Bringing Astronomy to Cornwall

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 Last updated;-3rd Mar Located at Court Farm Holiday Camp Site, St Stephen, Mid Cornwall PL26 7LE.               This is a dark sky site with a measured NELM of 6.0

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 To contact the Observatory Either 07804 036959 (site), 01726 813602 (Office) or email brians@roselandobservatory.com

To keep up to date;- follow/like our Facebook page Roseland Observatory

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Then check all the other pages by clicking on the links at the top or bottom of the page.

SS Computer Services when you simply need the best - just telephone 01726 68684.

 

Radio St Austell Bay;

www.rsab.org listen on 105.6 FM and on line for all the local news and events. Including a monthly contribution

from Roseland Observatory.

St Austell Voice;- Your local weekly newspaper carries a regular feature about the Night Sky on the first Wednesday of each month. Buy yours on the 4th.

Visit the Observatory;-  We have been on the radar for the organisers of youth and adult groups for a while now.

    £6.00 per adult, £4.00 for U 16's and U 8 foc, phone or email for more information.   To arrive safely please check the map on our Contacts Tab!

For Group bookings for schools, Scout & Guide Association members go to the News Tab on the top of the page. Please ring (01726) 813602 to book your place.  Check out the map on the Contacts page for directions.

Learn More;-

 Stargazing LIVE;- 18 - 20th March all on the BBC;-   The return of the three musketeers Brian Cox, Dara O'Briain, Liz Bonnin and of course Lucie Green.

 18th Mar 8.00pm Episode 1 concentrates on the solar system moons followed by Back to Earth at 9.00pm BBC Two:

 19th Mar 8.00pm Episode 2 more solar system including discovery of the planets etc followed by back to Earth at 10.00pm BBC Two:

 20th Mar 9.00am Episode 3 The solar eclipse LIVE at 9.00am BBC One 20th:  9.00pm Episode 4 The results of the day plus the latest on solar observatories BBC Two followed by Back to Earth at 10.00pm BBC Two.

The UK's best solar eclipse so far this century. March 20th Cornwall sees the first bite of the cherry as it were with First Contact at 08.19am Maximum eclipse is 09. 24 for us 88% (I am hoping to get streaming video from Shetland 96%) The eclipse ends for us at 10.33am. We will of course be observing it - the location is still secret - with a full set of scopes and lots of other kit.

Getting ready;-  Two opportunities;- on the 11th March at Gott Hall Par Green at 7.00pm. Then on the 12th March at the Truro High School for Girls both free and starting at 7.00pm. They will cover eye safety, traffic hazards, understanding how eclipses work and how it is possible to predict them.

The Royal Astronomical Society have produced a free PDF and links to a video produced by the Society for Popular Astronomy.   http://www.ras.org.uk/images/solar_eclipse_leaflet.pdf    Read it all - there is a lot of very useful information in it and some great activities for children and teachers.

 

 

Remembering the fallen astronauts;-  The last few days of January and the first few days of February saw the loss of three crews although of course spread over a good many years. Amongst the memorials the most poignant is perhaps this one dedicated to the first school teacher chosen for a shuttle flight. Her lessons are still available on line.

 

 Image Credit Ken Kremer Universe Today.

 I now realise that the significance of the Apple may be lost on some - if you like a special teacher you brought him/her an apple each day - "An apple for teacher".

Dawn nears Ceres;- The space probe Dawn is taking better and better images of Ceres as it draws closer. One unexpected observation is that the surface appears to have a number of white spots on it. My theory is that they result from impacts from an exploded asteroid similar to Vesta which is white in colour. More in depth analysis will follow should it prove to be true!!

 

Image credit NASA

A spotty Ceres

 

 

 I have recently made contact with a friend from long ago - he works now far away - Dean Ashton takes excellent images like this one  of the Dumbbell Nebula M27, the brightest planetary nebula in the sky, to be found close to Sagitta.  Others will follow in quick succession.

