Please note - the date will be confirmed nearer the time. This is provisional only.
I AM AWAY ON HOLIDAY THAT WEEK - can someone please amend the date when known? I'm opening this event up to universal editing.
Also, if someone can please host, I'd be grateful. Just turn up with a Meetup sign and collect people inside the Hub.
I thought it better to leave this to group self-organisation then to cancel it.
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.
May message from BSIA
Apologies for the late notice – we’ve been in Wales in search of dark skies recently – but the next BSIA meeting will be this Thursday, the 9th May from 6.30pm at The Hub in Regent’s Park.
This month we’ll be bringing along some solar scopes to allow safe viewing of the sun, its active sunspots and storms, and later on we’ll hunt for the now fading Comet Pan-STARRS as it rises ever higher in the sky through the constellation Cepheus.
Jupiter, pictured, will be making it’s last appearance for 2013 this month (if you want to see Jupiter again, you’ll have to wait until August when it emerges in the early morning sky before sunrise), so we’ll be saying goodbye to the King of Planets while the four moons of Io, Europa, Ganymede & Callisto spread out around the gas giant in a perfect line.
But there’s also the real treat of Saturn, pictured, which, for those of you who haven’t seen Saturn at a BSIA event yet, will be simply breathtaking. After sunset the planet will already be high enough to view the rings, divisions between the rings and at least one of it’s moons, Titan. And we’ll be seeing how many more of Saturn’s moons we can tease out as the night goes on.
Moving out of the solar system, we’ll be seeing which of the spring deep sky objects we can show you, galaxies in Ursa Major, Leo and Virgo will be high on our list of targets, as will be the stunning concentrations of hundreds of thousands of stars that make up the globular clusters. This time of year really does provide a wealth of diverse objects to view, with open clusters, gas clouds and binary stars on offer in May too. (As pictured here: a spiral galaxy in Leo.)
But don’t worry if you don’t have a scope of your own, everyone is welcome from advanced to absolute novice – 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.
Although it has warmed up recently, please do bring along warm layers or coats to ward off the chill as it gets dark. There will be warm drinks and snacks available from the café until around 10pm to help ward off the cold.
Can we ask that you help us to comply with the rules that the Royal Parks have to impose on us: please sign the visitor’s book upon arrival at the Hub?
All of the park’s gates will be open for you to reach The Hub until 9pm, after that 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. If anyone were to have an accident, we would lose the park as a venue immediately and permanently. Besides, we don’t want anyone getting injured.
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.
In other matters, the BSIA now has a donate button on the website. Although there is considerable cost involved in hosting these monthly stargazing events, they will always be free to attend and we only request donations to the society on a wholly voluntary basis. If you would like to help support us please take a look at our website here.
We look forward to seeing you all on Thursday 9th May in Regent’s Park.
Ralph Wilkins for
The Unofficial Force.
Visit the BSIA's website here for more details: http://www.bakerstreetastro.org.uk
Geek Chic costs: Your first two events with Geek Chic are free to attend. Thereafter, membership is £15 a year. Please pay by Paypal using the link on the left here.
On a clear night, there can be over 100 people at this event, of which generally about 15-18 are from our group, though it's occasionally been much more. So to help us connect with other members of this group, we usually stake out a table inside the Hub, with a Meetup sign.
You don't have to arrive at 7pm - it won't get dark until almost 9pm, so come early for socialising and if it's a clear night, the astronomy will go on til 11pm or later.
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.