About Us

Welcome to the West Wales Astronomy Group Home page.

The West Wales Astronomy Group meets on the 2nd Monday of the month at The Drovers Inn, in Puncheston Pembrokeshire. Anybody is welcome to join in at about 7pm.

This is the special edition of West Wales Astronomy where my students on the Astronomy course have access to hand outs that will be uploaded each session. You don't need to log on now unless you close this page or the browser it is in. There will be a new entry in the gallery called 'course' there you will find the content.

I also have ideas about extending the WWAG over the internet so that members can become involved online from anywhere and participate in what the group does here.

We have our own observatory in one of the UK's darkest sites, with Fred's telescope yet to install at the Drovers.

I am also thinking about making this web-site a portal for one of our software projects called NTC [Network Telescope Control] so that it will be easier for you to locate remote telescope set-ups already in place tracking objects that some of you may never get a chance to see where you are in the world.

It is also viable to set-up a payment scheme that would be remote client's could pay and reward those who are prepared to make their telescopes available, even with video capturing equipment.

Information

The West Wales Astronomy Group

We are the home for the West Wales Astronomy Group and we meet on the second Monday of the month. Our season starts from September through to the end of May. We meet at The Drovers Inn in Puncheston, Pembrokeshire.

Anybody is welcome to attend our talks that we hold on most meetings. There is a small charge for each meeting.

Food and drink is also available on the nights that we meet.

We have our own observatory that houses a 12" Newtonian Reflector, driven by a Sky Watcher EQ6 Pro mount with a Sky Scan GOTO controller that can also be controlled by our software. The mount is sited on a pier built by Tony Ridgewell.

This observatory is currently situated in Mynachlog-Ddu and we will be siting Fred's telescope at the rear of The Drovers.

The Drovers Inn, Puncheston

The Drovers Inn is situated in Puncheston in Pembrokeshire. This is where we meet on the 2nd Monday of the month from September through to May.

The area where it is situated is pretty dark and suitable for observing. There is plenty of room, drink and food for members of WWAG to meet :)

My Astronomy Course

My course is written by me - and the late Fred Whittle - and presented by me. Students on this course can use your password and student ID to log on and access course material.

As we move on each week from one session to the next, the content section will be updated and you will be able to download the hand out in JPEG which is easy to print using any graphics program, or in Acrobat which again inside Adobe Acrobat you can view the content easily.

You are logged on.

Andrew Sprott

Andrew Sprott

Andrew Sprott started his involvement in astronomy in 2001 and joined the Swansea Astronomical Society. Andrew got to know Fred and Steve and many others.

Andrew has been visiting Pembrokeshire since the late 60's and always admired the beautiful dark skies and mentioned it to SAS members as often as possible.

Fred and Steve soon came over to see what the fuss was about and agreed that Pembrokeshire is an ideal place for astronomy.

Fred Whittle

Fred Whittle

Fred Whittle sadly passed away in February 2009. He is sadly missed and contributed a great deal to both the WWAG and the Swansea Astronomical Society of whom he was their Chairman.

Fred's son Sean has kindly donated his telescope to the group and it is going to be installed at the back of the Drovers ready for use when we get the rare clear sky.

Fred will be remembered as an intelligent man who always researched his subject until he knew it and understood it perfectly enough for me to relay his knowledge with my illustrations and knowledge of Powerpoint to make his presentations exceptional.

Dr Steve Wainwright

Dr Steve Wainwright

Dr. Steve Wainwright was a Senior Lecturer in Swansea University and retired in 2005. Since then he has spent his time astro imaging with digital cameras and web-cams.

In 1998, Steve founded the Quick Cam and Unconventional Astro Imaging Group [QCUIAG]. The group now has over 8000 members world wide and many members of the group have made significant contributions to astronomy.

Steve, Fred and Andrew founded the WWAG and have created and presented many Powerpoint talks for group meetings.

The Caldwell Catalogue

Even though the Messier catalogue has many objects in the skies that are popular and well documented, the catalogue itself is not designed in a ordinal fashion that makes it systematic.

Also, Messier himself did not create the catalogue as a means to look up the objects for observation, but as a form of elimination. For he was a comet hunter and always stumbled on these objects that he did not recognise or understand, so he simply labled them M1 through to M109.

As well as having a system in mind, Sir Patrick Moore also addressed the problem of the lack of objects in the southern hemisphere. His catalogue is called the Caldwell catalogue named after his middle initial.

Dr S. J. Wainwright and David Parkin, both friends of mine, compiled a list of charts for every entry in the Caldwell catalogue. To access the index page, click here.

