2018 News

13th December

Leonid meteor shower: Some 30 Friends and College employees joined CEB, JAG and GKWJ at the Dome. With falling temperatures and clearing skies and a setting waxing crescent Moon, the evening was only marred by astrolights till 10pm and light cloud. The meteor rate built slowly from 20 to 30 per hour. 43 were recorded, only a few brighter than 0. The 10 inch tracked 46P. As the night cleared the central coma was well distinguished with obvious assymetry, but the full coma was bigger than the field of view of the main eyepiece. Due to some local easy star patterns, it was possible to watch the comet move, roughly 0.25 degrees in the time of observing (a speed later calcualted as roughly 10 km/s across our line of sight). The comet was an easy target in small binoculars and the ETX. Once the astro lights had gone, the comet could be seen by eye with averted vision. A dull grey smudge about as big as the Full Moon, heading up and east through Taurus to pass between the Hyades and Pleiades


9th December

Extended Project: GKWJ and JAG were at the Dome to facilitate L6 astrophotography project work using the 8 inch and 10 inch. M33 and then Mars were targets. CEB also came up to locate 46P, which was very easy in 8×50 binoculars about 5 degrees south of Menkar in Cetus. In the 10 inch the coma was too large and diffuse to show well (some possible assymetry was seen, but no clear tail). In the binoculars it was a fuzzy patch and underwhelming


6th December

Swindon Academy visit: NMA and DGR again hosted a group of pupils from Swindon Academy in the Marlburian and at the Dome. The sky was cloudy


House visit: 12 pupils from DA Shell came up to the Dome. The sky was cloudy Next House vist: Thursday 10th January 2019 (MM)

3rd December

Extended Project work: GKWJ and JAG supervised a sixth form pupil who was imaging M31. The 10 inch was used to locate 46P for the first time and the unintegrated naked-eye view was underwhelming, given its large coma diameter. The magnitude was estmated at +6 to 7. 12 meteors were seen, potentially early Geninids, including an exploding fireball


29th November

House visit: 10 CO Shell came up to the Dome. The sky was clearing but there was a light drizzle, so the main dome remained closed. M45 was viewed in Binos and M31 identified by eye


Next House visit: Thursday 6th December (DA

27th November

Blackett Science lecture: The 14th Blackett lecture as delivered by Professor Giovanna Tinetti from UCL. The talk ‘Brave New Worlds – planets in our galaxy’ was attended by a large audience of pupils and Friends of the Marlborough Telescope


29th November

House visit: 10 CO Shell came up to the Dome. The sky was clearing but there was a light drizzle, so the main dome remained closed. M45 was viewed in Binos and M31 identified by eye


Next House visit: Thursday 6th December (DA)

27th November

Blackett Science lecture: The 14th Blackett lecture as delivered by Professor Giovanna Tinetti from UCL. The talk ‘Brave New Worlds – planets in our galaxy’ was attended by a large audience of pupils and Friends of the Marlborough Telescope


22nd November

House visit: 12 pupils from C3 Shell came up to the Dome. The sky was cloudy and very bright due to the Full Moon


Next House visit: Thursday 29th November (CO)

21st November

GCSE observing and project work: JAG and GKWJ opened the Dome for 2 hours of Extended Project work. Images were taken of the Moon to make a mosaic and the of M42. The sky was very bright and there was some haze, with high humidity. DGR looked after 3 Remove pupils who came up to draw the Moon and Cygnus with rather dim limiting magnitude


20th November

House visit: 14 pupils from EL Shell came up to the Dome. Th sky was cloudy


Next House visit: Thursday 22nd November (C3)

17th November

Leonid watch: Some 2 dozen Friends and families came up to the Dome. Only 4 Leonids were seen over the evening but all were able to view the Terminator of the waxing Gibbous Moon through the 10 inch which showed clearly the double central mountains of Copernicus and the ejecta rays. The 8 inch Smith was used by GKWJ and an EPQ pupil, taking images of M31 and the Moon and the Perseus double cluster. The ETX viewed Mizar A abd B and M45 the Pleiades were viewed in the Binos


15th November

House visit: Shellpupils from C2 came upot the Dome. The sky was cloudy


Next House visit: Tuesday 20th November (EL)