 

The Dumbbell Nebula Image credit Dean Ashton

This event is recommended by Mike from the Shetlands;-

 

A day of FREE talks and discussion by eminent scientists and magicians for all ages will be held at Edinburgh University in the Students Debating Hall. The theme of the event celebrates 2015 as the International Year of Light. Speakers  include Prof John C. Brown (Astronomer Royal for Scotland) and Prof Chris J. Lintott (Uni. Oxford, BBC Sky at Night).The event will be held on Sat 28 March from 9.30am until 5.00pm and is highly recommended.Please pass it on and bring a friend ! !  Click here for more information.

 

LOOK UP;- Our new regular feature high lighting  attractive groupings of Moon, planets and stars.

    3rd March  Moon forms a nice triangle with Jupiter and Regulus.

    8th March  Moon close to Spica in Virgo

ASTRONOMY FOR INTEREST our ever popular 10 week course is lead by Brian on a Tuesday evening starting at 7.00pm and finishing at 9.00pm at the Observatory. Our entry level course, covers Sun, Moon, Earth, the solar system & stars. Observing the night sky when clear. £5.00 per session*. *Half the course fee goes towards membership of the group!

 LIFE & DEATH OF STARS the ever popular 10 week course is lead by Clint on a Tuesday evening starting at 7.00pm and finishing at 9.00pm at the Observatory. Just a bit below A Level. £5.00 per session.

Learning More;-  Work experience for years 10 & 12;- Interested students should contact their school coordinator as soon as possible. See also the News Page. All letters and correspondence must go to the Par Office, 92 Par Green, PL24 2AG. and not the Observatory site.   Work Experience years 10 & 12;- Our very successful WE programme enables students to take a genuine part in the work of the observatory as trainee astronomers. Apply now for 2015 to the Par Green address and not the Observatory site.

 Comet Lovejoy;-  Properly known as C/2014 Q2 was discovered in August by Terry Lovejoy using an 8" SC telescope similar to one of ours. It was at mag 15 but has brightened to mag 5 now and we hope for further brightening. It is now sort of visible to the naked eye.  It has come in from the Oort Cloud and will return to grace our skies again in 11 thousand  years from now. The tail well shown in many photographs is not seen with a small telescope. Indeed it looks like a green fuzz ball! The colour is caused by the fluorescing of diatomic carbon C++  and cyanogen gas (CN)2 as it is struck by the Sun's UV light. Was is at its closest to the Earth on the 7th, a mere 43.6 X 106 km distant about a half of the Earth's distance from the Sun.  Perihelion occurs on Jan 30th. A number of wide angle photographic opportunities occur in the month as can be seen from the chart.

This image by Karl when seen full res. shows a lot of detail in the tail

 

Comet Lovejoy - Karl Stephens - Par.

 

 

Paul Hughes has come good with this fine B/W image of Lovejoy.

Note its position can be added to Stellarium  and other similar software.

The large angle its track makes with the plane of the ecliptic shows clearly that it is not a Kuiper Belt based comet or indeed a short period one that is already part of the solar system. Some observatory team members were surprised that it would not show a sharp outline in the scopes - we were not seeing the icy core of the comet but rather is gaseous envelope produced by its proximity to the Sun.

 Its resemblance to a nebula or galaxy was noted and this of course is why Charles Messier spent such a long time compiling his Messier Catalogue while comet hunting in the 18th cent. He did not want to waste time tracking nebulae that would not suddenly grow a tail and look spectacular!

 

The distance to the Moon was measured on the 28th Dec across Europe and Africa and we had a part in it! Paul was the star of the show. His DSLR was attached to a Polarie tracker and multiple images were taken. We look forward to the out come of "Crowd Science".  Davide the lead organiser on this project has had similar experiences to us in his efforts to see Lovejoy. The repeat on Jan 29th was thwarted by cloud, snow, hail etc across Europe. This series of experiments is being extended and we are joining in where we can.

