Deep-partial Solar Eclipse Friday 20th March 2015 .... Thank you

Just a quick note tho thank everyone who came up to the Observatory on Friday 20th March to view the partial solar eclipse.

Check out the website for news of upcoming events in the near - and not so near - future.


Beginners Course

New to astronomy? The Society holds 2 beginners courses during the winter months usually Oct/Nov and Feb/March.
Course places are limited to 20 per course.

See below for more information.

Social Astronomy Evenings

We are now running some additional 'social' meetings on the first and third Tuesday of each month.

The meetings are open to members and non-members and the aim is to provide an informal environment with no set agenda, in which people can meet up in the club room and chat about current astronomical events, astronomy in general or maybe turn up to :

2015 - The Planets are coming

During the remaining 8 months of 2015, there will be a number of interesting Planetary events.

These include:

1) Planetary conjunctions - there are a number in 2015

2) Total Lunar Eclipse - there will be one in 2015 that will be visible from Huddersfield. This will take place on the 28th September 2015 and will be total at around 0207hrs.

​Details can be found here.....

3) Conjunctions of the brighter Planets with the Moon - there are a number in 2015.

Attached to this story are some star-charts to show you what will be on view if the sky is clear.

Holme Moss Star Party

On Friday 3rd April the Astronomy Society will be planing to host another 'Star Party' near the Holme Moss Transmitter Station.

If the sky is clear members of the Astronomy Society will be taking a variety of telescopes to Holme Moss Transmitter Station Public car park.

If the sun is clearly visible then we will have some solar telescopes - similar to those at the Observatory for the Partial Solar Eclipse of the 20th March  - to view the Sun from around 6pm until just before sunset [at 1945].

Once the sky gets dark enough then we will switch our attention to the Moon, Venus and Jupiter which will be in the sky in the evening.

We plan to stay for a few hours after darkness provided the sky is still clear.

Pluto Encounter underway

New Horizons, the NASA/ESA probe to the dwarf Planet Pluto is shortly to begin the final stages of its journey leading up and encounter with the 'ninth Planet' Pluto.

Since being launched in January 2006 and following its gravity assist/encounter with Jupiter in February 2007, it has been cruising towards Pluto.

The provisional timeline is as follows:

July 14 2014 - first long range images of Pluto and Charon

​February 2015 - first images of the Pluto/Charon system able to discern small details

May 2015 - image quality from New Horizon's cameras to be better than from the Hubble Space Telescope

Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy - February

Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy is another one in the bag for Australian amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy.

During February the Comet will still be in our skies but is now fading - though it has thrown a few 'curve balls' during January with tail disconnection events and more.

The Comet could still be visible in binoculars.

If there are any clear nights during this Month's [Monday 16th to Saturdaqy 21st February 2015] Open Week then why not come to the Observatory and maybe get a glance at this beautiful comet.

Check out this website for a stunning image .....

Attached is a star chart to help you locate the Comet over the next 4 weeks whilst it is still moderately bright

The Stars by Night - a guidebook to planning an evenings observations

Ever wondered about doing a  simple observing program.

This one is about as simple as it gets - observe one star each night - for every night for a whole year.

About 150 years ago this was the aim of a local amateur astronomer and he published a guidebook to help other observers undertake the observing plan.

Now the guidebook is being re-released by a local publisher.

For more details check out this blog....


Meteor Showers

The Autumn and Winter of 2014-15 promise the potential for some good shooting star observing.
The first major shower of the Autumn are the Draconids - these are active around the 10th October. They are the left-overs from a well known comet Goacobini-Zinner and on occasion they can have quite a good showing.
The Moon will be nearly full so it will be a challenge to see this shower in 2014.
Next comes the Orionids - these are active from 16th to 27th October with a peak on the 20th/21st. There will be a nearly new Moon on this night so get ready for some hours spent tracking these down. Orion rises at around 11pm so you need to stay up late or get up very early to see this shower as they are best viewed after midnight.

The Summer Milky Way

This image was taken at around midnight local time on Saturday 23rd August, from a campsite at Adderstone Field during Scarborough & Ryedale Astronomical Society's annual StarFest.
The image is of the Summer Milky Way - Our galaxy - actually only a major part of it, and was taken with a Canon 60Da fitted with a Vivitar 8mm F3.5 Fish-eye lens on a tripod. The exposure was about 45 seconds at ISO 2000.
You can see the starfields of Cygnus and much more.

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