Meetings


2023 February Stargazing Meeting – Wednesday 15 February

Following our clouded out January meeting when we saw nothing of the London night sky, we are hoping for clearer conditions when we meet at our usual site, the Hub in Regent’s Park for our February meeting on Wednesday 15th from 18:30 until 23:00. (all times are GMT). As always, please enter the park only via the Monkey Gate which will be opened no sooner than 18:30 (pinned in red in the picture)

 

The Sun sets at 17:15, the sky darkens half an hour after the start of our meeting. The Moon will not trouble us this evening having set in the morning. Three planets can be observed; the brightest, Jupiter, will be low in the west, setting at 21:10 GMT. Uranus, only visible through a small telescope will be in the south-west, whereas the red planet Mars will be above the bright star Aldebaran, the red eye of the bull, Taurus. The star is in the V-shaped open star cluster, the Hyades, imaged to be the head of the bull. Compare the red hues of Mars and Aldebaran. Very close to Aldebaran will be the comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) although disappointedly it appear as a very faint tiny smudge in telescopes. To the left of Hyades is the unmistakable constellation of Orion – its three star belt, the orangish Betelgeuse star above and bright white Rigel below, obvious to the unaided eye. Don’t miss the Great Orion nebula – the stellar nursery where stars are being born as we gaze at it in wonder. Arcing to the west of Orion is the group of well known bright stars; Capella, high above our heads, the heavenly twins, Castor and Pollux, and Procyon leading to the brightest, Sirius, twinkling in colourful flashes low down in the south.

Please note: With Winter comes colder temperatures and as we shall be standing on the cafe terrace at the Hub without much movement we need to wear sensible warm clothes and headwear to our meeting.

As always our events are open to all and free to attend, but please let us know if you will be attending, either through our Facebook page or email ericemms56 AT gmail DOT com.

You can attend at any time until 22:00; we must leave the park and lock the Monkey gate by 23:00. 
Please see our website for information on how to get to Regent’s Park by bus, tube or car, enter and leave the park only through the Monkey Gate. How to find the Hub in the park, a few minutes walk from the gate is also described. The Hub is accessible to wheelchair users.  https://www.bakerstreetastro.org/meetings/directions/
Our attendance at the Hub is due to the kind cooperation of both the Royal Parks from which we rent the terrace on licence and pay an annual rental, and Benugo which has kindly agreed to open the Hub cafe solely for us for the evening from 18:30 until 21:00. This provision allows us to buy hot drinks and snacks and to sit down to chat anytime during the evening, especially during periods of cloud cover when observing is not possible or if you need to warm yourself from the outside chill.
Irregulars would not be able to meet at the Hub without the kind assistance of the Royal Parks and Benugo. We would ask all attendees to abide by the following instructions:
1. Inform the organisers if you and your party will attend., providing your names. We are limited by the Royal Parks to a fixed number of attendees. Please be aware and follow advice about visiting Regents Park https://www.royalparks.org.uk/…/the…/visitor-information
2. The Benugo cafe can only open solely for Irregulars if our evenings are profitable for them. We ask all attendees not to bring any refreshments to the Hub, rather to purchase these at the cafe during the evening. We hope every Irregular buys something. Please do not use the internal staircase within the cafe. It is closed during our meeting.
3. Follow our wellbeing and safety advice given on our website https://www.bakerstreetastro.org/meetings/

A reminder: We have never cancelled a meeting due to cloudy weather. If during our meetings there is cloud-cover, Irregulars congregate in the cafe to eat, drink and chat about astro and other matters. On rare occasions we do cancel meetings if we receive a Weather Warning issued by the Met Office for the evening of our planned meeting, as did happen for our 2022 November meeting.


Comet hunting on Primrose Hill

WEATHER UPDATE: The three-day evening weather forecasts have changed noticeably in the last couple of days. Previous to today (29 Jan) Wednesday looked liked the best evening of next week to meet, although no clear evenings were forecast and the waxing Moon brightening more each evening further interferes with observing the tiny faint comet. Tomorrow now looks the best evening for viewing but given this short notice we have decided NOT to meet this week.

Last year we met a couple times on an ad hoc basis in Primrose Hill park to observe Neptune and the Perseids. Next week we shall go there to hunt for comet c/2022 E3 (ZTF).

The meeting date will be chosen at short notice with reference to local weather forecasts to ensure the best chance of observing in clear central London skies.

The date of the Comet hunting meeting in Primrose Hill park will be posted only on our website www.bakerstreetastro.org/meetings Please check daily next week.

Irregulars will meet at 18:30 at the gate on Prince Albert Road, next to Ormonde Terrace before walking to the Irregulars field (marked with the red pin in the photo) to hunt and bag the comet which is currently in the north-east sky.

Twilight falls at 18:45 lasting so we should have a few hours to bag the comet.

Unfortunately the Moon will be prominent and bright, being Full on the 5th, its brightness a hindrance to comet hunting. As well as the comet, Mars will be on display. Close to Orion, so please bring your small telescopes and binoculars for planetary, lunar and comet observing.

Remember this meeting is not at the Hub. There is no need to confirm your planned attendance, just turn up at the field. Please bring a red light touch (if you have one) and adequate refreshments (liquid as well as snacks) to sustain oneself. There is no cafe, shelter or hard standing in the observing field. You will be standing in an exposed (possibly muddy) field for long periods, in mid Winter; please dress appropriately. You attend Primrose Hill, a public park, at your own risk. BSIA organisers cannot be held responsible for supervising your safety or behaviour.


2023 January Stargazing Meeting – Wednesday 25 January

We meet for our first stargazing session of 2023 on the 25th January.

The crescent Moon will be just below Jupiter low in the west, setting at 21:40 GMT. Mars will be above the bright star Aldebaran, the red eye of the bull, Taurus. The star is in the V-shaped open star cluster, the Hyades, imaged to be the head of the bull. The cluster is one of the nearest ones to Earth, a mere 150 light years away from the Hub. Compare the red hues of Mars and Aldebaran.

For me the highlight of the evening would be bagging a comet. Those Irregulars attending with telescopes should attempt to observe comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) that is brightening, currently at +5.8 magnitude and should be visible in telescope of 3″ aperture or greater diameter. It will be in the north, approx. 30 deg above the horizon, in Draco, between Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.

With Winter comes colder temperatures and as we shall be standing on the cafe terrace at the Hub without much movement we need to wear sensible warm clothes and headwear to our meeting.

Please note:

Our usual times of 18.30 to 22.30 pm will apply. As always our events are open to all and free to attend, but please let us know if you will be attending, either through our Facebook page or email ericemms AT aol DOT com.