 

 

The SkyMap image is a representation of Paul's photo (His file size is too big for a web page.) The two Moons show that our satellite moves from west to east against the background stars, noticeable even in a period of two hours. What the ESO team are hoping to do is to analyse images from across Europe  and measure the distance between the Moon and the two left hand stars in the Square of Pegasus. The images being taken at the same time, the difference will give a measure of the distance the Moon is from Earth. Watch this space.

Winter Solstice;- It was Hurlers time again. A group of the intrepid marched out to Craddock Moor Circle, as we have said before more or less invisible on a featureless moor it surrounds a very large gorse bush which as been cut down and removed. Difficult in daylight but in the dark..... However in spite of the cloud the Sun was seen rising above the Bronze Age cemetery shades of Newgrange perhaps. Sunset is in line with Tregarrick Tor, this tor is not a skyline feature though, further investigation is in hand. An image has just been taken sunset 24th! a report to follow from Robin. Iain Rowe a local historian and expert on Bodmin Moor walked along the 130 bearing from Craddock Circle to a cairn on Caradon Hill by way of Minions Mound. This is a nice secure alignment. - Thanks Iain.

 All about Rosetta.

We have nearly finished a research article on "Where did our water come from?"

 

 A presentation  at Astrofest by Barabara Cozzoni (DLR) who works on Philae was encouraging. After initial despondency the Philae team realised that they had collected a lot of information and indeed she is very upbeat about the chances of more information when the Comet approaches the Sun and Philae's instruments wake up again. (hopefully)

 

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is the target of all this attention.  The P is a bit of a give away as it stands for Periodic as it has an orbital period of 6.45 years. Its discoverers whose names it bears found it on a photographic plate in 1969.  It is very unusual in that it appears to be two comets stuck together although I favour the theory that suggests that the necking evident on the images is the result of out gassing and loss of water ice.

 Image Credit ESA

 

 

 

 

 

One of the instruments is called Ptolemy  PI is Monica Grady - well known for her expertise with meteorites - an evolved gas analyser it will collect and analyse samples of organic material on the surface and use this to investigate how similar it is to materials found on other solar system bodies.

 Philae -

 

 NB the March Edition  in The Voice 4th March on sale this week.

 

March Night Sky

One to look forward to;-

The star of the show this month will be the Sun with the biggest partial eclipse since the 99 total. This will be an early morning event starting at 8.30 AM reaching 86% coverage at 9.30 before finishing at about 10.30 AM. The two problems are;- time of day ie in the rush hour drivers must not rubberneck to look at the eclipse to avoid hitting the next car! Also all the safety points must be observed as per 99 do not look at the sun with any size of  binocular or telescope that is not equipped with a proper solar filter – remember the slightest glance will punch a hole through your retina. Roseland will have a lot of special kit out – location under wraps at the moment. Keep an eye on roselandobservatory.com A special event will be held in the Gott Hall, Par on the 11th starting at 7.00pm, don’t miss it.

Stargazing Live 2015 makes a welcome return for this event 18th, 19th & 20th with BBC News covering the actual event live.

Constellations;- Leo is now firmly in view with its bright star Regulus a great guide to it.  Half way between Leo and Canes Venatici the often overlooked large star cluster M111 is worth a second look. (and a third!). Jupiter is heading towards Leo at the moment.

The Moon;-, Full Moon 5th , Last Quarter 13th, New Moon 20th.   First Quarter 27th

On the 3rd the gibbous Moon makes a nice grouping with Jupiter and Regulus.

 The Planets;-

 Venus;-   Is clearly noticeable in the west after sunset and as it is very bright it can been seen with the naked eye just after sunset. The best way to see the disc of this planet is at dusk (after sunset) before it gets so bright it just looks like a bright blur.  The disc will be gibbous throughout the month.

 Mars;- Visible again low in the southwest after sunset and joins Uranus on the 11th.

Jupiter;- Is the best planet on view at the moment and now is a good time to put a small telescope to it. It can be found in the constellation of Cancer.

International Space Station; As usual check exact times from www.heavens-above.com

Taken from my contribution to the St Austell Voice.

