April 2014: A busy time

Posted by Chris Lee (chrislee) on Apr 12 2014
Society News >>

It has been a busy few months for BAS. In addition to our regular and topical Friday evening lectures at Bristol Grammar School, our members ran five very successful public Star Parties and gave talks to Keynsham Cubs, Downend Guides, Red Maids and Clifton High schools. That’s not to mention running our Saturday night Open Observing at our Failand observatory. A surprisingly popular event was our new ‘Telescope Surgery’, where we invited members of the public to bring along their telescopes, binoculars and cameras to learn how to get the best out them. Judging by the interest we got, we will be running this again later in the year.

We regularly get 40-60 visitors attending our Star Parties, run jointly with the National Trust Tyntesfield, with Friends of Trooper’s Hill, and on 10 March and 8 April with the Friends of the Downs and Avon Gorge Dark Sky Discovery Site and Explorer Dome. Visitors have been recently treated to views of Jupiter and Mars, (both of which are high in the sky these evenings), Saturn, galaxies: M81 and M82 – including its recent supernova, M42 - the Orion Nebula, the International Space Station and telescopic features of the moon, such as the “the straight wall” and the “Alpine valley”. It is amazing what you can see from inside a city the size of Bristol, even with modest or no equipment at all. Our knowledgeable and friendly volunteers are always on-hand to answer questions at these events, and finding out what is really behind some of these objects is just as exciting as actually seeing them!

We’ve got upgrades and maintenance planned for our observatory over the lighter, summer months, allowing us to explore more of the night sky’s delights. Even during summer daylight our wonderful volunteers run talks and (safe) Solar Observing events. Do keep an eye on our varied programme and come and join in with another great year of astronomy!


Last changed: Apr 12 2014 at 7:09 AM