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Share your own activities, experiences, and thoughts about astronomy with the rest of the worldwide AWB community.

Member Reports from Raoul Lannoy

Jul 06

A tale of 3 eclipses

Hi, In august 2017, in the US, we'll witness a total solar eclipse….. I read that it's going to be the most observed one, ever…. Well, let me tell you about the previous Saros….. Decades ago, in Europe, long before the turn of the Century, scientific and esoteric publications told the story of the upcoming august 11 1999 Total Solar Eclipse, crossing the UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Iran, India, etc… Even in 1959, a famous flemish weatherman gave an appointment with his viewers in 1999 for the Solar Eclipse… In 1998, I went to Guadeloupe for the february 26... Read More...

Apr 08

Astronomy in Belgium

Hello, I'm the belgian AWB coordinator, president of an amateur astronomy club at Gembloux (frenchspeaking side). We do take part to GAM events when it's possible (it might be the case tonight!)..The weather is very umpredictable, though. Since late 2014, thanks to one of our members, Serge, we've been able to use a place for astronomy at a village called Ramillies (it was a battlefield in 1706 between the forces of Duke of Marlborough and the forces of Louis XIV (the latter lost)). We see hikers, bikers, horseback riders, drivers crossing our area and when we are there, they come... Read More...

Apr 02

Global Stargazing Night 2017 Brussels

On april 1st, I left for Brussels (instead of Ramillies where the Day of astronomy was cancelled due to bad weather and no plan B possibilities). In Brussels, in a school with the club Latitude 5050. We were inside a classroom. Two members made conferences (Jean about what's in the solar system, the other (Thierry) about incredible or less incredible (true or fake) things about the Universe. Then, Jacques came to tell us that it was clear outside, the Moon was visible....I got binoculars (stabilizing) out of the car trunk and shared the western view (the Moon, the Pleiades, Orion)... Read More...

Aug 19
2016

Nights of the Shooting stars 2016 ! A fabulous year !

Hi, From august 6th till august 15th, I went to 7 different events at 6 different locations. First, in a mediaval castle (Le chateau de Moha in the Liege province...About 50 people (families) with lots of children); Great time.. Then at our vewing site at Ramillies..A young couple with 2 children arrived there too..We saw the Milky Way. Then a rapid succession of events: the Royal Observatory of Belgium at Uccle (about 600 persons and only 10 telescopes so lots of queuing and lots of planets, stars, the Moon and ISS. The Eurospace Center at Redu under rain but lots... Read More...

May 13
2016

Mercury transit

We had a very nice weather, contrary to expectations, and we could see from Ramillies the entry of Mercury within the Sun's disk. We also had the visit of a journalist from Le Soir newspaper. We were about 25 persons, also bikers who passed by our site..And I got sun burned. We noticed how difficult it is to take a picture with a H-alpha filter. But we enjoyed it all. Read More...

Jan 24
2016

GAM 2016

This year, Global Stargazing Night will take place the same day and night as the big 10th anniversary event of the Fédération Francophone d'Astronomes Amateurs de Belgique and from what I've heard and shared it's going to be huge! The FFAAB will be in charge of the Eurospace Center and lots of publicity will be made. All we need is good weather... Read More...

Sep 29
2015

Lunar eclipse from Ramillies, Belgium

Here in Belgium, the weather was also very clear (but damp )and foggy early in the morning. We appeared on our frenchspeaking commercial national TV station RTL-TVI: http://www.rtl.be/videos/video/550405.aspx?CategoryID=4759 The field of Ramillies (it was a battlefield between the Duke of Marlborough and Louis XIV in mei 1706) is our favorite observation area: when it was full moon, the entire area was lit up by its glare but once the Moon got hidden by Earth's shadow, we could even see the Milky Way and numerous stars around the Moon ! This was the longest Moon eclipse I experienced and also at... Read More...

Jul 21
2015

Charlie Duke in Brussels july 18th 2015

Last saturday, I was in Brussels at Palace 2 (Heyzel) for the opening of a Space expo (Gateway to Space) and a bit early at the entry and who comes at the entry? It took me a second to recognize them: Charlie and Dotty Duke! (I hoped it would turn out that way...Nobody else but the 3 of us for about 10 seconds). I quickly managed a question: no video exists from inside the LM on the surface of the Moon for all Apollo flights.....Ok, I had to let him in the museum and wait for the gates to open... Read More...

Apr 18
2015

Sun Day 2015

Hello, On sunday april 12, I mailed friends froml 4 different astronomy clubs in Wallonia and Brussels to observe the Sun from a parking place in Gembloux (that way, no need  for authorization, room enough and well located. It lasted from 13:30 till 16:15  (I got a sunburn) and we had 2 PSTs and one telescope with a fillter. I managed to have people from those 4 clubs (and their children) who often diddn't know each other (Astrovega, Astronamur, CAO and Latitude 5050). The sun wasn't as spectacular as a week later, but it sure was a discovery for those... Read More...

