Flamsteed Astronomy Society

Flamsteed donates tripod & mount — May 24, 2007

The Flamsteed has donated a new tripod & mount to the ROG.  The mount is an HEQ5 which will be used with the H-alpha Coronado solar telescope, itself a Flamsteed donation in 2003.  Gloria Clifton, Head of the ROG, accepted the donation from Flamsteed Chair Lin Potter, in a short ceremony before the Flamsteed Star lecture on May 24th.  Gloria thanked the Society and emphasised how important the Flamsteed solar viewing sessions are to the ROG.  The solar viewings receive many favourable comments in visitor feedback.  Gloria wanted to give special recognition to the team of Flamsteed volunteers who donate their time to the sessions and chat with the visitors about astronomy and many other subjects including the state of the world, and the economy of Bulgaria.   The Flamsteed has also received a most complimentary letter of thanks and support from NMM Director, Roy Clare.

The mount replaces a less robust assembly which has nevertheless survived the ministrations of our volunteer teams for 4 years and is now in need of a well-earned rest and less challenging duties.   The new mount has integrated RA and Dec motors less susceptible to damage than the externally mounted units on the old equipment.  We are indebted to Tony Sizer for his advice and help in choosing the HEQ5 and putting it into service.

Volunteers from the Flamsteed aim to use the solar telescope to offer public solar viewing sessions at the ROG during the first weekend of every month and for special events.  These sessions may be the only opportunity for many visitors to use a telescope during their time at the ROG and have proved very popular.  Upwards of 300 visitors join-in during a typical session.  Records were broken at the very rare Transit of Venus in 2004 when over 6000 people visited the ROG to see the planet crossing the face of the Sun.   Wasn’t just the Flamsteed Coronado in use on that occasion of course ...

Gloria Clifton, Head of the ROG, accepts the tripod & mount on behalf of the NMM

(pic: Mike Dryland)

The Flamsteed audience in fine form following the presentation and Carl Murray’s excellent Star Lecture

(pic: Mike Dryland)

Mike pretends to know something about this astrology stuff

(pic: Ian McDowell)