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Inverclyde Skywatchers Photo Galleries 2


Astronaut Mike Foale Here is some more about Mike as he joined David Faller  to speak about his career and his involvement in space education in schools.

This is an archived  Inverclyde Radio interview Broadcast 11th March 2015

Super Moon Lunar Eclipse.
Super moons occur when the Moon reaches it's full phase at or near the satellites closest approach to Earth, and appears larger and brighter.
The term perigee, when the Moon is closest to Earth, and Apogee when furthest.
The last eclipse occurred in 1982,and the next won't take place until 2033.
So on 28th September 2015, Marion's photos captured an event you won't see for another 17 years.
What an evening, we started our viewing At midnight and finished viewing at 6:30 am. We are so lucky to witness and capture this event.

The Gallery above features a selection of photographs provided by Margaret Lees.

Lenicular clouds(Altocumulus Lenticularis) are stationary lens-shaped clouds that form in the Troposphere, normally in perpendicular alignment to the wind direction.

As air flows along the surfaces of the Earth, it encounters obstructions.

These are man made objects, such as buildings, bridges, and natural features like hills and valleys and mountains, all of them disrupt the flow of air into eddies.

The strength of these eddies depends on the size of the object and the speed of the wind.

Where stable moist air flows over a mountain or mountain ranges is where you mostly see this appear.

They can be mistaken for UFO's as you can see from the photo in number 15.

As you can see the safest way to view the Sun, is with paper and telescope.

Never look at the Sun with the naked eye, through any optical equipment at the Sun as it can cause serious eye damage or blindness.

Here are some pictures, a music stand does come in handy too.

The photo's were all taken with a phone camera.

More from our recent

Photo galleries


Both Marion and Margaret, were asked if they would volunteer to do a space themed workshop with Pre-school, primary 1 and 2's and with the children's parents.

The event started at 10am and finished at 2pm on Monday 18th July. Within that time the children took part in learning about our 8 planets, the difference between planet's and stars. The children coloured in pictures of space men, rockets, puzzles and their own drawings of their favourite planets.

There will be another summer lunch club at Craigmarloch School on the 8th August 2016.

The children's drawings will be on display at.

Port Glasgow Library from

10th August until 31st August

Please bring family and friends to view your children's drawings.

Port Glasgow Library opening times.

Mon + Thurs            Noon - 7pm.

Tues + Fri                10am - 5pm.

Wed + Sat               10am - 1pm.

Drawings can be collected from the 1st September   

A visit to the Glasgow science centre, attending ( David Elder Lectures) on Monday 29th Aug.

We went along to see and hear a presentation by Professor Joe Giaime on Gravitational Waves, Ripples in space.

Professor Joe Giaime is a director of L.I.G.O. ( Laser Interferometer Gravitational Waves Observatory) Livingston Observatory in Louisiana. He is also a Professor of Physics at Louisiana State University, and head of L.I.G.O.

On September 14th 2015, two giant laser interferometers known as L.I.G.O. The most sensitive instrument ever built, detected gravitational waves from the merger of two massive black holes, more than a billion light years from Earth.

The discovery confirmed the theoretical predictions of Albert Einstein made a century earlier.

LIGO estimated that at the peak gravitational wave, power radiated during the final moments of the two black holes merging, was about fifty times greater than the combined light power from all the stars and galaxies in the observable Universe.

Professor Kenneth Strain led the work to create and install a better suspension system for the mirrors, so that our planet's tremors and wobbles could be factored out, and the tiny bends in space and time detected.

Glasgow University which has led the input into the LIGO upgrade.

Other Universities are involved, Strathclyde, Edinburgh, West of Scotland are among dozens of institutions worldwide that have contributed to the effort.

What would Albert Einstein have made of this amazing event?

Quote from Martin Hendry, Professor of Gravitational Astrophysics and Cosmology and Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Glasgow.

"Not only have we detected gravitational waves, we are witnessing the birth of an entirely new branch of science: Gravitational Astronomy.”

As we all know what  our Marion is like with photographs, this is the latest.

We went chasing after these four gentlemen who kindly accepted to have a photo taken with them. Honest there wasn't a lot of arm twisting from Marion. 

(From left to right) Nick Lockerbie ( University of Strathclyde), Joe Giaime (Louisiana State University and LIGO Livingston Director), Marion Mc Neill, Jim Hough ( University of Glasgow), Margaret Lees, and Martin Hendry ( University of Glasgow).

Next visit to the Glasgow Science Centre will be on the subject of,

Is the Milky Way Special? With Professor Chris Linntott on the 8th September.

I am sure it will be another very interesting and informative evening.

Click here for  Our First Year Photo galleries


By Professor Chris Lintott.

Professor Chris  Lintott as, you will all probably know, from The Sky At Night. He took over the post as presenter from Sir Patrick Moore. He is also the co-founder of Galaxy Zoo, an online crowd sourcing project where members of the public can volunteer their time to assist in classifying over a million galaxies.

He has co-authored books, and in 2006 he received a PHD in Astrophysics from the University College of London.

Professor Chris Lintott takes us on a journey through the universe using the Science centre full dome visual planetarium.

Not only was his presentation about the Milky Way and beyond, interesting and informative.

He is an outstanding communicator with so much knowledge and understanding and you can definitely see he loves what he does. 

Also has a great sense of humour, which also came through in his talk / presentation.

This is some of the information that we learned on the evening.

The Milky Way measures some 100,000 - 120,000 light years in diameter, it is home to our planet Earth. Our Solar System resides roughly 27,000 light years away from the galactic centre.

It has over 200 hundred billion stars.

The Milky Way Galaxy is warped, the disc is far from being perfectly flat.

It is warped, a fact that astronomers attribute to the two neighbours, the Large and Small Magellanic clouds.

The two dwarf galaxies part of the local group of galaxies orbiting the Milky Way are believed to be pulling on the dark matter in our galaxy in a galactic game of tug-of-war.

The Milky Way wasn't always as it is today, it became it's current size and shape by eating up other galaxies.

There is a supermassive black hole at the centre.

The centre of the galaxy is called Sagittarius A.

All the mass trying to get inside the black hole is called the accretion disc, the disc is 4.6 million times the mass of the Sun.

The Milky Way is as old as the universe itself about 13.6 billion years give or take another 800 million.

The universe is estimated to be about 13.7 billion years old.

The disc and bulge itself didn't form until about 10-12 billions years ago, and the bulge that you see may have formed earlier.

We were also informed about the Virgo super cluster, it  is just one of millions of super clusters across the universe. they are arranged in long filaments and walls surrounding even large voids of space where there are no galaxies at all. The Virgo super cluster contains  more than a million galaxies, stretching across a region of space 110 million light years across.

Our Sun is just one member of the Milky Way, and the Milky Way is part of a collection of galaxies known as the local group.

This contains three large spiral galaxies: the Milky Way, Triangulum, and Andromeda. 

The Milky Way is on the move its moving through space, and that  scientists predict that about in 400 billion years from now the Milky Way will collide with the Andromeda Galaxy.

Both  Marion and myself have to say " What a gentleman a lovely man, is Professor Lintott, he took time to speak to Marion and myself about our group and “Gravitation Astronomy".

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