Events 1998 to 2003
The 9th Equinox Sky Camp - September 2003
The final Equinox Sky Camp to be held at the Dower House Touring Park took place between September 26th and October 4th, and it was a great success as usual. This year eight IDAS Members attended the event, and they were treated to some excellent clear skies on the evenings of the 26th and 29th. The main event day on the 27th turned out to be as good as usual, with many traders coming along to sell their wares. Next year the Sky Camp moves to the Kelling Heath Touring Park, which should be more suited to the large groups of people who want to attend this premier astronomical event.
To coincide with National Astronomy Week (NAW), IDAS held an exhibition at the Hayloft, Erewash Museum, Ilkeston. This static exhibition of Members' photographs and drawings lasted from August 2nd to September 9th. We also held an Astronomy Open Day at the Museum on Saturday August 30th, where Members were on hand to give astronomical advice, as well as demonstrate a selection of telescopes to the public. The weather was also good enough for us to show visitors projected images of the Sun, using a six inch reflector - which proved a popular attraction. Our Children's Star Trail event was also popular amongst visitors. In all, we had about 150 people attend the day, which was deemed to be very successful. Alas, due to all Members being very busy during the event no one had time to take any photographs - even though Members had brought along their cameras!
Jodrell Bank Trip - April 27th 2003
Sunday April 27th 2003 marked our fifth visit to Jodrell Bank. We had a very good response from Members with nearly 20 people being able to come along. Images of the event can be found in the Gallery.
Ilkeston Hobbies Exhibition: March 16th 2003
This year's Ilkeston Hobbies Exhibition, organised by the local rotary club was held on Sunday March 16th 2003. The event took place at the Co-operative Banqueting Suite on Wharncliffe Road, Ilkeston, and was a good opportunity for the Society to show off an excellent display of telescopes, photographs, drawings etc. to the general public. Thank you to everyone who was able to help out on the day.
Kelling Heath Weekend Trip: March 7th - 10th 2003
Eight IDAS Members and friends drove to Norfolk during the second week of March to take part in a weekend of astronomical observing. They hired a large holiday home at the Kelling Heath Touring Park, a couple of miles south of Weybourne. Everyone had hoped to do some observing during the weekend, but alas, the weather did its best to spoil the occasion. Members managed about 20 minutes of observing on the Saturday night, but the rain and wind soon put a stop to this. Overall though, the event was a great success and it is something that might well be repeated in the future.
Six enthusiastic IDAS Members attended this year's Equinox Sky Camp, which took place in early September. Good weather and good company where the order of the weekend - as usual! Even though we did get some rain during the weekend, we were treated to an awesome aurora display and some bright meteors to make up for it. An event to remember!
Shipley Park Night Watch - July 6th 2002
About one hundred people came along to this year's "Night Watch" event, and despite the cloudy weather (again!), everyone seemed to have a good time. Thanks go to John Brown, Harry Bingham, Mark Thomas, Brian Griffin, Robin Gray and Mary McNulty for helping out on the night.
The IDAS 21st Birthday Convention - May 11th 2002
IDAS celebrated its 21st birthday in 2002, and to commemorate this achievement we held a special 21st Birthday Convention. Further details about the day can be found on our convention page.
The 7th Equinox Sky Camp 2001
Four IDAS Members attended this year's Equinox Sky Camp. Rain, Sun, and clear skies were the order of the weekend, and everyone had a good time.
Shipley Park Night Watch - July 7th 2001
This year's Shipley Park Night Watch took place on the evening of July 7th, and even though it was cloudy during the event, overall it seemed like it was a success. A big thanks to Mat Peel, Harry Bingham, John Brown and Mark Thomas who helped during the evening.
F.A.S. Convention: September 30th 2000
John Brown and Mark Thomas were the only Members who managed to make it to this year's F.A.S. Convention, which took place on September 30th. Even so, it turned out to be a good day out. This annual event had changed its venue to the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories in Oxfordshire, and this certainly seemed to be a good move. Facilities were certainly better than the Cambridge venue, and a good mix of speakers had been organised.
The highlight of the day was Professor Mike Edmunds' talk entitled "Sir Isaac Remembers...". Mike obviously has thespian aspirations as he was dressed up in period costume and he took on the role of Sir Isaac Newton. Sir Isaac was in the process of sorting out some of his old letters and correspondence and he proceeded to tell his audience a variety of anecdotes, and he reminisced over some of his lifetime achievements. This was a truly superb performance, and it would have been worth driving two hours just to see this one talk. Both John and Mark report that the other talks they saw were also very good. Overall, another success for the F.A.S. and congratulations to them for another superb day out.
