Castle Point Astronomy Club
1969-2019 - 50th Anniversary Year
Castle Point Astronomy Club Diary
December 2010 by Dave Stratton

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Wednesday 1st December 2010

CPAC Members' activity round up

Cancelled due to adverse weather (loads of smow and ice)

Wednesday 8th December 2010

Beginners'/Observing Evening

Mike got the evening off to a flying start with a tour around the sky from the car park for 20 minutes.

Back in the warm - Mike announced that from here on the tea and coffee would be free of charge also the 1 fee from members when we enjoyed a paid speaker would cease. Non members would continue to pay 1 on the door and 1.50 when we had a paid speaker.

He also advised that the club was to make a substantial payment to the church fund and invited the members to make a personal contribution if they wished to. This payment to be given to either Ted or myself. A few took advantage there and then.

Next Mike introduced our very own Hannah who was giving a talk about her much loved 102SLT refractor with Go-To.

It is the third scope she has owned and although she could not get the Go-To to work she still found the instrument great to use. The feeling from the floor was that this was not so much a fault as a feature in that the batteries specified are not man enough and some type of power-pack would sort it out.

Hannah advised that she kept a log book of what she observed and used the scope several times each week - weather permitting.

She enjoyed seeing objects such as the Andromeda Galaxy, M13 and the Dumbbell Nebula. Whilst observing she found the red spot finder a joy to use.

Pete Carson was on next with his regular review of 'What's Out There' in December.

We learnt that Jupiter was still very bright in the South with much fainter Uranus skulking within a degree - to the left and a tad higher.

Saturn and Venus are both morning objects. He mentioned that Venus was bright enough to see in full daylight if you check its bearing in the dawn it can easily be found later with the naked eye.

Comet 103P Hartley is still about in Canis Major.

The Geminid Meteor Shower is due on the evening of 13th/14th. Gemini is high in the South.

There is a total Lunar Eclipse on 21st at 08.10.

Also on 21st the Moon occults a bright star at 17.25 until 18.13.

On 3rd January we have the Quadrantid Meteor Shower which is between Draco and Bootes. The ZHR is expected to be 80 at about midnight.

Last but certainly not least Pete told us about a partial solar eclipse at dawn on the 4th. The Sun will rise at 08.10 in eclipse. It will be 67% covered. It should be stunning as it will rise with the two horns leading.

Pete further advised that there is a Dark Site event planned for the Geminids on Monday the 13th. He will be the contact and will send out an email with the details.

What a splendid lot of observing and he's only been our Observing Director a short while.

We also learnt that Roy and Peter are currently investigating a new venue for our very own Star Parties.

It is in Suffolk near to Woodbridge. There was a good interest from the members present and so Roy and Pete will give it a try. Apparently the site has what you would expect - toilets etc. and a pub about 15 minutes away (the pub not the toilets).

Dave Smith advised that that Jupiter's missing southern belt was making a comeback. It was suggested that we group our images and Pete said he would happily pass them on to the BAA.

Well that was an action packed evening. Great Stuff.

Next week it is our Christmas Social.

Wednesday 15th December 2010

Christmas Social

Well another year draws to a close. Ron did a great job in acquiring all the tuck for the hoards to enjoy. We had a good number turn up both long standing and much more recent members. Let's hope the trend continues in the New Year.

We restart on 5th January.

Remember the astronomical treats still to come mentioned in the previous Diary.

Seasonal Greetings

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