Visitors brave the cold to enjoy the wonders of our skies at stargazing event
- Credit: Archant
More than 160 people braved the cold to stargaze from the dark skies of Seething Observatory at the weekend.
The Seething Star Party was an additional weekend outreach event added to the Norwich Astronomical Society’s (NAS) calendar after the BBC decided not to make their popular Stargazing Live show this year.
The talks were focussed on what can been seen in the Norfolk and Suffolk skies.
On Friday evening, February 23, Norwich society member Mark Shepherd gave a “what’s up in the night sky” talk aiming to show visitors what can be seen from the skies of East Anglia with the naked eye, binoculars and a small telescope.
On Saturday, February 24, fellow society member and experienced deep sky observer Paul Webb gave his talk “ordinary to extraordinary what you can see from beginner to expert.” Mr Webb’s talk included some of the deep space objects including distant galaxies such as the Leo Triplet.
On both nights society volunteers had the observatory domes open and telescopes on the observing pads for people to enjoy stunning views of the moon, double stars, open clusters and distant galaxies. One object, an open cluster in Monoceros with the nickname “Hagrid’s dragon” was hugely popular with young and old alike; it’s dragon shape clear for all to see.
Astro photographer Paul Fearn showed numerous visitors his imaging set up from the dedicated “run off” shed including images of the Leo Triplet that was visible from our larger telescopes.
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Chairman Roger Preece said: “I knew that this weekend would be a busy one, the weather forecast was promising and thanks to our social media superstar Debbie Forrester it was indeed.”
The NAS member had tweeted Professor Brian Cox about the event, and Professor Cox kindly re-tweeted Ms Forrester’s tweet to his 2.84 million followers.
The observatory opens to the public again on Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24, when if the skies are clear members will be sharing views of the night skies from Seething along with a talk on the Cassini mission to Saturn.
For more information visit the Norwich Astronomical Society website at www.norwichastro.org.uk