You can attend at any time until 22:00; we must leave the park and lock the Monkey gate by 23:00. If you are attending for the first time please make yourself known to Leslie at the Hub, she will be at the gate at 18:30 to accompany anybody hesitant in walking to the Hub in the dark. She would love to greet you and answer any questions you have.
Please see our website for information on how to get to Regent’s Park by bus, tube or car, enter and leave the park only through the Monkey Gate. How to find the Hub in the park, a few minutes walk from the gate is also described. The Hub is accessible to wheelchair uses.  https://www.bakerstreetastro.org/meetings/directions/
Our attendance at the Hub is due to the kind cooperation of both the Royal Parks from which we rent the terrace on licence and pay an annual rental, and Benugo which has kindly agreed to open the Hub cafe solely for us for the evening from 18:30 until 21:00. This provision allows us to buy hot drinks and snacks and to sit down to chat anytime during the evening, especially periods of cloud cover when observing is not possible or if you need to warm yourself from the outside chill.
Irregulars would not be able to meet at the Hub, without the Royal Parks and Benugo. We would ask all attendees to abide by the following instructions:
1. Inform the organisers if you and your party will attend.  We are limited by the Royal Parks to a fixed number of attendees. Please be aware and follow advice about visiting Regents Park https://www.royalparks.org.uk/…/the…/visitor-information
2. The Benugo cafe can only open solely for Irregulars if our evenings are profitable for them. We ask all attendees not to bring any refreshments to the Hub, rather to purchase these at the cafe during the evening. We hope every Irregular buys something. Please do not use the internal staircase within the cafe. It is closed during our meeting.
3. Follow our wellbeing and safety advice given on our website https://www.bakerstreetastro.org/meetings/

 

A note regarding walking within Regent’s Park: Anybody nervous of walking in the dark from the park entrance to the Hub terrace can meet BSIA co-organiser Lesley. She will be at the Monkey Gate from 18:30 to 18:45 to meet you and walk as a group to Hub terrace as a group at 18:45.


2022 December Stargaze Meeting – Wednesday 7 December

Following our cancellation of our planned November meeting owing to the Weather Warning issued by the Met Office we are hoping we shall have clearer skies for our last meeting of the year. With Winter comes colder temperatures and as we shall be standing on the cafe terrace at the Hub without much movement we need to wear sensible warm clothes and headwear to our meeting.

What to observe at our meeting:
The Moon will be visible during our meeting. It is Full, its brightness so apparent in the south-east above the Orion constellation. Several planets will be on display, Mars being the most tempting as it will be bright and as close to Earth as it will be until 2033! Make sure you see the Red Planet, it will be just to the left of the Moon. Indeed the Moon will occult (pass in front) of Mars at 4am Thursday morning, well worth watching this event if you are up at that hour.
Jupiter, which we glimpsed briefly at our October meeting remains placed favourably, south-west at 30 deg. elevation. Just to the lower right of Jupiter will be the ice giant Neptune, only visible as a tiny blue dot in telescopes. The other ice giant, Uranus, will be due south at 9:45 but again revealed as a tiny disc when viewed through telescopes.
Deep Sky Objects (those outside our solar system) worth observing include the open star cluster Hyades, to the lower right of the Moon, the Andromeda Galaxy right above our heads, close to the Zenith, and the Orion Nebula low in the south-east.

Plenty to see with our naked eyes and to observe through the telescopes and binoculars sited on the cafe terrace.

Please note:

Our usual times of 6.30 to 10.00 pm will apply. As always our events are open to all and free to attend, but please let us know if you will be attending, either through our Facebook page or email ericemms AT aol DOT com.

You can attend at any time until 22:00; we must leave the park soon after this time. If you are attending for the first time please make yourself known to Leslie at the Hub, she will love to greet you and answer any questions you have.
Please see our website for information on how to get to the park, enter after 18:30 and leave the park before 22:30 only through the Monkey Gate. How to find the Hub in the park, a few minutes walk from the gate is also described. https://www.bakerstreetastro.org/meetings/directions/
Our attendance at the Hub is due to the kind cooperation of both the Royal Parks from which we rent the terrace on licence and Benugo which has kindly agreed to open the Hub cafe solely for us for the evening from 18:30 until 21:30. This provision allows us to buy hot drinks and snacks and to sit down to chat anytime during the evening, especially periods of cloud cover when observing is not possible or if you need to warm yourself from the outside chill.
Irregulars would not be able to meet at the Hub, without the Royal Parks and Benugo. We would ask all attendees to abide by the following instructions:
1. Inform the organisers if you and your party will attend.  We are limited by the Royal Parks to a fixed number of attendees. Please be aware and follow advice about visiting Regents Park https://www.royalparks.org.uk/…/the…/visitor-information
2. The Benugo cafe can only open solely for Irregulars if our evenings are profitable for them. We ask all attendees not to bring any refreshments to the Hub, rather to purchase these at the cafe during the evening. We hope every Irregular buys something. Please do not use the internal staircase within the cafe. It is closed during our meeting.
3. Follow our wellbeing and safety advice given on our website https://www.bakerstreetastro.org/meetings/


2022 November Stargaze Meeting – Wednesday 16 November – CANCELLED.

Update Nov 16, 09:00

Owing to the Weather Warning issued by the Met Office for London this evening we are compelled to CANCEL our meeting this evening.


2022 Partial Solar Eclipse – Tuesday 25 October

On Tuesday, 25 October the Moon will partially eclipse the Sun.
From London 15% of the solar disc will be covered at maximum eclipse. The eclipse begins at 10:08 BST when the sun will be in the south-east at 18 deg altitude, progressing to the maximum eclipse at 10:59 BST in the south, south-east at 23 deg altitude, ending at 11:51 BST in the south, south east at 26 deg altitude.
I will be on Hanover Green, Regent’s Park (the site of my SUNday solar picnics) from 09:30 with by solar filtered telescope. Any Irregular, and children (it is half-term on this date), are welcome to join me.


2022 October Stargazing Meeting – Wednesday 19 October

Next meeting at the Hub will be on the 19th.
Plenty of planets, Andromeda galaxy and other delights on view through telescopes and binoculars.

Our usual times of 6.30 to 10.00 pm will apply. As always our events are open to all and free to attend, but please let us know if you will be attending, either through our Facebook page or email ericemms AT aol DOT com.

You can attend at any time until 22:00; we must leave the park soon after this time. If you are attending for the first time please make yourself known to Leslie at the Hub, she will love to greet you and answer any questions you have.
Please see our website for information on how to get to the park, enter after 18:30 and leave the park before 22:30 only through the Monkey Gate. How to find the Hub in the park, a few minutes walk from the gate is also described. https://www.bakerstreetastro.org/meetings/directions/
Our attendance at the Hub is due to the kind cooperation of both the Royal Parks from which we rent the terrace on licence and Benugo which has kindly agreed to open the Hub cafe solely for us for the evening from 18:30 until 21:30. This provision allows us to buy hot drinks and snacks and to sit down to chat anytime during the evening, especially periods of cloud cover when observing is not possible or if you need to warm yourself from the outside chill.
Irregulars would not be able to meet at the Hub, without the Royal Parks and Benugo. We would ask all attendees to abide by the following instructions:
1. Inform the organisers if you and your party will attend.  We are limited by the Royal Parks to a fixed number of attendees. Please be aware and follow advice about visiting Regents Park https://www.royalparks.org.uk/…/the…/visitor-information
2. The Benugo cafe can only open solely for Irregulars if our evenings are profitable for them. We ask all attendees not to bring any refreshments to the Hub, rather to purchase these at the cafe during the evening. We hope every Irregular buys something. Please do not use the internal staircase within the cafe. It is closed during our meeting.
3. Follow our wellbeing and safety advice given on our website https://www.bakerstreetastro.org/meetings/


2022 September Stargazing Meeting – Wednesday 21 September

The days are becoming shorter meaning we will enjoy darker hours during our Autumn meetings.

Our usual times of 6.30 to 10.00 pm will apply. As always our events are open to all and free to attend, but please let us know if you will be attending, either through our Facebook page or email ericemms AT aol DOT com.