2nd-12th November

International Olympiad: CEB acted as Team leader for the UK team of five 17 year old pupils from different schools (2 stae and 3 independent) around the UK in the 12th International Olympiad (IOAA) held this year in Beijing. After gruelling 5 hour exams in theory, data-analysis and and hour of observation, the UK team came away with 2 silver medals and 2 honourable mentions. 39 countries competed. The top countries were Iran, Russia and China. The top scoring student was from Russia. Next IOAA will take place in Hungary in August. The selection process (British Olympiad in Astronomy and Astrophysics (BOAA) for the 2019 team has already begun


30th October

GCSE Observing: As temperatures dropped to freezing the sky cleared and, though the seeing was only fair due to the humidity, all bar 4 of the Hundred and Remove astronomers were able to gather for the best night this year. The ETXs were used for star counts in Cygnus and Uma. the Binos were used for drawing Pleiades and Hyades Open Clusters. The 10 inch tracked M57, the Ring nebula for drawing. The Remove all drew Cygnus and the Milky Way. The lack of Moon was a real advantage. Several meteors were also seen


28th October

Optical Doubles: Sadly only a couple of Friends joined CEB, JAG and GKWJ at the Dome on the best night this year. The Moon was absent for the first hour and the sky completely clear (though poor Seeing) as we toured Optical Doubles and Binary systems. The Binos and ETX were intially used to view Mars and M45 and M13. The 8 inch was aligned and motorised for the first time and tracked well, enabling many of the Doubles to be seen and also M15, M31 and M110. The 10 inch resolved the following: Alpha Her (just resolved at 4 arc seconds – Orange and Green), Albireo, Epsilon Lyr, Alpha Cap, Gamma Del, Epsilon Peg, Zeta Aql, 94 Aql and finally 8 Lac. An amazing evening, some easy and some hard and plenty of argument over colour


10th October

GCSE observing: 4 Hundred astronomers joined DGR at the Dome under clouding skies to draw M45 (Pleiades)


9th October

External visit: DGR looked after a group of 20 scouts and 3 leaders at the Dome under clear skies. All the small instruments were in use


GCSE observing: 7 of the Remove astronmers came up to the Dome with CEB under warm and humid but clear skies and drew their first constellation drawings including Cassiopeia and the Saucepan. The ETX was used to view Mars and the 10 inch showed the centre of M31 and then the disc of Uranus and some (much debated) colour

4th October

House visit: The second House visit of the year took place with 10 pupils and a Tutor from C1 Shell coming to the Dome. The sky was cloudy


Next House visit: Thursday 15th November (C2)

1st October

Friends outer planets: A small group of Friends (including our youngest aged 4yrs) joined CEB, JAG and GKWJ at te Dome. The skies largely cleared and follwing an excellent ISS pass, we were able to observe between clouds Mizar and Alcor, Mars and M31 (described as ‘an eye’ by our young visitor) in the ETX. In 10 inch we first viewed Mars, which showed slight detail in the centre of the disc and a brighter (ice cap) edge. The 10 inch then viewed Uranus, described variously as a ‘huge green circle’, to grey, to turquoise to greeny. Neptune was then resolved but barely showed any colour, though more blue than anything else. The Central 0.5 degrees of M31 Andromeda galaxy was then viewed, followed by a very fiant outline of M110.


British Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad (BAAO) training camp: The observatory again was the venue for the 2 day observational training section of the weeks Camp, based in Oxford, for the UK 5 student team (This year all year 12). 4 boys and one girl and the second team leader joined CEB for 2 days in the College running through the high level knowledge and understanding needed to compete in the Observational rounds of the International Competition (IOAA). CEB will lead the team for the 12th Olympiad, which will tale place in Beijing in November. Despite cloudy skies, we managed some hands on experience at the Dome and a short burst of Solar observing

23rd August

Mid-Atlantic observing: As part of a his 2018 lecture series for Cunard, CEB gathered a group of some 150 guests on Deck 13 of the Queen Mary 2 in balmy 23 degree temperature, 3 days out from New York. Tours of the sky were given using the laser pointer, including very bright Mars and major asterisms. Though M31 was viisble, the Milky Way was drowned out by the Waxing Gibbous Moon. Binoculars were used to observe Mars and M31


