2009 News

13th December

Geminid watching: A large group of some 30 visitors came up to the Dome to view Geminids. Sadly the only clear patch occurred from 19.30 till 20.15 UT, during which some 8 Geminids and 2 sporadics were seen. After that the cloud closed in. 2 more Geminids were seen, one behind quite thick cloud. The watch ended at 22.30UT and all departed to listen to the ‘Spaceweather radio’ radar ‘pings’ instead

10th December

House visit: 12 Shell pupils fom NC came up to the Dome. The sky was largely clear but the high moisture content made for poor seeing. The Pleiades were viewed in the Binos and Betelgeuse in the ETX. The 10 inch split Castor into 2 of its main components. 4 early Geminids were seen in the evening, the brigtest 0 magnitude

Next House visit: Tuesday 12th January 2010(MO)

GCSE Observing evening: Despite the largely clear sky, only 2 Remove came up to draw constellations. Castor was also seen in the 10 inch and then M42 the Orion nebula. Mars was seen for the first time this winter as a clear red disc in the ETX

8th December

Junior School visit: 12 pupils from years 3 and 4 from St Peter’s Junior School and 2 pupils from Preshute Primary came up to the Dome with 4 parents and a teacher on a foul night for a talk and tour. Sadly no telescope viewing was possible

7th December

Prep School visit: 12 year 8 pupils and their teacher from Cheam School came up to the Dome. Sadly there was too much cloud to observe all but Jupiter, Gemini and the Summer triangle by eye

News – 3rd December

Night of the great fireball!. House visit: 12 pupils from C2 Shell came up to the Dome on the coldest night of the term with temperatures in the Dome at 2 degrees. The 96% waning gibbous Moon made for a light sky but it was otherwise clear. After dark adaption, the group were having a tour of the sky when all were able to witness a superb fireball passing from Pisces into Aquarius in SSW at around 30 degrees altitude. Estimates varied up to -10 magnitude and the head appeared to be perhaps 0.2 degrees across, bright white and green with a tail which broke up into some 8 or so bright orange pieces. In total it lasted some 4 seconds and spanned 30 degrees on the sky. 3 other meteors of around 0 to +1 magnitude were seen in the ensuing 15 minutes all in the same genral direction, perhaps associated. It is not impossible to trace them back to Gemini, though they would make very early Geminids. The Pleiades were viewed in Binos and the Moon in the ETX. Jupiter and 3 moons (Callisto in transit) was viewed at low altitude until it disappeared in cloud

Next house vsit: Thursday December 10th (NC)

GCSE Observing evening: Some 8 pupils Remove and Hundred joined RDM and CEB at the Dome. 3 more meteors were seen again in the SW travelling away from the Moon and Gemini. Remove drew constellations and Hundred drew M45 in Binos and Tycho in the ETX and attempted M57(Ring nebuial in Lyra) in the 10 inch, though it proved too dim in moonlight

1st December

5th Blackett science lecture: Some 120 Friends and pupils and College staff gathered to hear Dr Roberto Trotta of Imperial College, London give an excellent lecture on ‘The anthropic principle and the origin of the Universe’

26th November

GCSE observing evening: 6 Hundred and 3 Remove joined CEB and RDM at the Dome. The sky was covering over with high cloud during the evening but a nice Lunar halo and aureole was drawn and also Cassiopeia and Orion. The Pleiades were also drawn in the Binos and the 10inch viewed first Jupiter and then the waxig gibbous Moon. Copernicus was well illuminated and also particularly Bullialdus which showed its clear central peaks

24th November

Primary School visit: 24 visitors, both parents and children (from years 3 to 7) from Bedwyn School came up to the Dome for a tour and talk. Sadly the sky was cloudy

19th November

Prep School visit: 5 scholars and a teacher from Cothill School visited the Dome for a tour and solar viewing. The Sun’s blank disc was viewed in white light in the ETX and then in H alpha in the 10 inch. Sadly the low altitude and encroaching cloud meant that neither the small cycle 24 sunspots nor any chromosphere activity was seen

17th November

Leonid watch: Some 20 pupils (some coming up for the first time) joined JAG at the Dome to watch for the predicted Leonid peak. Cloud hampered observing. No peak was witnessed but 7 Leonids were seen. Constellation coursework drawing also took place