Gallery

The West Wales Image Gallery

The Orion Nebula/NGC 1977

The Orion Nebula

The Dumbell Nebula

The Andromeda Galaxy

Horsehead Nebula

Bubble Nebula

M81 and M82

North American Nebula

North American Nebula

The Plaedes Open Cluster

Rosette Nebula

Rosette Nebula

The Veil Nebula

Mars acrobat poster

Mars acrobat poster

Mars acrobat poster

Mars acrobat poster

Mars acrobat poster

Mars acrobat poster

Mars acrobat poster

Comet Neat

Sun Spots

Sun Spots

Sun Spots

Sun Spots

Comet Swan

Comet Swan

Comet Swan

The 2007 Lunar Eclipse

The Moon with the clouds

The Whirlpool Galaxy

Just for Tom

Found in our bookshop 10 years ago.

Burning ring of fire...on the Moon

First attempt 2005..my favourite part of the Moon.

Colour in the gibbous Moon

Total Lunar Eclipse March 3rd 2007

A bit of the Moon in graphite.

Lunar eclipse 7th September 2006

To the Moon

Orion and Sirius

The Plough

Clear Skies

International Space Station

Yr Haul

Partial solar eclipse 3rd of October 2005

Partial solar eclipse 29th March 2006

Sunspots for 2.50

Transit of Venus.... 8th June 2004

Sun projection method (the safest way to view the Sun)

Venus 19th of October 2007

Session with the Faulkes telescope

Session with the Faulkes telescope

Session with the Faulkes telescope

Session with the Faulkes telescope

Extracts from the Astronomy course

Extracts from the Astronomy course

Extracts from the Astronomy course

Extracts from the Astronomy course

Extracts from the Astronomy course

Extracts from the Astronomy course

Extracts from the Astronomy course

Extracts from the Astronomy course

Extracts from the Astronomy course

Extracts from the Astronomy course

Extracts from the Astronomy course

Extracts from the Astronomy course

Extracts from the Astronomy course

Extracts from the Astronomy course

Extracts from the Astronomy course

Extracts from the Astronomy course

Extracts from the Astronomy course

Extracts from the Astronomy course

Campaign for Dark Skies

Campaign for Dark Skies

Campaign for Dark Skies

Campaign for Dark Skies

Campaign for Dark Skies

Campaign for Dark Skies

Campaign for Dark Skies

Campaign for Dark Skies

Mars acrobat poster

Mars acrobat poster

Mars acrobat poster

Mars acrobat poster

Mars acrobat poster

Mars acrobat poster

Mars acrobat poster

The Quickcam Unconventional Imaging Astronomy Group [QCUIAG]

History of telescopes

History of telescopes

History of telescopes

History of telescopes

History of telescopes

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

Astronomy course hand out notes in Adobe Acrobat

16 inch catadioptic telescope

Base for catadioptic telescope

16 inch catadioptic telescope

Catadioptic telescope

A pint at the Star Camp

The Exibition hall

Aurora Books

Rockets with Paul and Suzie

Telescopes and binoculars from Celtic Vision

After the event

Paul's Rocket show

Our stall

Bob Mizon

Ivan Wilson from Celtic Vision

Solar observing

Solar observing with a PST

Lunch at the November 2006 Star Camp

Solar Observing

Solar Observing

Solar Observing

Solar Observing

Don Weller

Don Weller

Fred's MGB at Llysyfran

Fred's MGB

Fred's MGB

Fred's MGB

Scoltan Manor

Scoltan Manor

Scoltan Manor

The 2006 Llysyfran Hill Climb

Two piers

Two piers

Our pier

Mount with dog

Mount with telescope

Telescope ready to go

Solar Observing

Solar Observing

Hakin Observatory

Hakin Observatory

Hakin Observatory

Nevern Celtic Cross

Nevern Celtic Cross

Newport Burial Chamber

Bluestone Rocks

Moylegrove Burial Chamber

Llanglydwyn Burial Chamber

Gors Fawr Stone Circle

Haverfordwest Stone Circle

Pentre Ivan burial chamber

Surfing in the West Wales coast

Surfing in the West Wales coast

The Pembrokeshire coastline at Whitesands

At the summit of Carn Ingli

On Carn Ingli looking towards Dinas Head

On Carn Ingli looking down to Newport

Gors Fawr

Llysafran Dam

Llysafran Dam

Parc le Breos

Parc le Breos, looking through the entrance

Skomer Island

Skomer Island

Strumble Head leading nowhere

Strumble Head lighthouse

Here you can view various images taken from Trefach and around the West Wales Countryside

