Brecon Visitor Centre Solar Viewing and Viewing People Upside Down on Pen Y Fan

An enjoyable day out sums up the event. Optimistically the CAS team spread out all the equipment on the field in front of the Visitor Centre at Libanus and it looked impressive with Bob Biss and Spencer manning the Dobsonian, Bob Love with all sorts of telescopes set up in safe viewing mode, and Alan and Jeff following up at the rear with the solar scope.
The public was soon attracted and came wandering around to see what we were intending to do. Groups soon gathered and the team were quickly into full flow informing everyone about safe solar viewing, what we hoped to see on the Sun and what we, as CAS members became involved in. Kayleigh had printed off a stash of programme flyers and these quickly disappeared as the public learnt we have a full talks programme and have regular observing and stargazing evenings.

Picnicking started early as we waited for the clouds to part, and they did clear and some views of the Sun were obtained. But yes, it has to be admitted that until we were packing up the clouds were very persistent. However certainly not a wasted journey; 4 people very keen to join, contact made with 2 new speakers, one current member is interested in making a contribution to the Society by joining the committee or serving as a Trustee, and a bigger number of people more informed about astronomy in general.
A sad part of the day was in saying goodbye to a number of the staff we have come to know over the years, they have always been helpful and very welcoming but now have to face redundancy as the Centre will not be manned full time after September.
And yes, Spencer did entertain the public with demonstrating that astronomical telescopes can give very good images but without a corrective lens do see things upside down, even walkers on top of Pen Y Fan.
Next public event is the Telescope Workshop September 24th at the National Museum, Cathays Park.
It'll be a very enjoyable day, please see anyone on the Committee if you would like to join in. Or if you are thinking of buying a telescope for Christmas then come along to one of our observing sessions (see our website) and get some help.

Theresa Cooper

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