Astronomical Society of Edinburgh
Journal 45

The Wigtown Astrofest, Nov 15-16 2002

Neil and Fiona Grubb and Dave Gavine went down to Wigtown for the second successful Astrofest, an activity organised by Helen and Ian Macdonald of the local Astronomical Society, and which seems to involve most of the local folk and businesses. It was held in the kirk hall and in the adjacent primary school, and unlike the Scottish Astronomy Weeekends it was open to the public. In the hall refreshments were provided and there were stalls of astronomy books set up by a few of the many booksellers in the village, for the Association for Astronomy Education and for John Braithwaites telescopes, besides our own ASE display. The main speaker was Neil Bone, one of our former members who is now Director of the BAA Meteor Section and a writer for Astronomy Now. He gave an outline of the predictions for the Leonids based on previous observations of the stream, explained the nature of meteor showers in general and described how to observe meteors. Neil Grubb gave a talk on imaging with webcams and was lucky enough to take good pictures of the Moon when the sky cleared late on Friday night, to add to his presentation. Dave's subject was Observing the Northern Lights, illustrated with slides of some huge displays of the last few years.

One of the highlights of the weekend was a party held in a huge barn-like hall of the local distillery, with plenty of wine, a 3-course buffet (eat as much as you like), and music provided by two immensely talented lads.

It is such a bonny place, (pity it is a bit remote), but the hospitality and enthusiasm of the Astrofest are such that we implore you to consider going to the next one in 2004.

Dave Gavine