The next SPOG meeting will be a social in the Rose and Crown in Tilshead at 8pm on Friday 7th June. As the summer days are well and truly here, observing/photography will follow later – assuming it is clear.
We are planning to meet up at the Ship Inn, Upavon on Saturday 4th May at 8pm for a chinwag and then, weather permitting, some late observing at Casterleigh Camp. Please RSVP to let us know if you intend to join us.
Time: 2030 – 0010
Attendees: Garry Keenor, Nick Smith, Mark Radice, Mike and Carolyn White
Equipment: 4″ binos on p-mount (Mark), 10×50 binos on tripod (Garry), small binos (Mike & Carolyn), Skywatcher 10″ dob (Garry), Skywatcher 8″ newt on EQ6 with DSLR (Nick)
Weather: perfectly clear apart from the odd contrail, no wind, dropping to about -2°C by midnight
Darkness/Seeing: darkness marred by the onset of summer (solar glow evident at midnight to north, west and east) but otherwise good – it is Tilshead after all! Seeing not great, some doubt about transparency – no milky way evident even at midnight, views of Saturn at low elevation particularly poor
Mark had put the call out after a good session with Nick the previous night – two concurrent clear nights being a rarity round here! The stated aims were to catch comet PANSTARRS as it passes by the Andromeda galaxy, take a look at the many many galaxies in the Virgo cluster, and get an early view of Saturn.
Weather forecast is predicting another clear night. What’s that I hear you say? Yes two clear nights in a row.
After enjoying last night’s excellent views of Comet Panstarrs and M31 in the same field of view through binos and cameras it is time to repeat the experience.
We will be at Tilshead observing site from 2030-ish to catch the comet as it gets dark and then move onto the spring galaxies and finally Saturn in the small hours.
All welcome, any probs give Mark Radice a call on his mobile or email Garry for more details.
SPOG members Jon Gale, Garry Keenor and Kevin Morgan took part in a very successful outreach event last Wednesday with Castledown Radio. “Seeing Stars Live” took place at Wellington Academy in Tidworth, organised by Chris Steers and with a good turnout despite the intermittent cloud.
Nevertheless we managed to get good views of the 1st quarter moon and Jupiter for a crowd of around 50 people. Chris and the radio team ran a very professional outside broadcast, with suitably star-themed music – although we are still trying to work out the connection between astronomy and Harlem Shake!
Jon and Garry were
desperate to get on the radio reluctantly interviewed, and Castledown Radio have been kind enough to let us have copies of the broadcast – click on the links below to listen if you dare!
- Garry Keenor on SPOG membership
- Jon Gale on Jupiter and telescopes
- Garry Keenor on the Moon
- Jon Gale on telescopes – 2
Chris, who is only 15, got a Blue Peter badge for his efforts in running the event, and struck us as a very promising young stargazer. On the back of the event the school are now considering buying a scope for the benefit of the pupils.
On the back of the success of this event, Castledown are now looking to run another one, perhaps to coincide with the Perseid meteors in August. I’m sure SPOG will be there in support again….