Wow.  Up in the clouds.  Bluebells, an orrery and held spell bound once more by the great Dr Allan Chapman.  His talk spanned the history of planet research throughout the 19th century encompassing the discovery of Uranus, helium, Norman Lockyer, orreries and much, much more!

Today was the official unveiling of the restored Victorian Orrery.  It was rebuilt by John and Bill.  Amazingly it even has the moon going up and down on its elliptical path around the Earth.  The unveiling was done by Dr Allan Chapman, a regular speaker at NLO events, and an all-round good man.  He is able to stand in front of an audience and talk to them naturally with no recourse to notes or pictures during the talk.  A real masterclass in how to give a talk.  I was thrilled that quite a few young ones from both Astroscout groups came along…a better attendance ratio than the adult Observers’ Group!  A member of the History Group introduced himself to me and offered to come along to one of our sessions to talk about space art.  John Bardsley was delighted to see a picture of himself with a write up on our display board.  He is such an inspiration to me and over the years he kindly and patiently showed me how to use the Lockyer telescope.  I also had an interesting conversation with Colin about the future of the observatory and the nature of Friday evenings.  I can see me becoming a Director one of these days…

The Friday evening Astroscout session went really well with the children using paper plates to record the information I had given them about A Trio of Stars: Arcturus, Spica and Antares.  I am trying to teach them to identify the first stars to appear in the lighter evenings and to inspire them to get out and look for them.  The whole plate represented Antares with a tiny, pea-sized circle for Spica in the middle.  It worked well in showing the relative scale of the different stars.

Devon is in full bloom now with the pretty wayside colours of pink, white and blue against a backdrop of varying hues of green.Allan Chapman orrery


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