IW Planning Applications

Suburban Milky Way
The Milky Way On My Doorstep – Copyright Chad Powell

A lot of you will know that I have been pretty busy lately with the IW Dark Skies project.

You can follow what we are up to at Darkwightskies.com

Well, I need some help – if you care about this Island, please take a look at our latest post and read about two plans which, if implemented as they stand, will seriously affect our skies.

Feel free to comment on the post there or perhaps you’d like to make your feelings known to the IW Planning Department or the companies concerned.

Whatever you choose, we need your help.

Isle of Wight Dark Skies Initiative

A group of us from Vectis Astronomical Society (VAS) has been preparing to submit an application for Dark Sky Status here on the Isle of Wight.

Well the time has now come to make this initiative public so we have arranged a meeting as detailed here, here, here and, for those who can’t be bothered to click on the links(!), just below here.


Vectis Astronomical Society (VAS) is pleased to invite you to:

The Public Launch of

The Isle of Wight Dark Sky Initiative

Newport Parish Church Centre, Town Lane, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 1JU

7.15 pm on Friday 24th May 2013

Bob Mizon – a senior member of the British Astronomical Association and Campaign for Dark Skies, and Martin Morgan-Taylor – board member of the International Dark Skies Association will give a presentation entitled

“Dark Skies – Dark Future?”

This will be followed by a short presentation outlining details of the VAS application for International Dark Sky Status for the Isle of Wight

Our Island is already well known for its dark skies, as celebrated each March by the “Isle of Wight Star Party” attended by around 100 observational astronomy enthusiasts and professionals. This event has featured in recent editions of Sky at Night and Astronomy Now magazines.

Professor Bill Martin of the University of Hertfordshire Centre for Astrophysics and Atmospheric Instrumentation Research has operated a dark sky monitoring station on the Island for several years, and has stated:

“with the data we have from the Isle of Wight you potentially have the best combination of dark skies and clear weather in the UK.”

Most types of pollution are being tackled but, so far, light pollution seems to have had little attention even though it can affect all our health and well-being.

VAS is committed to reduce light pollution on the Isle of Wight and believes that achieving International Dark Sky status for the island through the International Dark Sky Association will:

Strengthen the island’s tourism industry Improve the well-being of the population Reduce environmental impact Enable further education and scientific research projects Recognize our Island as one of the most environmentally friendly and enjoyable places to be on earth.

Please send letters of support to:

Isle of Wight Dark Skies Initiative, 35 Forest Road, Winford, Isle of Wight, PO36 0JY


Sir Patrick Alfred Caldwell-Moore, CBE, FRS, FRAS (4 March 1923 – 9 December 2012)

patrick moore

The BBC has just announced the death of Sir Patrick Moore.


A group of his friends and staff said in a statement the broadcaster “passed away peacefully at 12.25pm this afternoon”.
It added: “After a short spell in hospital last week, it was determined that no further treatment would benefit him, and it was his wish to spend his last days in his own home, Farthings, where he today passed on, in the company of close friends and carers and his cat Ptolemy.


Anyone with even a passing knowledge or interest in astronomy will surely know the important contribution Sir Patrick made during his life – His Wikipedia entry tells the story far better than I ever will.

Sir Patrick, an honorary member of the Vectis Astronomical Society for many years, will be sadly missed by astronomers everywhere.

Saturn

Using the setup described below in my last post, I have now started exploring the world of astrophotography and my first attempt is shown below. To say I am pleased with it is a bit of an understatement!

Saturn2

The original images were captured as a .mov file on a Mac laptop and then processed by an image stacking programme (Keith’s Image Stacker). A little fiddling and out came the image you see.

For the more technically minded. the camera was plugged into a 2x Barlow lens which in turn was inserted into the Vectis Astronomical Society’s Meade LX200.