Astronomy on the Green – February 2021

This month I will concentrate on a significant patch of the winter night sky. Looking to the south west in the mid-evening you will observe two main stars; Sirius [a] (the Dog Star – blue colouration) the brightest star in the night sky, and Betelgeuse [b] a large and luminous red star.

These two distinctive stars take us into mythologically linked constellations. Sirius is found in Canis Major (the great dog) and is a bright blue star some 8.7 light years from us. It appears so bright as it is close to us, actually it is a fairly unremarkable star around 23 times more luminous than our sun, and some 1.8 times larger. This dog constellation has a partner constellation Canis Minor and the pair apparently chase a small constellation Lepus (the Hare).

The Hare nestles under another bright star Rigel [c] , which is part of the same constellation as Betelgeuse; to the right of our Hunting dogs is Orion (the Hunter). Orion is a large constellation containing some of the most visible nebula in the sky. Betelgeuse is the star at the top left of the hourglass and is a red giant, forming one shoulder of the Hunter. If this star was in our solar system it would cover the sun, and the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and part way to Saturn. Luckily for us this giant is some 600 light years distant from us, it is around 100,000 times brighter than the sun and 1000 times its size. This star is near the end of its life, and within the next 100,000 years it will go supernova and explode, when this happens it will be as bright in the sky as a full moon.

Central Orion forms the shape of a tilted hourglass in the night sky, across the waist of the hourglass lie 3 stars forming a belt [d, f]. From that belt hangs a starry sword, and towards the bottom of the sword a fuzzy area can (on a clear night) be seen. This is the Orion Nebula [e], together with a dimmer nebula known as the running man (due to the shape in its centre). Even through a small telescope some detail (not colour) can be seen.

Now we travel back up the sword to the belt, near the first star (left) two less visible objects hide, the famous Horsehead dark nebula [f] , and above it the Flame nebula. Our noble Hunter chases the constellation to its right, one of the Zodiac signs, Taurus (the Bull). Taurus is the home of another red giant star Aldebaran [g] (13th brightest) and is the eye of bull, alongside this is a small open cluster (the Hyades [h]) completing the head of the bull. Follow the gaze of the bull up and to the right and you will find the Pleiades [I] a spectacular open cluster of bright blue stars, covered with a mist of nebulously from which they form, these are the Seven Sisters of mythology. Some 440 light years away this is one of the closest clusters to us. We end our brief trip across the sky here, noting that all we have seen is in our local group of stars in our own Galaxy the Milky Way.

Before I end I want to throw some numbers at you (great huh…).

Our sun is 93 million miles from us, the light it produces travels to us as 186,000 miles a second and it takes 8.3 light minutes to reach us. So now, consider that a light year is 186,000 x 60 x 60 x 24 x 365 miles, or (as you are dying to know) – 5,865,696,000,000 miles.

Astronomy therefore makes us into time-travellers we see the seven sisters as they were 440 years ago (so that big number times 440). The closest spiral Galaxy (Andromeda- similar to ours) is 2.5 million light years away.

Hums the tune to Dr Who… Bye.

Tony Boutle

The Prattler – Editors notes

You may have noticed that this edition looks a bit different than usual. Its thinner and covers the next two months. Unfortunately due to the current lockdown and covid crisis, the Prattler is having to cut back on its publication costs and contents. Therefore we have decided that for the next few months, we will be publishing once every two months instead of monthly. This is so we can conserve our savings until activities restart later in the year.

Thank you to the advertisers and contributors for your continued support.

Sue Boutle – Editor

Edition 440 – February/March 2021

The Prattler is run by an active voluntary committee comprising of Sue Boutle, Christine Watts, Vicki Hamblin, Jez Wilson, Nick Essex, Richard Musson and Mary Rice. If you would like to submit articles or have any suggestions for future issues, please contact us.

The newspaper is supported by donations from the Parish Council, the Parish Church, the Baptist Church, Heyford W.I., Heyford Gardening Club, Heyford Singers, the Bowls Club, the Village Hall and Heyford Picturedrome as well as our advertisers.

Thanks are also due to the volunteers who distribute it every month.

The Royal British Legion Nether Heyford Women’s Section

As stated in the previous Prattler, here is an update on the Poppy Appeal Fundraising over the last couple of months.

Firstly, my thanks to everyone who has been involved in the fundraising and to all the donors who are listed below. If I have missed anyone, please accept my apologies and thanks on behalf of The Royal British Legion. The support given to such a worthy cause is much appreciated.

I have collected the monies given and have paid these into our Bank. The total collected is £622.37.

Jez Wilson published the names earlier, but I would like to thank those that donated who include:

Gary Richmond, Aly & Rich, Joan & Alex, Trev Clarkey, Marie Hanlon, Sarah Hawkins, Birkett family, Jadine, Simon & Debbie, Heyford Athletic FC, Brian and Maxine Edgington, Stu and Emma, Sue & Tony Boutle, Jez Wilson, Gary McMahon, Lesley Faulkner, Jill Garratt, The Gilkes Family, The Wray’s, Lynn Adey, Mark, Sally and Emily Stroman, Ms Patricia Wakeman, Lisa King & many more donors who chose to remain anonymous.