21st August

Astrophotography evening: JAG joined GKWJ in calm and 15 degrees C.A camera was set up to make a star trails image, running for two hours (roughly 30 degree arcs) Second, Mars was imaged, clearly showing dark detail and an icecap. Third, the 10 inch observed two globular clusters M2 and M15 and then NGC 7009, the Saturn Nebula, a small and relatively faint planetary nebula in Aquarius. In 50mm eyepiece, it appeared as a small mark on the lens but the 28mm eyepiece showed definite elongation and it became clear as to why it was so named. Finally, binoculars were used to find Brocchi’s Cluster, the Coathanger, in Vulpecula


10th August

Early Persieds: JAG and 2 College staff observed (and CEB seperately) under a very clear sky with no Moon and incredibly bright Milky Way. Disapointingly only 12 Persieds were seen (they seemed to be fainter) The number of satellites equalled the number of meteors


9th August

Early Perseids: JAG and 2 visitors observed for 90 minutes seeing 17 Persieds (including a -5 fireball) and 5 sporadics


5th August

1st August

Summer School week 4: For the first time since starting 15 years ago, all 4 Wednesday evenings of Summer School have been clear. Now noticeably darker, some 40 Summer School guests and staff, including 10 from the School of English and Culture, came up to the Dome joining CEB, JAG and GKWJ. Outside targets included Jupiter, Saturn and Mars, M13 and M31, Mizar A and B and Albireo. An excellent ISS pass was viewed by all at the start of the evening and an Iridium flare and a couple of meteors were also seen. The 10 inch tracked Jupiter and 4 moons (Io just emerging from behind the planet at the start of the evening) then Saturn with Titan and 2 other inner moons and finally Mars. Mars to the naked eye was as bright as ever and the best since 2003 (though at low altitude). Shining at magnitude -2.8, it outshone Jupiter by nearly a magnitude and dominated the SE sky. Through the 10 inch it was incredibly bright and showed a brigher ice-cap and some darker markings. Many nationalities were represented in the group including, Ukraine, Spain, Syria, Poland, Syria, Italy, France, Germany and Eritrea


22nd September

External talk: CEB was invited to give a talk on raising awareness of the British Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad (BAAO) and the need to widen our search for star students (under 19) across the UK, at the Federation of UK Astronomical Societies (FAS) in York


21st September

Friends’ Drinks: The 14th anniversary Friends’ drinks part was held at the Dome. The cold wind (and of course clear skies!) meant we were inside, but a good group of old and new supporters gathered to reflect on the year past and look forward to the year ahead


6th September

Comet 21P: GKWJ and JAG set off at 2.30am to attempt observing Comet 21P/Giocobini-Zinner in Auriga. At 10 degres centigrade and a waning Moon, conditions were excellent. The 10 inch slewed accurately to the Comet. Sketches were made and the first photographic run with a Canon EOS 1Dx started at 03.11. 45 frames of 16 seconds with a 20 second interval between frames. The run finished at 04.14. A time lapse of the 90 frames was then produced, see Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/288544707. The Comet moved 739 pixels in an hour at a resolution of 0.375 arcseconds per pixel. Later calculations gave a speed across the line of sight of 22km/s, in close agreement with other estimates. A great effort in the early hours


27th – 29th August

27th July

Total Lunar eclipse: A group of some 25 Friends, locals and Summer School guests gathered at the Dome in the hope of seeing the eclipsed Moon or Mars at Opposition. Sadly the cloud prevented even a single star being seen


25th July

Foreign and Commonwealth Office visit: 13 retired members of the FCO came down to Avebury with the FCO Association. After a very hot tour of the Henge, the group led by CEB drove to the Observatory and viewed the Sun in goggles, Solarscope, ETX and the 10 inch (with H alpha). The Photosphere was entirely blank, but 3 small prominences were visible in H alpha



Summer School week 3: 40 Summer School guests and staff attended the Dome on another clear, warm evening. After dividing into 3 groups led by CEB, JAG and GKWJ, the instruments were used to view all the usual targets (including the waxing Gibbous Moon) outside and Jupiter and 3 moons (Io was occulted) and then Saturn and 3 moons (unusually for such a bright night, Tethys and Rhea were both visible) in the 10 inch. Clouds had begun to gather before Mars could be viewed in the 10 inch. An excellent overhead ISS pass was also seen


24th July

Summer School Astronomy Course: GKWJ brought his course member up to the Dome for Solar viewing. The Sun was viewed between clouds with solar goggles, the Solarscope, an ETX with white light filter and the 10 inch in H alpha. No active regions were seen, but a faint filament and a small prominence were visible