You can attend at any time until 22:00; we must leave the park soon after this time. If you are attending for the first time please make yourself known to Leslie at the Hub, she will love to greet you and answer any questions you have.
Please see our website for information on how to get to the park, enter after 18:30 and leave the park before 22:30 only through the Monkey Gate. How to find the Hub in the park, a few minutes walk from the gate is also described. https://www.bakerstreetastro.org/meetings/directions/
Our attendance at the Hub is due to the kind cooperation of both the Royal Parks from which we rent the terrace on licence and Benugo which has kindly agreed to open the Hub cafe solely for us for the evening from 18:30 until 21:30. This provision allows us to buy hot drinks and snacks and to sit down to chat anytime during the evening, especially periods of cloud cover when observing is not possible or if you need to warm yourself from the outside chill.
Irregulars would not be able to meet at the Hub, without the Royal Parks and Benugo. We would ask all attendees to abide by the following instructions:
1. Inform the organisers if you and your party will attend.  We are limited by the Royal Parks to a fixed number of attendees. Please be aware and follow advice about visiting Regents Park https://www.royalparks.org.uk/…/the…/visitor-information
2. The Benugo cafe can only open solely for Irregulars if our evenings are profitable for them. We ask all attendees not to bring any refreshments to the Hub, rather to purchase these at the cafe during the evening. We hope every Irregular buys something. Please do not use the internal staircase within the cafe. It is closed during our meeting.
3. Follow our wellbeing and safety advice given on our website https://www.bakerstreetastro.org/meetings/



September Primrose Hill Meet – Wednesday 7 September.

Update on 7 Sep

We return to our field on Primrose Hill for our last visit of the year there to enjoy the last of the summer, by stargazing and socialising.
We will meet at 8pm at the gate on Prince Albert Road, next to Ormonde Terrace before walking to our usual spot, the Irregulars field, to the west of park. Irregulars may join at the field at any time until 2am next morning.

As at our Perseids meeting last month, the Moon, Saturn, Neptune, Jupiter, Uranus and Mars will be making an appearance (but no meteors).

As always our events are open to all and free to attend, but please let us know if you will be attending, either through our Facebook page or email ericemms AT aol DOT com.

Our usual Hub, Regent’s Park stargazing meeting will be later in the month.


2022 August Meeting – Tuesday 23 August

Our second astro meeting of August will see Irregulars back at the Hub, Regent’s Park for our last Summer astronomy meeting. Our usual times of 6.30 to 10.00 pm will apply. As always our events are open to all and free to attend, but please let us know if you will be attending, either through our Facebook page or email ericemms AT aol DOT com.

You can attend at any time until 22:00; we must leave the park soon after this time. If you are attending for the first time please make yourself known to Leslie at the Hub, she will love to greet you and answer any questions you have.
Please see our website for information on how to get to the park, enter after 18:30 and leave the park before 22:30 only through the Monkey Gate. How to find the Hub in the park, a few minutes walk from the gate is also described. https://www.bakerstreetastro.org/meetings/directions/
Our attendance at the Hub is due to the kind cooperation of both the Royal Parks from which we rent the terrace on licence and Benugo which has kindly agreed to open the Hub cafe solely for us for the evening from 18:30 until 21:30. This provision allows us to buy hot drinks and snacks and to sit down to chat anytime during the evening, especially periods of cloud cover when observing is not possible or if you need to warm yourself from the outside chill.
Irregulars would not be able to meet at the Hub, without the Royal Parks and Benugo. We would ask all attendees to abide by the following instructions:
1. Inform the organisers if you and your party will attend.  We are limited by the Royal Parks to a fixed number of attendees. Please be aware and follow advice about visiting Regents Park https://www.royalparks.org.uk/…/the…/visitor-information
2. The Benugo cafe can only open solely for Irregulars if our evenings are profitable for them. We ask all attendees not to bring any refreshments to the Hub, rather to purchase these at the cafe during the evening. We hope every Irregular buys something. Please do not use the internal staircase within the cafe. It is closed during our meeting.
3. Follow our wellbeing and safety advice given on our website https://www.bakerstreetastro.org/meetings/


2022 Perseids Meteor Observing on Primrose Hill.

Last year we met in August to view the Perseids meteor ‘shower’ in Primrose Hill park. Irregulars so enjoyed their time that we have decided to have meeting spotting meteor trails again this year.

Irregulars will meet on Thursday 11 August at 9pm at the gate on Prince Albert Road, next to Ormonde Terrace before walking to the Irregulars field to view the Perseid meteor ‘shower’ until the early hours of Friday.

Twilight does not fall until just before 11pm, lasting until 3am so we should have a few hours to bag Perseids!

A bright moon will be prominent and bright, being Full the following day. Saturn, rising at 8.40pm, will be close to the Moon very low down in south-east and Jupiter will be rising at 10pm so please bring your small telescopes for observing.

Remember to bring a ground covering to sit and lie upon, a red light touch (if you have one) and adequate refreshments (liquid as well as snacks) to sustain oneself. There is no cafe or shelter in the park.


2022 July Astronomy Meeting – Tuesday 26 July

Join fellow Irregulars for our next monthly stargazing evening in Regent’s Park. As ever, it is free, fun and family friendly.

2022 SUNday Solar observing picnic – Sunday 26 June

We will be holding our annual solar picnic on SUNday 26 June 2022 on Hanover Green from 11:00 until mid afternoon.

Baker Street Irregulars did some solar observing at our June meeting and this Sunday we have another opportunity: it will be great to see each other again at our usual picnic spot in Regent’s Park, not at the Hub but on Hanover Green.

We are grateful to the Royal Parks for allowing the SUNday solar picnic to be held again this year. Before attending please read the Park’s guidelines for visitors picnicking in Regent’s Park:

https://www.royalparks.org.uk/managing-the-parks/park-regulations-legislation-and-policies/picnics-in-the-royal-parks.

The picnic, as always, will be primarily a social event. Irregulars have the chance to again see and chat to each other over a leisurely lunch on the grass. In past SUNday solar picnics many Irregulars brought solar telescopes and white filtered binoculars to the event, happily sharing the solar viewing with others, especially supervised children. Please do not bring any equipment which is not fitted with specialised filters. We ask all attendees of the picnic to think carefully before asking to see or allowing others to view the Sun through any equipment.

The event will start at 11:00. The nearest park entrance to Hanover Green is Hanover Gate on the Outer Circle opposite the mosque. Please see the Park’s websites for information on travel information and parking charges.

https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/the-regents-park/visitor-information/opening-times-and-getting-there

https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/the-regents-park/visitor-information/parking-in-regents-park

Please bring your own picnic. The Boathouse cafe, close-by to our picnic spot, will be open to buy drinks and snacks.

https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/the-regents-park/food-and-drink/the-boathouse-cafe

The nearest W.C. is also close-by, over the lake bridge: requires payment by contactless card or app. only. The SUNday solar picnic is free to attend – if you and your friends and family wish to come please please pop along any time after 11.00. Hanover Green is the grass area on the left as one enters the park from Hanover Gate, it is opposite the childrens’ boating pool, close to the childrens’ play area.


2022 June Stargazing Meeting – Monday 20th June

Join fellow Irregulars for our next monthly stargazing evening in Regent’s Park.
As ever, it is free, fun and family friendly.

Astronomers don’t really like summer evenings as the skies do not become dark until around midnight, well after our June meeting ends at 10:00 BST. So why have Hub evening meetings in the Summer? Well, our meetings are as much a social event as a stargazing session, so we can chat while we wait for the brightest stars to pop out and there is the Sun to observe (safely through filter) before it sets at 9:20. Our ‘local star’ is rather active at present, so hopefully there will be a few sunspots to see.

If you wish to see Mars, Saturn and Jupiter, they are becoming more available now but you have to get up early in the morning to view, planets will not be visible at our evening meeting.