16th November

Early Leonid watch: 6 Friends and some 9 Remove astronomers came up to the dowm to look out for early Leonids and do some constellation drawing respectvely. No Leonids were seen and the high cloud made observing hard

12th November

House visit: 11 pupils from B1 Shell visited the Dome. The sky was totally cloudy


Next House visit: Thursday 3rd December (C2)

6th November

Q and A evening: 12 Friends attended a Q and A evening with the theme Human Space Exploration. The sky was cloudy throughout but cleared at the end allowing a view of Jupiter and 4 moons in the ETX


5th November

House visit: 10 Shell form CO came up to the Dome sadly it was cloudy bar a brief view of the Moon at the end

Next House visit:Thursday 12th November (B1)

3rd November


Primary School visit: 15 (years 3 to 5) from St Peters primary school attanded the Dome with teachers and a couple of parents. The temperature dropped to the coldest this autumn and the sky was beutifully clear exactly for the duration of the visit. The just off Full Moon meant the sky was very bright and made the likelyhood of any meteors remote; however one very bright ‘Earth-grazing’ Taurid was seen at the start of the visit. The Moon was viewed in Binos and then Jupiter and 4 moons in the ETX. The 10 inch was then used to see Jupiter in detail until cloud started to close in. Several Polar orbit satellites ere seen

24th October

IYA Moonwatch evening: A group of Friends gathered at the Dome as a gap in clouds allowed 2.5 hours of good observing. The Milky Way was particularly clear. The ETX was used to view Jupiter and its moons, the waxing crescent Moon (showing the Ptolemy string of craters very well) then for the first time M13 (Great Globular in Hercules) and h and chi Persei double Open cluster. The Binos veiwed the Moon and then Pleiades. The 10 inch was used to watch Jupiter at 95x and 173x magnification and 5 or 6 bands were visible. Io’s movement was just perceptable. The group watched for the appearance of Europa from behind the planet to no avail but at 21.05 UT the moon ‘materialised’ some distance from the planet having emerged from the shadow, evidence in itself of a moon shining by reflected light

19th October

External visit: 22 members of Aldbourne Ladies Group visited first the FETTU exhibition in the Mount House and then the Dome. The sky was cloudy, but a full tour of both facitilies occupied the evening

18th October

FETTU exhibition launch: A group of Friends and some members of the College Common Room attended the private launch of the local From Earth to the Universe image exhibition in the Mount House gallery

16th October

Friends Q and A: 16 Friends attended the Q and A session on ‘Cycle 24’. Jupiter and 4 moons was viewed at the end in the ETX

15th October

House visit: 12 Shell pupils from EL came up to the Dome. The sky was totally cloudy and brighly lit by skyglow from the Astros and the Town

Next House visit: Thursday 5th November (CO)

13th October

GCSE Observing: A small group of Hundred and Remove pupils joined JAG and RDK at the Dome. Glimpses of Jupiter were had between the clouds using the ETX and the 10 inch

8th October

House visit: 12 pupils form BH Shell came up to the Dome. The night was clear and Moonless initially. Jupiter and 4 moons were viewed in the ETX and 10 inch. Ganymede passing Io to head for a transit exactly a week after the last and Europa appearing from behnd the planet

Next house visit: Thursday 15th October (EL)

GCSE Observing session: 8 Hundreds pupils and 4 Remove came up to continue coursework with drawings of Jupiter and its moons and the Algol field. Algol noticeably brighter. The centre of M31 was viewed in the 10 inch and the Eta Cassiopeia. The coloured Double at 9.6 arc second separation was easily split and the red colour of the dimmer companion clear

2nd October

Friends anniversary drinks: The 5th anniversary drinks of the founding of the Friends of the Marlborough Telescope group took place in the Marlburian and was attended by some 50 Friends and families. A review of IYA was given and we looked forward to another year of events

1st October

House visit: The first Shell House visit of the year took place with 11 pupils from C3 visiting the Dome. The sky was clear, if bright from the waxing Gibbous Moon and, after dark adaption, they had tours of the Autumn sky and viewed the Moon with Binos and ETX and the Jupiter and 3 moons in the 10 inch

Next House visit: Thursday 8th October (BH)

