Marathons in the Snow

Frozen students gather round the warm glow of Martin’s 8"

This year has been a particularly bad one for observing the night sky as the weather has been consistently awful, with good clear skies happening intermittently and at times when no one is available.  Nevertheless, five startled students were able to attend the all night Messier marathon session on the 5th March at short notice. (A belated attempt to see all 110 objects on Charles Messier’s famed list of “Objects to avoid whilst looking for comets"). All braved the elements at the Brecon Beacons mountain centre where crystal clear skies soon turned to 2 hours of unceasing snowfall. Undaunted we awaited a clear period and were rewarded around 2:00am with lovely clear skies enabling us to observe 36 Messier objects, a handful of other deep sky splendours and the planets Mars, Saturn and Jupiter before the clouds returned to unburden their snow on us once again.In between observations we managed to throw snowballs, make snowmen and banish the cold from our extremities by impromptu “pogoing” in punk concert fashion. Not a bad night overall, just wish it had lasted longer. What a way to “enjoy” science! Communication by 3:00am was not our strongest point.

written by Martin Griffiths 


    Ben wilkes

    March 8, 2006

    Rocking night with the Nublulae. We have all now bonded in a new way, including martins 8″.


    March 8, 2006

    I must say Martin’s rather old fashioned and out-of-touch sounding comment “impromptu ‘pogoing’ in punk concert fashion” reminded me strongly of Stephen Fry’s response when questioned about Rachel Stevens: “Who IS this so-called ‘Rachel Stevens'”.

    Mark Banerji

    March 8, 2006

    Ah I miss the banter

    Apparently Lorraine Kelly has recently discovered ‘Astronimee’ oh yes. Ofering fellow observers cheese and wine as well as tips on how to accessorise with their Meade.

    Also Myleene klass of ex Hearsay fame has stated that she is doing a degree in Planetary science. So will she be producing songs with astronomically correct lyrics .

    Im sure they would warm up any observation session.


    March 8, 2006

    I can see that the best way to get comments on a blog is not, as I had thought in my rather lofty academic manner, engaging in bleeding-edge issues in science and society, but to pander to student interests such as Rachel Stevens, Myleene Klass and Martin’s 8″.

    There’s a lesson here for us all. One looks forward to future posts such as Jennifer Lopez takes her drawers off at Kitt Peak.

    vincent whiteman

    March 8, 2006

    yes it was a very special bondage session between us all. i look forward to more good times spent with that 8″. and the messier marathon part 2, the revenge of the cloud.

    Rob Miller

    March 8, 2006

    One looks forward to future posts such as Jennifer Lopez takes her drawers off at Kitt Peak

    I guess it would be a way of bringing astronomy to the Lumpenproleteriat


    March 8, 2006

    that’s a very big tool.

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