00 p.m.

Preparation was the key and we printed off a number of freebies - information sheets, star charts and the like to make the evening more meaningful.
I did ask the question - fully booked meant 31 people made an advance booking - several more arrived hoping that there was enough space.

Pun intended!!!

We had around 10 from the local astronomy group and this is a selection of the "early birds" that arrived to set up the equipment while it was still light.

Richard, here, was one of the first. Here seen setting up his Newtonian. He also brought along the group's 6" Dobsonian which we "borrowed" later as we were having problems with the group's Tasco.

The 1st object on view was the planet Jupiter which wowed a number of the early attendees.
The four Galilean moons were easily seen in binoculars and by moving from 'scope to 'scope many also saw the equatorial belts and later the Great Red Spot was visible.

The site lived up to expectations and soon it was very dark and some serious skywatching could begin.

Our visitors delighted to see stars, constellations, double stars, galaxies and nebulae that were new to many of them and we were kept busy showing off these these marvels to an enthusiastic audience.

Here we have a couple of images of Jupiter - taken by Rob on the night. The Great Red Spot is clearly visible on these pictures. The GRS is allegedly a weather feature that has been visible on the planet possibly for 350 years.

This image contains the North America Nebula.

It is extremely difficult to see naked eye but the camera reveals much more.

It is an aptly named emission nebula - we can identify features that seem to resemble those on the North American continent.

A number of people saw Lyrids and Rob was very pleased with himself because he captured an image for the first time - we see it here in the middle, about a third of the way down.

Many Lyrids are as bright as the main stars of Ursa Major (the Plough) and often give rise to a persistent train as seen here.

The set finishing time was 11.00 pm but many of us stayed much longer. The Moon being out of the way was an added bonus for this night.

The cry "when are we doing it again?" was made and I'm confident that later in the year we will.

The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Ranger (Dan) who organised the event was pleased with the turn out - as were we all. A clear night for astronomy is unusual enough but one free from rain and wind made it an extra special occasion.

Monday, 12 September 2016

September Meeting

A late start due to calamities from many sides but 29 of us enjoyed our 1st meeting since July.

 Here we have Jim looking extremely casual, almost nonchalant even though half an hour late.

He had the laptop so we couldn't start proceedings though by an amazing coincidence we had just collected a reserve laptop from our Secretary's home when Jim arrived. 
Our membership secretary, Phil, was also late on this night - sadly missed as he is a great help in setting up the room early on.

 "What's Up" gave a helpful look at the current night sky. Not much in the planetary line though this is a good month for Neptune - the 15th is a particularly good date to remember as Neptune is occulted by the Moon on that day and around 9.00pm comes out from behind it.

Some good stuff around Cygnus and Lyra though they are a little too high for comfortable viewing. The Great Square of Pegasus was mentioned and it seems that 7 is the magic number.If that number of stars are visible in the square then the night is good for observing. Curiously a few days later around 4.00am Susan could make out 7/8 in the square - not often that happens!!

Kim then treated us to a demonstration of how to set up an equatorial telescope.

It was a warm night for gymnastics but Kim did a tidy job here.

What about those shorts!!
A "Beam me up Scottie" pose here.

It is the sort of demo that needs seeing many times but we got the idea.

The hire equipment was on display and 2 items were carried away by members - another member is on holiday later this month so opted for the October takeaway.

We have a 6" Dobsonian, 20x80 Celestron Binoculars  and a Tasco Reflector for hire at an extremely moderate rate so if you would like to hire one of these do make it known,
We also had a selection of FAS booklets which went better than anticipated - I should have brought more.

We also had a number of astrocalendars which were being sold off at just 50p each as they have limited content for the current year.

Next month the 2016/17 astrocalendars will be available at an excellent price!