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A Second Bite at the Cherry!

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I don't normally consider myself to be particularly lucky in that I have always had to work for everything I have and rarely win anything except a bag of dog treats at the Dog Training Club tombola but I have been extremely lucky again this weekend by having another opportunity to spend an evening with Sir Patrick Moore - and what an evening!

To start off with, how about a good view of the Moon through Sir Patrick's 15" Newtonian and an opportunity to handle Sir Patrick's beloved Dawes eyepiece (the one used by him for much of his Moon mapping) of which only three were ever made. This delightful eyepiece has a drawtube allowing a range of magnifications to be achieved and is beautifully made in brass.

Later there was an opportunity to image the Moon through the same telescope and some excellent results were achieved in difficult sky conditions but I elected instead to spend some time with Sir Patrick and his guest Hilton Ratcliffe visiting England for a week from South Africa. Hilton's papers on an alternative version of the Universe, the formation of stars, the lack of nuclear fusion in the CORE of stars and his arguments against 'dark matter' (hooray another voice in protest!) and the discussion that ensued made for a very entertaining evening indeed. You may not have heard of Hilton yet but you will in the future as his controversial views offer some compelling answers but as usual pose yet more difficult questions!

A truly splendid evening and Sir Patrick's easy manner (always with his anecdotes) will, I am sure, have made Hilton's visit to England all the more enjoyable.

But that's not all! How about watching an episode of 'The Sky at Night' on the subject of meteors with a realtime additional commentary from Patrick himself followed by the next episode of 'The Universe' with further commentary (Patrick does not like background music to these programs by the way!!) - it doesn't get much better than this .......

Yup, I am lucky indeed - and lucky to be a friend of the organiser of the visit (you know who you are - thanks!)

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Nice report Steve.

I gave Hilton details of SGL and he said he will join up when he returns home.

Spent most of my evening washing all your cups and glasses up :( while trying to get out with Ed to do some imaging.

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Blimey Steve, to amateur astronomers that would be tantamount to actually finding the end of a rainbow, and a golden pot too.

You must have earned that wonderful treat, and I understand your need to guard the secret, but I do envy you. Can't help it, sinful I know, but it has to be better than a lottery win.

Ron. :(

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