As 2019 dawns we are already witnessing some amazing astronomical events – the New Horizons encounter with Ultima Thule and the China mission Chang’e 4.
2018 ended for YAS with our observatory relocated to Beetle Bank Farm and work under way to recommission.
End of an Era
The YAS Rufforth Observatory is no more!
The remaining PortaKabin unit has been dismantled and suitable materials recovered for recycling or appropriate disposal. The remaining rotted wood has been burnt. Here you can see Martin Whipp in nostalgic mood watching the burning embers – Martin was there at the beginning and at the end.
October in Brief…..
AGM and Informal, A Moving Experience, Knavesmire Exceeds and Honest Stargazing
October 5th Meeting #1002 AGM and Informal
The AGM was the first proper general meeting since becoming a charity. There were just four items of business:
- Minutes of AGM 1st December, 2017
- Trustees’ Annual Report
- Trustees’ Annual Financial Report
- Trustee Elections
Disappointment, Pride, Frantic, Tension, Emotional, Fantastical and Cloudy. Just seven words that sum up September for YAS
Thursday, September 6th
We learn that the Planning Officer is recommending refusal for our planning application for the move of the Observatory to Beetle Bank Farm. It is disappointing that they do no recognise the special circumstances for locating in the Green Belt.
It’s nearly here. The new season with so much to look forward to and challenges ahead
The 1000th Meeting!
After a lot of planning and some ups and downs, the YAS 1000th meeting will take place this coming Friday, 7th September at 19:00 . Don’t forget that, as a YAS member, you do not need a ticket but non members do and they can be obtained free of charge from St Peter’s.
There will be 4 short lectures showcasing the best of YAS and a free buffet. Enormous thanks to St Peter’s School for hosting this event for us.
Just a few items this month as we reach the end of the current season. July saw the last two formal talks and a first for YAS. Don’t worry though as we kick off the new season in September in style and have the Annual YAS Perseid BBQ to look forward to in the meantime. Of course probably the most important thing to face YAS for many years is the proposed move to Beetle Bank and the Planning Application.
Lunar Eclipse Night
Friday 27th July saw the first YAS event at Beetle Bank Farm, the much anticipated Lunar Eclipse Evening. Dave Armeson gave his talk on the Solar System which went down well. Martin Whillock followed this up with some demonstrations to illustrate the scale of the Solar System.
Derek and Suzanne Farmer brought along the ‘crater maker’ and children of all ages had a go.
Graham Moore entertained small groups with info on his array of telescopes and he finished the evening with a short talk on Astrophotography
The special event and observation session at Beetle Bank Farm was to learn about and hopefully experience the total lunar eclipse visible that evening. Unfortunately, the sky was 100% cloudy with some rain and thunder for the entire evening so we saw nothing. However, there were some good talks and telescope displays, and fun space activities for the youngsters. We did kind of see the eclipse due to a live hook-up we established to the Dubai Astronomy Group in the United Arab Emirates. Over 45 members of the public came to Beetle Bank and nobody asked for their money back so that can’t be bad!
You will have realised by now that we are moving the YAS Observatory to Beetle Bank Farm (more info below and this is taking up much of the committee and trustee’s time.
We have also organised our first event at the new location on 27th July.
The YAS Annual BBQ is ON – more details below on all these.
Most of the behind the scenes activity in May was related to the issue of relocating the observatory. We have a number of sites to which we may be able to move, none of which ticks all our boxes. Negotiations with the owner of our first choice are imminent. There will be an update in the July Bulletin.
We should like to express many thanks to Martin Whipp for his work with YAS in various roles over many years. Martin recently resigned as Chairman, but will continue as an active member of YAS
The committee recently met and agreed to continue without a Chairman for the time being.
Most of the activity by society members over the last month has been focused on searching for a new site to which we can move the observatory. We have also issued a press release and individuals have been interviewed on radio and local TV in which we appealed for help in finding a new site. So far, no-one has offered help as a result of these appeals but we do have two potential sites that have been visited on at least two occasions and are under seriously consideration. We also have two more as possible fall-back options.
The main news is that after 10 successful years, the tenure of our observatory site near Rufforth is coming to an end and we need to find an alternative location.
The society has recently been awarded charitable status, and we are hoping that this move, though challenging, will provide the perfect opportunity for us to grow and offer the public improved access to and facilities at our observatory.
The society has shortlisted alternative sites for consideration but would welcome any suggestions or offers from anyone with a parcel of land onto which we could place our portable observatory. What is needed is a dark sky site that could allow access by invited members of the public, with good views in primarily the arc from east through south to west and not too far from York.
If you think you may be able to help, please contact Derek Farmer, the society secretary by email at firstname.lastname@example.org