The hall car park was used on Sunday, 5th February, 2017 by Mr. Tim Haymes who wanted to follow a star grazing the moon and, by using the various disappearances as it did so, was able to locate mountains on the moon. Mr. Haymes kindly provided a report, some photos, and a video which can be seen below.
Lunar Occultation Observations from South Leigh Village Hall car park on 5th February 2017 by Tim Haymes
I contacted Richard Law and Debi Diacon about using the South Leigh Village Hall car park for setting up my telescope.
Martin Wilson was also asked about use of the Sports Field for a second observer. We are most grateful for your cooperation. The observing was successful.
I have been interested in astronomy from an early age. I joined my local astronomy group in Maidenhead in 1968, the British Astronomical Association (BAA) in 1973, and was asked to coordinate Lunar Occultation observing for the BAA Lunar Section in 2010. As a professional Research Chemist/Analyst, I am now retired.
Why South Leigh?
The requirements were to find a place where there is little light pollution, is away from a main road and to have access for a car and hard ground – and of course to have a view in the right direction. South Leigh looked good in all these respects. Planning was done with occultation prediction software, Google Earth, OS maps and internet searches. The proposed location(s) were then visited and permission from owners or custodians obtained.
This particular 'project', known as a 'Grazing Lunar Occultation', is undertaken by amateur astronomers from local societies up and down the country. These sorts of events are difficult to observe and plan because we have to use mobile instruments and travel some distance to get the best locations.
The observations went ahead despite the weather, which fortunately was clear for about 2 hrs around the time we were observing. From Maidenhead it was a 50min drive. It took me about 1 hr to set up and 10 minutes to make the recordings which can be seen here: https://youtu.be/SsZkFPbXZIc My co-observer didn’t attend at the sports field, so only one set of observations was obtained.
A report has been written for the Journal of the British Astronomical Association.
The opportunity to use your rural village - without street lighting - is gratefully acknowledged, and we thank you for your kind permission to make use of this area of English countryside for our astronomical pursuit. The village hall car park was ideal.