 

 

Jupiter - Image Credit Paul Clarke

 

 

 I am Back;- from British Columbia - have been canoeing 200 miles up the coast - wild camping with whales and wolves for company. Just about to start a research project reconstructing Haida Astronomy. Oh and an earlier phase of the exped they found what might be a meteorite! - It is on a very very remote beach!

 

 

The next stage is to try and recover a sample cut and polish it to see if it contains metal or holes

 

 

UK's very own Space Weather forecast;- From the Met Office Exeter  comes the UK's first Spaceweather forecasts, they started in May and will ramp up in the coming months.

Naturally RAL Space the source of many of the instruments on the various Solar Observatories is heavily involved.  However we will have to wait before Solar Orbiter launches in January 2017 to get our closest views of our Star.

 

Prominences and active areas on the surface of the Sun.

An archive image taken through our H Alpha scope.

 

Shetland Astronomical  Society;   I was in Shetland in the summer 2011 working with the SAS.  Check out www.shetlandastrosoc.org.uk   To see Mike's - austroastro's video made from Chris Brown's images of the Northern Lights click on the link. For other U tube videos by austroastro do a Google search.
 www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIGyM227g6M&feature=plcp&context=C4accb4aVDvjVQa

Mike in the Shetlands; - my main man up there has got his  website www.macastrofix.info  running well - check it out it even links back to this one! He has just added Curiosity to his range of card models you can down load for free. Please note this one is 101 MB - just like the Dalmations. He has just added a solar radio telescope so we can now hear the Sun breathing(!) This is still in its Beta stage.

For the work we did together at Stargazing LIVE 2013 Mike made a model rover as a prize that was won by Thomas. Saw the lad again last week and he has the Rover proudly displayed in his room!

 

 Mike's model of Curiosity - this one is in Shetland not Mars.

Bodiggy School paid us a visit a few days ago here is some of the evidence

 

 

 

 

Astronautics Badge;- The UK Space Agency have sponsored a new Scout Badge. We are investigating the best way of delivering this to Cornish Scouts.

Good News;- The Par Community Association has been supported by a grant of £660.00 towards installing the Sphere. Cornwall Council is working out the best way to get the Sphere sited to great advantage. Now getting down to a Business Plan! Now have quotes in and a number of options so things are on the move.

Part of the Paralympics is in Cornwall - it is an Armillary Sphere

Image credit Sonia Clyne.

 

Joe Warrener who spent a few nights at Court Farm took this excellent view across the site.

 

 

 

The Pelican Nebula an emission nebula in Cygnus.

 

Image Credit Paul Hughes

 

To see all of Paul's images at full resolution go to www.zenfolio.com/paulh101  a lot of detail has been lost on the web page. His favourites file can be run as a slide show covering a range of deep sky objects.  

 

 

 

 

If you go down to the woods tonight .....! Image credit Anne-Marie

Science Technology Engineering Maths Ambassador;-  or STEM for short. Mainly for those wishing to get involved teaching with the Observatory. This is a National approval scheme that allows us to teach/demonstrate in schools and youth groups. Any one can apply (including those outside our team) is is good for those asked to go into schools to represent the companies they work for, Includes a DBS.  To learn more contact us via any of the Observatory links.

A great link from an American fan;-  Matthew H. found A kids Space Centre - Fun with Model Rockets - (http://orlandofuntickets.com/a-kids-space-center-fun-with-model-rockets.php) while working with his local library.

 

Mike working on the magnetometer        image credit Rob Stidston

 

Have your telescope in two places at once? Well with Slooh you can.

A good way to be able to image almost anywhere any time with your "own" Robotic Telescope. The Observatory has a "Commander" Membership.  www.slooh.com   

 

 The ISS;-  

The Space Station  is visible in our  skies  from time to time. See www.heavens-above.com for exact times for you.   There are chances to see it in the daytime and towards dusk when it is getting dimsy.  

It Is so bright that it will flare as the Sun strikes one or two of the large solar arrays.     H-A are now giving suitable times for daylight passes. 

