Now it’s no secret that the current government isn’t one of my choosing. Or perhaps it is. Perhaps I got exactly what I asked for. Perhaps… but that’s a rant that’s been done to death. Anyway, I’ve had a letter from the Prime Minister. (I didn’t vote for him…) and his stooge. They told me about a website which is asking where economies can be made in the public sector. Specifically could I think of any at work? Well, one or two areas of excessive squander come to mind. It would be wrong of me to expose the failings of the NHS here, but let’s just say I’ve written to the boss about Technical and Discussion Groups”, The MHRA, Clinical Pathology Accreditation, numbers of people in management grades, and “Clinical Governance”. I wonder how much money my suggestions might save the country. We shall see.
And then to work. With the solar telescope in the back of my car, at lunch time we had a Star Party. I have a colleague who regularly attends the astro club, and we’d arranged to use the solar scope together. However, word soon got out about what we were doing, and a few other people came along out of interest.
I’ve never organised a Star Party before, but I suspect that they are easier to do when there’s only one star to worry about (the sun!), and after a few minutes wasted setting up the scope, we saw prominences, solar flares and even a sunspot or two. As always, people who’ve never looked at astronomical objects were fascinated, and I found a hazard of solar observing that I’d never realised. Whenever I look through a telescope at the moon, or a planet or a nebula, once I come away from the telescope I look at the target object with my naked eye, in wonderment of what I’ve seen through the telescope. Everyone does this – it would seem to be a natural reaction. And one that carries on into solar astronomy. Having caught myself about to stare at the sun after seeing sunspots in the scope, I then caught everyone else about to do the same.
I managed to take one or two photos of the sun and of using the scope whilst we were at it. I might just put together a quick presentation for the astro club….