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Earth Hour in Streatham Common for darkest skies

Update:  This event was initially a suggestion but is now confirmed and approved by our organiser, John.

On Saturday 8:30pm, much of London (and the rest of the world, at 8.30 in their own timezone) will be switching off their lights for one hour as part of a "mexican wave" environmental message.

This means, we will have the darkest skies over London for that one hour and we will be taking advantage of this rare opportunity.  If the clouds aren't full cover (or predicted to clear) then we'll be out and I hope you can join us.

I(Tej) will be bringing my 8" telescope, from which we will potentially see many more galaxies that we normally cannot see from London.  I will also bring another telescope, an 80mm APO refractor in which we can view some beautiful clusters such as the Beehive and Hyades.

If you have a binoculars or telescope, do bring it along to add to the variety and we can cover more different objects. Particularly if you have a tripod (several of us have 10x50 or bigger binoculars, John's 15x70 currently don't have a great tripod so if you have a tall solid one with standard 1/4" camera-style screw attachment please bring it?).

Earth hour starts at 8:30pm

We will meet at the Waterfront at 6:45pm first as we did last meetup. Look for John G, recognisable from his photo here, or Tej, and big bags/tripods! I also hope to have a meetup logo (printed at half-A4-paper size) nearby. We then head to the common for around 7-7:15pm, maybe earlier if we're all there, we might wait a little if people are later. Comment on here/use John's phone no. if you have it (shared to rsvp'd members on Friday).  So we should have an hour viewing the usual suspects such as Jupiter, Orion nebula and the craters of our lovely crescent moon.  When earth hour arrives, we can feast on the fascinating cluster of galaxies in the sleeping lion constellation.

Earth Hour ends 9:30pm but we could stay for up to another hour if we are still in the groove and have not sprouted icicles on our faces.

DO Wrap up warm for the evening, thicker leggings, thick socks, wooly hats, gloves, etc and see you all on Saturday. Even if its a warm sunny day, imagine it was 5 degrees C cooler and come well prepared for standing outside in that for a while, if you're not used to astronomy nights outside!   Everyone welcome, complete-beginners onwards - we love showing people their first views and the excitement of seeing the beauty and detail in something you never knew was there, as well as sharing our knowledge, we'll always do our best to answer questions however stupid you think they are.

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  • Dimitris

    Thanks for the night yesterday guys, nice to meet you.

    There is some reading about Castor and his double-double-double system:­ . Apparently the two that we saw they are somewhere between 71 at 138 AU apart, quite elongate ellipse.

    Looking forward to meet you again soon :)

    1 · March 30, 2014

    • Dimitris

      Working link hopefully: http://www.conservape...­

      1 · March 30, 2014

    • Tej D.

      That was a great call on pointing the telescope at Castor through the clouds! Amazing that we could see the split in this fascinating system of three binary stars which I never knew about until you shared the knowledge with us. It was certainly the highlight object of the evening given the very limited options we had!

      March 31, 2014

  • Tej D.

    Despite the clouds, I had an enjoyable evening cursing the skies with all of you! Great to meet many of you for the first time.

    3 · March 30, 2014

  • Danny (.

    Super fun event; Thanks very much to John and Tej, great to meet everyone.

    2 · March 30, 2014

  • John G

    Thanks again all for coming. Mars is still clear and am taking advantage.

    4 · March 30, 2014

    • Ross H.

      Thanks for organising John. It was a fun night and I learnt loads from you guys.

      2 · March 30, 2014

  • John W.

    Heading over as soon as the ice hockey has finished. Go Streatham!!!

    1 · March 29, 2014

    • John M.

      I am in the waterfront bar now. Is anyone on the common?[masked]

      March 29, 2014

  • Danny (.

    Hi John sorry I did not reply sooner, my small newt mods were: fitted a new focuser to allow 1.25 eyepieces, then lost back focus; so had to make a long eyepiece adapter. this all worked but the Optics are still pretty poor. The only reason I mention it is that strangely it now has good magnification. Using the same eyepiece I get bigger Images, than in my standard Celestron 114. Very odd, I don't really understand. Cheers from Danny...

    1 · March 29, 2014

  • John G

    Please update your rsvp/contact me if you change your mind - with bigger events I don't care, but when its less than 10 people rsvp'd it can be frustrating when people don't show. We'll probably wait a bit for people, especially if you've turned up before so are likely to again, but please be considerate and update us. If you miss us at the pub do come hunting up the hill/call to check!

    March 28, 2014

    • Dimitris

      I will try my best yuk be there :-) hopefully the skies will be clear

      1 · March 28, 2014

  • Stacey

    Great idea but I'm not going to be in London this weekend

    March 28, 2014

  • Tej Dyal changed the time from 7:00 PM to 6:45 PM

    March 27, 2014

  • Eric E.

    Shall we meet at the pub or the Common? May be best if I have Tej and John's mobile numbers via FB messaging.

    March 27, 2014

  • Tej D.

    Well John has approved. Thanks John. So its all systems go and event is on!

    With the hopefully darker skies in the Earth Hour we can aim for some galaxies and nebulas that are normally illusive in London such as the Bodes nebula and a planetary nebula called Ghost of Jupiter. But of course we will also enjoy the the usual suspects but always stunning sights of Jupiter, the craters of our lovely crescent moon and Mars will also be flaunting itself during this hour.

    1 · March 26, 2014

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