   Regular Opportunities for schools

 For more information about the courses see the "NEWS" page and then contact the Observatory.   

Key Stage One, Two and Three Astronomy. Opportunities throughout the Year  just phone and book, more  under News page on this site.

 Earth & Beyond; Doing Space this term then school teachers should see our News section. 

Gifted & Talented sessions for years 10 & 12 at the Observatory.

GCSE Astronomy Practical Project work. Having successfully guided many students through the GCSE Course work we  offer opportunities on a regular basis. Opportunities throughout the year  just phone and book. Only £5.00 per session. In each case email brians@roselandobservatory.com or phone (01726) 813602 to learn more.  

 Extended project A Level std. Global Dimming. This experiment was extended this year into the IR as it  produced a clearly measurable change in light levels through the previous Christmas period.

 For Scouts, Guides and other youth groups see the separate News Page.

RESEARCH AND SPECIALS

 The Neptune Saga;- Continues with a new book about Le Verrier which fills a black hole in our knowledge of 19th cent. French Astronomy.  Written  a review for publication in a number of journals. Also the long awaited paper on the subject has now been published see below in the main Neptune section. Anyone wishing to read it please request a PDF copy.

Neptune's orbits - a paper  by Norma Foster is also in the Antiquarian Astronomer and compares the actual orbit that Adams calculated and puts right a  view,  long held,  by some that the position he predicted was a long way from that calculated by Le Verrier.  Those wishing to read it please request a PDF copy.

 Our Neptune research has reached the august pages of the Antiquarian Astronomer issue 7 March 2013.  it covers some 11 pages and is described as "incisive".

 

 

 Taken during the Society for the History of Astronomy autumn conference 2011.

Neptune's special year;- The year 2010 opened in January with a special presentation in Seattle, USA. NB The Blue Planet is close to opposition at the moment so a good time to observe given clear skies.

Image credit "a friend" 

Note the Cornish Flag!

 

 

 

 

Neptune from Voyager  2                         Credit;- Jocelyn Murgatroyd and Cornish Cross Laneast

      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Images by John Chiswell from two cameo reliefs. The lady is Eliza Adams nee Bruce  - It is believed to be the only likeness in existence. The sculpture was by Albert Bruce-Joy a relative and well known artist.

 

 

This image is of the memorial in Westminster Abbey and is also by Bruce Joy. Image Credit Westminster Abbey.

 

 Bill Sheehan's Neptune  with 10" RC.

 

Neptune discovery story. For a short film of the Neptune story visit Maarten Roos website. http://www.lightcurvefilms.com 

Have continued my researches by contacting the Chinese University in Hong Kong (been there got the T.Shirt). Some 10 years ago they did some excellent work on Neptune's orbit which I now have permission to use in my talks.

For Canoe Africa see below.

The Hurlers;- 

World Heritage Site;- We are currently working with Caradon Archaeology on The Hurlers.  (Minions is the  nearest village) This work is centred on how to best interpret these ancient sites to an interested general public. At the moment we are helping with an APP to interpret the area in a modern way. Thanks to Cornwall Council and Cornwall Heritage Trust for their support. The Apps are now on a an APP store.

The  background;-  The Hurlers can be found on Google Earth 500 30' 58.67"N   40 27' 29.69" W, the aerial view is  supplemented by a number of photographs and some text. Until recently people studying the various monuments around the country would look closely at one aspect or site and not regard those near by. The Hurlers are the focus of a much larger complex of ancient structures.

It was the Equinox again! We gathered lots of extra data and the weather ranged from great to fog so thick it was not possible to see across a Circle. There are two Equinoxes on the 23rd the astronomer's equinox and on the 24th the landscape version. On the 23rd 2014 the Sun is overhead at the equator as the Sun moves from North to South. On the 24th the Sun rises due East at 7.00AM BST  - 6.00AM GMT although longitude and the Equation of Time also need to be taken into account.  The difference between the two is due to refraction which causes the Sun to appear to be above the horizon earlier than it actually is.  The whole package is being written up as  the "Proceedings of the NAM Conference" we attended in the summer.

