Thursday, 16 January 2014

Stargazing on a Cold Evening in Devizes

Hillworth Park cafe on a dark night with astronomer's and their telescopes.

We had three stargazing evenings last week, and I managed to get there on the Thursday evening, which was the only evening when it didn't rain!   Several astronomers had set up their telescopes aimed at the heavens, and I had a good close up look at the craters on the moon's surface.  It was a first time for me, and really quite magical to see the moon in such detail.

The astronomer to the left of the photo above had trained his telescope, (just visible in the centre of the photo,) on the moon, and the image was projected through his laptop for all to see. Although it was a cold evening, the park was full of parents and excited children, interested bystanders, dogs and reporters from Radio Wiltshire and BBC television.  

A closer view of the moon's surface on the laptop.

Hillworth Park cafe.

I lighten this photo, and it is possible to make out another telescope in the centre left near the lit window.   One large telescope was trained on Jupiter, which I didn't manage to get a view, as the queue was very long.  By this time my feet and hands were complaining of the cold. 

The moon over St. John's Church.

I walked home via the churchyard, and took this photo of the moon shining so brightly above the medieval church.   This photo was taken with a star filter, which has made the moon look like a big star.   I lurked around in the dark taking photos for 20 minutes or so, and then got so cold, I had to rush home for a warm cuppa!  All in all, a very interesting, if cold evening in the park.

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