Imaged at Trefach using a modified Canon 300D and processed later in Newport

Imaged at Trefach using a modified Canon 300D and processed with Flexible Image Combine

Imaged at Trefach using a modified Canon 300D and processed with Flexible Image Combine

Imaged at Trefach using a modified Canon 300D and processed later in Newport

The Horsehead nebula captured at Trefach and processed later

The Bubble nebula captured at Trefach and processed later

M81 and M82 galaxies captured at Trefach

Imaged at trefach using a unmodified Canon 300D and processed later at Newport

Imaged at trefach using a unmodified Canon 300D and processed later at Newport

Imaged at Trefach using a modified Canon 300D and processed later

Captured at Trefach with a 300D and processed later at Newport

Captured at Trefach with a 300D and processed later at Newport

Captured at Trefach and processed later in Newport

3d anaglyphic poster of Mars taken by one of the two rovers currently exploring Mars. Click on the image for the full size acrobat poster.

3d anaglyphic poster of Mars taken by one of the two rovers currently exploring Mars. Click on the image for the full size acrobat poster.

3d anaglyphic poster of Mars taken by one of the two rovers currently exploring Mars. Click on the image for the full size acrobat poster.

3d anaglyphic poster of Mars taken by one of the two rovers currently exploring Mars. Click on the image for the full size acrobat poster.

3d anaglyphic poster of Mars taken by one of the two rovers currently exploring Mars. Click on the image for the full size acrobat poster.

3d anaglyphic poster of Mars taken by one of the two rovers currently exploring Mars. Click on the image for the full size acrobat poster.

3d anaglyphic poster of Mars taken by one of the two rovers currently exploring Mars. Click on the image for the full size acrobat poster.

Comet Neat captured at Trefach and aligned with Blink Comparator

Steve captured this image with a Web-cam and processed it with Registax and then combined the best results with Flexible Image Combine

Steve captured this image with a Hydrogen-Alpha filter

Steve captured this image with a Green-contiuum filter

Steve captured this image with a Calcium-K filter

Comet Swan captured at Trefach with a Canon EOS Rebel 300D. Captured with the help of Don Aimsworth.

Comet Swan captured at Trefach and aligned with Blink Comparator. Captured with the help of Don Aimsworth. This is a movie and might take a while to download.

Comet Swan captured at Trefach and processed with Flexible Image Combine. Captured with the help of Don Aimsworth.

The prelude to the Lunar eclipse in March 2007 taken from Trefach using a Canon 300D. This is a movie and might take a while to download.

This is some images taken from Trefach using a Canon 300D, aligned and cropped with Blink Comparator and converted to a animated GIF with two freeware packages called Movies 12 and Avi Creator.

Imaged at Trefach using an unmodified Canon 300D and processed with Flexible Image Combine

Thought I would post this picture for Tom, who now owns this telescope.... This telescope took some great astro photographs, I will post some soon.... :o)

Found this newspaper clipping in an old dusty book. I wonder what Vega sounded like that night?

Earlier this week I was observing the gibbous moon, I noticed what looked like a burning ring of fire to the north of Plato. It turned out to be the crater Fontenelle. The whole rim of this crater was sunlit, giving a wonderful light show down here in Simpson Cross. The main body of the crater was on the terminator, further enhancing the effect of the bright ring.It was mesmerising, I had not seen this event before. This was approximately 6.00 to 6.30p.m. 18/12/07.... the moon was gibbous.I was outside again at 10.00p.m. the effect had lessened, the sun's rays had moved on slightly.As long as I time it right, hopefully in 28 days time +- I will see it again....

Finepix f450.....afocal, using my 1.50 pair of binoculars.... :0)

Took this with a 60mm refractor.

Total Lunar eclipse. 3rd March 2007. Took these images with the Nikon D50, attached to the 6 inch "Event Horizon" reflector.

From my astronomy journal....

Thanks to our hard disk drive dying, the only pictures I had of the eclipse died with it. Fortunately our son Jack had taken pictures of the eclipse.....this is one of them. Thanks Jack....:-)

Can't help putting this one on. Art thou pale for weariness; of climbing heaven and gazing on the Earth; wandering companion less; among the stars that have a different birth, and ever changing like a joyless eye; that finds no object worth its constancy. "To the Moon". Percy Bysshe Shelley

Orion is now rising in the evening skies....here comes the winter. Here comes the Orion Nebula...

An old friend.....we celebrate our 32nd anniversary this year!

One more from our friend's smallholding back last year. They have no street lights.... WHY DO WE HAVE SO MANY STREET LIGHTS!!! Bring back the night sky!!!!!!

