Darren (Stargazer1980 on SGL), organiser of the Salisbury Star Party
takes time-out to relax and catch up with friends
This is Dylan, proud to pose with his step-father's
The great thing about the Salisbury Star Party, held just 10 miles south of Salisbury between the 19 & 23 August was that in many cases whole families came to enjoy events, and the atmosphere was warm and friendly.
Perhaps the weather wasn't too kind with cloud drifting over to fill the night-skies as we went into Friday and Saturday, but hey, this is English Astronomy, what do you expect in our unique climate! But whilst the clouds cleared there was great viewing to be had, and all credit to Darren for organising such a great event.
There were a several members of Swindon Stargazers present, this included our Chairman Peter Struve, Vice Chairman Owen Brazell, and Communications Officer Robin Wilkey and Hilary. Another Swindon astronomer, Andy Masson, was also there, along with his wife Sharon.
Astronomers stayed up deep into the summer nights to catch, for example, Jupiter's moons transecting each other on the Thursday, and the close proximity of the two nearest moons to Jupiter appearing to collide with the each other and the huge planet itself.
Events culminated on Saturday when lectures were given by amongst others Nick Howes, the technical expert from Wiltshire Astronomy Society on 'The Three Sides of the Sun'; and Ninian Boyle, who gave a very interesting talk on telescope maintenance.
There was a complete surprise when a mobile planetarium was set up in the main hall of the campsite, and a 40 minute show wowed children and adults alike as we were taken through the Universe and into deep-space and black-holes. A Grand Barbecue followed this a little later and a great time was had by all!
Owen Brazell standing in front of his large telescope (20" Dobsonian) and the
step-ladder lying on the grass nearby needed to reach the viewer!
Robin & Hilary Wilkey, members of Swindon Stargazers
Jonathan - Binoculors and telescope at the ready!
A great time to chat about astronomy!
James, from First Light Optics with a new Skywatcher Skyliner Dobsonian
Darren (aka Stargazer1980) - It's been a long day!