Apr 09
2015

Partial solar eclipse march 20

On march 20th, I went to a village called Grand-Leez near Gembloux and animated the event in a school with several other members of the club. We had no luck with the weather but had many children visiting the classroom where we had 2 screens showing the live event on internet from the Faroe Islands. It was a great event and the local TV was there and we were able to show to the other clubs what actually happened during that morning. https://plus.google.com/photos/108584325990837650927/albums/6128442659976437985?banner=pwa   The next day, we were in Brussels in another school for the Astronomy Discovery Day and... Read More...

Jan 12
2015

To jail on december 14 2014 !,

Hi, Last december 14th, I went to  a prison (Marneffe, Liege province). We were 3 from various clubs (me, Linda and Serge) to pass the checkpoint an go to a place with a noth-west free sky visibiliy (there are lots of spotlights all around). Linda had arranged this visit and it was starry but cold. We deployed ou instruments and saw ISS pass over us. Then came a group of detainees. W shook hands and Linda (with her ACS 6 inches) could go from one object to the other. My Dobson 12 inches took a while to prepare. I could... Read More...

Aug 10
2014

The 2014 Fist Night of the Shooting Stars at Fernelmont, Belgium

First night of the shooting stars at Fernelmont, Belgium. On friday 8th august , the firs Night of the Shooting Stars (Nuit des étoiles filantes or NEF), took place at Fernelmont , 15 km north-east of Namur. Weeks earlier, the French speaking Belgian amateur astronomers federation was contacted by a woman in charge of a group of children affected by the Xeroderma Pigmentosum desease (extreme sensitivity to UV light) with their parents. I called her the next morning, found out the group had its base (momentarily) at Namur and very quickly, Astronamur (the club nearest that town) contacted her. It... Read More...

Aug 22
2013

Nights of the Shooting Stars- Starry Night

Hello, On august 8th, 2013, we gathered at the Eurospace Center for the first of the Nights of the Shooting Stars (Nuits des Etoiles Filantes). We met the medias, saw conferences, shoew our stuff to the public and saw the HTV chasing ISS. About 850 people came. On saturday 10th, the CAO and Astroclub Vega had our common event at Louvan-la-Neuve and we had an explanation of the solar system by Linda, the meteors on radio by Thierry and the sky cleared just as night set and we had a record number of visitors..more than 200 !! We were happy,... Read More...

Jul 22
2013

The Day the Earth Smiled

Hello, We had clear skies, for once, in Belgium! It's been quite successful with other clubs, too. We had two clubs together near Gembloux, not far from the geographical center of the country. The Astroclub Vega and the Club d'Astronomie d'Ottignies Louvain-la-Neuve. (We used two Dobsons (12 inches) and various other telescopes. The Moon was very bright (we couldn't see the Milky Way). Saturn was right there, even before it became dark . Actually, at our latitude (50°), july 19th is the first night when we finally get some completely dark skies as for the two last months, the Sun... Read More...

Apr 07
2013

GAM 2013 Jupiter Watch and SunDay

Hello, Saturday april 6 2013, the Club s'Astronomie d'Ottignies Louavain-la-Neuve (presided by Ashraf Niaz) and the Astroclub Véga (Raoul being it's president) joined forces at Louvain-la-Neuve from 2 PM till 10 PM to show the Sun with various filters and Jupiter after sunset. We had clouds until after 5 PM and could finally show the Sun and later Jupiter and Orion to the visitors. We had families with young children (some were fascinated by my Skysafari app in thre iPad. Ganymede was producing a shadow on the planet. We had fewer people than last year but a bigger variety of... Read More...

Sep 23
2012

International Observe the Moon Night 2012

On september 22 2012, I went to Dinant (from Namur, following the Meuse beautiful valley) whe re the Cercle Astronomique Mosan (CAM) held its International Observe the Moon Night. The CAM has an observatory and they aimed their big refractor to the Moon and the image was shown on a TV screen for details. The Moon was never high in the sky, so there was lots of turbulence. A dozen of visitors came and enjoyed the scenery, our telescopes, a setup to show why peakes can form long shadows and a bucket with sand to show what happens when a... Read More...

Aug 13
2012

Nights of the Shooting stars 2012

Hello, On thursday 9th, many clubs gathered at the country's Space Camp, the Eurospace Center, near France and Luxemburg. For most of the afternoon, my PST was used to show details on the surface of the Sun and lots of people had a look at our star. I dressed up in my astronaut blue suit (at least I can do that once a year) and was interviewed by RTL-TVI, the french speaking national commercial TV station. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYKbkx3zMmY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2_C686Pt8Q http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4dWdDFNnWg Later, we went inside to avertize about our astronomy clubs (we have tables and cables for our PC's) and after sunset,... Read More...

Apr 02
2012

GAM 2012 SunDay april 1 and Moonweek

This Sun Day april 1st was no April Fool's day for us! The club d'astronomie d'Ottignies Louvain-La-Neuve got the permission from the police to display telescopes on the Main City Hall at Louvain-La-Neuve. It's mainly a University Town with no car circulation (cars are parked underground, luckily not too far from our observation place, outside. We had about 4 or 5 different telescopes, all aimed at the Sun and all with different kinds of filters. At 11 AM, we started the day with almost immediately people wondering what it was about. All day long, we benefitted from a sunny generous... Read More...