23rd July

Summer School Astronomy Course: On the first night of the course GKWJ brought a group of 10 up to the Dome. Conditions were reasonable, very warm with some passing hazy cloud. A wide range of equipment was used outside including 15×80 binoculars, two small refractors and two small reflectors. We started by viewing the waxing Gibbous Moon, then the parade of planets; Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. Saturn, with Titan and a peppering of other moons clearly visible, followed by a hazy Mars were also viewed in the 10 inch. Two passes of the ISS were seen, first at 21:48 and then again at 23:24. The group also enjoyed a naked eye tour of the summer constellations


18th July

Summer School week 2: Some 30 Summer School guests joined CEB, JAG, DGR and GKWJ at the Dome under clearing skies. Venus was seen in the twilight and then Jupiter (first with 3 moons and then with IO appearing from its shadow) in the 10 inch, then Saturn with Titan and finally Mars, which showed more detail than last week and a discernable bright ice cap. The ETX and various binoculars were used outside to view the Moon, M13 and M31 and to split Mizar. A couple of metors were seen, but we missed the low ISS pass


14th July


Impromptu observing: GKWJ and JAG hosetd a small group of six visitors at the Dome under excellent clear moonless skies and good Seeing. The 10 inch viewed Jupiter and its four Galilean moons, Saturn and possibly five of its moons, a dusty featureless, but bright and very red Mars, double star Albireo, M57, the Ring Nebula, M56, a Globular Cluster in Vulpecula and M27, the Dumbbell Nebula. An OIII filter was used with M27 and it definitely improved definition of the shape (a sheaf of wheat). The summer constellations and the Milky Way were good with naked eye outside and M31 and the Double Cluster through binoculars. A large number of meteors were seen throughout the evening. Five meteor shower radiants are close together near the southern horizon around midnight; Southern Iota Aquariids, Southern Delta Aquariids, Piscis Austrinids, Alpha Capricornids and June Scutids. All have their maxima later this month


11th July

Summer School week 1: CEB was joined by JAG, DGR and GKWJ at the Dome under clearing skies for group of some 20 Summer School guests. Bright stars were spotted as they appered in cloud gaps and then in improving conditions Jupiter and 4 moons was viewed in ETX and Binos and in the 10 inch, which showed some colour on Io and 4 bands on the planet. The 10 inch then moved to Saturn and not only was the Casini Division well defined, but 4 moons were visible. After most visitors had gone the 10 inch moved to view the Double binary in Lyra. As we left the Dome bright red Mars was rising and was viewed as a bright disc in the ETX


27th June

External visit: A small group of friends from Oxford were followed by a Norwegina Reuters’ Fellow and colleague from Oxford University. Both groups had clear skies and super views of the Sun through goggles, in the SolarScope and ETX and in H alpha in the 10 inch. A huge triangular shaped prominenece was seen in good detail


24th June

External visit: A small group from London came to the Dome for an afternoon of solar observing. The Photosphere was viewed in goggles, projection box and ETX (where spot group 2715 was easily visible) and then the Chromosphere with several active regions in the 10 inch


21st June

Solstice observing: JAG and GKWJ joined CEB and a small group of Friends to see out the Solstice. The night was warm and clear and as the sky darkened, there were plenty of targets to observe, including a bright Iridium flare. The Moon was viewed in the ETX and the 8 inch Smith and Binos. Venus showed its 70% illuminated phase in ETX. Jupiter and 4 moons were seen in ETX then Smith then 10 inch, with Io and Ganymede overlapping. The 10 inch then moved to Saturn, very orange and low on the horizon, then Antares in search of Antares B. Some thought there was a little assymetry in the twinkling star. Vesta was then well veiwed as a steady disc. M10 was too faint to see detail but M57 was clear. Saturn was viewed again with both Titan and Rhea now visible. The evening ended just before midnight with a viedw of Albireo, such a beautiful bi-coloured double of the blue B8 and yellow K2 stars


19th June

Wetton Workshop and lecture: CEB attended the official opening of the Roswitha Wetton Telesope (RWT), a new 2 radio dish interferometer on the roof of the Denys Wilkinson Building. Following the unveiling a lecture on Exoplanet discoveries was delivered in the Martin Wood lecture theatre and then dinner in Christ Church


