Monday, 5 September 2016

The moving month of August.

Our new house ... Third in from the right.. Preseli Hills in the background... just joking!

Recently we moved house, and due to the chaos that ensued I have been unable to sit at the computer and write up any blog posts.

Today is the first day that I have sat at the desktop for maybe three weeks.

In that three weeks Helen and I have moved all our worldly possessions some 30 miles north of the county. It took several van loads to finally shift all of our shackles.

We are now settling down in our new home...  When people say moving house is stressful, I know what they mean.!

First job... where to site an observatory....  haha !

Even though house moving had been much on our mind, in that time we did manage a few good August evenings of observing.

The nights that stand out where the evenings spent at the wonderful Fforest Gather 2016, near Cilgerran.

Thanks to the kind invite of owners James, Sian and their son Jackson, Helen and I were able to host several observing sessions.

Out of the six possible evenings that were booked, three were clear enough to do some observing.

The first evening revealed a beautiful near full Moon, a fairly clear Saturn and a slightly murky looking Mars.

The big old Moon was the one that stood out, and a line of eager curious astronomers quickly formed.

Several children and adults, (big HELLO to George, Joanne and Linda), could be heard saying "wow" as they looked on at the Moon.

The second night's viewing wasn't that good, but at least a few people managed to see big bright Vega and a quick peek at Arcturus....

Even though the evening was mostly cloud filled it didn't dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd, and many questions were asked about all things astronomical.

The last evening was by far the best for observing, Saturn and Mars stood out well, though Saturn was the main attraction.

Waiting for the star light
For over an hour there was a continuous line to catch a glimpse of the ringed planet.

The children especially loved looking at this most beautiful of night time gems.

Between 9.00pm and 11.30pm the telescope was in constant use, mainly trained on Saturn.

So many people turned up on that last evening, we should have brought another telescope..!

Next time for sure..

Thank You James, Sian and Jackson and all the Fforest elves for making Helen and I feel so welcome...

You have some beautiful clear skies and night views at Fforest farm....

An astronomer's paradise....


Time to gather pencil and paper.

For the next few weeks I'm hoping to draw some sketches of Saturn before it dips too far into the west.

With luck I might even draw a few of Mars...  

After that it will be galaxy and nebulae season for the big scope.

I've never really tried my hand at sketching Deep Space objects....
It should be interesting to see the results as viewed through "Oscar" the big Dobsonian.

Clear September Skies 

Mark & Helen


  1. delighted to read this Mark and here's wishing you and Helen much happiness in your new home third in from the right. AMB.

  2. nice one, wishing you both much happiness in your new abode, warm regards.

  3. You moved?! So I moved closer to where you used to live, and you moved closer to where I used to live! How weird is that! I haven't seen you and Helen for sooo long now, years in fact, so please give Helen a big cwtch from me and if you like, drop me a line on dancingmoth1 at gmail dot com!