Places of interest & Places to visit, including astro-tourism destinations

Sorrento, Italy

Ean Ean, Rhys, Hannah and I have just arrived in Naples, on our way to Sorrento. Only got small pair binoculars but at least tonight’s main event only requires the naked eye – the Perseid meteor shower…..and look at the forecast here (see screenshot from clearoutside.com below)! 0% rain probability (although i did capture the shot of a large cloud over Vesuvius on the way from Naples to Sorrento).

Even Ean Ean says she would like to take a walk later this evening and see if she csn onserve some meteors – although local light pollution levels are bound to make big difference to what we can see.

Andy

Mount Vesuvius on the way to Sorrento from the airport – still actove volcano!

Visit to Herschel Museum in Bath

Ean Ean, Rhys and Hannah and I visited the Herschel Astronomy in Bath on the way back from a weekend trip to Wells. The Herschel Museum of Astronomy at 19 New King Street, Bath, England, is located in a preserved town house that was formerly the home of William Herschel and his sister Caroline. Its patron is Queen’s Brian May and the introductory video is narrated by Patrick Moore. It was from this house, using a telescope of his own design that William discovered the planet Uranus in 1781, and below are some pictures from the garden from which this observation was made. The photos are from our visit today.

The objects in the pictures below are in some cases the Herschels’ own or those of people close to them. Other aspects of the house are re-creations to give idea of what life was like when the Herschels lived there, including items from the same era.

Andy, Ean Ean, Rhys and Hannah

 

Stoney Littleton Long Barrow

Ean Ean, Rhys, Hannah and I visited the Stoney Littleton Long Barrow, on our way to visit the Herschel Astronomy Museum (see next post for our visit to that museum). A long barrow is a prehistoric monument dating to the early Neolithic period. They are rectangular or trapezoidal tumuli or earth mounds traditionally interpreted as collective tombs. The Stoney Littleton Long Barrow (also known as Bath Tumulus and the Wellow Tumulus) is a Neolithic chambered tomb with multiple burial chambers, located near the village of Wellow, Somerset. It is an example of the Severn-Cotswold tomb. The barrow is about 30 metres (98 ft) in length and 15 metres (49 ft) wide at the south-east end, it stands nearly 3 metres (10 ft) high. Internally it consists of a 12.8 metres (42 ft) long gallery with three pairs of side chambers and an end chamber. There is a fossil ammonite decorating the left-hand door jamb. The site was excavated by John Skinner in 1816-17 who gained the entry through a hole originally made about 1760. The excavation revealed the bones (some burned) of several individuals (https://www.heritagedaily.com/2017/11/seven-must-see-long-barrows-in-england/100889).

A south-east north-west orientation is very common for Mendip barrows (http://www.ubss.org.uk/resources/proceedings/vol24/UBSS_Proc_24_3_187-206.pdf). A discussion of possible Stoney Littleton Long Barrow Winter Solstice Alignment can be found at https://www.silentearth.org/stoney-littleton-long-barrow-winter-solstice-alignment/

Andy, Ean Ean, Rhys and Hannah

             

Views from today….

Following on from Andy’s earlier post from today (Darwin Walk and Biolam microscope)….

Lichfield Cathedral in the background…

3 hrs in…looking forward to lunch at Mable’s Cafe… Tweedledee and Tweedledumb taking a short break…(I’m not saying which, is which !)

Andy back at ours checking out my cheek cells ! You can see the photos he has just taken through the eye lens still on his phone…

My picture taken with an iPhone6 held up to the 10x eyepiece and 10x objective (plus 1.5x binoviewer).

Blue Snowball nebula simulation

Jane and I are in Fuerteventura for a weeks hols until tomorrow evening 18th Oct. The TV has a really bright mid blue LED that shines like a searchlight when we are trying to sleep! To cover it up I used a piece of card then got on bed. When the lights were off I checked it and thought I can still just see the glow and it looks remarkably like the Blue Snowball nebula NGC7662 visually through a scope when the sky is affected by light pollution and its difficulty pick out! So I took a pic! Whilst not an actual astronomical observation as such, it was still interesting.

Obviously there aren’t any stars, but do you see the similarity?

V2; The brighter image was taken further away with much less zoom. I have also included a sketch I did back in 2016 as a comparison, which has been inverted (I had to colour the nebula orange so it came out bluish when inverted).

Huddlesford Heritage Gathering 2017

Forgot this was on the phone!

Sunday 24th Sep, J and I took a leisurely walk on the towpath towards Whittington and came across this ‘biennial gathering of Historic Boats’.

What’s that I see….a…

‘Star’ling…  😉

Why a painted urn above you ask..?

Well.. ‘Lisa’ – The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) the first space-based gravitational wave observatory of course!

Apart from the fantastic coachwork on display, I’m always on the look out for anything ‘astro themed’, turned up a few!

Like the boat ‘Lyra’!

Link to the site: http://www.lhcrt.org.uk/hhgnews.htm

Here’s Jules… what is the astro link then with this… look carefully…

On the tiller, a beautifully polished brass…

Pegasus!

 

And a Leo theme below…

Damian

RAG Meeting – September 2017

A great evening, 30 members kicked off the second half of the year and enjoyed a fascinating talk by Peter Hill – telling us all about his US Solar Eclipse experience!

Here are some shots of Pete in ‘full flow’…

After tea, coffee and biscuits, Andy then presented the second half – An October/November Night Sky Tour (with a few newsy bits thrown in for good measure).

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Those with binoculars and telescopes even got to use them afterwards (made a welcome change).

Damian