By Richard Harvey
On Sunday the 23rd June WOLVAS club members gathered at the society observatory for an afternoon visit. The rain kept off for the most part, and we were able to review the workings of the dome, site security, and the problems we’d had aligning the current scope to the ecliptic, (a problem that will hopefully be remedied for the winter 2019 observing season, when we should have the observatory working at full pelt, with a guided mount. We’ll keep you posted!)..
Quite a few members were making their first visit to the observatory, and commented how lucky we were to have it sited in such a secure and scenic location, (only seven miles from the city, on the Shropshire/Staffs border, but away from any intrusive lights). We met in a nearby cafe after the visit, for coffee and further astro chat.
On the 2nd July, we were pleased to see a good turn-out for our first society social event. In a private room at the Merry Hill pub, around twenty members assembled and chatted about astro (and none astro) topics, and several people bought along astro gear. David Wilson set up his 10” Orion Optics reflector on a dobsonian mount, (which we had a most successful observation session with at our Trysull observation site last year). David gave a demonstration on laser collimation (pictured).
Trevor Clifton bought along a splendid set of nitrogen filled 100x20x40 binoculars, on self-built mount, which can be seen in the group picture. With interchangeable angled eyepieces, these bins are perfect for serious practical astronomy.
There were also all the latest astronomy magazines to peruse, (including the BAA Journal, the Society For Popular Astronomy magazine, Sky at Night and Astronomy Now).
Things started winding down about 9.30 and all agreed the social event was a success, which ensured we’d book another date in the same room over the summer, possibly in August.
Our thanks to Simon and the staff of the Merry Hill pub for making us welcome.