As for bright stars, those of the Great Bear, Ursa Major are seen high on the west, the tail showing the way to Arcturus, bright and orange in the south-west. It is the brightest star seen from the northern hemisphere. The Summer Triangle is now more prominent in the East, Vega, bluish-white and as the fifth brightest star in the sky almost as bright as Arcturus, will be one of the first stars to appear at our meeting. Deneb, blue-white and the second star of the triangle will be visible lower to the north-east. The lowest star of the triangle, Altair, doesn’t rise until 20:00. In the south, toward the latter part of our session, Spica, the brightest star in Virgo will be obvious and reddish Antares, in Scorpio, rising at 20:00 will be seen low in the south-east by Irregulars staying to the end of our session.

Deep sky objects worth hunting for by Irregulars with telescopes (or steady binoculars) are the globular clusters in Hercules, to the right of Vega. The Great Hercules Cluster (Messier 13) is by far the best known, wondrous to view through a telescope. The Ring Nebula, Messier 57, in Lyra, just below Vega, said to be the showpiece in the summer skies, is the best known planetary nebula. Those Irregulars with imaging equipment may be able to show the ‘Ring’ on-screen to others.

Let’s hope the clouds are absent on Monday.

You can attend at any time until 22:00; we must leave the park soon after this time. If you are attending for the first time please make yourself known to Leslie at the Hub, she will love to greet you and answer any questions you have.
Please see our website for information on how to get to the park, enter after 18:30 and leave the park before 22:30 only through the Monkey Gate. How to find the Hub in the park, a few minutes walk from the gate is also described. https://www.bakerstreetastro.org/meetings/directions/
Our attendance at the Hub is due to the kind cooperation of both the Royal Parks from which we rent the terrace on licence and Benugo which has kindly agreed to open the Hub cafe solely for us for the evening from 18:30 until 21:30. This provision allows us to buy hot drinks and snacks and to sit down to chat anytime during the evening, especially periods of cloud cover when observing is not possible or if you need to warm yourself from the outside chill.
Irregulars would not be able to meet at the Hub, without the Royal Parks and Benugo. We would ask all attendees to abide by the following instructions:
1. Inform the organisers if you and your party will attend.  We are limited by the Royal Parks to a fixed number of attendees. Please be aware and follow advice about visiting Regents Park https://www.royalparks.org.uk/…/the…/visitor-information
2. The Benugo cafe can only open solely for Irregulars if our evenings are profitable for them. We ask all attendees not to bring any refreshments to the Hub, rather to purchase these at the cafe during the evening. We hope every Irregular buys something. Please do not use the internal staircase within the cafe. It is closed during our meeting.
3. Follow our wellbeing and safety advice given on our website https://www.bakerstreetastro.org/meetings/


2022 MoOnday – Moongazing on May 9

A free, family friendly, fun educational experience where participants of all ages will look at the
Moon with their eyes and through telescopes and binoculars, and learn
about the Moon together.
MoOnday is an annual event organised by me to encourage the observation, understanding and
appreciation of our Moon.
The best time of the month to observe the Moon is when it presents a ‘half-moon’ appearance at
First Quarter: the finest features, craters and lunar ‘seas’ on its surface are easily seen. It is in the sky
for most of the day and early evening, ensuring accompanied children can observe and learn after
school.
Everyone has their own connection to the Moon, through popular songs and literature, and words
such as month and lunatic. The Moon is ingrained in all cultures. Participants will have the
opportunity to see the Moon and have the opportunity to learn what the Moon is like, what they see
when they look at it, its size, distance from Earth, having no light of its own, its rotation, its elliptical
inclined orbit, eclipses, and the near and far side (there is no dark side of the moon!)
I have chosen the First Quarter in May which falls on Monday (or should that be MOONday) June 9. We meet, as usual, anytime after 6.30pm at the Hub, Regent’s Park.

Eric Emms.


2022 April Stargazing Meeting – 2022 April 26

The days are lengthening, the sun sets at 20:15 BST on the evening of our April meeting, TUESDAY April 26, from April to September we change our meeting days from the normal Wednesdays to Tuesdays, at this time Mercury will be visible low in the western horizon at 16º elevation. If you haven’t observed the innermost planet of our solar system make sure to bag it well before we leave the Hub terrace at the end of our meeting; it sets at 22:24 BST. Mercury is always a challenge to see owing to its proximity to the Sun, variable inclination to our horizon and eccentricity of orbit. Many have never seen the innermost planet, if you wish to observe it this evening will be your opportunity. After the Sun sets at 20:15 look to the west, find Betelgeuse and to its right Aldebaran, extend a line between the two stars to the right to locate Mercury. Try to see it in binoculars or a small telescope. At 8:30 it is at 18° elevation. Owing to the trees near the Hub, it’s best to observe from the grass at the Mosque side of the Hub.

To the left of Mercury is Orion, low with its belt now horizontal and pointing right to Aldebaran and left to Sirius. Very high of Orion are the Gemini twins, Pollux and Castor, aligned horizontally also. To their lower right is the brilliant Capella.

Leo stalks the meridian, due south, towards Paddington from the Hub. The lion’s brightest star Regulus is at the bottom of the Sickle of Leo, a reversed question mark. Left of Regulus is Denebola, on the tip of the lion’s tail.

The brightest star in the east  (towards the City from the Hub) is Arcturus, shining pale yellow-orange. The paler blue-white star, lower right, is Spica. Low in the north west, hiding behind the cafe if you are on the terrace, is the Summer Star, Vega of the same magnitude as Arcturus.

There is still time to observe the Double Cluster, the two open star clusters in Perseus, easily seen together in one field of view of a telescope, and the three open clusters in Auriga, always so lovely to see through an eyepiece. The largest and most massive asteroid in the inner solar system, Ceres, will be above our heads during the meeting between the bright stars Betelgeuse and Capella. At magnitude +8.8 it will be visible through only the largest telescopes on the terrace.

You can attend our meetings at any time until 22:00; we must leave the park soon after this time. If you are attending for the first time please make yourself known to Leslie at the Hub, she will love to greet you and answer any questions you have.
Please see our website for information on how to get to the park, enter after 18:30 and leave the park before 22:30 only through the Monkey Gate. How to find the Hub in the park, a few minutes walk from the gate is also described. https://www.bakerstreetastro.org/meetings/directions/
Our attendance at the Hub is due to the kind cooperation of both the Royal Parks from which we rent the terrace on licence and Benugo which has kindly agreed to open the Hub cafe solely for us for the evening from 18:30 until 21:30. This provision allows us to buy hot drinks and snacks and to sit down to chat anytime during the evening, especially periods of cloud cover when observing is not possible or if you need to warm yourself from the outside chill.
Irregulars would not be able to meet at the Hub, without the Royal Parks and Benugo. We would ask all attendees to abide by the following instructions:
1. Inform the organisers if you and your party will attend. If you are on Facebook you can hit the Going button on the meeting Event page  or email Eric at: ericmms AT gmail DOT come. We are limited by the Royal Parks to a fixed number of attendees. Please be aware and follow advice about visiting Regents Park https://www.royalparks.org.uk/…/the…/visitor-information
2. The Benugo cafe can only open solely for Irregulars if our evenings are profitable for them. We ask all attendees not to bring any refreshments to the Hub, rather to purchase these at the cafe during the evening. We hope every Irregular buys something. Please do not use the internal staircase within the cafe. It is closed during our meeting.
3. Follow our wellbeing and safety advice given on our website https://www.bakerstreetastro.org/meetings/


2022 March 24

Dear fellow Irregulars,

It was marvellous to see so many at our March meeting enjoying so much time outside under cloudless skies, at last, gazing at the night skies through so many telescopes and binoculars.

