Ever looked up into the night sky and wished you knew more about what you were looking at?
We’re delighted to announce that we’re running a five week long astronomy course from the 21st September with Solent Tuition Network. In this course led by Dan Rourke, you will be able to Follow the lives of the greatest astronomers in history, learn more about the constellations and delve into the treasures of our own Solar System. You may even get to see a planet or two….?
Selborne is the perfect place for a spot of astronomy placed within the South Downs ‘International dark skies reserve’ means that there is very little light pollution to get in the way of your observations. The village for many years now has taken great precaution in protecting our local wildlife by limiting the amount of light during the night.
The course which will be weekly at the Gilbert White Field Studies Centre on a Thursday night 8pm-10pm, and costs £75 for the full five weeks, would be right up Gilbert White’s street! He was a keen astronomer and his diaries are littered with astronomical reference, here are some examples…
June 3, 1781
The planet Venus is just become an evening star: but being now in the descending signs; that is, the end of Virgo, where it now is, being a lower part of the Zodiac than the end of Leo, where the sun is; Venus does not continue up an hour after the sun, & therefore must be always in a strong twilight. It sets at present N. of the west; but will be in the S.W. but not set an hour after the sun ’til Octr. from which time it will make a good figure ’til March in the S.W., W., & a little to the N. of the W.
August 18, 1783
On the evening of this day, at about a quarter after nine o’the clock, a luminous meteor of extraordinary bulk, & shape was seen traversing the sky from N.W. to S.E. It was observed at Edinburg, & several other Ern. parts of this Island. No accounts of it, that I have seen, have been published from any of the western counties. It was also taken notice of at Ostend. This meteor, I find since, was seen at Coventry, & Chester.
November 21, 1782
The conjunction of Jupiter & Saturn is over; & the former, which lately was just below the latter, is now to the E. of him, & in a line parallel with the horizon. These planets are so near the sun at setting as to be visible but a small time: & are so low as not to be seen at all at Selborne, because of the hill.
October 25, 1782
Jupiter & Saturn approach to each other very fast.
September 30, 1782
At the autumnal aequinox, the evenings are remarkably dark, because the sun at that time sets more in a right angle to the horizon, than at any other season. But of late these uncomfortable glooms have been much softened by frequent N. Auroras.
June 23, 1782
Jupiter makes, & has made for some weeks past a beautiful & resplendent appearance every evening to the S.E. Saturn, who is very near, is much obscured by the brilliancy of the former. The sun at setting shines along the hanger in these long days, & tinges the stems of the tall beeches of a golden colour in a most picturesque, & amusing manner!!