See the moon in all its glory

Stargazer nights at Lido

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Steve Bax steve.bax@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

IT’S not so much ‘one small step’ but a short drive for the public to get up close and per­sonal to the moon next week.

West of Lon­don As­tro­nom­i­cal So­ci­ety (WOLAS) is invit­ing res­i­dents to be­come stargaz­ers by join­ing them at Ruis­lip Lido off Bury Street on Oc­to­ber 16, 17 and 18 from 7pm to 9pm.

There will be a wide va­ri­ety of tele­scopes avail­able to ob­serve the Earth’s near­est neigh­bour in all its glory and if it is clear enough the so­ci­ety’s astronomers will turn their tele­scopes to­wards star clus­ters such as the Pleiades or Seven Sis­ters.

Weather con­di­tions al­low­ing, there may also be an op­por­tu­nity to view the fa­mous Betel­geuse gi­ant red star which could ex­plode soon, as well as dis­tant gal­ax­ies such as An­dromeda, which at two mil­lion light years away is the Milky Way’s near­est neigh­bour.

WOLAS com­mit­tee mem­ber David Arditti said: “Peo­ple, es­pe­cially chil­dren, first shown the moon through an as­tro­nom­i­cal te­le­scope, of­ten re­mem­ber the ex­pe­ri­ence for the rest of their lives.

“To see the ra­zor-sharp, air­less land­scape, with its craters, great plains, moun­tains and rilles il­lu­mi­nated by the low sun is some­thing spec­tac­u­lar and unique.

“We have cho­sen some dates when the moon will be well-placed for ob­serv­ing, but not so bright as to drown out the fainter ob­jects in the sky. All we can do now is to hope for clear skies.”

The In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion will be another at­trac­tion, say the group adding: “You have to be quick to spot it.”

The event is free but would-be stargaz­ers should wrap up warm.

In case of doubt­ful weather, please check the WOLAS web­site, wolas.org.uk

En­try to the Lido is via the gate ad­ja­cent to the free car park at the end of Reser­voir Road, HA4 7TY. You can get there on the H12 bus.

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