Events

We are a very active society, meeting at least once a week, please check out our programme for details of upcoming events.

 

Transit of Mercury, 11th November 2019

Despite the poor weather our members were out in force observing the transit of Mercury across the face of the Sun, something that has to be done carefully to be safe.

There were 8 members and 4 visitors at the Observatory with a variety of ‘scopes . Rita and Honor also had their PST’s on hand. Other members observed at their homes or online.

TransitofMercury-MR

White light photo by Mike Rushton taken 14:50 on 11/11/19. C8 with f/6.3 focal reducer on HEQ5 Pro. Full aperture glass solar filter Canon 60D at prime focus ISO 1600, Exp 1/400 sec.

TransitofMercury-JM-2019-11-11

Image by Janice McClean

TransitofMercury-MC2019-11-11-14-53

Image by Martin Crow 2019-11-11 14:53UT Ha Image

20191111_ToM

Image by Honor Wheeler in White Light

ToMRichard

Image of the Transit of Mercury 11/11/2019 by Richard Bohner

Star gazing at Hall Place

It was horizon – horizon cloud last Wednesday for the sold out star gazing event at Hall Place, however we were prepared for this and along with comet making, we held sessions on drawing objects in the night sky and a variety of talks about astronomy. We had brilliant support from our members – thanks to all – who bought a variety of telescopes, cameras, meteorites and other displays, overall the visitors went away happy despite not being able to view the heavens. 

2019-OctStarGazingLiveatHallPlace4

2019-OctStarGazingLiveatHallPlace2

2019-OctStarGazingLiveatHallPlace3

2019-OctStarGazingLiveatHallPlace1

“Fun Palace” event at Bexleyheath Library

As part of our public outreach, a few of us represented the Society at a “Fun Palace” event at Bexleyheath Library on Saturday. These relatively low-key events are intended to showcase small, local interest groups such as arts & crafts, therapies, lizard / snake keeping and in our case, all things Astronomy!
 
We had a prominent and large display which meant good foot-fall and a lot of interest from the public. Former members from the 1960’s and 1970’s came by to say hello – these gents were quite elderly as you can appreciate but knew Dick Chambers, Dr Wilkins and John Wall.
 
Our telescope Olivia drew in visitors as did the planet game. It was encouraging to watch young children complete the planet game with little or no help. (Ask us about the 5-year-old and 3-year-olds completing it!)
We had Saturn sketched by one of the youngsters and also imaged a planet mounted at the far end of the Fiction section!
 
All in all, a very positive event – we received feedback from the Library team to say that we were a hit with their customers.  Likely we will pick up some future visitors or even members, so watch this space.
 
I want to thank the team who helped on the day – Steve, Terry, Andy and Rita – really appreciate you giving up your time. We presented the Society in a very positive light.

FunPalaces1FunPalaces2

Solar Observing at Hall Place Summer 2019

A big thanks to everyone who supported both of the recent Hall Place Solar Observing events which were an exciting mixture of hide and seek as far as the sun was concerned, but both in their own way very successful.

We had sideways rain at 1100 yesterday (18th August 2019), so we set displays up indoors for about half an hour, after which we relocated outside and never looked back.

Even the sun cream got an airing!

It was very encouraging to meet a couple of extremely bright 8 year olds asking / answering some great questions – future members I’m sure.

These things don’t happen by accident so for anyone who supported the two events with equipment, transport, setting up or engaging with the public, a huge thank you.

We will be back in the Winter for the pre- and post- Christmas Stargazing events and should consider any suggestions / fresh ideas to make these as engaging and informative as possible.

Once again, your support is greatly appreciated.

John (Chair)

2019-08-18SolarObserving_at_HallPlace1

2019-08-18SolarObserving_at_HallPlace2

Observing Evening 2019-04-18

Thursday, 2019-04-18 was an informal observing evening and whilst not ideal with an almost full Moon, we had lots of telescopes out and other members learning how to use the Peter Hindle Telescope.

 

20190419_212728

20190420_081932

20190420_081751

20190420_082933

Occultation of the Beehive by the Moon

On Saturday 13th April I’d hoped to go to the Observatory and image the occultation of the Beehive cluster by the Moon but alas Diane and I had forgotten that we were taking part in a local RSPB quiz. We’ve taken part on a number of other occasions with fellow member Deborah and David, her husband, who are also keen bird watchers, so we had said yes to this quiz before we knew about the events clashing.
 
The skies were still clear after the quiz so we headed to the observatory, we got to the Pavilion at about 22:30BST (21:30UT) to find that no one else was using it. We imaged the Moon with the Beehive cluster from the patio then imaged some lunar craters and took a tour around the sky with the 16″. The skies remained clear until 02:10BST at which time Diane and I packed up and went home.

Kelling Heath Star Party Spring 2019

4 Members and 2 ex-Members travelled to the Kelling Heath Star Party, this star party has notoriously poor weather, but on this occasion we were blessed with reasonable views on Wednesday night and clear skies from dusk ’till dawn on Thursday Night, Friday Morning.

Many, many objects were observed with Keith’s 10″ Dobsonian and Simon’s 12″ Truss Dobsonian, Julian and another Simon both allowed us to view objects with their 20″ Dob’s. 

Apparently the food was epic…

Auriga

no images were found

Camp Site

Mist on Sunday

Astronomy Outreach with Sutton-at-Hone School

We welcomed the Children of Sutton-at-Hone Primary school to the Dick Chambers Observatory on the 12th December 2018. They had a chance to look through the Peter Hindle telescope and from the photos it looks like they had a great time, whilst learning a bit about the science of Astronomy.

Parental permission given for all images used.

Back to Basics Workshop

We hosted The 2018 British Astronomical Association Back to Basics workshop on 6th October.

These workshops are great for beginners just starting out in astronomy and wanting to learn how to use their telescopes or get started in Astronomy and over 50 people turned up – well done and thank you to all the Crayford Members who helped out.

BAA_B2B_2018

 

All images are copyright. Permission must be sought to from the image owner to the use of any of these images.