This was taken on the 31st May 2006 between 10 and 11 pm (yes very accurate timing...!). As the ISS was passing, I quickly set up the tripod and camera, managed just 5 shots. This was the best of them.

Setting Sun from Simpson Cross.

09:15 GMT : This eclipse was clouded out completely in Simpson Cross. We rushed towards town in the hope that a sighting would be possible. Luckily in Haverfordwest a brief gap in the clouds allowed two photographs to be taken. The temperature did noticeable drop during the eclipse. Also the birds were singing quietly as they did in the eclipse of 11th August 1999.

It had rained the previous day, and this morning the blue sky appeared only long enough to take a few photographs. Didn't think I would get to see this event,......... thank you those cloud free moments.

First attempt using one of the ccd surveillance cameras that I bought at a local bootsale, they cost 2.50 each. Dr Steve Wainwright hooked them up to his telescope, using various filters and photostacking software, to produce the above result. The yellow was added later using Paint Shop Pro 7. Thanks Steve....:-) Dr Wainwright is the founder of The Quick Cam and Unconventional Imaging Astronomy Group, QCUIAG for short.

Took this photo using a Canon EOS 1000. I was sitting in a camping tent, with the 60mm refractor poking out of the tent flaps. This seemed the best way to capture some contrast in my solar projection.

Wasn't sure if I could view the transit, the early morning cloud cover was considerable. Luckily about 9.00am it cleared up nicely....blue skies from that moment on....beautiful transit.

Captured this image a few mornings ago. Venus in the morning seems magical to me, possibly because I'm not fully awake at 6.15 am!!. Recently the planet has been dazzling in the eyepiece. Wonderful blues showing up in the eyepiece at high power, thanks to the achromatic lens......though you won't find me complaining about it...:-)

Remote controlled by us at the Trefach November 2007 star camp and captured by the Hawaii Faulkes Telescope

Remote controlled by us at the Trefach November 2007 star camp and captured by the Hawaii Faulkes Telescope

Remote controlled by us at the Trefach November 2007 star camp and captured by the Hawaii Faulkes Telescope

Remote controlled by us at the Trefach November 2007 star camp and captured by the Hawaii Faulkes Telescope

Extracts from the Astronomy course held at the Preseli adult education centre, written by the late Fred Whittle and Andrew Sprott. Click on the image for a full size A4 Acrobat document.

Extracts from the Astronomy course held at the Preseli adult education centre, written by the late Fred Whittle and Andrew Sprott. Click on the image for a full size A4 Acrobat document.

Extracts from the Astronomy course held at the Preseli adult education centre, written by the late Fred Whittle and Andrew Sprott. Click on the image for a full size A4 Acrobat document.

Extracts from the Astronomy course held at the Preseli adult education centre, written by the late Fred Whittle and Andrew Sprott. Click on the image for a full size A4 Acrobat document.

Extracts from the Astronomy course held at the Preseli adult education centre, written by the late Fred Whittle and Andrew Sprott. Click on the image for a full size A4 Acrobat document.

Extracts from the Astronomy course held at the Preseli adult education centre, written by the late Fred Whittle and Andrew Sprott. Click on the image for a full size A4 Acrobat document.

Extracts from the Astronomy course held at the Preseli adult education centre, written by the late Fred Whittle and Andrew Sprott. Click on the image for a full size A4 Acrobat document.

Extracts from the Astronomy course held at the Preseli adult education centre, written by the late Fred Whittle and Andrew Sprott. Click on the image for a full size A4 Acrobat document.

Extracts from the Astronomy course held at the Preseli adult education centre, written by the late Fred Whittle and Andrew Sprott. Click on the image for a full size A4 Acrobat document.

Extracts from the Astronomy course held at the Preseli adult education centre, written by the late Fred Whittle and Andrew Sprott. Click on the image for a full size A4 Acrobat document.

Extracts from the Astronomy course held at the Preseli adult education centre, written by the late Fred Whittle and Andrew Sprott. Click on the image for a full size A4 Acrobat document.

Extracts from the Astronomy course held at the Preseli adult education centre, written by the late Fred Whittle and Andrew Sprott. Click on the image for a full size A4 Acrobat document.

Extracts from the Astronomy course held at the Preseli adult education centre, written by the late Fred Whittle and Andrew Sprott. Click on the image for a full size A4 Acrobat document.

Extracts from the Astronomy course held at the Preseli adult education centre, written by the late Fred Whittle and Andrew Sprott. Click on the image for a full size A4 Acrobat document.

