Winchester Weekend 2017

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    What a great weekend that was; I’m exhausted and still very full from the conveyor belt of cooked meals (and no exercise).

    It was lovely to meet so many interesting people and put faces and personalities to the names. And what a fascinating range of talks and speakers. I’ve tried to think which of the talks was the highlight of my weekend and it really is very difficult to say; if I was pushed, the one which does stick out for me was Richard Fleet this afternoon talking about his meteor work and noctilucent clouds – he’s motivated me to get my meteor camera up and running again.

    If anyone has any photographs of the weekend, please make sure you send them to Ann Davies, or put them on your Member Page.


    [Image: Jeremy Shears (left), Professor Didier Queloz (centre), and the amazing Ann Davies (right)]

    Jeremy Shears

    It was go to see you James – and the many other members who were there. Full marks to Ann Davies, Alan Dowdell and their willing band of helpers for organising such an enjoyable event.

    And we had two nights under clear skies! There were about 20 telescopes set up on Saturday night and I had the chance to look through most of them. It was almost a mini-star party!


    Nick James

    It was a fantastic weekend with brilliant weather, excellent talks and great company.

    Those at Winchester will know that I had set myself the challenge of imaging all four of the relatively bright comets around at the moment even though the pesky Moon was almost full. 41P and 2015V2 are the subject of our current Observing Challenge and they were relatively easy since they were near the zenith, 2017 E4 was a bit more difficult since it was only around 15 deg up at dawn and 2015 ER61 was the hardest of the bunch since it was only 5 deg up when the sky was getting very bright. I used a Megrez 72 refractor at f/4.8 with a Canon EOS600D on a Vixen Sphynx mount set up on the lower football field. I’m pleased to say that after an alarm clock malfunction on the Saturday I managed to get them all on the Sunday. The attached montage shows them all at the same scale. A full-res version of this picture is available via the link.

    Andy Wilson

    I concur that it was a great weekend, many thanks to Ann Davies, Alan Dowdell, Roger Pickard, and everyone else who were involved in the organisation.

    Tough to pick out the best speaker, but I was very impressed by Prof Giles Hammond stepping in for the Gravitational Waves talk, you really could not tell that he stepped in for someone else. I also enjoyed Dr Poshak Gandhi’s talk on black holes as he engaged with the audience and did not simply use PowerPoint. Lots of other great talks but I won’t list them all.


    Mark Gray

    I’ve uploaded a selection of photos, including the group photos, to Flickr:

    Jeremy Shears

    That’s a wonderful collection of photos, Mark. Thanks so much for taking them and for posting them online.

    I especially liked the nighttime scene on the observing field.

    But what a difference a fortnight makes: at Winchester we enjoyed summer temperatures, whereas now we are back to winter. Mind you, the seeing last night was better than I have experienced for a long time, with wonderful views of Jupiter and the GRS though my telescope.

    Thanks again for your post,

    Jeremy Shears

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