The Baker Street Irregular Astronomers group was formed in 2010 with the aim to bring the joys of gazing at and observing the night skies to all in Central London. See here https://www.bakerstreetastro.org/about-us/society-aims/ for more of our aims.

We want the BSIA to be free, for everyone, forever.

Yet many Irregulars attending our meetings do not realise, and are surprised to learn, there are fixed costs attached to our meetings. Baker Street Irregular Astronomers are charged by the Royal Parks charity an annual licence fee for renting the Hub terrace for our monthly stargazing meetings. This year the licence fee will amount to over  £1,800. In addition to this we pay an annual Public Liability Insurance premium and incur costs associated in running our website.

We are keen to keep our monthly observing events free of charge so all can enjoy the celestial delights of the night sky. Unlike other astronomical societies we have no formal membership application or charge a membership fee – Baker Street Irregular Astronomers will remain FREE for all forever. If you enjoy our evenings at the Hub, you may feel you wish to support the BSIA, as a number of  Irregulars do now, by volunteering a modest small donation from time to time or on a monthly basis to help pay our venue costs.

We are asking you to give a few pounds by setting up a regular standing order to our bank account or via our single or regular donate buttons on our website. Full details are given on our webpage http://www.bakerstreetastro.org/support-us/ 

Please be reassured any support you give would be considered as voluntary, anonymous and most welcome. The BSIA has no plans now or in the future to levy monthly attendance fees or an annual membership charge. We welcome voluntary donations through our website but remember If you can spare a little, as a one-off or on a monthly basis, all monies donated will be applied to fulfilling the aims of the BSIA.

Thank you.

The Unofficial Force, Baker Street Irregular Astronomers.


2022 March Stargazing Meeting

We congregate again at our usual observing site, the Hub terrace, from 6.30pm on Wednesday 23 March. A date three days after the Vernal Equinox, the Spring Equinox in the northern hemisphere, heralding the arrival of Spring. UK time remains on GMT until clocks go forward on the 27th.

There will not be any planets to view this month but plenty of bright stars to view- Sirius, low in the south, shining the brightest of stars seen from the Hub, Betelgeuse, Rigel and Procyon, sparkling in a celestial triangle, and the twins Pollox and Castor. Plus a few open star clusters to excite our wonder.

You can attend at any time until 22:00; we must leave the park soon after this time. If you are attending for the first time please make yourself known to Leslie at the Hub, she will love to greet you and answer any questions you have.
Please see our website for information on how to get to the park, enter after 18:30 and leave the park before 22:30 only through the Monkey Gate. How to find the Hub in the park, a few minutes walk from the gate is also described. https://www.bakerstreetastro.org/meetings/directions/
Our attendance at the Hub is due to the kind cooperation of both the Royal Parks from which we rent the terrace on licence and Benugo which has kindly agreed to open the Hub cafe solely for us for the evening from 18:30 until 21:30. This provision allows us to buy hot drinks and snacks and to sit down to chat anytime during the evening, especially periods of cloud cover when observing is not possible or if you need to warm yourself from the outside chill.
Irregulars would not be able to meet at the Hub, without the Royal Parks and Benugo. We would ask all attendees to abide by the following instructions:
1. Inform the organisers if you and your party will attend. If so, hit the Going button! We are limited by the Royal Parks to a fixed number of attendees. Please be aware and follow advice about visiting Regents Park https://www.royalparks.org.uk/…/the…/visitor-information
2. The Benugo cafe can only open solely for Irregulars if our evenings are profitable for them. We ask all attendees not to bring any refreshments to the Hub, rather to purchase these at the cafe during the evening. We hope every Irregular buys something. Please do not use the internal staircase within the cafe. It is closed during our meeting.
3. Follow our wellbeing and safety advice given on our website https://www.bakerstreetastro.org/meetings/

2022 February Stargazing Meeting

Our second stargazing meeting will be held at the usual venue on Wednesday 23 February.

An evening of urban stargazing starts on the terrace of the Hub at 18:30. All are welcome: it’s free, family friendly and fun. As always if you have a small telescope or binoculars please bring them with you; if you don’t have any instruments, don’t worry, other Irregulars will love to let you look through theirs. You can attend at any time until 22:00; we must leave the park soon after this time. If you are attending for the first time please make yourself known to Leslie at the Hub, she will love to greet you and answer any questions you have.
Please see our website for information on how to get to the park, enter after 18:30 and leave the park before 22:30 only through the Monkey Gate. How to find the Hub in the park, a few minutes walk from the gate is also described. https://www.bakerstreetastro.org/meetings/directions/
Our attendance at the Hub is due to the kind cooperation of both the Royal Parks from which we rent the terrace on licence and Benugo which has kindly agreed to open the Hub cafe solely for us for the evening from 18:30 until 21:30. This provision allows us to buy hot drinks and snacks and to sit down to chat anytime during the evening, especially periods of cloud cover when observing is not possible or if you need to warm yourself from the outside chill.
Irregulars would not be able to meet at the Hub, without the Royal Parks and Benugo. We would ask all attendees to abide by the following instructions:
1. Inform the organisers if you and your party will attend. If so, hit the Going button! We are limited by the Royal Parks to a fixed number of attendees. Please be aware and follow advice about visiting Regents Park https://www.royalparks.org.uk/…/the…/visitor-information
2. The Benugo cafe can only open solely for Irregulars if our evenings are profitable for them. We ask all attendees not to bring any refreshments to the Hub, rather to purchase these at the cafe during the evening. We hope every Irregular buys something. Please follow any Covid19 guidelines displayed by Benugo when entering the cafe.
3. Follow our wellbeing and safety advice given on our website https://www.bakerstreetastro.org/meetings/
 

2022 January Stargazing Meeting

Irregulars are invited to meet again for the first stargazing meeting of the year on the terrace of the Hub on Wednesday 26 January.

An evening of urban stargazing starts on the terrace of the Hub at 18:30. All are welcome: it’s free, family friendly and fun. As always if you have a small telescope or binoculars please bring them with you; if you don’t have any instruments, don’t worry, other Irregulars will love to let you look through theirs. You can attend at any time until 22:00; we must leave the park soon after this time. If you are attending for the first time please make yourself known to Leslie at the Hub, she will love to greet you and answer any questions you have.

Please see our website for information on how to get to the park, enter after 18:30 and leave the park before 22:30 only through the Monkey Gate, all other park gates will be locked. How to find the Hub in the park, a few minutes walk from the gate is also described. https://www.bakerstreetastro.org/meetings/directions/

Our attendance at the Hub is due to the kind cooperation of both the Royal Parks from which we rent the terrace on licence and Benugo which has kindly agreed to open the Hub cafe solely for us for the evening from 18:30 until 21:30. This allows us to buy hot drinks and snacks and to sit down to chat anytime during the evening, especially periods of cloud cover when observing is not possible or if you need to warm yourself from the outside chill.
Irregulars would not be able to meet at the Hub, without the Royal Parks and Benugo. We would ask all attendees to abide by the following instructions:
1. Inform the organisers if you and your party will attend. You can do this via our Facebook page. Please email Eric on ericemms56 AT gmail DOT com if you are not on Facebook.  We are limited by the Royal Parks to a fixed number of attendees. Please be aware and follow advice about visiting Regents Park https://www.royalparks.org.uk/…/the…/visitor-information
2. The Benugo cafe can only open solely for Irregulars if our evenings are profitable for them. We ask all attendees not to bring any refreshments to the Hub, rather to purchase these at the cafe during the evening. We hope every Irregular buys something, Please follow any Covid19 guidelines by Benugo when entering the cafe.
3. Follow our wellbeing and safety advice given below on our October 6th update.


