Mr. Bob Mizon from the organisation Campaign for Dark Skies (CfDS), and who is well known to our Society for his past lectures, gave us a talk on the evening of 18th June titled "10 objects to observe in light polluted skies." Bob lectures to schools and has a mobile planetarium. He was awarded an MBE four years ago, and lives in Wimbourne in Dorset, which has seen a huge improvement in lighting in this area recently.
Before giving us the ten targets Bob talked about the new LED lights that are being used which produce a daylight effect. This is not good as it affects nocturnal animals by destroying the dark environment they require to survive, and there is no protection for this problem in law. The lecture continued with the ten targets as follows:-
Target 1 NGC 752 a feint open cluster in Andromeda which can be seen in binoculars and low power 'scopes.
Target 2 Gamma Andromeda the very bright double star Almach, one star blue (gives a green effect) and one yellow star.
Target 3 Kembles' Cascade a star chain in Camelopardilis called the Wristwatch NGC 1502.
Target 4 Albireo the best double star in the winter sky only, catalogued by John Herschel in 1781. The colours are again subjective, but look orange and blue.
Target 5 Y Canum Venaticorum a variable giant red star (a carbon star) named the King Charles star.
Target 6 NGC 457 in Cassiopea, sometimes called the Owl Cluster. Cassiopea and HD 7902 are not part of the cluster.
Target 7 R & T Corona Borealis two variable stars. R goes to magniture 6 but has faded now, and T called the blaze star which flares every decade it is a red giant, and is due to flare about now.
Target 8 ∑ 2398 Draconis this is a double star and will move in the head of the dragon.
Target 9 Stock 4 a double cluster (named by someone called Stock?) this is up to the right of the double cluster in Perseus.
Target 10 NGC 7331 a spiral galaxy in Pegasus, located above the scheat star.
Bob gave us the sizes of the objects as well as their magnifications and positions in the sky.
He went on to say that the CNE 2005 Act of Parliament was passed to stop obtrusive lighting, but some things were excluded and it was up to us to help in this respect.
Bath University have had their sports lighting changed and Wessex Astronomy Society had some local lighting changed.
DEFRA believe that Astronomers are not a special case, so Bob gave us ways to help fight light pollution, and lots of other unusual facts known and unknown about the effects of light pollution.
The floor was then open to questions from members. Bob was thanked for a very interesting lecture, and we hope to hear him again in the future.