14th June

External visit: In the last Swindon Academy group visist, 11 year 10 girls and their teacher came up to the Dome. The Sun was viewed in goggles between clouds and in the projection box and then in the ETX. The 10 inch showed a couple of prominences on the southern limb in H alpha


13th June

External visit:12 year 7 girls and their teacher from Swindon Academy came up to the Dome. The sky was cloudy


12th June

External visit: 22 year 7 pupils and 2 teachers from Swindon Academy came up to the Dome as part of their stay at the College. They were accompanied by a postgrad from Imperial College and undergrad from Birkbeck. The sky was sadly cloudy


Observing evening: The two University visitors joined GKWJ and JAG at the Dome as the sky had cleared for a tour of the sky with the 10 inch. Jupiter and its moons, Vega, Albireo, M13 and Saturn, still rather low to the horizon, were viewed

17th May

Solar open day: Under sunny skies but sadly increasing high cloud, the Dome opened to public, Friends and College staff. The Sun was viewed in solar goggles, the projection box and the ETX in white light and a dedicated small solar refractor and the 10 inch in H alpha. Despite a totally blank disc, reflecting the minimum in the solar cycle, there was a decent quiescent loop prominence visible in H alpha when the sky was clear enough. JAG and GWJ helped CEB welcome families, Friends and staff from 3 yrs and up


30th April

Lunar imaging: GKWJ attempted a mosaic of the lunar surface at the Full Moon. Despite clear patches, the Seeing conditions were poor


21st April

GCSE Solar observing: Remove set 1 came up to the Dome under clear if hazy skies. The Sun was viewed in goggles then via projection and in the ETX, where the faint spot 2706 was seen. The H-alpha filter on the 10 inch showed no activity due to the poor clarity


19th April

GCSE Solar observing: Remove set 2 came up to the Dome in hot sunshine as part of Topic 11 and the Sun’s surface. The Sun was viewed in goggles, via projection and the ETX the blank photosphere in white-light and then the 10 inch showed a couple of Chromosphere prominences in H-alpha


18th April

GCSE Solar observing: The Hundred Astronomy set came up to the Dome in their afternoon lesson under clear skies. The Sun was viewed in goggles, projection box, ETX and white-light filter and then despite no sunspots, there was activity in the form of an erruptive prominance and quiescent prominance in H-alpha through the 10 inch


28th March

Lunar imaging evening: GWJ and JAG working into the early hours put the 10 inch through its paces in a firet attempt at some detailed Lunar imaging, including the building up of a photo mosaic


26th March

Friends outing: CEB led a group of 16 Friends to Oxford to visit the new radio telescopes on the roof of the Denys Wilkinson Building. After a lecture on Radioastronomy and Oxford’s projects by Professor Mike Jones, we has a tour and demonstration of the operating dish by Alex Pollak. After a pub lunch the gorup then had a tour of the Tower of the Winds (old Radcliffe Observatory) in Green Templeton College


21st March

Sun-Earth lecture: The 2018 talk ‘Victorian Phoenix – the story of the Marlborough telescope’ was delivered to an audience of Friends and colleagues by CEB


15th March

External visit: 17 year 12 pupils and 2 teachers from Lycee Jules Verne came up to the Dome before sunset


13th March

GCSE observing: 8 Remove pupils joined DGR and CEB for the last night of observing this term. The Spring sky was light due to high cloud and skyglow but the waning crescent Moon had not risen. Drawings of M45 and M44 were attempted and M31 was viewed in the 10 inch. Arcturus was also drawn rising in order to estimate the length of the sidereal day


9th March

RAS prize: Z.Place (CO, L6) was presented with his Winton Capital prize for winning the inaugural RAS poster competition by RAS President Professor John Zarneki at the March RAS Open meeting. This was followed by the 2018 Eddington lecture by Professor Karin Ohberg from Harvard on ‘Chemistry of planet formation and planet habitability’


24th February

External visit: JAG and GKWJ hosted a select group of three adult visitors in cold and clearing conditions. The evening started with a tour across the main constellations of the night sky, which was dominated by a 67% waxing gibbous Moon. The Pleiades were viewed through binoculars. Targets in the 10 inch started with M42, followed by a long session on the Moon, both wide and in close up, a most impressive sight. We then moved on to Castor, Pollux and HR2764 (a double star in Canis Major known as the Winter Albireo, an interesting white-blue and orange double. The session ended with views of the Pleiades and the Double Cluster h and chi Persei


