One of the best yet! That was the comment of my 9year old daughter Melisa. She was not wrong either.
A good turnout and Paul and BWH came with telescopes so we set up an impromtu mini star party in the grounds outside the cabin and managed to get some very fine views of Jupiter and her moons. For many new members this was their first view of the majestic gas giant.
I'm sure it only fired them up to make sure it is not their last view :D .
After getting "me bones shivered" I went back inside to a nice reviving hot cup of coffee and was warmed up in no time.
The second part of the evening was taken up by a great demonstration of
the Open Source program STELLARIUM. What a great program and made even better by Pauls demonstrating some of it's many features to us ably assisted by BWH. Some of the members also had their laptops here with Stellarium installed and everyone was able to share this great experience.
I took along my Acer PDA equipped with another great program Astromist
and was able to demonstrate this both outside at the scopes and inside after the presentation. Astromist has a free downloadble program and for a small cost you can upgrade to the full feature rich program.
Emma's (Seabay) Seabay Astro Brief was distibuted to the members present by Melisa and Ruyana (junior members) and everyone agreed it was a very useful publication.
John and I took names and phone contact details from those interested in attending the dark site for future observing nights. Often john and I will phone each other if the night sky is nice and clear and head off to the site. Many members wished we had invited them but as we did not have contact numbers we could not. ANY member wishing to be added to the list please PM me to be added to the list. John and I will endeavour to call everyone on the list and invite them (no pressure to attend).
Points to bear in mind:
It will inevitably be cold so wear thermals and a good warm coat and most importantly a woolen hat and possibly gloves (fingertip-less ones are the best).
Take a portable chair as standing for hours on end is no joy and it's better for looking up with binoculars. (fold up garden chairs or camping chair will do).
A thermos flask with a hot drink and lip salve or vaseline for your lips to prevent chapping.
Even if you do not yet have a telescope don't be put off as we will have several available and several pairs of binoculars.
A red light torch is invaluable to preserve everyones "night vision". A rear light for a Bike available from all good bicycle shops is ideal.
It is hoped to give evryone the maximum pleasurable experience at these
"Star Parties" so any ideas :idea: will be warmly received.
Anyway that's all for now
Past and future meetings and observing sessions.
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Meade 8inch SCT. Observatory mounted on an HEQ5 Pro using EQMOD Canon 1000D modified DSLR,200mm Dobsonian, 200mm Celestron C8, 15x70 Astro Binoculars. 2x Mintron ccd cameras, lots of other stuff.
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