I would also like to thank Claire Green, one of our members, for the donation of £127.30 being the proceeds from the sale of masks and various other items. These were made by the Adult Education Unit which Claire works for. Our heartfelt thanks to these special people who have made a difference.

Our small Branch is always looking for new members so, ladies, if you would like to join and come to our meetings, you would be most welcome. We fund raise and have a meeting on the first Thursday of the month and have some interesting speakers. If you feel that this would interest you, come and join us. Please contact Kath Pancoust, our Branch Secretary, for further details on 01327 340034 or email/message The Prattler and they can connect you with one of the British Legion members so you can find out more about membership.


Kind regards

Caroline Elliott – Treasurer – February 2020

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The Royal British Legion

The Royal British Legion, is a British charity providing financial, social and emotional support to members and veterans of the British Armed Forces, their families and dependants.

There are approximately 2,500 Royal British Legion branches across the UK and overseas. They are focal points for social activity, Remembrance and support the Armed Forces community in all kinds of ways.In local communities they play a vital role in helping hard-to-reach individuals and tackling problems like loneliness and isolation.

https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/

Fundraising page (now closed): https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/netherheyfordbritishlegion

Astronomy on the Green – December 6th 2020

Images of Space taken from Nether Heyford Village Green

“Well late last night I finally got some clear skies (thinking about it, it was early this morning). So, I got to test out the new setup. 24 images (12 minutes )from my DSLR/Starwave scope, stacked. M42 (Orion)& the Running Man nebula.I am going to process this with another program, but at the moment I’m learning – I should be able to get a better image… Once I understand how it works, not exactly intuitive 🤔

All photographs taken from Nether Heyford Village green by local resident

Tony Boutle

Astronomy on the Green – November 23rd 2020

Images of Space taken from Nether Heyford Village Green

“I had a request for images of the Sea of Tranquillity, where the first moon landing by Shepherd & Aldrin occurred.

Three images approaching the Mare…”

All photographs taken from Nether Heyford Village green by local resident

Tony Boutle

The Prattler – December 2020

The Prattler is run by an active voluntary committee comprising of Sue Boutle, Christine Watts, Vicki Hamblin, Jez Wilson, Nick Essex, Richard Musson and Mary Rice. If you would like to submit articles or have any suggestions for future issues, please contact us.

The newspaper is supported by donations from the Parish Council, the Parish Church, the Baptist Church, Heyford W.I., Heyford Gardening Club, Heyford Singers, the Bowls Club, the Village Hall and Heyford Picturedrome as well as our advertisers.

Thanks are also due to the volunteers who distribute it every month.

Nether Heyford British Legion – Poppy Appeal 2020 – Update

On behalf of the Royal British Legion, Nether Heyford Women’s Section, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks for the generous donations given through the Justgiving site set up by Jez Wilson to help with the Poppy Appeal.

Thank you Jez for your participation in setting this up and for your earlier note in The Prattler.

Thank you to all for the generous donations given, through the site and through donations given personally to members of the RBL. Your donations have exceeded the expectation of the original £80 to purchase the wreaths. I can confirm that I have paid the sum for the wreaths and once all monies are collected, I will let The Prattler know and put the totals in the next edition.

Once again, thank you all. This means so much to keep the RBL helping our veterans.

Kind regards

Caroline Elliott – Treasurer – December 2020

The Royal British Legion

The Royal British Legion, is a British charity providing financial, social and emotional support to members and veterans of the British Armed Forces, their families and dependants.

Poppy Appeal 2020 – with amazing speed and generosity £310 was quickly raised – combining that with some cash and cheque donations sent through the post, a grand total of £425 was raised for the local village British Legion branch helping towards remembrance day 2020 and beyond.

Many thanks for all those that donated which included :

Gary Richmond | Aly & Rich | Joan & Alex | Trev Clarkey | Marie Hanlon | Sarah Hawkins | Birkett family | Jadine | Simon & Debbie | Heyford Athletic FC | Brian and Maxine Edgington | Stu and Emma | Sue Boutle | Jez Wilson | Gary McMahon | Lesely Faulkner | Jill Garratt | The Gilkes Family | The Wray’s | Lynn Adey | Mark, Sally and Emily Stroman

& many more donors who chose to remain anonymous

Jez Wilson – November 2020

The Prattler – November 2020

The Prattler is run by an active voluntary committee comprising of Sue Boutle, Christine Watts, Vicki Hamblin, Jez Wilson, Nick Essex, Richard Musson and Mary Rice. If you would like to submit articles or have any suggestions for future issues, please contact us.

The newspaper is supported by donations from the Parish Council, the Parish Church, the Baptist Church, Heyford W.I., Heyford Gardening Club, Heyford Singers, the Bowls Club, the Village Hall and Heyford Picturedrome as well as our advertisers.

Thanks are also due to the volunteers who distribute it every month.