GCSE observing evening: The second evening in the week proved clear and though some high cloud and bright Moon gave non-perfect conditions it was ideal for the small number of Hundred pupils to continue coursework. Drawing Jupiter and 3 obvious moons in the 10 inch and witnessing an unusal shadow transit (the dark black tiny shadow being more visible than the moon) of Ganymede from start to the half-way point. The transit commenced at 18.35 UT and we saw it dead centre on Jupiter’s disc just after 20.00 UT. The Perseus field and Algol were drawn for comparison and the Pleiades at the end of the evening. We also viewed Uranus at x 95 and x 172 and argued over the hint of green-blue colour

29th September

GCSE Observing: The first observing night of the academic year was clear and though the waxing Gibbous Moon scattered a good deal of light, the seeing was good and detail visible of high quality. Some 14 pupils came up to the Dome and whilst JAG took the new Remove on guided sky tours, the ETX was used to complete Mizar A and B coursework. The Binos looked at the Moon and later at the rising Pleiades. The 10 inch initially centered on Neptune which had its disc just resolved and showed a hint of blue. Then Jupiter was viewed with first 3 moons till Europa disappeared at 18.45UT to be replaced by Io appearing later. Several storm bands were visible on the disc. At the end of the evening Uranus was located and its much larger disc easily resolved. The pale green/blue colour being easy to see. Several meteors were seen during the evening and one Iridium flare. A good start to the observational course

20th September

Autumnal Equinox Lecture: CEB gave the lecture ‘Archaeoastronomy and Avebury’ to an audience fo some 26 visitors in the National Trust Study Centre at Avebury. The lecture was followed by a tour of the Circle. With the only light pollution from the Red Lion pub, the stars were magical as viewed from the Cove. Autumn asterisms were viewed and bright Jupiter in the South. The Milky Way and the dust lanes near Deneb in Cygnus were particularly impressive

19th September

ISS pass: A small group gathered to watch a superb 88 degrees altitude, 5.5 minute E to W ISS pass. The station was very bright in the twilight sky at 4 minutes to 8pm. Narowly missing both Vega and Deneb as is traversed the Summer Triangle. Even by eye the elongated shape was visible and the segments and solar panels easy in good binos

14th September

Outer Planet observing evening: A dozen Friends gathered despite high cloud and varying cloud cover. The night was however still and good seeing and Jupiter was excellent in the ETX showing 2 Equatorial bands and 4 moons aligned , with innermost IO slighlty red in colour. The ETX then viewed Mizar and Alcor and easily split Mizar A and B, showing a good contrast in clour. Cloud prevented any further planet viewing but Autumn asterismas, a late Perseid meteor and an excellent almost directly overhead ISS pass made up for this

13th September

Heritage Open Day (Oxford): Some 300 members of the public visited Green Templeton College and the Old Radcliffe Observatory. CEB lectured throughout the afternoon on ‘Astronomy and the Observatory’

11th September

External visit: 25 members of the 12th Swindon Air Scouts (astronomy badge) aged 10 to 14 and including adults and leaders visited the Dome. The evening was clear, though with increasing high cloud. Summer asterisms were seen as the Sun set and then Jupiter and 2 moons were viewed in the ETX and Binos. The 10 inch was used to observe M13, the Great globular cluster in Hercules. Given the light levels, the cluster detail was only just visble. A good high ISS pass was seen as the group departed

11th August

Perseid meteor shower: A small group gathered to view several bright ‘Earthgrazers’ in the late evening, whilst the Moon was low in the sky. The waning gibbous Moon and some early high cloud meant only really bright meteors were seen. The rate was around 5 to 10 per hour. Jupiter was viewed in the ETX and the 10 inch, its low altitude and the warm night did not allow more than basic detail to be seen

30th July to 5th August

Cunard Lectures: CEB travelled as Royal Astronomical Society Lecturer on the Queen Mary 2 from New York to Southampton. Lectures ‘Archaeoastronomy’, ‘De-mystifying the night sky’ and ‘Living in the Atmosphere of the Sun’ were given to audiences of 200+ passengers. Though the 2 arranged observing nights were cloudy, a 3rd night enabled a small group to gather on Deck 13 to view between clouds. The shapes of the Mare on the nearly Full Moon were seen by eye along with a Lunar aureole and several of the prominent Summer asterisms. Jupiter was viewed through binos

23rd July

Summer School lecture: CEB gave the lecture ‘The Dutch trunke – 400 years from Galileo to Kepler’ to an audience of some 180 in the Ellis theatre