Mapping the Sun Day 12th July 2014 at Sterts Arts Centre, Upton Cross. This event went well with about 50 archaeologists attending.  Checked out the orientation of the Rillaton Barrow and found the entrance is open to the Equinox sunrise! However it is believed that the entrance is nothing more than a gap left when the cist was rebuilt after the miners dug out the gold cup!  Not with standing the rising Sun does light up the entrance on the Equinox.

Image credit Mike Clarke

 

Back to the Hurlers. Lead by Gary and supported by Amanda we measured the elevation of Rillaton Barrow above the horizon step by step using a professional level.  We had good results although more work needs to be done. We have proved which star it celebrates and when it was built. We seem to have identified the Processional Way referred to by John Barnatt in "Prehistoric Cornwall".

The Calendar Stone is to be found in the Centre Circle and to the south of centre. For all time people  have noted that shadows cast by trees or stones change their length and direction during the day and throughout the year. The length marked at midday once a month requires only 7 marks to define the solar year. A more complete explanation of this system is available.

Archaeologists are often rightly sceptical of two point alignments and require either a Back Sight or Fore Sight to support the evidence. Extend the Hurlers SW - NE line northwards about a kilometre to arrive at Tumuli. Due north is Stowe Hill due  south is Minions Mound with more Tumuli. (Tumuli are Bronze Age burial sites.) Due East is Kit Hill,  west is a large barrow. If you turn your back on Kit Hill and look towards the Pipers you will find they lie one behind the other i.e. due west. Stand between the Pipers and look towards Stowe Hill and you look North. Are the Pipers contemporary with the Hurlers - the evidence points in a positive direction. 

The N - S line can be extended on to Long Tom,  Menhirs or Long Stones predate Stone Circles and this one has had a Cross carved on it at a later date. Although not exactly due south of the Hurlers it is south of Stowe Hill which is a long ridge of high ground.

Vernal Equinox;- To celebrate this we  visited the Hurlers  on the Sunday 25th March 2012    Sunday AM was good in that it was clear and we saw the Sunrise, close to Kit Hill although Kit Hill itself was not visible to the naked eye due to general murk. Sunday PM saw the Sun setting due west close to a couple of burial mounds as predicted. 

Summer Solstice;- It so happens that the midsummer Sun rises above Stowe's Hill and sets over Brown Willy. Summer Solstice 21st June and we were at Craddock Moor Circle for the event.  A first for us was an observation of a special Standing Stone on Stowe Hill It seemed to mark the actual position of sunrise. (June 2010)

From Craddock Circle the Sun rose behind the Cheesewring on Stowe Hill as predicted, what was new to me was to see the Sun hitting Tregarrick Tor before it rose for us, this confirms that Tregarrick marks the winter solstice sun set. (June 20th 2012)

 

 

                                      The Sun rising over Stowe Hill    (2012)                                       

 Image by Amanda King of the Roseland Team.

 

Summer Solstice 2013;- The group ambled out Craddock Circle. It is a circle of fallen stones close to gorse bush atop a featureless hillock. The Sun had shown signs of remaining visible until sunset but it was not to be. However it appears to set just west of Brown Willy. Images had been taken a couple of days before and will be examined in the Observatory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7th June                                                                                                             19th June

Many thanks indeed for the images from Robin Paris of Darite - excellent and revealing sunsets. A CD has just arrived with more images all adding to our overall knowledge of the Bronze Age calendar.

Autumnal Equinox;- The Sun rose and set as per the Vernal Equinox, although on the date we were there (21st Sept. 2011) the fog was so thick it was impossible to see across the Circles!

This time using a solar filter in conjunction with a small telescope it was possible to determine that the Sun rose just a bit to the right of Kit Hill stack. The sunset was impossible due to thick cloud. 22nd Sept 2012. Same situation Sept 2013.

