I along with a few fellow astronomers attended the Kielder Star Party from Thursday till Sunday. We arrived around lunchtime Thursday and set up the tent then the scope and had a beer! After dinner at the fabulous Anglers Arms pub the sky appeared to be clearing (This is something of a rarity at a star party!) so it was on with the red light torches and back to the ‘scopes….
I managed to get aligned and get a few images of the Veil Nebula but cloud came in around midnight and cut things short. Friday was a non event with cloud all day, so more beer and whisky was drunk and a film watched in the tent.
Saturday was cloudy till about 7pm, so after dinner, we prepared for another night under the stars – it was at this point that things went wrong, horribly wrong…… I went to power on the mount (HEQ5Pro) and instead of a nice BEEP, I got 3 in quick succession, not good news! I powered it all down and tried again but got the same and an error message saying the handset could not connect to the mount. It was the end of the night for me – I put the cover back over the scope and left it. Luckily my friend was having a bit more luck, so we did some visual observing for a while but my heart was not in it and I headed inside around 10:30 in a very bad mood! I did get up early morning with another mate and we had a whisky and watched Orion rise over the treeline – it really was an amazingly clear night, the first at Kielder I have seen for a long time.
Anyway, enough of my woes – it was a great weekend away (Not withstanding Saturday night), great to catch up with friends and the stars on Saturday were stunning, the Milky Way was so bright.
Here is the image of the Veil Nebula that I captured on Thursday.