March 9th Public Obs – at the old place!

We have an engagement at Dinton Pastures in order to fulfil the BSA Science and Technology Week programme. It is solely outdoors and therefore will not require the preparation of talks. We will be completely controlled by the weather, either regarding cloud cover making it impossible, or ground conditions which will affect choice of exact location. For  simplicity punters will arrive by car at the normal main car-park. Those who know Dinton will know that a lot of brush has been removed so we do not know to what extent car headlights will penetrate to the scopes.

There’s a few complications. I know how members want everything taken into account so bear with. This is our first time here for a while and times may have changed. Here’s a list.

1. Car-parking is by meter at all times. Expect to pay £4.50 (coins in slot) for three hours, and keep the receipt. Ringgo sends VAT receipts by email. BSA* have funds to cover reimbursement.

2. Don’t ask about parking near the observing. That would be (literally) a step too far. But if we return in the future the problem will be worked on. I promise you won’t have to carry stuff very far but if you use a trolley, big wheels would be best over grass.

3. The official ‘hours’ are 7pm to 9pm. But we know with a 3-day-old moon we start setting up at sunset to be in time.

4. As far as I know the gate will be closed at 9pm. If you need more time to leave, so be it, leave early.

5. The BSA has an eventbrite website which issues tickets (100 visitors expected at the moment), but the park is a public space and no-one will be checking. Our aim is to entertain as many as possible, whether passers-by or gatecrashers as was the case in the old days.

Please get involved with your scopes, binos-on-tripods, whatever. If you do not have a scope come and help in a yellow vest (provided). Whatever happens regard the weather with optimism. The worst thing will be if everyone stays home and the clouds clear!

I have left the possibility of clouds/rain ’til last. The BSA* have an email cancellation procedure but I requested they explain that if we only see clouds it will be cancelled. If that is definite I/we will be intercepting punters before they waste money on car-parking

*BSA British Science Association