Annual Meeting 2023

We held our meeting on Saturday the 17th of June 2023 at the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge. Members can expect the usual meeting report in a future issue of the DSO, but we'd like to thank everyone who came along, and all who helped out.


We hope you all enjoyed the talks, and on behalf of the Webb Deep-Sky Society I would like to thank all our speakers.

To kick off the meeting Keith Venables discussed some important topics in Seeking the (very) Elusive. Optimising your Equipment, Eyes and Techniques. There are many assumptions made about factors that impact successful deep-sky observing. These include equipment, but also dark adaption, eye care and good technique. Keith isn't afraid to put some of them to the test as his tales of self-experiment attest. He also presented one possible future for scope mounted finders, a solution borrowed from the imaging world: an eFinder.

Next Ian Smith talked about his reasons and methods for Narrow Band Imaging of Planetary Nebulae in the light polluted suburbs. He explained the benefits of using narrow-band filters and long exposure times under these conditions, and why planetary nebulae provide the perfect target for your interests: they're a varied group of objects, and there are probably far more than you realise.

After lunch we heard from our own Double Star Section director, Bob Argyle, about the The Life History of a Double Star Telescope. The Thorrowgood telescope is one that he knows very well, having used it to make many double star measurements over the years. Bob explained how it came to be the 'Thorrowgood' telescope after passed through many hands since Cooke built it. It does appear to carry a curse for its owners!

Then the author of our Nebula and Cluster of the Month column took his turn. Patrick Maloney has been observing from Lancashire in U.K. for many years, and in Fuzzy Blobs and LEDs - Ruminations of a Grumpy Old Observer we heard about his journey from an excitable youth to the grumpy old astronomer of today. This was a talk filled with humour, tales of astronomical observations (and even some dark skies) and just a few pet grumps along the way.

Finally it was time for our professional keynote talk will be given by Prof Richard Ellis FRS on When Galaxies Were Born: Early Results from James Webb Space Telescope. We were given the story of the search for Cosmic Dawn, and how the early results from JWST suggest that this milestone is now within reach.

Trade Stands

Thank you to our stall holders for turning up with their wares.