22nd February

External visit: 13 year 8 pupils from Realschule Freising II in Germany and 4 teachers came up to the Dome before sunset as the sky cleared


House visit: 9 pupils for TU Shell came up to the Dome as temperatures fell. The waxing 6 day old Moon was viewed in the Zeiss Binos, Polaris and major stars were pointed out and then M42 viewed in the 10 inch

GCSE Observing: 13 Remove astronomers came up to the Dome to first drew the Moon by eye from behind the Dome and then draw the Moon using any of the available instruments. New sets of 10×50 Helios binos were in use as well as the older instruments. Pupils also viewed, and some drew M42 in 10 inch

14th February

External lecture: CEB delivered the 36th Astronomy for All talk ‘Victorian Phoenix’, the story of the Barclay Equatorial, at Green Templeton College, Oxford


8th February

House visit: 10 pupils from PR Shell came up to the Dome. The sky was cloudy


Next House visit: The last visit of the year for Shell pupils will be on Thursday 22nd February (TU)

6th February

Art project: A sixth form pupil came up to the Dome to take copious images for his Moon themed project


4th February

External visit: JAG & GKWJ hosted a group of 3 adults and 2 children (ages 6 and 4). Thick cloud started to clear just in time to commence the evening with an ISS pass. Perfectly clear skies ensued for about an hour. Orion, The Plough and Polaris were identified outside. Variations in star colour were observed through the 10 inch, with Alpheratz (blue-white), Scheat (orange-red) and the double, Almach (orange and white). Next, The Double Cluster, then on to M31. Outside to see Pegasus, Andromeda, Perseus and Cassiopeia to place the objects viewed. Finally we observed Uranus in the 10 inch


1st February

House visit: 10 pupils and a House tutor from NC Shell came up to the Dome. The evening was cold and there were gaps in the cloud. The bright Moon appeared on occasions and by the end there was enough of a gap for most to view the Trapezium in M42


Next House visit: Thursday 8th February (PR)

GCSE observing: Perhaps the last chance this winter presented itself, though in the swamped light ‘pollution’ of the just post Full Moon. 1 hopeful Remove came up and all 4 Hundred. The sky then remained cloudy till after 10pm, at which point we were able to swing into action. Star counts were done and a drawing of both M42 and M31. For the first time images were taken via SLR through the 10 inch of M31, which showed the bright nucleus and central few minutes well. The evening finished at 11pm

30th January

External visit: 5 year 10 pupils and their teacher from in WLSA Fudan Academy, Shanghai came up to the Dome. The evening was cloudy


House visit: 14 Shell pupils and a House tutor from MO came up to the Dome under cloud and drizzling skies

Next House visit: Thursday 1st February (NC)

25th January

House visit: 14 Shell pupils from MM came up to the Dome. It was largely cloudy, though Sirius made an appearance


Next House visit: Tuesday 30th January (MO)

18th January

House visit: 10 pupils from LI Shell came up to the Dome on the first really clear night this term. M45 was viewed in Binos and M42 the Great Orion Nebula in the 10 inch. Several sporadic meteors were seen


Next House visit: Thursday 25th January (MM)

GCSE Observing: All 4 Hundred, and all bar 4 of the Remove, came up to the Dome. With no Moon and initially good Seeing the conditions were ideal for Star counts in and out of the MW plane and drawings of M45 and M42. Photographs of M42 were taken on tripod and via a new adaptor using the 10 inch with suprising success and great colour contrast in the nebula. Remove drawing and star counts in Orion were attempted. Several more sporadic meteors were seen. The Seeing declined during the evening.

11th January

House visit: 9 pupils from IH Shell and a Tutor came up to the dome. The evening was cloudy


Next House visit: Thursday 18th January (LI)

8th January 2018

Charity evening: JAG and GKWJ hosted ‘An evening with the Stars’ as a charity evening for 9 adults, who had won the auction prize in aid of SWIFT Medics (Wiltshire). The night was crystal clear with no Moon with a temperature of -1, feeling like -6 in the wind. Uranus was viewed in the 10 inch. M45 in Binos, M42 in the ETX and the the Perseus Double cluster in both. The 10 inch then viewed the Trapezium in M42 and then M1. The 10 inch was then used to split Castor and Alnitak (just). Finally Open clusters with Christmas tree and 15 Monocerotis, M35, M36, M37 and M38. A great start to 2018