Moonwatch and Stargazing 17 and 18/05/21

by on May.20, 2021, under Dark Skies

My work life is split between wildlife safaris, photography workshops, pelagics and dark skies events, and with the recent easing of lockdown restrictions the reopening of the award-winning Battlesteads Hotel meant the reopening of the observatory too. I had the privilege of leading the first ever event at the observatory (for the solar eclipse in March 2015) and our staffing rota gave me the first two events this week after more than 6 months of closure 🙂

Monday started with rain, and a rainbow, before the guests arrived to great views of the moon through the 11″ SCT, and an eagerly anticipated bright, and long, passover by the ISS coincided with two Starlink trains. People have conflicting emotions about the number of artificial satellites currently being launched, but they’re an impressive sight! Two thirds of the Summer Triangle (Vega and Deneb) put in an appearance, along with Castor, Pollux, Arcturus, Mars and the Plough.

Tuesday had a better forecast…and more cloud! The guests were still able to look at the moon’s craters and mountain ranges through the 11″ and Arcturus and Vega both appeared between the fast-moving clouds, with more stars, and Mars, visible towards the end of the evening.


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