Abernethy, Aberargie and Dron News

Last date for submissions

31st October 2017

Date of publication

1st December 2017

ABERNETHY STAR PARTY

I thought it would be appropriate at this time to let you know more about this event.

The Central Scotland Observers Group is a group of people who share a common interest, “Astronomy”. They consist of people of various ages, male and female alike, who share knowledge and experience with one another, and who also meet up at various dark sky sites around Scotland to stargaze.

As a group they decided to celebrate The International Year of Astronomy, by holding a Star Party. The idea is to invite people from the local community along and have the opportunity to see through member’s telescopes (weather permitting), discuss the objects viewed and hopefully we can impart some enthusiasm for the subject. If the weather turns against us, we hope to have some Guest Speakers from Dundee Astronomical Society along to give a talk and slideshow.

So why not come along and enjoy the show – who knows we may inspire a budding Patrick Moore!

One stipulation we have had to impose for legal purposes, is that people under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

P.S. We will not be charging for this event, but we will be leaving a donation box for the Macmillan Nurses. All proceeds will go to this charity.

Tel: David Millar - 01738 850930 for more information

    www.scottishastronomers.com/AbernethyStarParty

          Email - info@scottishastronomers.com for more information

REPORT ON THE PARTY

The week before the Star Party began with numerous phone calls from various interested parties asking how much it would cost, when would it start, where will I park and will I be able to look through a telescope.  I became more edgy as the day drew nearer, what have I taken on here?

Saturday came and various friends arrived to help set up the hall, hang road directional signs, make sure all was ready for the rapidly approaching deadline – “Yes I was definitely becoming frayed around the edges”.

The weather forecast was looking dubious and ‘Plan B’ would probably be the order of the day i.e., long talks and videos in the hall.

The weather in the afternoon was quite good but big clouds were coming in from the west, telescopes would probably stay in the hall on display only. About 5.30 the heavens opened and a raging monsoon ensued, so waterproofs on, we headed for the pavilion, soup and chilli in hand.

The evening would still be good fun, but the whole idea of a star party is to get people and scopes outside. The first people arrived around 7’ish and by 7.40 the hall was full, all seats (provided by Al and Jan) were taken, “phew this event may be a success after all”. Tom Clackson did an introductory talk followed by a video showing everyone the whole idea of The International Year of Astronomy. The cloud watchers were on hand, and a nod came from the fire exit. THE SKY HAD CLEARED and the rain had stopped, the cloud gods had shone upon us, so hurriedly the members quickly grabbed their telescopes and Tom announced ‘we would be Stargazing’. Everyone headed for a sodden park but no one seemed to mind. The experts started aiming their instruments skyward and many ‘targets’ were aligned in the eyepieces to the delight of the public, many oohs and ahhs were heard and the Moon was a favourite with most, Jupiter, also popular, was low in the southern sky and was seen as a small fuzzy disc with 4 of its moons faintly visible. After around 45 minutes of observing, the tea bell rang and everyone headed back for some soup, a bowl of chilli and teas etc.

There was a handout quiz followed by more informative talks and videos. Then the raffle and prize giving and delighted winners received some great prizes.

A quote from one of the stargazers made all our efforts worthwhile. “Abernethy was truly the centre of the Universe tonight” she enthused. A great night was had by all and many positive comments from the public prompted us to possibly make this an annual event, watch this “SPACE”!

Finally I would like to thank everyone who helped make this event a success (you know who you are) and to everyone who attended.

Thanks on behalf of The Central Scotland Observers Group and Dundee Astronomical Society