GFO Open Fri 1st Dec

Francis Wollaston and the Transit of Venus

August and September Society News

Martin Boddy

August was a disappointing month due to the poor weather, which not only affected stargazing but also our project work at the observatory. The annual Perseid meteor shower was spoilt by the cloud cover.

The Binham talk on the 17th August was a great success, with John Ramms talk about Comets truly fascinating.

So onto September and the weather made a turn for the better, with the return of dark nights and clear skies. The autumn and winter gems are appearing in the sky. Saturn and Jupiter are always firm favourites, we were looking at Saturn through the Calver telescope and had a marvellous view with three of its moons clearly visible. One Friday at GFO the sky was incredibly clear with the Milky Way at its best overhead, so many stars were visible that it was hard to make out the constellations.

You may have seen the reports about the Northern lights this month from the Norfolk coast. A couple of our members took some great images which can be seen in our website gallery.

The last three Friday evenings have been clear at GFO allowing us to test the Calver telescope now that it has the re-coated mirror. The images have been outstanding with both deep sky and planetary objects. To have this telescope back in prime condition is a total joy.

In July I wrote of the generous donation of a Celestron telescope. We have had this running on a Friday evening and it is a great piece of kit, the computerised mount is very easy to set up quickly and the optics are very good. I am looking forward to trying some planetary imaging through it.

With the better weather lots of project work has been undertaken at GFO, the front flaps on the Calver Observatory which were rotten have been replaced.

We now have a new concrete path leading to the imaging pad and meeting room, the last piece of hard landscaping was to build a ramp to the meeting room door, making it wheel chair friendly.

We have been frantically trying to get this work finished ready for the open weekend starting October 20th.

Finishing off the new path  Laying the concrete access slope

The Radio Telescope is back up and running after software problems cause by a computer update, which messed up the operating software. 

Green Farm Observatory

The observatory is open most Friday evenings to full members.

The observatory offers various options which include viewing if clear, imaging and processing, plus radio astronomy.

Our main source of society information is via Facebook and on the Website at ( On the website under articles we will post the monthly society news to keep you up-to-date.

We are there Friday evenings at 7.30-8.00pm weather permitting.

We will indicate on the website if we intend to be there, you are welcome to pop along and if clear viewing will take place.

Please remember to bring a torch, ideally one with a red light.


Coming Events

19th October. Binham Village Hall-

Choosing your first telescope and

Radio Telescope update.


Entry £2 for members, £4 for non-members. Children up to sixteen free.

20th-22nd October. Members weekend at GFO

Two days with activities during the day and evening.

More details to follow.

SpaceX Update


Only 3 months from the first Starship launch which resulted in the destruction of the launch pad, SpaceX have completely rebuilt the pad and added a water deluge system. The deluge system looks like an upturned shower head with many thousands of gallons of water being sent into the air under the super heavy boost to suppress the heat and sound of the 33 Raptor engines. On 17th July the system was tested for the first time and it was a complete success. They are still talking about another launch in August however there is some legislation to overcome from the green brigade!
As always, watch this space.

Keith Jones (TBFS)



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