It was with great sadness that the Society received the news of the passing of Sir Patrick Moore.
Many members have met Patrick over the years, and he was a truly inspirational figure in the world of amateur astronomy.
For one member, John Fletcher, it is particularly sad occasion. John had become great friends with Patrick over the years, and was a regular visitor to ‘Farthings’, and became one of his personal carers in Patrick’s later years.
Patrick Moore was a larger than life character, and will be sorely missed.
Last night (14 November) a few of us gathered for a rather speculative observing evening at the North Glos site. Forecast was poor, there was lots of fog around on the way to the site, but on arrival was clear and dark.
Although patches of fog passed through, the sky was remarkably clear, with the milky way and M31 being easily visible to the naked eye.
Sadly the equipment dewed up all too quickly, and we packed up after taking in a few sights. Jupiter was very impressive, the Pleiades brilliant, M57, and Albireo were amongst the favourite targets.
Our Coordinator, Peter Cadogan, is currently holidaying in Australia, and has now arrived near Cairns for the eclipse.
It is all a bit iffy for Wednesday, but we are keeping our fingers crossed. There are lots of eclipse chasers here and one astronomer helped me to find my way about the Southern skies last night This is not easy at this time of the year, as the Milky Way is on the horizon and most northern constellations are a bit nondescript as well as being upside down. But 57 Tucana was magnificent – much brighter than m13.
This was the view on Monday morning from our beach at 6 am, so the sun is well up. But it’s raining at the moment
At our November meeting John Yates will be talking about the “Cyclic Model” of cosmology. This is an alternative cosmology to the commonly assumed “Inflationary Model”, but does provide an interesting alternative to conventional wisdom.
We will have a some telescopes along should it be clear after the break, and if any members have pictures they would like to show please bring them along.
We held a Deep Sky Imaging Workshop on November 3rd – magnificently led by Rik McRae. This was a ‘soup-to-nuts’ session on equipment, software, image capture and image processing. The only thing lacking was time! Though by the end of the day, brain overload was starting to be a problem.
At the monthly meeting this Saturday, Dr Helen Heath, from Bristol University will be talking to us about Cosmic Rays. These are not some metaphysical health remedy, but extremely energetic particles from the depths of space, so it will certainly be a meeting not to be missed.
The forecast for Saturday evening is a bit uncertain at the moment, but telescopes will be available just in case.
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