Paul Bertenshaw

Observatory Dome revamp “final”, “final” session (at least one more final session to go)!

Great Spanish weather, great banter, Lees drone droning/buzzing overhead, much progress, welcome refreshments although as usual the Fig rolls didn’t last long! Pics from Sunday 1st July 2018. Also added pics from May and March sessions.

Lee droning on… groan!
Gluons have got nothing our glue ons! 🙂
Even El Presidente can’t free me!!
Peter … free at last!

Original prototype in position. A few tweaks needed, but looks good thanks to Julian.

No, he’s not a DJ!

Ed smiling for the camera!
Peter the glue wear fashion guru!

Geoff mixing a cocktail for Terry! 😉
Ed and Heather, what a powerful combination, at least as long as Ed does as he’s told! 😉 Ha ha!

Review of RAG meeting 25/5/2018

Those members of the group not away for the bank holiday weekend turned up on a rainy evening to hear excellent talks by two of our own members: Peter Hill talked about radio meteor detection and the second talk was on meeting a UK astronomer by Paul Bertenshaw. This represents a new format to the evenings with separate before and after coffee speakers and went down well with everyone there. In the past a number of our members have used the opportunity to meet astronomers when they have given talks or hosted dinners in the UK and it was fantastic to hear Paul’s excitement as he talked about the experience and see His photos with the great man! I think I will book for the next one….

We have also made a decision to incorporate a members social time between 19:30 and 20:00 for the next three months, although everyone needs to ensure they arrive by 20:00 as the forestry centre entry barrier goes down at this time.


Observatory dome repair session 7/5/2018

A group of us met at the yard at Rosliston Forestry Centre for our latest session getting the dome ready for the observatory. Led by our stalwart observatory lead, Ed Mann, ably assisted in the coffee department by Heather, the team stuck strips of material along the seams between fabric lining on the fibreglass panels of the observatory roof, and Ed installed the first of Julian’s new prototype roller bearing assemblies for the observatory sliding telescope door. I took pictures and looked on whilst others worked hard! No room for me at the inn – or at least no room in the observatory dome for me as well as everyone else! I did not mind – I got sun-burnt yesterday at the Science Day and my arms were a bit sensitive! I know……..a man’s excuse – I may as well have said I was suffering from man-flu!


Message from Ed:

Well, once again, many thanks for all who turned out for this next stage of the refurb. We’re getting to the final stages now, with just the chain/ motor mechanism to be refitted, the internal surface to be sprayed, and any remaining fibreglass tape to be fitted (Yes, we ran out of adhesive again, but that was due to damage in the post). There is another 2.5 L pot on its way and I’ll order some more disposable brushes and gloves etc.

As Andy said some time ago, this is a great focus for the group, and we definitely had some funny moments again yesterday. Two of these for me were when you could see the realisation dawning on Damien when the milky, inoffensive copydex-like adhesive suddenly turns into a ravening beast that wants to stick you to anyone and anything around you. It’s pretty impressive glue

Secondly was a comment that Paul B made when about how quiet it had gone (we were all busy). After seeing Damien’s world record attempt to see how many things he could stick to his hands, I said ‘Maybe Damien has glued his mouth together as well’. All I heard was a muffled ‘Mmh Hmmm’ from inside the dome but it sounded funny at the time

As you can see from the photo, we were all hard at work that morning!


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).

Guess what a fellow Astro friend lent me to try out?

He lent me his Phil Dyer video camera with bits & pieces to try out. He bought it last year so he could use it at outreach events with his club Leicester Astronomy Club. The first time he tried it it he forgot the remote for his laptop, which had one of his Dads Army DVD’s in which he couldn’t eject so it kept playing! He frantically phoned his wife saying you’ll have (note the word have not will you please? ;-)) to bring the remote. Even though she was feet up watching a good film she dutifully took it to him!
Funny thing was he said, people were more interested in Dad’s Army than images of the night sky!!

Paul Bertenshaw
Events Co-Ordinator