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PICKERINGS PASTURE - FRI 23 NOV 2001

PICKERINGS PASTURE VISITORS CENTRE

MERSEY VIEW ROAD

WIDNES

ASTRONOMY EVENING

FRIDAY 23 NOVEMBER 2001

7:30 PM 9:30 PM

Members of the Liverpool Astronomical Society, (founded in 1881), will display several telescopes for viewing the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars, if clear. There will also be an illustrated talk on astronomy.

This event is free, and is open to all members of the public.

For more information contact:-

Halton Ranger Service 0151 425 4706

Liverpool Astronomical Society

Geoff Regan, Observatory Director 0151 292 7165

Dave Owen, Sidewalk Astronomers 07778 454524

EVENT REPORT - Dave Owen

From the morming of Fri 23 Nov 01 the weather looked almost certain to be 100% cloudy and, possibly, raining.

At 19:34 I arrived with Dave Sakho. Geoff Regan was absent due to flu. The Halton Ranger, Rob Smith, was phoning my mobile phone as I walked into the building. We were 4 minutes late, due to a bit of confusion at a roundabout and my inexplicable craving for something to eat before the event started.

I did a slide show from 20:00 to 20:40. My six inch f4 telescope was then set up inside. One of the 6 children (18 adults were also present, as well as the Ranger, me and Dave made a total of 27) seemed keen on using the telescope outside. Once set up by the front door and focussed on street lights across the river the telescope was photographed by the Ranger. Hopefully, these digital photos can be put on the LASSA website soon.

The 6 inch, the only telescope present on this dry but 100% cloudy evening, was then taken about 30 yards closer to the river, in order to get a view of the Runcorn Road Bridge. This proved to be quite difficult to spot, despite being only about a mile away, as the usual bridge lights were off. Where is the gratuitous light pollution when you need it? The only eyepiece readily available was my 40mm keller. Even fully racked out it was not quite in focus. An extension tube soon cured that problem but the extra weight made the scope top heavy. The makeshift solution to this was to place the aluminium collimating eyepiece and three small stones, within arms reach, on the inside rim of the tube, behind the primary mirror.

To finish off the evening I powered up the LAS laptop PC to show what the sky would look like if the clouds were not there. Someone asked about the bright Comet Linear 2000 WM1. Unfortunately, the LAS laptop did not know where this comet was. My recently acquired Psion Revo pocket PC however showed that it had just crossed into Aries.

Things began to wind down after 21:00 and me and Dave finally left at about 21:45. The next Sidewalk event at this venue, hopefully with clearer weather, has been set for Fri 22 Nov 2002. The Sidewalk team is now taking a Xmas break and will next meet up at Leasowe Lighthouse on Fri 25 Jan 2002 at the usual time, 19:30.

HOW TO FIND PICKERINGS PASTURE - Maps from www.multimap.com

How to find Pickerings Pasture - Map 1

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