14th March 2023 was the date for our last Great Equatorial Viewing session for this season. What could possibly go wrong, well.......
When I got to the observatory the skies were pretty clear, not perfect, but I thought hmmm, we might be in with a slim chance here, so went up to see our astronomers for the evening.
Dr Greg Brown & Jess Lee
Greg explained that the rain was coming in and the wind was gusting at 22mph. I knew the wind would be a issue as the dome can only open if it’s below 15mph and as funny as it would be to see the dome fly off and roll down the hill with Greg running after it; yes I can see the memes all ready (sorry Greg).
We wisely decided to go for plan B.
Greg kicked off the evening with an amazing talk on the history of the Great Equatorial Telescope and the dome, in his usual fun way. No matter how many times you hear the talk you always pick up some new facts. Now, I'm not sure what it is with us humans, but if someone says there's a big hole be careful !! we just have to go and look. Which is exactly what happened tonight when Greg explained what the hole was for (no, I'm not going to spoil that fact now). After the talk and a short Q&A session, we headed off to the Planetarium.
Where Astronomer Jess Lee gave a fantastic show of the sky tonight. Now I know you‘re thinking, “oh that's evil, you couldn't look though the telescope but here's what you could have seen”, but I can assure you nothing can be further from the truth. Jess gave an insightful and fun tour of the night sky and showed objects that our members had asked to see before the show started.
Many thanks to Greg & Jess for a fun & educational evening
Photos provided by Barry Cassels