2022 January Update

Happy New Year Irregulars! 

The government’s COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines prevented us from meeting at the Hub, Regent’s Park last year for the first ten months however we did manage to meet four times prior to November, on Primrose Hill, for ad hoc sessions to view the Perseids, the Ice Giants and other astro gems. I was encouraged by the turnout of over two score Irregulars, many attending our meetings for the first time. Eventually we were able to gather at our preferred venue, the Hub, for November and December meetings. Despite the disappointing cloud cover preventing any observing we did enjoy meeting and chatting to old and new astro-friends in the cafe which opened for the exclusive use of Irregulars.

Our planning for all Hub meetings is constrained by external factors beyond our control. Naturally we abide by the government COVID-19 guidelines regarding meeting outside and in the cafe, and we are constrained by the regulations laid down by Royal Parks, the charity responsible for running the Hub. We rent the terrace of the Hub for our monthly meeting under licence from the Royal Parks, at present we are waiting to be supplied with our 2022 licence before we can meet. When we have signed the licence, paid the licence fees and the Royal Parks have agreed to its renewal we can announce our next meeting date. If all is well with the licence, we are hoping to gather on Wednesday 26 January so please keep this evening date free in your diary. An announcement will be made no earlier than ten days before that date.

Thank you for your interest in the Baker Street Irregular Astronomers. We look forward to clear skies and seeing you at our next stargazing meeting at the Hub.


2021 December Meeting – 8th.

We meet again following our enjoyable reunion at the Hub in November for our December evening stargazing event.

An evening of urban stargazing on December 8 starts on the terrace of the Hub at 18:30. All are welcome: it’s free, family friendly and fun. As always if you have a small telescope or binoculars please bring them with you; if you don’t have any instruments, don’t worry, other Irregulars will love to let you look through theirs. You can attend at any time until 22:00; we must leave the park soon after this time. If you are attending for the first time please make yourself known to Leslie at the Hub, she will love to greet you and answer any questions you have.

Please see our website for information on how to get to the park, enter after 18:30 and leave the park before 22:30 only through the Monkey Gate, all other park gates will be locked. How to find the Hub in the park, a few minutes walk from the gate is also described. https://www.bakerstreetastro.org/meetings/directions/

Our attendance at the Hub is due to the kind cooperation of both the Royal Parks from which we rent the terrace on licence and Benugo which has kindly agreed to open the Hub cafe solely for us on the 10th from 18:30 until 21:30. This allows us to buy hot drinks and snacks and to sit down to chat anytime during the evening, especially periods of cloud cover when observing is not possible or if you need to warm yourself from the outside chill.

Irregulars would not be able to meet at the Hub, without the Royal Parks and Benugo. We would ask all attendees to abide by the following instructions:

  1. Inform the organisers if you and your party will attend. We are limited by the Royal Parks to a fixed number of attendees. Please be aware and follow advice about visiting Regents Park https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/the-regents-park/visitor-information
  2. The Benugo cafe can only open solely for Irregulars if our evenings are profitable for them. We ask all attendees not to bring any refreshments to the Hub, rather to purchase these at the cafe during the evening (payments by card only). We hope every Irregular buys something. Please follow any Covid19 guidelines by Benugo when entering the cafe.
  3. Follow our wellbeing and safety advice given below.

We look forward to greeting each other at the Hub on the 8th.


2021 November Meeting

Irregulars, here is the announcement we have been waiting for since March 2020. We are returning to the Hub, Regent’s Park, our original and much loved observing site on Wednesday, November 10.

An evening of urban stargazing starts on the terrace of the Hub at 18:30. All are welcome: it’s free, family friendly and fun. As always if you have a small telescope or binoculars please bring them with you; if you don’t have any instruments, don’t worry, other Irregulars will love to let you look through theirs. You can attend at any time until 22:00; we must leave the park soon after this time. If you are attending for the first time please make yourself known to Leslie at the Hub, she will love to greet you and answer any questions you have.

Please see our website for information on how to get to the park, enter after 18:30 and leave the park before 22:30 only through the Monkey Gate, all other park gates will be locked. How to find the Hub in the park, a few minutes walk from the gate is also described. https://www.bakerstreetastro.org/meetings/directions/

Now we have reverted to GMT, the sky is dark at the start of our meeting. During the evening the ice giants, Uranus and Neptune are well placed for observing. Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon will be low in the south during the early part of the meeting. Looking outside our solar system the open star clusters, the Pleiades, Hyades, Double Cluster in Perseus and the Owl Cluster are worth viewing. The magnificent globular cluster in Hercules, Messier 13, and the Andromeda Galaxy should be observed if you have the opportunity. 

Our attendance at the Hub is due to the kind cooperation of both the Royal Parks from which we rent the terrace on licence and Benugo which has kindly agreed to open the Hub cafe solely for us on the 10th from 18:30 until 21:30. This allows us to buy hot drinks and snacks and to sit down to chat anytime during the evening, especially periods of cloud cover when observing is not possible or if you need to warm yourself from the outside chill.

Irregulars would not be able to meet at the Hub, without the Royal Parks and Benugo. We would ask all attendees to abide by the following instructions:

  1. Inform the organisers if you and your party will attend. We are limited by the Royal Parks to a fixed number of attendees. Please be aware and follow advice about visiting Regents Park https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/the-regents-park/visitor-information
  2. The Benugo cafe can only open solely for Irregulars if our evenings are profitable for them. We ask all attendees not to bring any refreshments to the Hub, rather to purchase these at the cafe during the evening (payments by card only). We hope every Irregular buys something. Please follow any Covid19 guidelines by Benugo when entering the cafe.
  3. Follow our wellbeing and safety advice given below.

We look forward to greeting each other at the Hub on the 10th.

Update: 2021 October 06.

Wellbeing and Safety Advice

We are not offering any covid rules to be followed at our meetings further than those currently set out by the UK government, see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do 

but please consider the confidence level of other Irregulars. All attendees have a right to their personal space and a right to speak up. Please avoid crowding others. You are encouraged to speak up if you feel that your proximity comfort zone is being  compromised by others. No inadvertent transgressor will or should take offence  –  and should immediately give space as required.

Attendees are welcome to wear face coverings at their own discretion.

It is polite manners to ask before attempting to observe through another Irregular’s telescope and you asked to avoid touching surfaces. We want meetings to be educational and fun; we have yet to notice an Irregular who is unhappy to share views during meetings.

Any attendee who feels unwell or detects the onset of any Covid-like symptoms should, whilst respecting distance, notify a committee member, then withdraw from the meeting.

In addition please respect the visitor rules of the Royal Parks: https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/the-regents-park/visitor-information

Our meetings end during the hours of darkness. Please ensure you leave the park in the company of others (if you arrived alone please ask at the meeting for others to accompany you when you exit the park – there are always other Irregulars willing to help). Before attending our meeting it is essential you plan your journey home if you are using the tube, bus, hire bikes or Uber. Consult the relevant travel websites to learn more of your travel options at your planned time of evening travel.


2021 September – Next BSIA meeting on 2021 October 13 – Neptune Evening.

Our next meeting: Wednesday 13 October, from 18:30 BST until 22:30, at our temporary venue on Primrose Hill.

