After losing our scheduled speaker, a good friend of the Society, Mary McIntyre, stepped into the breach with an excellent talk entitled “Shadows in Space and the Stories They Tell”.

Starting with Earth, and the glories of Crepuscular Rays and the The Belt of Venus, Mary began a journey through the Solar System, demonstrating how the shadows thrown by objects are full of information about their dimensions and nature.

Next was the Moon and some simple techniques using basic trigonometry, to measure the shadows in craters, unlocking secrets of the lunar landscape gleaned from publicly available high resolution images, as Mary observed – a great activity for the quiet days over Christmas !

On to Mars and Saturn, and an exploration of Pareidolia, the tendency of human beings to see anthropomorphic images in nature.

Many images of the outer planets, especially Saturn, and the phenomena created by light and shadow were just stunning !

Fascinating and practical in equal measure, Mary’s talk was a wonderful insight into the natural world and our Universe.

You can follow Mary in various ways and you will find all her contact details on her website:

Also her very interesting blog:

Nigel Goodman