26th June

School lecture: CEB gave the talk ‘Stars, planets and wormholes’ to some 80 pupils in years 5 to 8 at Lambrook Haileybury School

25th June

School lecture: CEB gave the talk ‘Stars, planets and wormholes’ to a gathering of year 7 and 8 pupils at Ashfold School

24th June

Shell Solar Observing: 19 pupils in the Shell came up to the Dome for a double lesson of solar observing. The Solar goggles, ETX and Solarscope projection box showed unsuprisingly a blank disc. The 10 inch with its H alpha filter showed some prominence activity at the NW limb

22nd June

Astronomy Teachers Conference: A free one-day conference was run at St John’s School, Marlborough, organised jointly with Marlborough College, St Mary’s Calne and John Bentley’s Calne. Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell opened the day talking about the ‘Pluto kerfuffle’ and then CEB gave a talk on Astronomy in Schools covering mainly the new GCSE Astronomy Specification and the Extended project for astronomy in the sixth form. Workshops included Galaxy Zoo and Starlearner and a representative of Edexcel was on hand

20th June

Solstice Sky Tour: Some 12 Friends gathered at the dome late in the twilight evening to watch the Summer stars appear. Antares red and low in the South and bright orange Arturus high in SW. The far northerly setting point of the Sun was also noted. The Summer triangle appeared one at a time, but Northerly asterims of Cassiopeia and Plough were barely visible in the bright sky. No Notilucent clouds appeared

8th June

School lecture: CEB gave the talk ‘Stars, planets and wormholes’ to some 180 pupils in the top 3 years at Cothill House School

Good Schools Guide GCSE Awards 2009: Marlborough College has won an award from The Good Schools Guide ‘for the best results at GCSE achieved by girls taking Astronomy at an English School’

2nd June

Solar observing: A small group gathered under a clear sky and at 25 degrees centigrade in the Dome to view the Solar disc in white light and the new sunspot group 1019. Two Earth sized umbra were seen, one with penumbra and a dozen or so smaller spots in the NW quadrant at high latitude. Another small pore was visible high in the central disc. The magnetic polarity identifies the group as new Cycle 24

20th May

External visit: 2 new Friends visited the Dome for the first time and were luckly to get a glimpse of the totally blank Solar disc in white light, definitely no sign of the latest small cycle 24 spot

19th May

Engineering visit: The RA drive belt was replaced following some stretching earlier in the year

18th May

External visit: 2 Old Marlburians visited the Dome. Both had been involved in Radcliffe Society in 1940s and 70s respectively

13th May

Public solar viewing: Despite cloud and light drizzle a small number of visitors, including 2 senior members of Newbury Astronomical Society attended the Dome

11th May

GCSE Revision: A five hour session took place at the Dome with CEB and RDK and the majority of the yeargroup in advance of Friday’s exam

10th May

Lunar Observation: The setting Full Flower Moon was observed sunrise and was an incredible deep pink colour

1st May

Shell Physics: 14 members of Shell set 8 and teacher came up to the Dome to observe the Sun in H alpha. Cloud prevented all but brief glances through Solar viewing goggles

28th April

Friends Solar viewing: A small group of Friends came up tot he Dome to view the Sun in H alpha. Though the sky was hazy, the Sun was viewed totally balnk in white light in the ETX, but showed a good tent shaped prominence in the 10 inch, which changed noticeably over an hour

27th April

External visit: 16 members of Chipping Norton Amateur Astronomical Society were lucky enough to visit the Dome on a clear evening with good seeing. From sunset till 10.45pm the Binos, ETX and 10inch were used to view Mercury, close to greatest elongation; the crescent Moon, at up to 240x magnification and then Saturn. Though edge on, there was some shadow visible in the rings and 6 moons were seen

30th March to 6th April

La Palma Expedition: 2 Lower Sixth and 2 Hundreds pupils from Marlborough College and a Lower Sixth girl from St Mary’s Calne, accompanied by CEB and a St Mary’s teacher, spent a week on La Palma. The Group were hosted by the Isaac Newton Group at the Jacobus Kapteyn (JKT) dome, where they took part in the UK Moonwatch week (organised in UK by the Society for Popular Astronomy) using the 6 inch finder to view the First Quarter Moon, Saturn, M42 (Orion Nebula) and M93 an Open Cluster in Canis Major. A pupil and CEB then took part in the IYA cornerstone project 100 hours of observing webcast from observatories around the World and had a 2 minute slot form the William Herschel telescope (WHT). The group then joined an Iranian researcher and colleague from Liverpool John Moores at the Isaac Newton Telescope (INT), observing the infall region of the Coma galaxy cluster. The second night was spent at the INT with a Spanish researcher from the IAC looking at Fossil galaxy groups. Tours of MAGIC, Liverpool Telescope and GranTeCan were also part of the stay at 2400+m

