THIS EVENT IS CONFIRMED ON
Our next scheduled observing event will take place Friday 18 November.
PLEASE NOTE: The event starts at the earlier time of 7.30pm now we have darker skies.
As we get nearer the end of the year, more objects are becoming visible to us. During the early part of the evening the Summer Triangle comprising the bright stars of Vega, Deneb and Altair will still be in view. Amidst these three stars in the centre we will be able to see the colourful double star Albireo. To the right of this between the stars Sulafat and Sheliak is M57 the famous Ring Nebula. Heading up above Vega we can see the binary system known as the ‘Double-Double‘ or more technically Epsilon 1 Lyrae and Epsilon 2 Lyrae. Moving left of this system between Deneb and Vega we can see Delta Cygni, a triple star system consisting of green-blue and yellow-white stars although you will only be able to see the extremely close binary pair.
Early on in the evening Mars will just be visible in the south but probably hidden by the trees. Stretching across the horizon from East to West will be Uranus and Neptune which will be followed by the M45, The Pleiades. On the Western horizon will be M13, The Hercules Cluster. To view this it is best to target it early before the lights of the city begin to drown it out.
From about 9.30pm we should be able to start observing the objects around the constellation Orion. The most visible of these will be the bright Nebula M42 and the double star Sigma Orionis. In addition to M42, many imaging targets exist around Orion, notably NGC 1909 the Witch Head Nebula to its right, the well known IC 434 Horsehead Nebula above and the dominantly H-Alpha NGC 2244 Rosette Nebula to the left.
The Moon will begin to appear during our observing session but should not brighten the sky too much until around 10pm in the evening at which time it will be another object to look at. As it will be 75% illuminated many features should be visible along the terminator.
Some students from the University of the Arts London are filming a short documentary about the Flamsteed and they will be on site at Blackheath. The film crew will not be using lights, just a hand held camera. They will be as unobtrusive as possible. If there is any reason why anyone attending does not wish to appear in the background of any shots, please speak to one of the Flamsteed Committee members on site.
We look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible. Please bring a telescope if you can. If not there should be at least three scopes available to take you on a tour of the sky.
As normal a go / no go announcement will be made at the earlier time of 4pm on Friday.
Blackheath is quite exposed and the forecast suggests a temperature range of only 2-4 degrees so wrap up warm!
We will meet at our usual spot just north of Talbot Place at 7.30pm. Talbot Place is the first left off Goffers Road after the Tea Hut. Parking is free after 6.30pm. A map of the site can be found here – http://flamsteed.info/observing/stargazing-events/blackheath-stargazing/ .