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By dashastro, Feb 21 2019 03:18PM

Yet another busy day for a small group of the DASH Astro Outreach Team, at the Suffolk Science Festival in Bury St. Edmunds. Wednesday was Physics day, and we were at the Apex Theatre, with our usual Spectroscopy display. Jim manned the spectrographs, giving visitors from 3 to 90 a glimpse of spectra from high pressure sodium and low energy lamps and even the full spectra of the sun ( while it was shining through the windows ) Linda was kept busy with "children's corner" with a steady stream of youngsters waiting to try and complete one of a number of solar system jigsaw puzzles. Dave Murton was on hand with his Astronomy Photography display which had numerous visitors speaking advice on how to capture images of "Super Moons". A welcome addition was Dave Green with his "How do we measure the Universe" demonstrations and 3D images of parts of the moon. David Gwynn was acting as catch all, with explanations of " Life, The Universe and anything else astronomical wth the aid of our other display boards. A great draw for the crowds was the 7m diameter illuminated model of the moon in the main auditorium, but they missed a trick by not having anyone giving commentary or guided tours showing Apollo landing sites and the new Chinese rover on the dark side of the moon.

All in all we had a great and very busy day, with lots of lessons learnt by the organisers for next year's event.



By dashastro, Jan 13 2019 10:28AM

Once again, the DASH Outreach team were out in force, on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th January 2019, to support the National Trust - Dunwich Heath, Suffolk, with two evening of Family Stargazing. We had Astronomy displays, Talks and children’s activities, as well as a few telescopes trying to find object in the ever thickening cloud on the Saturday evening… ( Friday complete cloud cover so no observing.)

For such an unpredictable weather forecast on both nights, we were pleased to welcome upward of 80 -100 people on Friday with 50 – 60 people on Saturday Evening.

Our thanks to the team, David and Linda Gwynn, Malcolm Pinder, David Murton, Bill Barton, David Green, Myles Kelly, Jeremy Startup, Richard Grueber, Anthony Cross, Roy Anderson, for their support on one or both nights. A special thank you to Heather Skipper, Ken Skipper and Anne Chapman for their sterling work with the Children’s activities, and Irene and Clive for the supply of boxes of Home baked Biscuits.

A special mention for Sue and the Team at Dunwich Heath, National Trust for hosting the events.


By dashastro, Nov 18 2018 11:35AM

Once again the DASH outreach team were out in force for two evenings of Family Stargazing at the Dunwich Heath National Trust Site, Suffolk.

Friday night was beset with low cloud and light mist/drizzle, but those that did turn out were treated to talks by David Gwynn and David Murton and a host of childrens activities with Michelle Barja and her boys.

Saturday evening was a whole different ball game. Having been treated to unbroken sunshine since dawn, we arrived on site to set up just after sundown with a half Moon and Mars already shining high in the sky.

As well as the talks by David Gywynn and David Murton they were joined with a talk by David Green and the childrens activities with Michelle.

We had 9 scopes on duty showing a veriety of night sky objects from the Moon with its craters and Mars, to M31 Andromeda Galaxy, M81-M82 Bodes and Cigar Galaxies, M45 Pleiades, M57 the Ring Nebular, M29 an open Cluster in the shape of a Cooling Tower, NGC 457 another open cluster in the shape of an OWL,

other objects were selected as the Moon processed across the night sky. a bit of high cloud drifted across the sky late in the session, but it didn't detract from the enjoyment of the Oooos and Wow's from adults and children alike and those that viewed the night sky after David G's talk were wowed to see the objects in the eyepiece that had been shown on the talk.

Major thanks to the whole team, David Gwynn, Linda Gwynn, Dave Murton, Dave Green, Michelle Barja and boys for the work inside, Dave Green and friend, Bill Barton, Richerd Grueber and grandson, John Whistlecraft, Jeremy startup and daughter, Malcolm and Eileen Pinder, Myles Kelly for there work out in the dark and cold. special thanks to Lynn for her tea runs and Irene and clive for home baked biscuits.

We cannot finish without mentioning the help and support from the Dunwich Heath National Trust Staff especially Sue who got up from her sick bed Saturday night to be on hand if needed.

Jim Slight

By dashastro, Nov 12 2018 11:02PM

Observing. Sunday 11-11-18 Westleton Common, Suffolk. ( a Dark Sky Discovery Site )


Arrived at the site at 18:45 to a sky full stars and a full arc of the Milky Way.


Took my time just finding my way around the sky, in awe of the magnificence of the sight of the heavens from a dark sky site. During the evening I was joined by members of our society, aged between 12 and mature 😂 some astrophotographers, some observers like me and some just along to see the heavens through a telescope.


No wishing to sound like a shopping list, but items viewed included but not limited to.

The Milky Way the full arc horizon to horizon. Mars, M8-M82 Bodes and Cigar Galaxies in Ursa Major, M13 a Globular Cluster in Hercules, M57 a Ring Nebular in Lyra, M15 a Globular Cluster in Pegasus, M29 an Open Cluster also an asterism called the Cooling Tower, Split Alberio A&B in Cygnus, Split Mizar in Ursa Major ( not Mizar and Alcor ) great views of M45 the Pleiades, M31 the Andromeda Galaxy with its neighbour M32 as well as The Double Cluster in Perseus naked eye. We were also lucky to see a few Meteors.

The clouds rolled in about 20:30 so we decamped back to the village Hall to chat and drink Tea and Coffee


By dashastro, Oct 22 2018 09:44PM

Sunday the 27th October 2018 saw a great evening at Westleton Village Hall.

A talk on Colliding Neutron stars and Gavitational waves by Ian Lomas and David Gwynn, followd after tea by a thought provoking talk on Evidence, and what that means and the implications, with a bit on latin history by Alison Chapman. Following the talks the three speakers formed a panel to answer questions thrown at them by the audience. Those that didnt want to miss Strictly, missed a great night.


Monday 22nd October 2018 Norwich Forum.

Early monday morning saw a small team from DASH Astro visit Norwich forum to put on a Science Display as part of Norwich Science Festival - Astronomy Day. Arriving at 7:30am to set up our displays, which included Solar and Nebular pictures and posters manned by David Gwynn, Astronomical Photographs and equipment manned by David Mutron and Spectroscopy equipment and information boards manned by Linda Gwynn and Jim Slight.

To say we were busy is an understatemant, as we had non stop visitors to the stand from before 9:30am till we finally called it a day at 4:30pm.great fun was had by all, and thanks for the many young visitors that tested our knowledge to the full with endles questions.


photo of the stand before the storm and in full swing.


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