23rd to 24th March

13 Friends of the Telescope accompanied CEB to CERN, privately visiting 2 of the main detectors, LHCb and ATLAS in the LHC ring

21st March

Public Lecture (IYA event): The 6th Sun-Earth Day lecture ‘ Galileo – first light on the universe 400 years on’ was given by CEB to some 30 Friends and visitors

20th March

Sixth Form lecture: CEB delivered the lecture ‘The spectrum of telescopes – the future of observing’ to some 60 6th formers in the Martin wood Lecture theatre at the Clarendon Building in oxofrd as part of a sixth form study day ‘Astrophysics and Einstein’

19th March

Spring Sky Tours (Friends observing evening): At last a clear evening for a Friends event saw 24 Friends gather at the Dome. Watching the stars appear after sunset being guided around the ‘Winter Wreath’ and waiting for Arcturus to rise in the East as the Spring marker. A good high ISS pass was seen by all. The Binos viewed the Pleiades and the ETX crescent Venus, until it set, then Saturn, Orion nebula and Mizar A and B. the 10 inch tracked Saturn and 2 moons were easily visible with young eyes making out a 3rd. The high moisture caused intrusive skyglow by 9pm

18th March

External visit: 19 members of Ogbourne St Andrew History Group came up to the Dome. The evening was clear, though some high moisture meant a degree of skyglow, enough to prevent a good view of the Milky Way. The visit started with a good 39 degree altitude ISS pass (The Shuttle having docked). A tour of the sky followed and then M45 (Pleiades) was viewed in the Binos and M42 Orion nebula) in the ETX. The 10 inch was used yo view Saturn with its edge on rings, showing a couple of bands on the main disc and 5 moons all off to the same W side

12th March

House visit: The last yr 9 (Shell) House visit of the academic year took place with 12 pupils from C3 visiting the Dome. The sky was cloudy. Next House visit will be in the Autumn term

5th March

GCSE Observing: 10 Remove pupils and 2 Hundreds came up for 3.5 hours of clear, if rather moonlit observing. The Binos were usd for M45 Pleiades and ETX for Mizar A and B, M42 (Orion nebula) and then Saturn. The 10 inch followed Lulin, now in Cancer just South of M44 (Beehive) now much dimmer at roughly 6.9t, magnitude and further away at 0.55 AU. The Comet could be seen to move some 6′ in an hour when referred to a nearby 10.9 magnitude star in Cancer. The 10 inch then turned to Saturn, which showed a little marking on the disc. Titan was very obvious to the East and Dione, Tethys and Rhea grouped in a close triangle to the West. Over 25 pieces of coursework were completed

2nd March

School visit: 9 year 9 pupils and 2 staff from Wootton Basset School visited the Dome. Sadly the sky was cloudy

1st March

Extra GCSE Observing evening: Given the lack of clear nights an ’emergency’ observing evening saw one of the most intense sessions since the Dome was re-opened. 11 GCSE Hundreds pupils came up to the Dome and in 4 hours of hectic drawing completed over 30 pieces of coursework. Binos were used to draw M45 (Pleiades) and M44 Beehive as well as to view Comet Lulin early in the evening. The ETX viewed M42 (Orion Nebula) and Mizar a and B and at the start of the evening Saturn with its edge on rings making it look (as Gallileo dew) like 3 stars in a row. the 10 inch was used to view Comet Lulin and over 2 hours, the movement was over half the field of view, some 15′; this was drawn against a background field of 7th to 11th magnitude stars in Leo. The 10 inch finally viewed Saturn and Titan, the other moons being hidden in the glare of the rings

26th February

Prep School lecture: CEB gave the lecture ‘Stars, planets and wormholes’ to around 100 pupils from years 6,7 and 8 and several parents and staff in Elstree school

House visit: 12 Shell pupils from BH came up to the Dome. Venus was seen briefly in cloud at the start of the evening