Extracts from the Astronomy course held at the Preseli adult education centre, written by the late Fred Whittle and Andrew Sprott. Click on the image for a full size A4 Acrobat document.

Extracts from the Astronomy course held at the Preseli adult education centre, written by the late Fred Whittle and Andrew Sprott. Click on the image for a full size A4 Acrobat document.

Extracts from the Astronomy course held at the Preseli adult education centre, written by the late Fred Whittle and Andrew Sprott. Click on the image for a full size A4 Acrobat document.

Extracts from the Astronomy course held at the Preseli adult education centre, written by the late Fred Whittle and Andrew Sprott. Click on the image for a full size A4 Acrobat document.

Images from full size A4 posters in Acrobat format extracted from our own and part of the Powerpoint presentations that Bob Mizon and members of the Campaign for Dark Skies have prepared. We are trying to spread the word that Astronomers are not the big bad spiders who like to turn off all the lights making the night dangerous for all. Rather we promote the proper use of lighting so that light is directed down to make the streets safer and the skies darker. Simple really.

Images from full size A4 posters in Acrobat format extracted from our own and part of the Powerpoint presentations that Bob Mizon and members of the Campaign for Dark Skies have prepared. We are trying to spread the word that Astronomers are not the big bad spiders who like to turn off all the lights making the night dangerous for all. Rather we promote the proper use of lighting so that light is directed down to make the streets safer and the skies darker. Simple really.

Images from full size A4 posters in Acrobat format extracted from our own and part of the Powerpoint presentations that Bob Mizon and members of the Campaign for Dark Skies have prepared. We are trying to spread the word that Astronomers are not the big bad spiders who like to turn off all the lights making the night dangerous for all. Rather we promote the proper use of lighting so that light is directed down to make the streets safer and the skies darker. Simple really.

Images from full size A4 posters in Acrobat format extracted from our own and part of the Powerpoint presentations that Bob Mizon and members of the Campaign for Dark Skies have prepared. We are trying to spread the word that Astronomers are not the big bad spiders who like to turn off all the lights making the night dangerous for all. Rather we promote the proper use of lighting so that light is directed down to make the streets safer and the skies darker. Simple really.

Images from full size A4 posters in Acrobat format extracted from our own and part of the Powerpoint presentations that Bob Mizon and members of the Campaign for Dark Skies have prepared. We are trying to spread the word that Astronomers are not the big bad spiders who like to turn off all the lights making the night dangerous for all. Rather we promote the proper use of lighting so that light is directed down to make the streets safer and the skies darker. Simple really.

Images from full size A4 posters in Acrobat format extracted from our own and part of the Powerpoint presentations that Bob Mizon and members of the Campaign for Dark Skies have prepared. We are trying to spread the word that Astronomers are not the big bad spiders who like to turn off all the lights making the night dangerous for all. Rather we promote the proper use of lighting so that light is directed down to make the streets safer and the skies darker. Simple really.

Images from full size A4 posters in Acrobat format extracted from our own and part of the Powerpoint presentations that Bob Mizon and members of the Campaign for Dark Skies have prepared. We are trying to spread the word that Astronomers are not the big bad spiders who like to turn off all the lights making the night dangerous for all. Rather we promote the proper use of lighting so that light is directed down to make the streets safer and the skies darker. Simple really.

Images from full size A4 posters in Acrobat format extracted from our own and part of the Powerpoint presentations that Bob Mizon and members of the Campaign for Dark Skies have prepared. We are trying to spread the word that Astronomers are not the big bad spiders who like to turn off all the lights making the night dangerous for all. Rather we promote the proper use of lighting so that light is directed down to make the streets safer and the skies darker. Simple really.

3d anaglyphic poster of Mars taken by one of the two rovers currently exploring Mars. Click on the image for the full size acrobat poster.

3d anaglyphic poster of Mars taken by one of the two rovers currently exploring Mars. Click on the image for the full size acrobat poster.

3d anaglyphic poster of Mars taken by one of the two rovers currently exploring Mars. Click on the image for the full size acrobat poster.

3d anaglyphic poster of Mars taken by one of the two rovers currently exploring Mars. Click on the image for the full size acrobat poster.

3d anaglyphic poster of Mars taken by one of the two rovers currently exploring Mars. Click on the image for the full size acrobat poster.

3d anaglyphic poster of Mars taken by one of the two rovers currently exploring Mars. Click on the image for the full size acrobat poster.

3d anaglyphic poster of Mars taken by one of the two rovers currently exploring Mars. Click on the image for the full size acrobat poster.

