SO­CI­ETY in fo­cus

Martin Whipp, York As­tro­nom­i­cal So­ci­ety To find out more about the so­ci­ety visit: www.yorkas­tro.org.uk

Sky at Night Magazine - - INTERACTIVE -

On 15 Septem­ber, in the wake of our spec­tac­u­lar and ex­tremely well-at­tended 1,000th so­ci­ety meet­ing just one week ear­lier, mem­bers of York As­tro­nom­i­cal So­ci­ety were on hand once again to en­ter­tain the pub­lic. On this oc­ca­sion it was in the beau­ti­ful sur­round­ings of Rievaulx Ter­race in North York­shire, owned and op­er­ated by The Na­tional Trust.

De­spite some sun­shine dur­ing the day, as night drew in and we set up our in­stru­ments things were not look­ing good. Around 65 mem­bers of the pub­lic ar­rived at 7pm and were kept en­ter­tained by look­ing at the tele­scopes and pho­to­graphs on mem­bers’ lap­tops. The main event started at 7.30pm and the group was split in two. One group went for a noc­tur­nal walk, vis­it­ing moth traps and de­tect­ing bats. The other half sat in the un­der­croft of the beau­ti­ful Ionic Tem­ple to lis­ten to an au­tum­nal as­tron­omy talk by one of so­ci­ety’s mem­bers.

Un­for­tu­nately for the pub­lic, the night sky sim­u­la­tion show was the near­est they would get to see­ing ac­tual ob­jects in the sky. Al­though there were some fairly large gaps, the steady winds meant that we had only fleet­ing glimpses of the Plough in its en­tirety and the Sum­mer Tri­an­gle over­head. This still wowed the crowds, who had been in­tro­duced to them in the talk, and ev­ery­body went away hav­ing had an en­joy­able night.

The York As­tro­nom­i­cal So­ci­ety will con­tinue its pro­gramme of pub­lic out­reach over the win­ter with reg­u­lar star par­ties at York Race­course, and at the new home of our ob­ser­va­tory at Bee­tle Bank Farm on the east­ern out­skirts of the city. We also have two for­mal meet­ings per month held at the Pri­ory Street Cen­tre in York.

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