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Inpromptu Observation Evening

20 January 2024

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What happened when 12 amateur astronomers with six telescopes got together under the Dorset night sky on 18 January

Under the ancient canopy of Duncliffe Woods, we gathered for an observation evening. Far from Shaftesbury's lights, the celestial expanse unfurled its cosmic wonders. Telescopes pointed skyward, unveiling distant galaxies and nebulae.

Laughter danced (and shivers in the -5 temperature) among the trees as enthusiasts marvelled at Jupiter's moons as well as deep sky objects, including M42, shining bright in two scopes, one using a moon filter to brighten the galaxy.

The astrophotographers among us had their equipment buzzing and tracking. See some images below.

The night united novices and seasoned astronomers. Whispers of constellations painted stories across the obsidian canvas, etching memories in the hearts of us all.

If you want to be part of the next one, contact Colin, who will let you know about membership. See our programme of scheduled activities in 2024.

You can opt to be added to the bustling WhatsApp group, we take the opportunity of a clear sky to organise an impromptu observation evening, just like this one.


David Simmonds
Using a stack of 60 second exposure images from Thursday night and some previous exposures, David has created this stunning image of M42, the Orion Nebula.
David Simmonds
Can you see the 'running man?'
Gareth Ayre
Quick shot of M108/surfboard with the 'cheating' telescope.
Jo Wild-Bridges
Shot on an iPhone on a tripod. Orion appearing behind the trees.