Unlike some astronomical societies, we do not generally schedule public star parties, partly because the weather in this part of the world is too unpredictable! And on some clear nights, we prefer to concentrate on our own observing. However we do have fairly frequent open observing sessions at the public car park in Wellow – map below:
Wellow is a few miles south of Bath. There is no street lighting. The way to the public car park is clearly signposted off the east/west road through the village, down a short lane that turns right and then becomes rutted, opening up into a large, flat, grassy park. We generally set up our telescopes by the hedge that runs along the northern edge.
If you come to join us after the start of the observing session, please dim your car lights as soon as you can!
These observing sessions are planned 2 or 3 days in advance (when the weather forecast seems promising, and generally around the first quarter of the moon) and notified by email to those who have expressed an interest. Announcements will also be made on our chat forum, where such sessions are often discussed and arranged.
The session is then confirmed (or otherwise!) on the evening concerned via email. All are welcome at these sessions, experienced or new to observing, and whether or not you have a telescope. One of us will be happy to show you the sights on view, and/or help you with your own telescope. It is also a good idea to come to these sessions if you are thinking of getting a telescope and would like advice. We always tell people in this situation not to buy right away, but to come along to a few of these sessions, and look through other peoples’ telescopes, first!
We also hold regular “publy” meetings, for informal chat about astronomy (and occasionally other things!), generally on the second Monday of the month. All with an interest in astronomy are welcome, and again this provides a good opportunity if you are new to observing and want to learn what others do.