Sark Astronomy Society (SAstroS) ran a very enjoyable Starfest over the first weekend in October, perfectly timed to coincide with the new moon to offer the best chances of really dark, starry skies. Two guest astronomers joined local stargazers for the weekend: David Le Conte from Guernsey and Bob Bowers from Scotland. David Le Conte is an astrophysicist who has worked at observatories all over the world as well as on the space programme for NASA. A fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, he returned to Guernsey when he retired and is a leading figure in La Société Guernesiaise’s Astronomy Section. David gave a fascinating account of the work of the Section including the creation of the observatory in Guernsey. (This is particularly interesting to star gazers in Sark as SAstroS are raising funds to build an observatory here.) Bob, also a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, gave two talks, one on the basics of observing the night sky and another on his personal search for a huge telescope built by William Herschel at the end of the 18th century. The skies were clear on both Friday and Saturday nights allowing for some excellent star gazing led by Bob, proof that the longer nights as winter draws closer aren’t all bad news!
Pictures by Sue Daly L – R; Astronomers David Le Conte & Bob Bowers, The Milky Way above Stocks Hotel