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.