The 6th Equinox Sky Camp 2000
A handful of Members attended this year's Equinox Sky Camp, which took place between September 22nd and October 1st.
Shipley Park Night Watch - July 8th 2000
The Shipley Park Night Watch took place on the evening of July 8th, and despite poor weather 102 people came along to the event. Clear skies may not have been available on the night, but Mark Thomas' slide show made up for some of the disappointment.
Lincoln A.S. 40th Anniversary Convention: October 9th 1999
The Lincoln Astronomical Society held a very successful 40th Anniversary Convention on October 9th, and a carload of IDAS members were there. In total there were four quality speakers at the event, and the subjects covered the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and how Einstein's theory of general relatively was proved during solar eclipses. The highlights of the day were Dr David Hughes, who talked enthusiastically about asteroids, and Dr Alan Chapman, who discussed amateur astronomy in the Victorian era. A spellbinding performance from Alan as usual! A word of congratulations go to the Lincoln Astronomical Society for planning a very successful event.
F.A.S. Convention: October 2nd 1999
The F.A.S. Autumn Convention took place on October 2nd, at the Cavendish Laboratories in Cambridge. Three Members (Tony Gibbons, John Brown and Mark Thomas), went to the event and it was a very enjoyable day out. All the speakers were first class, but probably Dr John Mason's talk about August's solar eclipse was the highlight of the day. His amusing, anecdotal review about the event was a real treat. As usual, there were a number of good trade stands at the event, and it was here that the Society purchased a number of new books for the Society Library.
There are a couple of sad points to mention though. Firstly, the attendance was down on previous years, which was a real shame - people do not know what they are missing! Secondly, we also learned that this was the last F.A.S. Convention to be held in Cambridge Next year the event moves to the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories in Didcot, Oxfordshire. There were a number of gripes from some of the audience when this news was made public, though this probably had something to do with the fact that they lived near Cambridge! Even though it is sad that we won't be going back to Cambridge, a new venue should allow other people to attend the convention, who would not normally be able to make the journey to Cambridge. One thing is sure, IDAS Members will be attending next year's event - as usual.
Equinox Sky Camp: September 1999
A number of Members attended the Equinox Sky Camp between September 10th to 12th, and it seems that the weather was not too bad for them this year. No doubt they'll all have something more to say about the event at the September meeting.
Shipley Park Night Watch: August 14th 1999
This year's Night Watch took place on the evening of August 14th at Shipley Park. This year the event was located at the Mapperley Reservoir car park, and it appears that the event was well attended by the public. The sky remained fairly clear for Members to show off the night sky to the public, and overall the event was a success. A big thanks go to Mark Thomas and Steve Hudson for helping out at the event.
Visit to Derby A.S. Observatory: October 30th 1998
Our last trip of 1998 took place on October 30th, when Members went to visit the Derby Astronomical Society and their impressive observatory. Alas, the weather was very poor so we were not able to look through their telescope, but the evening was still a very interesting one, and we hope you all enjoyed it. We wish to thank Anthony Southwell of the Derby A.S. for inviting us along for the evening.
F.A.S. Convention: October 3rd 1998
A handful of Members went to the F.A.S. Convention on October 3rd 1998, and as expected the day turned out to be very good indeed. The event took place at the Cavendish Laboratories, not far from The Institute of Astronomy, in Cambridge. As usual, there was a good line-up of speakers this year, which appealed to all tastes. Visitors were treated to numerous trade stands, and by the looks of them they were doing brisk business. A Member who wishes to remain anonymous has said that John Brown is reported to have hung his nose over a boxed set edition of the Millennium Star Atlas, but he couldn't find anyone with a credit card willing to purchase it for him! Nice set of books, shame about the price!
Equinox Sky Camp 1998
By all accounts, the Equinox Sky Camp turned out to be a very successful event, with four IDAS members going along to the proceedings. It came as a bit of a shock (especially to this editor), suddenly seeing IDAS members being interviewed on the BBC TV's Countryfile programme. These IDAS members - they always keep turning up on the telly without warning! The programme explained what went on at the Sky Camp, and we are sure the item gave some good publicity to amateur astronomy in general. The Saturday evening apparently turned out to be clear, and it seems everyone had a good time. Let's hope we can get more Members to go next year.
Jodrell Bank Trip - June 1998
Our Jodrell Bank trip which took place on June 27th was considered a great success, with around 18 people enjoying a good day out. Besides visiting the planetarium and exhibition area, we were given a special guided tour by Iain Morrision, one of the resident astronomers. We were shown around numerous laboratories and the main radio telescope control room. The afternoon ended with an enjoyable slide show. This was a really nice day out and we hope everyone enjoyed themselves.