Winter Solstice;- The three stone circles known as the Hurlers near Minions, Bodmin Moor. Appear to mirror the well known asterism of Orion’s Belt in the centre of the Orion constellation.

21st Dec Mid Winter Solstice 2013;-  Usual pea souper of course up on the Hurlers - Bodmin Moor, so we were unable to do much until after breakfast. The modified compass worked well to gave us a real baseline for the first time. Checked out Kit Hill again as due East and established the position of the "4th circle". We were unable to do the Sun rise from Craddock Circle. Just too foggy at sunrise.

In the 21st cent. this constellation, including Orion’s Belt, is due south of the Hurlers on the  winter solstice (Dec 21st) at midnight. In the Bronze Age circa 2000 BC this transit occurred earlier in the evening due to precession.  Remember the actual day of the winter solstice was marked from Craddock Circle. Due north was marked by Stowe's Pound and the “ever present” pole star, in those days Thuban in Draco and later Kocab in Ursa Minor. Directly north of the Hurlers is Stowe Hill with its Neolithic enclosure and Rillaton Barrow, the Bronze Age users of the Hurlers would have recognized that the stars directly above the Hill did not move and were therefore special. Today the star that occupies that place is called the Pole Star, North Star or Polaris.

 There is no doubt that the view of the Hurlers would have been very special before the Quarry removed much of the viewing area. However even today the torch lit Circles look impressive indeed.

                

             Paul Hughes of the Observatory Imaging Team

The Three Circles lit by torches, giving a very atmospheric effect.  It seems that at this time the winter solstice was celebrated all over Europe by the lighting of bonfires. It consists of four individual images merged into one.  It was normal for special events to be marked by lighting fires. We carry this practice forward today with our Torch Light Processions and lights on Christmas Trees and in public places.

The role of Craddock Stone Circle;- One question often asked is, how did the people of 2000BC know which was the shortest day of the year? It just happens that one of very few winter solstice alignments on the Moor is between the nearby Craddock Stone Circle (1 kilometre distant) and Tregarrick Tor.  There is even a raised embankment avenue joining the Stone Circle to the Hurlers complex - problem solved.

Clearly the Hurlers were very important in the Bronze Age and this should be more widely recognized and appreciated.

 Update;- A summary of work carried out in the county appears in "The Hurlers an Archaeological Assessment" published by the Historic Environment Dept of Cornwall Council.

Mapping the Sun Project Sept 2013;-

The Equinox problem solved - Maybe?;- The Sun  does not rise due East (above Kit Hill) on the Equinox but does rise early, these two problems are linked.  Refraction is well known as the reason for the Sun to become visible while still below the horizon.

The Hurlers;- A combined project (Sept 2013) with the county archaeologists culminated in a nine day "Summer School" on the Hurlers. Called "Mapping the Sun" Involved survey work and mapping the Sun rise and set positions. We have created a Bronze Age Landscape map - working with a range of specialist kit new and old to achieve this. New Discoveries were made and new Legends were born. The archaeologists uncovered, examined, photographed and recorded a quartz pavement that last saw the light of day in 1938 and using modern techniques will learn so much more.

 

 

 Orion's Belt on Bodmin Moor. The image was taken, with great expertise, by Tony Piper located on  Caradon Hill. Single torches were placed in each of the circles. The result shows how closely the torches resemble the stars in Orion's Belt.

 

This lovely sunset picture showing two of the Hurlers lit torches was taken by Paul Hughes of the Observatory team

 

 

 

Martin, a German visitor to Cornwall filming the Hurlers from his Quadrocopter.

His You Tube videos can be found on Thesnaptin Image Credit Robin Paris

 

Canoe Africa;-  To find out more about my attempt to spread the astronomy word  click on my link Canoe Africa   and visit our special Canoe Africa page. See also www.universetoday.com check out the reports filed under IYA 2009. The dates are Sept 9th 2008 and Feb 12th 2009 - Thanks to Tammy Plotner.  

 

 

 

 

    BRINGING ASTRONOMY TO CORNWALL

 

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