2nd Isle of Wight Star Party, 26-30th March 09

It was the second Isle of Wight Star party last week. I could only get there for the early part of Saturday night as I had to be up and out early Sunday morning, but the weather was great. It was mostly clear, if cold and windy. I spent my limited time there observing with Owen Brazell and his new 15″ Obsession UC which is a super scope (I want one, I can’t afford one, especially as the exchange rate is now so bad; thanks in part to the Americans, the banks and HM Government f***ing up the economy between them).
We observed (well, ‘looked at’ is probably a more accurate description) some bright lollipops: M42, M78, M43, M51, Thor’s Helmet (which was partially obscured by cloud) and Hubble’s Variable Nebula. HVN was incredibly bright through the 15″ and one side the right side (as we were looking at it, with the ‘head’ at the top) much brighter than the left. Fan shaped. A fascinating object.
By this time I had to leave and get home as I had an early start Sunday and the clocks were going forward (why can’t they leave them alone? There’s nothing wrong with GMT that a little education of the thicker sections of the public who think that BST gets us, magically somehow, extra daylight, can’t cure.)

The 2nd IW Star Party was an outstanding success, with all four nights being clear, unlike the washout of last year. Hopefully this bodes well for the future.