Mar 09
2012

Space Expo visit (february 7 2012 at Noordwijk, the Netherlands)

During the very cold weeks we have known in Europe, a visit to Space Expo at Noordwijk, the Netherlands, was organized thanks to my good friends Linda and Ashraf who go to schools to teach astronomy. This was a project by a school (10-12 year old pupils) at Seneffe in the Hainaut province. The children were at times restless but it was a great day and we saw moonrocks, a HST solar panel that was brought back (there were 22 children and 5 adults). http://www.youtube.com/my_videos_edit?ns=1&video_id=xwqqzcKdQ9E https://picasaweb.google.com/108584325990837650927/2012NoordwijkSeneffe Raoul Read More...

Mar 09
2012

The Night of Darkness in Belgium october 15 2011

The Night of Darkness in 2011 october 15 https://picasaweb.google.com/108584325990837650927/2011NO Last year in october, Belgium organized the Night of Darkness al over the country and we were lucky because the weather was finally cooperating ! The Astrovega club was split between Brussels and Gembloux and in both places, there were lots of visitors ! Even though we were divided, it worked because we organized it early enough in time. It was very damp, however, and soon we had to take measures to correct this, if we could. Nevertheless, it was a success all over the country. In Brussels alone, 700 persons... Read More...

Apr 18
2011

GAM 2011 from Belgium

Global Starparty On saturday 9th, I went to a village called Forville, not too far from Namur, in Belgium. The Astronamur astronomy club had its Global Stargazing night organized right around the corner from their premisses, on a football field. Very good weather, a bit cold and a great crescent Moon. We tried our various equipment, listened to advices, saw the occultation of a magnitude 7 star , by the Moon, observed Saturn and Messier objects. I used my Dobson Orion SkyQuest xx12. What is very useful is the proximity between a room and a field. We didn't have much... Read More...

Feb 10
2011

Man and Space expo at Saint Gerard, Belgium, at the Brogne Abbey

Hello, I'm guide , show the sun with the PST and have helped organize a 6 weeks long space fair in a 10th century abbey, south of Belgium. Schools are visiting the place during the week days(an interesting mix of modern technology in a very old building) and others during the week-ends. It's from january 14th till february 27th. There are meteorites exposed, more than 50 models of european spacecrafts. We had the visit of our astronaut Frank De Winne. We had debates too. https://picasaweb.google.com/astroraoul/2011StGer2 # https://picasaweb.google.com/astroraoul/2011STG3 # https://picasaweb.google.com/astroraoul/2011STG4 # https://picasaweb.google.com/astroraoul/2011STG5 # https://picasaweb.google.com/astroraoul/2011StG6 # https://picasaweb.google.com/astroraoul/2011StG7 # https://picasaweb.google.com/astroraoul/2011StG8 # https://picasaweb.google.com/astroraoul/2011StG9 #... Read More...

Oct 17
2010

Night of darkness & Beauty without borders

Last night was a long ago programmed belgian Night of Darkness, to bring awareness of the Light Pollution to the public. As it happened at the same time as "Beauty Without Borders", it was easy to combine both events. This time, they took place saturday 16 in Brussels, capital of Belgium at a park, called the Red Cloister at Auderghem. http://www.virtourist.com/europe/brussels/48.htm One thing we needed, was a clear sky.....Well, we got it before the visitors would leave the place! We had conferences about the light pollution issue, two of my club were giving astronomy lectures on astronomy and my "Beast",... Read More...

Oct 05
2010

A study on how to show stars at Vierves-sur-Viroin

During the first week-end of october 2010, the frenchspeaking amateur astronomers federation organized a study about various ways to show stars for educational purposes. It happened in a very beautiful Walloon village, near the french border, at Vierves-sur Viroin. We learned how to create, with paper, scissors and glue a planisphere, an animated zodiac (showing the difference between the astrological and the astronomical zodiacs). We also leanrned how to build a star counter (we cut a 12 cm wide hole in a paper, attach a 26 cm long thread to it, put the other end in our mouth and close... Read More...

Sep 19
2010

International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN) 2010

Hello all, Yesterday september started earlier in the late afternoon ; I went to Dinant in the Ardennes to join a Moon party! The Cercle Astronomique Mosan organized a Moon observation Night, thanks to its most Moon fan member, Albert De Bruijn, called "Moonwalker" ! He had planned a game for visitors using their refractor in the observatory and an eyepiece with graduation. The purpose was to measure a distance within Crater Ptolemaeus; they found 88 km when the real distance is 96 km which was quite a feat! http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/astroraoul/2010CAMInOMN # Movies: http://www.youtube.com/user/Astroraoul?gl=FR&hl=fr#p/a/u/2/GkBIx1NXaKk http://www.youtube.com/user/Astroraoul?gl=FR&hl=fr#p/a/u/1/5-2zfkF8V7c http://www.youtube.com/user/Astroraoul?gl=FR&hl=fr#p/a/u/0/FF_R9_hRnvU The observatory doesn't have internet... Read More...