In 1998 Dr S. J. Wainwright formed the group to explore the possibilities of capturing night sky objects using simple webcams. The group has over 8000 members worldwide and many have made significant contributions to the astronomy world. Many members have written freeware software - including mine - and have designed and sell cameras that have a much higher dynamic range of colour, that no so much makes the images prettier, but brings out more detail like showing red and blue giant stars.

Extracts of the Powerpoint presentation written by the late Fred Whittle and Andrew Sprott. Click on the image for the full size A4 acrobat poster.

Extracts of the Powerpoint presentation written by the late Fred Whittle and Andrew Sprott. Click on the image for the full size A4 acrobat poster.

Extracts of the Powerpoint presentation written by the late Fred Whittle and Andrew Sprott. Click on the image for the full size A4 acrobat poster.

Extracts of the Powerpoint presentation written by the late Fred Whittle and Andrew Sprott. Click on the image for the full size A4 acrobat poster.

Extracts of the Powerpoint presentation written by the late Fred Whittle and Andrew Sprott. Click on the image for the full size A4 acrobat poster.

Notes from session one, a introduction to astronomy and the basics of the Sun and Moon.

Notes from session one, a introduction to astronomy and the basics of the Sun and Moon.

Notes from session one, a introduction to astronomy and the basics of the Sun and Moon.

Notes from session one, a introduction to astronomy and the basics of the Sun and Moon.

Notes from session one, a introduction to astronomy and the basics of the Sun and Moon.

Notes from session two, the navigation systems used to locate stellar objects.

Notes from session two, the navigation systems used to locate stellar objects.

Notes from session two, the navigation systems used to locate stellar objects.

Notes from session two, the navigation systems used to locate stellar objects.

Notes from session two, the navigation systems used to locate stellar objects.

Notes from session three, a introduction to astronomy and the basics of the Sun and Moon.

Notes from session three, a introduction to astronomy and the basics of the Sun and Moon.

Notes from session three, a introduction to astronomy and the basics of the Sun and Moon.

Notes from session three, a introduction to astronomy and the basics of the Sun and Moon.

Notes from session three, a introduction to astronomy and the basics of the Sun and Moon.

Notes from session three, a introduction to astronomy and the basics of the Sun and Moon.

Notes from session three, a introduction to astronomy and the basics of the Sun and Moon.

Notes from session three, a introduction to astronomy and the basics of the Sun and Moon.

Notes from session three, a introduction to astronomy and the basics of the Sun and Moon.

Notes from session three, a introduction to astronomy and the basics of the Sun and Moon.

Notes from session three, a introduction to astronomy and the basics of the Sun and Moon.

Notes from session three, a introduction to astronomy and the basics of the Sun and Moon.

Notes from session three, a introduction to astronomy and the basics of the Sun and Moon.

Notes from session three, a introduction to astronomy and the basics of the Sun and Moon.

Notes from session three, a introduction to astronomy and the basics of the Sun and Moon.

Notes from session three, a introduction to astronomy and the basics of the Sun and Moon.

Notes from session three, a introduction to astronomy and the basics of the Sun and Moon.

Notes from session six, a introduction to astronomy and the basics of the Sun and Moon.

Notes from session six, a introduction to astronomy and the basics of the Sun and Moon.

Notes from session six, a introduction to astronomy and the basics of the Sun and Moon.

Notes from session six, a introduction to astronomy and the basics of the Sun and Moon.

Notes from session six, a introduction to astronomy and the basics of the Sun and Moon.

16 inch catadioptric telescope on display at the first Trefach Star Camp in March 5th 2005. The telescope was designed and built by Peter Wise from Cape Instruments

16 inch catadioptric telescope on display at the first Trefach Star Camp in March 5th 2005. The telescope was designed and built by Peter Wise from Cape Instruments. Peter also designed the base that drives the telescope.

16 inch catadioptric telescope on display at the first Trefach Star Camp in March 5th 2005. The telescope was designed and built by Peter Wise from Cape Instruments.

Another catadioptric telescope on display at the first Trefach Star Camp in March 5th 2005. The telescope was designed and built by Peter Wise from Cape Instruments.

Nick Hart and Fred Whittle enjoy a pint on the Saturday night of the 2nd star camp in October 2005.

Their were plenty of bargins at our 3rd Star Camp.

Martin Lunn and his wife had plenty of astronomy books for sale.

Paul and Suzie had plenty of rockets for sale.

Ivan Wilson had plenty of bargains from Celtic Vision, a local shop in Narberth

Everybody posed for the end of the 3rd Trefach Star Camp in October 2005. David Grace [2nd right] is holding a Jovian radio telescope built by Bob Greef [3rd right]

Paul gave us an excellent rocket display which ended with his version of a stealth rocket which uses the same technology as the Space Shuttle.