Next House visit: Thursday 12th March (C3)

21st February

Comet viewing: Despite high cloud and skyglow the 10 inch was turned to Saturn in the late evening for the first time this year. It was amazing to see the rings edge-on making Saturn look like a circle with a bar through it. 3 moons were easily visible in the plane of the rings. Though only at 10 degrees altitude, comet Lulin (at magnitude 6) was easy to find close to a couple of 7th and 8th magnitude stars in Virgo. Though no detail was visible, what was increadible was to see how fast it moved. Estimated movement was 2′ in 15 minutes ie 8′ an hour or just over 3 degrees a day

16th February

Public lecture: CEB gave the lecture ‘Galileo – first light on the Universe 400 years on’ at Green Templeton College in Oxford to a mixed audience of visitors and academics as part of the annual lecture series ‘Astronomy for All’

10th February

House visit: 13 pupils from EL Shell and 2 from MM came up to the Dome in snow and slush. The near Full Moon rose behind clouds and trhough Orion and the Pleiades were visible briefly, the cloud closed in

Next House visit: Thursday 26th February(BH)

5th February

House visit: 10 pupils from CO Shell and a Tutor came up to the Dome. For the first time the Dome was cut off by road and all had to walk through up to 6 inches of snow. The sky was totally cloudy and orange

Next House visit: Tuesday 10th February (EL)

29th January

House visit: 11 pupils from B1 Shell came up to the Dome. Though bright Venus and the crescent Moon could be seen initially through cloud, it soon clouded over completely

Next House visit: Thursday 5th (CO)

26th January

Friends evening: 9 Friends including 3 young came to the Dome for the ‘bring your own binos/telescope’ evening. Initially the sky was largely clear and enabled Venus and its phase to be viewed in various binos and the ETX. The 10 inch viewed M42 well until high cloud closed in. Earlier in the evning a couple were lucky enough to see the zenith pass of the ISS

19th January

IAU Symposium: CEB took part in Symposium 260 at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, ‘The role of Astronomy in Culture and Society’. Contributing a talk ‘Avebury – the Dawn of culture’

16th January

School visit: 13 GCSE Astronomy yr10 pupils and 3 staff from Wootton Bassett School attended the Dome for a tour and introduction to observational astronomy. Sadly the sky was cloudy.

15th January

Shell Chapel: CEB gave a talk to the combined Shell on possible Astronomical/Astrological interpretations of the Star of Bethlehem

Launch of International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009): The official launch took place in Paris with lectures from eminent Astronmomers. CEB answered questions on IYA on local BBC Radio Wiltshire

Shell House visit: 11 pupils form C2 Shell attended the Dome. The sky was cloudy

Next House visit: Thursday 29th (B1)

13th January

GCSE Observing: A clear sunset and western horizon gave the first view this year of Mercury at a low 4 degrees altitude in the twilight in Binos. Dim and pink compared to Venus, 100 times brighter. By 20.00 UT high cloud had started to close in. Nevertheless, 3 Remove astronomers came up to the Dome. Drawings were made of M45 (Pleiades) in Binos, Mizar A and B in ETX and M42, Orion Nebula in the 10 inch. As the waning Gibbous Moon rose, the scattered light combined with high moisture levels curtailed the evening

8th January

ASE Conference: CEB spoke in Reading on behalf of Edexcel ‘Reaching the stars’ introducing GCSE Astronomy 2009+ and Astronomy Extended Project at KS5

House visit: 12 pupils from NC came up to the Dome. Though clear earlier, a damp cold fog closed in and only the Moon could be viewed in Binos and the ETX. There was too much moisture for the 10 inch.

Next House visit: Thursday 15th (C2)

3rd January

Observing evening: A small group of 6 Friends met at the Dome as temperatures plumetted to -6 degrees (with the risk of the Dome freezing). The Moon was viewed in the ETX and M45 Pleiades well in Binos. The ETX also showed 3 of the Trapezium in M42. The 10 inch showed superb detail in M42, extensive gas clouds at low magnification and at x240 split a couple of the Trapezium stars. The 10 inch then split Castor into 2 easily and possibly 3. Despite the low temperatures there was a good deal of moisture and skyglow from the Town and with the Moonlight we were unable to see the Eskimo nebula or indeed any late Quadrantids (bar one possible unusual red meteor to the South at the end of the evening)