Wednesday 18th March. The skies cleared and the unblemished night sky at East Riddlesden Hall was a sight to behold. As part of many such events held around the UK to link in with the BBC Stargazing live 2015. This was a joint event, with our lead partner Bradford Astronomical Society. The medieval tithe barn was the centre of the evening’s events. Rod Hind from Bradford Astronomical society gave a presentation on the forthcoming solar eclipse. Our own society chairman Paul Neaves, gave a presentation to over 100 visitors on the highlights of the Spring Night sky. The RSPB ran a stall and Keighley Astronomical Society held its popular book shop. Refreshments were on sale and the National Trust opened the bar.
Then there were several telescopes set up by members of both societies for the viewing public. Various objects in the sky were on view. The gas giant Jupiter was the main attraction. It’s four largest moon’s as well as the coloured banding of the planet could be clearly seen. The telescopes were located just outside the front of the barn. The Weather was mild, there was no wind and it stayed dry. Astronomers pointed out many facts and features about the sky that night with a great balance of knowledge and dry wit, which made the experience even more fun.
Other prominent objects viewed that evening were the constellation of Orion including the Orion Nebula. The Hyades, star cluster, and Sirius, the brightest star in the sky. The views were spectacular.