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!

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Newgale Solar Event

Newgale is a stunning place as the following pictures show:

Saturday August 6th was the nominated day for this year's solar event and we were pleased that the forecast was good and on the day itself there was clear skies for the late morning and early afternoon at least.

The car park was pretty full and many holidaymakers were enjoying the day - this was promising!

The life saving club premises at the far end of the car park was where we set out our stall.
Aside from 2 Coronado Solarmax solar telescopes and Roy's PST we had a number of other 'scopes with Mylar filters available for viewing.

The Power Tank proved useful as it powered the drive of both solar telescopes.

Plenty of literature was on hand to promote the PAG in other ways.

Here we have some of the equipment on hand and also a glimpse of the mottley crew.

Roy looks as if he's posing and possibly was.

We met people from Monmouth who said that they wanted to visit the Dark Sky Site at the Brecon Beacons (I like to think we inspired this family!).

Others we spoke with were from  Cheltenham and yet more were from a Nottingham Astronomy Group.
It seems that their home group were having a barbeque that day that they were missing. (A thought that appealed greatly to Roy - so look out)

We had a number of family groups that looked through all of our equipment in turn and were greatly impressed with what could be seen.

The cloud was a bit of a problem and eventually it took over so that by 3 p.m. with wall to wall cloud and a brisk wind we had to pack up and go home.

Rob and Nathan arrived just a little later than the rest of us and so Rob was convenient to blame for the change in the weather - though he did have a number looking through his jumbo telescope before the end.

Before we finally packed up one lady holidaymaker who was staying at Porthgain asked for our recommendations for future astronomy viewing.

We were pleased to tell her about the Perseid meteor shower that peaks on 12th/13th of August. When we suggested using the sun lounger and just naked eye viewing she was greatly impressed. Where do I look? she asked and we were pleased to give suggestions.

A good opportunity for us all, this one - share your sightings on the forum and should you be fortunate enough to get a picture do share that too.

I left my camera behind so these pictures are from Sue and when I get more from Jim I'll put them here also.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

I have been neglecting this blog but 2 items are soon to be covered.

Letterston Memorial Hall are holding a:

1) Flower Festival and Picture Exhibition

Friday 8th through to Tuesday 12th July 2016
 Preseli Astro will be there with the "astrodome" - more later.
2) Saturday August 6th we have our annual Solar Day at Newgale - weather permitting, Join us early afternoon for a look at our nearest star.