Rod and Maurice looked after our stall in the exhibition room

Bob Mizon gave us a talk on the Campaign For Dark Skies

As always, Ivan had plenty of good buys at the camp

Fred and Steve observe the Sun safely with a Newtonian refelector from Celtic Vision

Steve observes the Sun safely in Hydrogen light through Nicks Conorado Personal Telescope

Anthony and Mike [right] discuss their results taken on the Friday night of the 4th star camp.

Camp visitors and WWAG members outside the bar

Jim and Anne Startup with their Conorado Personal Solar Telescope

Steve Wainwright looks through a pair of binoculars with Solar filters

John Birks gave us a talk on the Saturday afternoon

Don Weller and the John Gibbons Trio live at Lampeter House Pembrokeshire

Don Weller and the John Gibbons Trio live at Lampeter House Pembrokeshire

Fred's MGB seen parked at Llysyfran dam

Fred's MGB seen outside his van at Trefach

Fred's MGB seen outside his van at Trefach

Fred's MGB seen outside his van at Trefach

Photographed at the Scoltan Manor motor show 2006

Photographed at the Scoltan Manor motor show 2006

Photographed at the Scoltan Manor motor show 2006

The only Austin 7 in the race

Piers bought by members of the West Wales Astronomy Group, built by Tony Ridgewell

Piers bought by members of the West Wales Astronomy Group, built by Tony Ridgewell

Our pier built by Tony Ridgewell with the mount sited

Our mount kindly donated by Sandra Davis fixed to the pier

Our telescope kindly donated by Steve Wainwright fixed to the mount

Our telescope ready for observing

Steve seen here slewing his 80mm reflector with a Baadar Solar filter

Steve and Fred seen here with a Meade ETX90, a 80mm refelector and a purpose built set up for two Coronado PST's with Hydrogen-Alpha and Calcium-K filters

The Hakin Observatory seen at the back

The Hakin Observatory which never saw the light of the night

The Hakin Observatory built in 1809

One of the few Celtic Crosses intact

One of the few Celtic Crosses intact

Fred seen here supporting the Newport Burial Chamber

Our mascot seen here by a lump of Bluestone that originally came from the mountain in the background in 1989

This burial chamber is not far from Moylegrove. There is also a giant crack in one of the support stones. Carn Ingli is in the background

This burial chamber is one of the very few located in a wood. Note that their are four support stones which might explain the cracks.

This stone is one of sixteen stones in the Gors Fawr stone circle located in Mynachlog-Ddu.

This stone circle was built recently when Haverfordwest was the location of the Eisteddford.

Fred seen here supporting one of the support stones for the Pentre Ivan stone circle

Nick seen here deciding if the surf is good

Nick about to let it loose :)

Nick and Steve with Whitesands beach in the background

On a very cold, crisp day, in early January 2006, Fred and I took on Carn Ingli, otherwise known as the Mountain of angels. This image is from the very top and gives a nice 3d effect.

Looking North-Westwards with Dinas Head in the background and behind the rocks Fishguard lies.

Down at the foot of the mountain lies Newport which has a very diverse and intelligent community, something rare in small towns these days.

This ancient stone circle lies in the village of Mynachlog-Ddu. The English translation for the name of the village is 'Monastery of the Black monks'. Apparently the monastery was a kind of borstal for mischievous monks.

Looking through the rails down to the river below.

Looking across the top of the dam.

Another name is the Giants Causeway. Although this isn't actually in West Wales - actually it is in Parkmill on the Gower - it makes a beautiful 3d subject as stone always does.

We found that using this kind of 3d photography was ideal for archeological research and as you can see the stones and entrance stand out clearly.

This image makes a nice 3d subject, here you can hear the deafining sound of the birds.

This image looks outwards northwards, we follow the path round to the bay where the boat picks you up to take you back to Marloes.

I thought this would make a good effect with 3d as you have no idea if you are going to fall over the edge :)

Of course Strumble lighthouse in the background.

Our software

Talisoft Software

Talisoft have been developing software for the PC since 1989. In 1990, PcWord was released. Although it works under DOS, and should work fine in a DOS prompt under any version of Windows, it still has powerful features. In particular it's uses for formating text.

Other DOS programs also have been developed in Assembler code. A multidimensional flowchart editing program. And although it only has about 512kb of RAM to spare, you can still fit about 9000 boxes in a single chart.

PcKey a typing tutor that works with script files so you can create your own tutorials. The included tutorials are written this way.