Have you ever seen Neptune? The furthest planet from the Sun? In October this ice giant is well placed in London skies for Irregulars to have a gander. At 4.3 billion km from Earth and less than four times the diameter of Earth, Neptune, being a fifth as bright as the faintest stars visible with the naked eye, is the only planet not visible without the aid of a telescope. It appears in Irregulars’ telescopes as a mere tiny blue-green disc – not impressive to the eye but viewing it affords you the delight of ticking it off the list of planets you’ve observed as an Irregular. 

Light reflected off Neptune takes 241 mins to reach your eye at the eyepiece, so you will be seeing the ice giant as it was four hours previously. OK, that’s not as impressive as seeing the Andromeda Galaxy through our telescopes as it was 2.5 million years ago but Neptune is in our solar system and Andromeda is the next door neighbour of our Milky Way galaxy. Remember the Andromeda Galaxy is the farthest celestial object one can see with your naked eye (but not in light polluted London skies!).

During our meeting Neptune will be in the SE moving to the south at a respectable altitude for observation (approx. 30°) The Andromeda Galaxy will be above the planet closer to the zenith at 55° altitude. Try to observe both at the meeting.

The existence of Neptune had been predicted by plotting the orbit of Uranus and mathematically suggesting where a planet should be in the sky. It was first observed by the Berlin Observatory at the projected celestial coordinates on 23 September 1846. It is thought that Galileo may have observed Neptune close to Jupiter in 1612 but never realised it as a planet. Neptune was observed from the UK on 3 October 1846 from an observatory sited in the grounds of what is now Regent’s University London, 1000 metres from the field where we shall meet on Primrose Hill.

The meeting is free to attend, fun and family friendly. All who have an interest in the cosmos are welcome. If you have a small telescope and/or binoculars please bring them with you. We love showing celestial objects to newcomers to our hobby.


Update 2021 August 26

The situation regarding recommencing our astronomy meetings at the Hub terrace remains uncertain.  The virus in London has not been banished.  Although hospitalisation numbers in London due the virus has been low recently compared to the peak in January, they are increasing slightly this month.  The risk of virus transmission within groups meeting outside is low however we must continue to be aware and follow recommended advice. 

We have yet to hear from the Hub management regarding booking our regular astro meetings; further we have learnt the cafe will not be open in the evenings for our benefit, being now only open during the day at weekends.

Following two meetings at Primrose Hill earlier in the month when a couple of scores of Irregulars met in a field to view the Perseids, we have decided to hold another meeting on Wednesday September 15 to view Mercury (and Venus) low down in the west at sunset.  If the Hub management cannot accommodate us at our usual preferred venue on the terrace of the Hub on this date, we will transfer to the field on Primrose Hill.

The meeting will start at 18:45 BST.  The Sun sets at 19:15.  Mercury will be visible very low down close to the horizon in the West from 19:00 to the lower right of bright Venus and star Spica, until it sets at 19:40.  The meeting will end at 22:30 BST.

YOU ARE REMINDED VIEWING OBJECTS CLOSE TO THE SUN THROUGH BINOCULARS AND TELESCOPES IS POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS IF YOU UNINTENTIONALLY ALLOW THE SUN TO ENTER THE FIELD OF VIEW. IF IN DOUBT PLEASE WAIT UNTIL THE SUN SETS BEFORE ATTEMPTING OBSERVATION. 

As of this date, on invitations to the meeting I have set the venue for Primrose Hill.  This will change to the Hub terrace if and when we reach agreement with the Hub management.

Update September 06:

I have just heard from the management of the Hub, Regent’s Park. They cannot accommodate us next week so the venue for our meeting will be Primrose Hill. The pin in the map below indicates where we will be meeting in the field to the west of the park.
 

 

Advice regarding Covid-19 when attending BSIA meetings

COVID-19 remains a serious health risk.  Although the chances of catching COVID-19 is highest indoors and in crowded places, it is important while outdoors at our meetings to stay cautious and help protect yourself and others.

  • Obviously, please do not attend if you are feeling unwell.
  • When attending, do not crowd around telescopes, minimise touching of any surfaces of telescopes particularly when observing and do not share binoculars with others.
  • Telescope owners sharing views with others may wish to disinfect surfaces during the meeting.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
  • Be alert to the near presence of others at all times, including travelling to and from meetings.

SUNday 2021 – 27 June

We will be holding our annual solar picnic on SUNday 27 June 2021 on Hanover Green from 11:00 until mid afternoon.

Baker Street Irregulars haven’t met as a group since March 2020 so it will be great to see each other again at our usual picnic spot in Regent’s Park, not at the Hub but on Hanover Green.

Our safety during the picnic is paramount. We will be meeting on the first Sunday following the introduction of Step 4 of the government’s Roadmap Out Of Lockdown. It is hoped at that time the government will have removed all legal limits on social contact but I do write this before the Government has confirmed this implementation. Please be aware and follow the latest guidelines for Step 4 as they are announced by the government.

We are grateful to the Royal Parks for allowing the SUNday solar picnic to be held this year. Before attending please read the Park’s guidelines for visitors picnicking in Regent’s Park: 

https://www.royalparks.org.uk/managing-the-parks/park-regulations-legislation-and-policies/picnics-in-the-royal-parks.

The picnic this year will be primarily a social event: at last we Irregulars have the chance to again see and chat to each other over a leisurely lunch on the grass. In past SUNday solar picnics many Irregulars brought solar telescopes and white filtered binoculars to the event, happily sharing the solar viewing with others, especially supervised children. This year, for obvious reasons, some instrument owners may not wish to allow others to touch eyepieces or approach them when observing. We ask all attendees of the picnic to think carefully before asking to see or allowing others to view the Sun through any equipment.

The event will start at 11:00. The nearest park entrance to Hanover Green is Hanover Gate on the Outer Circle opposite the mosque. Please see the Park’s websites for information on travel information and parking charges.

https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/the-regents-park/visitor-information/opening-times-and-getting-there

https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/the-regents-park/visitor-information/parking-in-regents-park

Please bring your own picnic. The Boathouse cafe, close-by to our picnic spot, will be open to buy drinks and snacks.

https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/the-regents-park/food-and-drink/the-boathouse-cafe

The nearest W.C. is also close-by, over the lake bridge: requires 20p payment by contactless card or app. only. The SUNday solar picnic is free to attend – if you and your friends and family wish to come please please pop along any time after 11.00. Hanover Green is the grass area on the left as one enters the park from Hanover Gate, it is opposite the childrens’ boating pool, close to the childrens’ play area.

Eric Emms.


Covid-19 Update – 26 February, 2021

Hello fellow Irregulars, an update from your ‘Unofficial Force’ committee.

We remain in contact with the powers that be in Regent’s Park and at The Hub, and we have be told today that if the government roadmap for the easing of lockdown is kept to, then The Hub might reopen in late June.

This is a big ‘IF’ and is not definite, as there are many steps to go through before the facilities can reopen and we all can meet up. At their suggestion, we will contact the Hub management again in early May, at which point (hopefully) the reopening timetable will be clearer.

Please note that exciting as this is, The Hub reopening is NOT the only hurdle to be cleared. We will need the Hub café, run by Benugo, to be open too, and everybody to be fully staffed and able to follow the undoubtedly more stringent health & safety procedures, and also be ready for extra-curricular activities such as ours.

Also, every year we have to submit risk assessments, etc, as a society, and as its been a year since we were there, we will very likely have to do this again before we can confirm our first meeting of 2021. But return we will, and the likelihood is that over the summer we will be back!

In the meantime, 1st March is on Monday, the first of Spring is March 20th (the Spring Equinox, when the Sun moves north of the celestial equator), and the clocks go forward one hour on March 28th, when British Summer Time begins.

