DASH Astro


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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.

By dashastro, Sep 30 2018 11:03AM

On Monday the 24th September the Solar Outreach Team had the pleasure of visiting Calton Colville Primary School Lowestoft for an afternoon of lessons on the Sun by David Gwynn who is a STEM Ambassidor and Solar Observing in the playground. We had 3 Ha Solar Scopes and a White light scope and the Sun box, to enthrawl two classes of about 30 students plus teaches and support staff.

Many thanks to the children and staff at CCPS for making it such an enjoyable afternoon, and Roy, Alison, Glen, Linda and David for all there help and support.

By dashastro, Sep 16 2018 09:29PM

The solar Team have once again completed a very successful Two and a Half day Solar Outreach Event at the 2018 Great Henham Steam Rally. Friday afternoon was taken up by a few of us Setting up our pitch at Henham, ready for two full days of solar observing with the general public,

Saturday started fine and clouded over towards late afternoon, whereas Sunday started with cloud and developed into a sunny afternoon. Both days were full on showing all age groups, a variety of views of the sun. We had two white light viewing opportunities suitable for sunspots, one a small refractor telescope with a solar filter over the front lens, and the Sun viewer with radio tracking which is ideal for those that have difficulty seeing through an eyepiece, such as the very young. Also available were three Specialized Hydrogen alpha ( Ha ) Telescopes to be able to view details of the sun’s surface and prominences.

A special thank you to the solar team, David and Linda Gwynn, Roy Anderson, Chris Bailey and David Murton, for two very long, but enjoyable, days taking our message to the public and promoting our little society.

Jim S

By dashastro, Sep 13 2018 10:20AM

Southwold Golf Club. Mayors Fund Raiser

Another great night with the DASH Outreach Team spreading the gospel according to Astronomy.

Setting up at 6:00 pm under a cloudy sky, ( forecast says it will clear.... ) ready to entertain and enthral 60 + members of the public, with stunning views of the heavens.

While the skies cleared the assembled masses were treated to short talks on cosmology, constellation mythology and what they could expect to see in the night sky. As darkness fell the skies did start to clear allowing sneak views of A nice crescent moon, Saturn and Mars. As the heavy cloud gave way to thinner high cloud double stars such as Mizar and Alberio were on show. The skies began to clear and the Milky Way put on a show overhead, and views of M57 the Ring Nebular in Lyra, NGC 457 the Owl cluster in Cassiopeia, M81 & M82 Bodes Galaxy and the Cigar Galaxy in Ursa Major ( the Plough ) M31 the Andromeda Galaxy.

The crowds finally made their way home around 10:00pm suitably impressed and wowed by the views they had been treated to.

A special thanks to all who contributed their time. David & Linda Gwynn, David Murton, Roy Anderson, Alison & Glen Chapman.

Jim Slight DASH Secretary

image by Dave Murton

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