All meetings will now be held in the Newchurch Pavilion which is directly adjacent to the VAS Observatory in Watery Lane Newchurch – map etc here.
The Pavilion has recently been refurbished and now provides an excellent facility for us:
- Parking is easier
- It is marginally cheaper for us
- On clear nights we can adjourn to the observatory
A list of the planned meetings is here.
Tonight looks likely to be the first really clear Thursday night for a good few weeks.
The observatory will be open from 8pm and I look forward to getting a few ‘scopes outside and welcoming a few visitors.
The is no entry fee but we are happy to receive donations should you be feeling generous 😉
Wrap up warm and please bring a small torch to light the way across the field to the observatory.
As this will probably be the last blog post of 2016:
Happy New Year to all VAS members and to astronomers everywhere. We wish you clear skies in 2017.
Apologies to all but we have to cancel this Friday’s Monthly Meeting in Newport. We have been unable to find a replacement speaker.
Sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.
Please note, our 2016 March Monthly Meeting will be held at Newchurch Pavilion (next to the observatory in Watery Lane, Newchurch).
As it is Good Friday, the Parish Centre is being used on the 25th of March.
The talk is titled “Death From Space” and our speaker is Ninian Boyle.
For those who haven’t visited the observatory, the nearest postcode is PO36 0LX and there is a map here.
Unfortunately Tom Kitching can’t now make our meeting on 23 October 2015.
Please keep an eye on this site for updates to this years calendar.
Regulars at the observatory will have seen a fair few photos from Simon Plumley. There is no doubt that his views of planets and nebulae are among, if not the best taken by anyone on the Island. Tonight Simon showed a photo of something he openly admits he had previously hated, that thing being the moon.
Well, I’ll let you judge, but I think that this is one of his very best.
Now a little warning! It may take a while for you to see this image as it’s over 110Mb and has an original size of 6120 x 6394 pixels. Believe me it’s worth the wait….
- The picture was started on 30th Dec 2014
- The picture is made from 60 videos of 2400 frames each = 144,000 frames
- Each video is quality sorted and about 40% of he frames are stacked per video to make 60 single pictures
- These were stitched together to make mosaic
- Cloud hindered the captures so it took 3 hours to video and then well over a week to process and put together
- The final output image with no resizing is 2.25 meters long
- The video camera was only 0.9 megapixels
- Telescope was 2,800mm however the small camera used gave a field of view/magnification equivalent of around 13,000 mm
- Moon was 53% illuminated
Dark Wight skies, Isle of Wight
On Monday February 16, the Isle of Wight Observatory is holding a day event to introduce visitors to the world of astronomy. You can use a range of telescopes to see the stars, including the Orion Nebula, which is in the mid southern sky during February evenings, and join discussions about dark skies and their benefits for wildlife such as bats and hedgehogs.
Wight AONB (01983 823855; aonb.org.uk).
No booking needed, just turn up.
The event lasts from 6pm to 10pm and admission is free.
I have just added a few pages to the site under the “Resources” menu and now I need content to fill them. The intention being to create a section where visitors can find useful and entertaining information about astronomy.
If you have any of the following you’d like to see published then please contact me:
- Pictures (you can have a whole gallery if you like!)
- Practical projects you have undertaken
- Software recommendations and reviews
- Anything other content you think may be useful…
Of course you are also welcome to let me know about any astronomy related links you would recommend.
The basic menu with my chosen WordPress theme wasn’t up to much when I introduced sub-menus. After a search I found a plugin which appears to have solved the problems and given me a heap of additional options.
It’s called Suppamenu Lite, is available on the WordPress site and it seems to work pretty well, there is a “pro” version with a whole lot more customization options but I think I’ll stick with the free “Lite” version for now.
It means that I have been able to add a few options under the “About Us” Menu. Still a long way to go but it’s getting there…