PcWord has powerful sorting features, and RSort is a standalone program that will sort text files. Features include record and field sorting, and the ability to sort words based on specified characters that act as word seperators.

You can download the orignal Talisoft software by clicking here

Newer software for astronomers

From about 2004 software written in Pascal using Delphi for Windows has been written for astronomers in mind. There is a major shortfall of software in this category.

The major software and hardware manufacturers seem to omit the needs of amateur astronomers with the excuse that it is a minority market.

So we try to provide software that is original in it's purpose without recreating software that works in the same way.

Like the DOS software available here, the newer programs are free. Some even have source code included.

The developers

Andrew Sprott founded Talisoft and wrote the orignal DOS software in the early 90's.

When Andrew joined the Swansea Astronomical Society, he met Steve Wainwright, also a programmer, and together decided to address the shortage of software available for astronomers.

Steve is very good at trouble shooting logical programmtical problems, so with his skill and Andrews experience, they started work on a simple Blink Comparator.

A Blink Comparator

A conventional Blink Comparator, like the one that was used to search for Pluto, only works with two frames, or images.

These were machines, not computers and we realised then that we could easily make it more usefull. For example, several images can be loaded together. We also added a function that allows you to align the set of images.

Finally, you can export the cropped images into a program that can make a movie. In our gallery page, there are two animated 'GIF' movies that were made in this way.

Blink, also can work as a slide show presentation system. .

You can download Blink by clicking here

Network Telescope Control [NTC]

The next program that we embarked upon was a program that allows anybody to control a GOTO telescope over any network, including the Internet.

When we first got it working, we tested it by asking Julie Ostien-Sprott, over in Ontario Canada to control a ETX-90 situated in Pembrokeshire.

Using Yahoo messenger, to relay the video signal, she spent over an hour exploring the Moon.

The program was born out of code from an excellent astronomical planetarium program called Cartes de Ciel, and as it is Open Source and avaiable freely, we only saw it fit to also make NTC Open Source. The source code, written in Delphi is included.

To finish what we started, we created a Cartes de Ciel plugin that allows you to remote control a telescope over a network using the on-screen planetarium provided by Cartes de Ciel.

You can download NTC by clicking here

And you can download Cartes de Ceil by clicking here

Flexible Image Combine [FIC]

FIC was born out of a project that Andrew started to address the problem of images taken with cameras that oversaturate.

Cameras are not like our eyes, so we have to compensate for this by combining images taken with different exposure times.

Like Blink, FIC has a built in alignment function, so it makes combining images easier. Combining is a simple process where the corresponding pixels of each image are added together and averaged.

This process is known as stacking, and is a good way to reduce 'noise' that cameras can pick up. FIC also allows you to give each image in the list a different weight which can increase the fainter detail.

You can download FIC by clicking here

Solar Layers

Solar Layers is a unique process that produces a reasonable image of the Sun using any webcam or camera.

Again, unlike our eyes, a camera cannot capture an image of the Sun that shows both the disc, with it's Sun-spots and surface detail with the outside corona.

Solar Layers solves this by allowing you to layer both the disc and outside detail. This is simple because the layer that has the outside detail will usually be oversaturated where the disc detail should be. So by using built in transparency and opaque functions you can combine both images into a single decent image of the Sun.

You can download Solar Layers by clicking here

GPS Mapper

Not related to astronomy, GPS Mapper addresses a problem we had when we wanted to download waypoints from a Garmin Etrex handset and plot the points to make a map.

So we started Mapper, and have a product that should work with most Garmin handsets that plug into the serial port. Steve wanted to use it for mapping areas of vegetation so we built in a perimeter function that gives a quick analysis of the size of area that the maps cover.

We wrote an article on the possible application it has for archeologists when mapping areas of a site. The process from downloading waypoints and plotting the map is easy and fast. The article was published in British Archeology in 2004.

You can download GPS Mapper by clicking here

Three D, a anayglyph (3d image) compiler

We are keen on finding ancient archeological sites in West Wales. And wanted to be able to visualise our photos in 3d, so we developed this program.

The process is very basic and fast. To be able to use this software you need to take two images of the same subject. They need to be on average, 6cm apart. You load both images into Three D and click and you have an anaglyphic image.

You need anaglyphic glasses to view the images. These are glasses that have a red filter for the left eye and a cyan filter for the right eye.

A feature we added allows you to process a batch of images in one go, saving the laborious task of loading each pair manually.

You can download Three D by clicking here

Contact Us

How to find us

You can contact us on 07970 410 777, or via Email at

astro at westwalesastronomy.co.uk

The Drovers Inn can be contacted on 01348 881 469.