BAS at the Festival of Nature

Posted by Fiona Lambert (fiona) on Jul 18 2016
Society News >>

Once again, the Bristol Astronomical Society braved the weather forecasts and attended Bristol's Festival of Nature weekend, at the Harbourside, on 11th and 12th of June 2016.


The society organised a table inside a tent in the amphitheatre. Encouraged by never-ending optimism, some members brought along solar telescopes.



Unfortunately things did not go quite to plan on the Saturday. Around 3pm, the heavens opened and a hard rain shower drove the telescopes, volunteers and members of the public into the tents. There was definite interest from some that did go by our stand of astronomy information and BAS member astro images. Certainly the flyers seemed to disappear quickly.



The Sunday started with more optimism again. Only this time, we had a good forecast on our side. By 2pm we were thoroughly rewarded, with the clouds parting and warm sunshine for the rest of the event. BAS members were able to bring out three solar telescopes; two PSTS and one projection box, so that the members of the public could safely view sunspots and prominences. Sun cream was hastily bought as people started to feel slightly burnt. Ice-cream was leisurely bought to cool down volunteers.



In the end, it was a successful weekend, even though it was one of two halves.


This year, there was an added bonus as the organisers of the Festival of Nature decided to go on the road. They hosted events in Keynsham on 19th June and Bath on 25th June.

The BAS decided to join them in Keynsham.

At 11am a die-hard group of three BAS members, Ian James, Allan McCarthy and Fiona Lambert, went along to the Memorial Park in Keynsham and set up their telescopes, a PST and two ETX with white-light filters.


Unfortunately the filters never came out of the box. For a little while the tops of trees and lampposts were shown to the public. Adults were dragged by their children to watch The Wind in the Willows. Soon after, the BAS members were forced to retreat by a constant drizzle.


Many thanks to all the BAS members two helped across the days, including Jonathan Fligelstone, Allan McCarthy, Ian James, John Huntley, Andrew Grasemann, Richard Mansfield, Judith Pavey, Pete Quin, Mel Rigby, Robert Massey and Fiona Lambert.

There were also guest appearances from Roger Steer, Eddie Carpenter and Elaine Smith.


Please can I implore you all to start the sun dance now, to ensure good weather for next year.

Last changed: Jul 18 2016 at 6:18 PM