The Baker Street Irregular Astronomers (BSIA) meet every month in central London to look at the sky and socialise. Bring a 'scope if you have one, if not, don't worry, everyone is very friendly and happy to share - some nights there are 30+ telescopes there.
Placeholder: November Message from the BSIA
Venus ushers the moon away and won’t, therefore, be visible tonight, but there are more planets to take our attention. The ice giants Uranus & Neptune – at a staggering 1.8 and 2.7 billion miles away respectively – can bee seen in Pisces and Aquarius. Look for their greenish and blue colours and crank up the magnification to see them as distinctly disk-like.
But the real treat is our first BSIA views of the King of Planets since April. Jupiter returns to the eastern horizon around 8:30pm and will be high enough in the sky to properly observe around 10-10:30pm. Three of the brightest moons, Ganymede, Callisto and Europa will be visible in a line but, if you can tease it out of the gloom of the horizon around 8:45pm, you’ll see the volcanic moon Io slip behind the gas giant.
Moving out of the solar system, the early quick gratification hits of the Andromeda Galaxy, the Double Cluster and the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules will all be visible through small scopes and larger binoculars. And, as the night progresses, beautiful binary stars Albireo in Cygnus, Almaak in Andromeda and the Double Double in Lyra are always rewarding – as are the trickier double galaxies of M81 & M82 in Ursa Major, the Ring Nebula (pictured below) in Lyra and the Owl Cluster in Cassiopeia.
By 10pm all eyes will undoubtedly be looking east as the huge Hyades binocular target rises just behind the stunning Pleiades Cluster, paving the way for Orion and the unmissable Orion Nebula! (Pictured below.) But also scan around Auriga to the left of Taurus where the trio of clusters M36, M37 & M38 are also well worth hunting down. That is, if you can pull your eyes away from Jupiter in that portion of the sky!
Although you’re welcome to bring any equipment you like, please don’t worry if you don’t have a scope of your own, everyone is welcome from advanced to absolute beginner – there will be plenty of scopes around on the night and people will be more than happy to find objects for you to observe if you ask. And if you are new to astronomy – there are no silly questions, just ask away!
The nights are getting very cold now so please do bring along plenty of warm layers and coats to keep the cold out. And to help out, there will be hot and cold drinks and snacks available from the café until around 10pm to cater for whatever the weather.
All the park’s gates are closed at 4:30pm, so only Monkey Gate (the one nearest to London Zoo see map), will be open to enter and leave through, and we must insist that you only use this gate and never try to climb over the fences. Parking outside Monkey Gate is free on the Outer Circle after 6.30pm and it’s about 150m walk from the road to The Hub along the floor-lit pathway.
Earlier in the week, we were featured in the Metro newspaper. If you missed it, you can find it here.
We look forward to seeing you all on Wednesday 6th November in Regent’s Park (or a day either side, depending on the forecast). Bring scopes and binoculars if you have them, if not, bring yourselves and new Irregulars. We look forward to exploring the universe with you!
Ralph Wilkins for
The Unofficial Force.
Visit the BSIA's website here for more details: http://www.bakerstreetastro.org.uk
On a clear night, there can be over 100 people at this event, so to help us connect with other members of this group, we'll stake out a table inside the Hub, with a Meetup sign.
There are detailed directions on this customised Google Map.
Summary of directions:
Enter the Park through the Monkey Gate, which is at the very north of the park. If you have short legs like me, it's a 20-25 minute walk from either Baker Street or Camden Town stations. So instead, I'd recommend going to Baker Street or Camden Town and catching the 274 bus to London Zoo to save the walking.
Once inside the park, it's only 150 meters or so (3 minutes) to the Hub - please be vigilant when it's dark.
Geek Chic costs: Full Membership of this group is £15 a year. You can attend two events for free. You can pay any time by Paypal using the link on the left navigation pane, or
Click here now to pay your membership fee
**Please note, this cost is for Geek Chic Membership, not for attending the BSIA stargazing events, which are free and open to the public for no fee.**