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No 53 - July 2007

Glen Lyon weekend 16-18 March 2007

or light hearted astronomy

Two late arrivals at Meggernie eventually got there just after midnight after attending the Edinburgh society's AGM. The drive up was not too bad - clear spells and rain showers. Quite a few stars as well so there was loads of hope. Even at Killin the skies were clear and so filled us with even more hope. The run over the pass on Ben Lawers was disappointing inasmuch as it was now officially raining! There were a few stars but also there was rain - not good for observing sadly.

Malcolm Gibb, our host, welcomed us and after we disposed of the bedding gear - found ourselves in the kitchen which fast became the 'snug', and some 'sampling' of refreshments took place. Much story-telling was made with even more laughs, when two die-hard observers came in from the cold and informed us that we were wasting time talking as we should be outside observing. This was a blatant lie as the 'polar-aligned' raindrops were clearly visible on his glasses! The hilarity continued until 3-ish according to the clock on the wall ... time for bed.

After an excellent breakfast the place certainly thinned out a great deal - people off out exploring the delights of Aberfeldy. The people who remained were treated to a fine display of how to take a picture of a tea-urn. A very valuable lesson for astro-photography! In actual fact, Danny was showing us how to use the DSLR software - an aid for remote focussing of a digital SLR.

The people who remained were entertained by Ken Thomas who had ASE's solar telescope - he was seen running along a mountain track - solar 'scope in hand - following a break in the cloud! Saturday evening started with a fine meal. Congratulations have to be given to Martin and his team in the kitchen.

Everyone fed and watered, things hotted up for the Meggernie Mastermind competition.

Neil Grubb was our question master and the group was split into 4 teams captained by Horst, Bill, Ken and Danny. Some light-hearted complaints were raised about the amount of kids' TV programme questions asked, especially as there were teams with nobody under 40! It was a close-run event with Bill's team snatching defeat by one point! Congratulations to Horst's team for winning the event.

One question remains though: How come Fiona has been on the winning team 3 times in a row now? Hmm something dodgy here methinks! After the quiz we settled down to watch a few DVDs - seeing as the weather wasn't clear enough to get the 'scopes out.

2:20 am and the snow started!
2:30 am and Douglas appeared - thankfully without fangs and a black cloak!!
After another fine breakfast and clearing the place up we dodged snow-showers and got the cars packed up for the trip home. AFA did themselves proud - a great weekend, great food and great company. The AFA weekends are truly well worth attending! Finally - HOOBLAND? (you had to be there!)

Iain McEachran

This article is re-printed from the Scottish Astronomers Group Magazine (May 2007), with permission by the author. It has in the meantime also been re-printed in Ad Astra, the journal of the Association of Falkirk Astronomers. Malcolm Gibb writes in his editorial:

The annual astronomy weekend at the Scout Outdoor Centre in Glen Lyon took place in March and was attended by 21 persons from Falkirk, Stirling, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Port Glasgow. It was unfortunately not blessed with clear skies apart from about ten minutes on the Saturday, but it was also raining at the time. We had two green laser pointers and two responsible members put on a laser show with Saturn appearing in the finale. Iain McEachran, who is now President of the Astronomical Society of Edinburgh, has written a humorous account of the weekend. Although we didn't see much in the way of clear skies, the DVD films, the hotly contested Meggernie quiz, the visit to the distillery and of course the food, a big thank you to all who participated and helped. We are holding another one this year on 12th to 14th October, so get your name in early, the café with the chocolate cake will be open then. (Ad Astra, 8.1, p.2, Spring 2007.)


Cover page

Solar observing

More on cooling the Earth

Minor planet (7170) Livesey

Recent observations


Two BAA meetings in Scotland

Glen Lyon weekend 16-18 March 2007

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