Well, for a change, the weather did indeed play ball for the morning of the 31st January, and we were treated to a wonderful view of the conjunction.
It was a chilly start to the day – I recorded -6 on the Stewartby village green – but I think it was worth it! I did actually mis-time the event and got up an hour earlier than I needed to, so made sure I was full of hot tea before venturing out!!
Anyway, enough of that… We collected some excellent images from around Bedfordshire, so here they are!
Linton has kindly provided the following, hopefully some of you may find it useful for future imaging challenges:
The photo of the conjunction over Oakley church was taken with a Cannon 600D on a tripod.1/15th sec exposure ISO1600 f4 on the lens. It’s a zoom lens so I can’t tell you the exact focal length used. I just made the church fit!
The light level changes so quickly at dawn or dusk that I take dozens of exposures and then select the best.
I always make certain the brightness of the view screen on the camera is turned down dim. In the darkness your eyes adapt very well and you think things are much brighter than they are. I used to get home and find that my exposures were often too dark when viewed on the computer in normal light. Since I turned the view screen down I get a better range.
If anyone else has an image from the conjunction, please send it in, and we’ll feature it here!
This month Rob Peeling will introduce us to the observational work of Admiral W. H. Smyth in compiling ‘The Bedford Catalogue’. This was the first widely published catalogue of many of the most interesting objects in the night sky.
The talk will start promptly at 7:30pm in the Old Theatre and will be followed by a refreshment break and a Sky diary for February.
All are welcome.
Sadly total cloud cover here in Bedford but we enjoyed watching the event live from Morocco and California. Let’s hope for better luck for the next time that all the stages of a Lunar Eclipse will be visible from the UK on December 20th 2029, don’t forget to put the date in your diary now!
All BAS members and Visitors are welcome to the talk by Professor John Brown OBE, Astronomer Royal for Scotland. The lecture takes place in The Quarry Theatre, Bedford School 4:30-5:45pm. Details have been sent to members by email and are also available on the Bedford School website.
The Observatory will be open from 04:00-06:00 on Monday 21st January provided there is a prospect of some clear sky. Totality runs from 04:41-05:43.
Updates will be posted on Twitter and on the front page of the website.
The weather forecast looks promising for tonight, Monday 3rd December and very poor for Wednesday. The Observatory will be open for observers from 8:30-9:30pm. Please don’t come on site before 8:30pm as we have an adult evening class from 7:00-8:30pm.
Check Twitter for weather updates if uncertain.
With a Speaker meeting on November 28th and the BAS Social on December 12th, the last scheduled observing session of 2018 is December 5th if clear. We will start again on Wednesday 2nd January. However, watch out for any special observing opportunities over the holiday period which could take place on any night of the week, depending on the weather. These will be notified by email and Twitter.