October 2021 – News

31st October

Dark Skies Festival – Talk: GKWJ and JAG delivered the talk ‘Cosmic Recycling’ to an audience in the White Horse Bookshop

Dark Skies Festival – Talk: GKWJ delivered the talk ‘From Smart Phone to Smart Dome’ to an audience in the White Horse Bookshop

30th October

Dark Skies Festival – Public Observing: Clear skies allowed 48 visitors to enjoy a fabulous evening at the Dome with CEB, JAG & GKWJ. A spectacular fireball was seen in the northeast, with further meteors seen throughout the evening. Jupiter was observed in the 10-inch with three Galilean moons, later joined by the fourth, Io, as it emerged from occultation. Outside, visitors were given a tour of the night sky and viewed The Pleiades, Andromeda Galaxy and Brocchi’s Cluster through binoculars

Dark Skies Festival – Q&A: CEB held the session ‘To Infinity and Beyond – Astronomical Q&A’ in the Town Hall Assembly Room

Dark Skies Festival – Public Solar Observing: 33 members of the public came up to the Dome across two morning sessions with CEB, GKWJ & JAG. The Sun was viewed through solar goggles, an ETX with solar filter and the 10-inch in white light. Two large sunspot groups were clearly visible

29th October

Dark Skies Festival – Public Observing: CEB, GKWJ & JAG hosted the first nighttime public observing session, with 60 people of all ages across two groups visiting the Dome under clearing skies. Jupiter, initially with three Galilean moons and then four moons, was observed through the 10-inch. A sky tour was given outside, with M45 – The Pleiades, Brocchi’s Cluster and M31 – The Andromeda Galaxy viewed through binoculars

Dark Skies Festival – Welcome lecture: CEB delivered the opening lecture of the Festival ‘Welcome to MDSF 2021 – the importance of a dark night sky’ to a large audience in the Town Hall

25th to 31st October

Dark Skies Festival – Museum of the Moon: CEB, GKWJ & JAG are hosting public visits to the College Chapel to see Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon, part of the Marlborough Dark Skies Festival. Visitor numbers: Monday 25th = 175, Tuesday 26th = 213, Wednesday 27th = 230, Thursday 28th = 209, Friday 29th = 200, Saturday 30th = 372 and Sunday 31st = 244. Total = 1643

15th October

External Lecture: CEB delivered the lecture ‘The oldest GOTO telescope in the World’ to 35 members of Swindon Stargazers Astronomical Society in their Liddington Hall base

10th October

Friends observing: Just over a dozen Friends joined CEB and GKWJ at the Dome for ‘Double Stars’ observing under hazy, but clearing skies. The session started outside to spot naked-eye doubles: Mizar & Alcor and Algedi, both of which were also viewed through binoculars. The group then moved to the 10-inch to observe 11 different doubles, noting angles of separation, magnitude and colour differences. The stars viewed were: Albireo (Beta Cygni), Epsilon Lyrae (the Double Double), Gamma Delphini, Almach (Gamma Andromedae), 36 Andromedae, 65 Piscium, Psi Piscium, Gamma Arietis, 1 Arietis, Miram (Eta Persei) and to finish, Iota Cassiopeiae (a triple star)

9th October

Marlburian Club Day: CEB hosted 2 groups of Old Marlburians and their families. Some 30 OMs came up to the Dome (ages ranging from 8 to 80). The sky was clear and the sun viewable in solar goggles and then using the white light filter, through the 10”. The large sunspot 2882 was clearly seen with umbra and penumbra and its growing sunspot group noted

8th October

PR visits: A member of Town Council and a photographer joined CEB at the Dome to take some film clips to be used in the PR efforts for the Marlborough Dark Skies Festival at the end of October

5th October

GCSE observing: All but two Pupils from the Remove came to the Dome for their second evening of practical observing with CEB and GKWJ. They were introduced to the southern view. The ‘invisible’ lines of the meridian, the celestial equator and the ecliptic were pointed out, followed by asterisms: the Summer Triangle, the Northern Cross, the Great Square of Pegasus and Andromeda. Jupiter and Saturn were noted on the ecliptic, the faint Andromeda Galaxy and Fomalhaut were seen. The pupils sketched the southern view. The session ended at the 10-inch with a view of Jupiter and its 4 Galilean moons