Stay safe, and clear skies!

Simon, Eric, Nicholas and Red Mike.


Covid-19 Update – 28 January 2021

Hello fellow Irregulars, it’s been awhile since we updated you on the Baker Street Irregular Astronomers. I write this the day after your group organisers, affectionately known as the Unofficial Force (or UF; if this name is strange to you, research Sherlock Holmes novels!) met online to discuss the group.

We learnt yesterday from the government that Lockdown v3. will last until at least early March; we consider there is very little possibility of Irregulars meeting until months later this year. Let’s hope we can see each other in Regent’s Park sometime this year and I remain hopeful we may be allowed to meet for my annual solar observing picnic, SUNday2021, on 20 June on Hanover Green – more details nearer that date.

The UF is pleased to see many of you posting astro-news, comments and images on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/132196206819659 which now boasts over 3,700 ‘members’, please continue as this medium provides a virtual meeting point for Irregulars to keep in touch with each other when we are spending so much time at home away from our astro-friends. BSIA is also on Twitter, Instagram and Flickr; search for Baker Street Irregulars. If you have not yet signed up for our newsletter please do so via our website https://www.bakerstreetastro.org/about-us/stay-in-touch/

A number of Irregulars continue to support the BSIA financially with a monthly donation via our website https://www.bakerstreetastro.org/support-us ; we are financially sound as present (as there is very little expenditure when we do not meet!), ensuring the continuation of our group in the future months when we can see each other again at the Hub, pay Hub fees, insurance premia and other various administration expenses. The UF are extremely grateful and heartened to see such donations continue during these difficult times.

We will contact you again when the likelihood of future meetings becomes more clear.

Eric, for the Unofficial Force.


Covid-19 Update – 22 September 2020 

Dear Irregulars,

We, the Unofficial Force, organisers of the Baker Street Irregular Astronomers wish to update you with our latest view.

We haven’t met at the Hub since our MoOnday lunar gazing event in March; the lockdown imposed later in the month owing to the pandemic shut the Hub terrace and cafe. At the moment both remain closed until further notice and following the latest government restrictions announced today (22 Sep)  BSIA will not be able to meet at the Hub for some time. In the summer we had hoped we would be able to look forward to meeting before the year-end at a Christmas reunion. Our hope has been dashed by the spread of the virus.

We shall continue to closely monitor the government’s advice, keeping you informed on the likely date in 2021 when we will be allowed to congregate again at the Hub to meet fellow astro-friends and enjoy the celestial gems in the London skies.

In the meantime we hope Irregulars take every opportunity to keep looking up at night, on their own or in small groups obeying current government rules on congregating, to view and enjoy the Moon, planets and stars.

Please share your questions and experiences with us in our Facebook groups, other social media or by email from our website – on topic, of course – as we have some superb celestial sights awaiting us in the weeks to come.

Best wishes,

Eric,  for the Unofficial Force.


COVID-19 Update – 30 March 2020

We wish to update you since our last note of the 17th. 

The BSIA organisers, the ‘Unofficial Force’ continue to monitor the latest scientific and medical expertise and recommendations regarding COVID-19. It does look increasingly likely we shall not be able to meet at the Hub until the late autumn/early winter at the earliest. Our annual SUNday solar observing picnic planned for Sunday 21 June, and the BSIA’s 10th birthday celebration the same month, are unlikely to be held as we would have wished.

We will continue our group online, to meet in virtual space to alert upcoming events to see in individual isolation with our naked eyes, binoculars and small telescopes, to discuss our observations and other astro-related news and developments. Many Irregulars use social networks; BSIA has two Facebook pages and an Instagram page that can host live video sessions. Zoom is popular at the moment – there is a free plan allowing 40 mins for a simple group meeting of up to 100 Irregulars.There are more comprehensive video streaming solutions via OBS software allowing YouTube as the viewing medium. We want your ideas for our virtual meetings. How should these be hosted? If you have technical knowledge and/or experience please get in touch.

We will also shortly be asking you for your own ideas to see Irregulars through this crisis, and will be announcing the odd competition in the weeks to come. In the meantime, watch out for our April Sky Guide this week.

That’s all for now. I’m sure all Irregulars are looking forward to the time when we can meet again in person: what a Hub evening that will be!

Remember, please continue to Stay Home, Stay Safe and keep looking up! And remember that when we do so, we all see the same sky, and we are here if you need anything.

Clear skies,

The Unofficial Force 


17 March 2020:

Fellow Irregulars,

In accordance with the scientific guidelines issued by the UK government yesterday (16 March), the Unofficial Force, the organisers of the Baker Street Irregular Astronomers, has agreed to postpone all future meetings of the BSIA until further notice.

We are certain Irregulars will all agree that this is both a prudent and necessary decision in order to safeguard the well-being of our members.

In the meantime the Unofficial Force will endeavour to keep you informed and updated by newsletter and social media as to BSIA news and related issues and, of course, when we hope to recommence with our meetings.

We will not allow the strong camaraderie of BSIA to evaporate during these very difficult times. Please post astronomy related thoughts, advice, news and views by email (ufcomms@bakerstreetastro.or.uk) and/or our social media platforms.

Keep safe and well.


15 March 2020:  The organisers continue to monitor advice from the NHS, DHSC and WHO, and will respond immediately if future meetings need to be rescheduled or cancelled. We continue to liaise with The Royal Parks, the Hub management and others to ensure the safety of us all. Right now, we do not have a date for the next meeting.

Following a very successful lunar gazing MoOnday meeting in early March, there was going to be a natural break anyway until the April meeting, with date options falling after the Easter Weekend, i.e. in the second half of the month. With the Covid-19 situation developing daily, we will monitor as Easter approaches and announce our meeting plans then.

Please watch out for further BSIA and other astro-related news here, and keep looking up! Remember we go to summertime (BST) on Sunday, 29 March. Good Friday is 10 April, hopefully sometime around then we will have some news about our next meeting.

We all miss The Hub when we go for long periods between meetings, and over the almost ten years of BSIA (our anniversary is in June) it has become an old friend. We, the Unofficial Force committee, look forward to welcoming you back there when the current crisis has passed.

In the meantime, we wish Irregulars well, and remember the night sky is always there for us, it’s free to look at and is going to be fantastic in the weeks and months to come…

The date of our next stargazing meetings will be given here, via our newsletter and on our social media accounts.


Remember, if you are new to becoming an Irregular, you don’t need to own and bring a telescope or binoculars to our evening stargazing meetings- there are usually a dozen or so telescopes of various sizes and designs for you to look through. Of course if you do own an instrument you are able to carry to the Hub then please bring it with you!

We meet whether the sky is clear or cloudy! Sometimes the weather forecast for the day just looks awful. In extreme cases, we might outright cancel a meeting however, in the majority of cases, we go ahead anyway. Provided it’s not raining, we gather even under cloudy skies and enjoy an evening of social astronomy chat. Often this results in rewards for those who choose to attend, as London’s unpredictable cloud cover can vanish without warning – then it’s every telescope for itself! We highly recommend coming along even if it looks cloudy. There’s always something and someone interesting to see and hear at one of our star parties.

The organisers of BSIA have a duty of care to Irregulars attending our astronomy events; we work to ensure your visit to the Hub is safe and enjoyable. We advise all attending to take care when walking in the dark to and from the Hub, alert organisers if you witness unacceptable behaviour by other attendees and other threats to well-being including fire.

Additional information on directions to the hub and our event etiquette is available on this website.