Next Event

21st September and it’s the first public astronomy session of the season. Located at the Sportsman pub, on Redmires Road, West of Sheffield, we had lots of visitors. Importantly though, we had a clear sky!

We set up in the daylight as the sun went down. As the sky darkened we were able to show people Jupiter and Saturn low in the Southern sky. Darker still, there were star clusters, gas clouds, a planetary nebula and even a galaxy or two.

The evening wasn’t without problems though, being the first session of the season. Despite rigorous checks being carried out on the equipment, two of the telescopes decided they would throw a wobbly. This didn’t deter people, and we even had some non-members bring their telescopes along. We were able to give them some good pointers on how to use them.

The thin veil of cloud that descended eventually thickened to the point of obscurity. By ten pm we decided to pack up. For a first session of the season, it was pretty good. If you weren’t there, it’s a pity, but we hope to see you at the next one.

Setting up as the Sun goes down

Sungazing has been more miss than hit this season. Unusually the annual Perseid meteor shower did not disappoint. The weather was most co-operative (for a change!). Plenty of smaller meteors and a few real sky-splitters over the course of the evening. We had many visitors and quite a few folks imaging – take a look at the Facebook Group where many pictures have been uploaded.
We finished at around 11pm when the Moon started to rise and wash everything out.
Thanks to everyone who attended!
Here we are setting up after stuffing our faces with the excellent pies at the Sportsman Inn …
Saturday 12th August 2017.

A successful stargazing evening at the Sportsman Inn on Redmires Road before it clouded over at around 21:30. Some visual observations and a bit of imaging going on. Observed the Orion Nebula, the Double Cluster and the Andromeda Galaxy before the moon rose and bleached out all the faint fuzzies.
Saturday 14th January 2017.

Normally, a stargazing event wouldn’t be particularly noteworthy, however as the weather has forsaken us time-and-time again, it’s good to be able to report that a successful stargazing event occurred on the evening of Saturday 17th December 2016.
The clear weather forecast from the morning had turned into something of a coin-toss with the various forecasters reporting different conditions later in the day. High clouds came and went a few times, however there was no thick cloud to cause big problems. Seeing was still pretty poor with a great deal of visible turbulence. Even so, we took in a good number of observations and all visitors had a lot of telescope time.
All-in-all, we’ll chalk this impromptu stargazing session as a success, and let’s hope the weather improves for us in the new year!

Over the past year-or-so, two society members have submitted “HowTo” articles to the BBC Sky at Night Magazine which were accepted for publication.

Vince Sellars’ article, “How to make a pinhole camera for solargraphy” was published in the latest December 2016 issue and details how to create extremely long exposure trails of the Sun over a period of months!

Andrew Gilhooley’s article “How to make a pipe spectrometer” was published in the November 2015 issue and details how to construct a simple spectrometer using plumbing materials!

The first of our “Steve Adams” lectures was a great success, thanks to the incredible enthusiasm of our speaker, Professor Vik Dhillon, and the large turn-out of members and visitors.
Vik’s talk concentrated heavily on on the sheer complexity and engineering that is required to construct the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), as well many aspects of the funding, the science, and the choice of location. One of the most staggering facts was that, when complete and housed in its dome, it will be as tall as the Sheffield University Arts Tower. Another incredible fact was that the combined surface areas of all the world’s largest telescopes from the last hundred years would be smaller than the area of the E-ELT.

Thanks to Vik and to everyone who helped out. I am sure Steve would have been very pleased and proud.

You can find out about the E_ELT here:

A profile of Vik Dhillon can be found here:

Despite the inconsistent weather forecast, we had a good day observing the Sun in Sheffield Botanical Gardens.

Sungazing Setup

Credit: Andrew Gilhooley

Sungazing Equipment

Credit: Andrew Gilhooley

Sungazing Hydrogen Alpha

Credit: Andrew Gilhooley

Sungazing White Light

Credit: Andrew Gilhooley

Sungazing White Light with Labels

Credit: Andrew Gilhooley


Credit: Andrew Gilhooley

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Weather Forecast

Sheffield England United Kingdom
October 21, 2019, 18:32
current pressure: 1020 mb
humidity: 88%
wind speed: 2 mph NNE
wind gusts: 7 mph
sunrise: 07:43
sunset: 17:57
Forecast October 21, 2019
Intermittent clouds
max. UV-Index: 1
Partly cloudy
Forecast October 22, 2019
Partly sunny
max. UV-Index: 2
Mostly clear