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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.


By dashastro, Oct 11 2018 10:37AM

The first ASOG meeting ( Alternative Social Observing Group )of the 2018 winter season took place last night at the dark sky site at Walberswick Suffolk. A total of 6 scopes of different types and sizes were in use ranging from an 80 mm Vixen Refractor, 8" STC, 8" Newtonion, 10",12" & 14" Dobsonians. which offered a verity of views that were shared by each other.

Using my 8" Newtonian on an EQ mount, the items on view starting just after sunset at 18:30 were Mars, Saturn and Jupiter, ( Venus had set before sunset ) as darkness descended the stars and constellations began to come into view. Despite a sense of high cloud and mist directly overhead Lyra was clearly visible, pointing the way to M57 the Ring Nebular being the first object captured. Then next door in the west M13 a Globular Cluster in Hercules. Down a bit from Cygnus to M27 the Dumbbell Nebular and back to the Double of Alberio clearly distinguished as a small blue-white star and a larger yellowy star.

The outer spirals of the Milky Way were now visible. The Erving continued with views of NGC 457 the Owl Cluster in Cassiopeia, back to Cygnus and with an O-III filter fitted just below the outer stars of the left wing we found part of the Vail Nebular. Not visible unless you use a UHC or O-III filter. Then round to the Bowl of Ursa Major ( the Plough or Great Bear ) for a look at M81 Bodes Galaxy and M82 the Cigar Galaxy both in the same Field of View. Then down to the other end of the handle to M51 the Whirlpool Galaxy. Back across the north to between Cassiopeia and Perseus to the great Double Cluster, better viewed in the finder scope or binoculars than the main eyepiece of the scope due to its size. Round a bit further to the western leg of Pegasus to M15 a Globular Cluster. Back to M31 Andromeda Galaxy with M32 and M110 all seen in the same Field of View. Then as a last bit of fun we each tried to Split the Double Double in Lyra. This only achieved with averted vision in the 14" Dob.....

Special thanks to Anne, Myles, Dave Green, David Gwynn and Geoff for making it a fun evening.


During the evening we were joined by a Photographer doing Time Laps photographs of the Night Sky over Walberswick. Check out the images on his Face Book page " Stopped Clock Imaging" and see the quality of our skies.....



By dashastro, Sep 30 2018 11:27AM

On Saturday 29th September 2018 a few members of DASH Astro joined members of LYRA on a field trip to the Mullard Radio Observatory near Cambridge. It was a fascinating vist getting the chance to get up close and presonal to equipment on the forefront of Radio Astronomy research in the UK and collaborations from all over the world.

we were shown the Ryle Telescope Array, , new installations such as AMI Array and historical arrays such as the 4C Array and the sad site of the remnants of the array used by Jocelyn Bell's in her ground breaking research on Pulsars. the state of the site was explained by the fact that accademics consentrate on today's project, and look forwar to the future projects and have no iterest in redundant and out of date equipment. This was also born out by glimpses of control rooms where no one had entered ( apart from the odd technition looking to canabilise equipment for new projects) for many years.

our thanks to LYRA for organising the visit and the Technician Peter for his time and most enjoyable talk.


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