Wednesday, 20 March 2019

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Richie's Blog

2019-02-07 - AllSky Camera - 150 degree view
Written by Richie Jarvis   
Friday, 08 February 2019 01:38

My 150 degree All-Sky camera is up and working again (mostly!) Cloud at the moment ;)

I have had some nice activity on it which looks good at 120fps Cool

(note to self... Upgrade Joomla and get youtube support...)

Linky here:
Live All Sky Camera
Written by Richie Jarvis   
Sunday, 20 January 2019 00:00

Recently, I have been playing with my Altair Astro GP-Cam (They don't make it anymore, but it has been replaced with this unit:  It came with a 150 degree lens, so I have mounted inside a cheap £3 dome, and placed it outside South Common Observatory.  

At the moment, the stream is being captured on Windows 10 with Altair Capture, which adds the date/time stamp. From there, it is streamed to Xeoma CCTV software via a simple VLC desktop RTSP stream.  Xeoma then converts to MJPEG for display here, and overlays the compass.


6th Chailey Astronomy in the Village/Pub - 21st April 2018
Written by Richie Jarvis   
Wednesday, 14 February 2018 00:00

Saturday 21st April 2018
12 - 4pm

Chailey St.George's Day Village Fete

£1 entry fee for fete for adults  - Entry fee for Dog Show - Loads of fun for all the family

Beer Tent, BBQ, Tombola, World Famous Punch & Judy Show, Table Top Sales, Fun Dog Show, Classic Cars and Tractors, University of Sussex Planetarium, Solarscopes


Full Details Here

6 - 10pm

The Five Bells, Chailey

Come join us in one of the darkest villages in the South East for an afternoon & evening of Astronomical discovery.

Astronomy in the Pub is expanding to Astronomy in the Village for one afternoon/evening.  We are a collection of amateur and professional Astronomers and Science Geeks..

Our Amateur SkyGuides are volunteers with a passion for Astronomy.

Learn how to view the Sun safely and easily by looking through our Special Solar Telescopes during the day.

Learn all about the night Sky in the Sussex University Planetarium.

Let US show YOU what you can see with a Cheap Telescope, or a Monocular like this simple £6 one for example.

Monocular from Blacks Website - 2018-04-08 - ON SPECIAL OFFER ATM!.

Note1: Blacks/Millets/etc all have them for the same price atm.

Note2: AitP is not affiliated with any Supplier unless noted.

Note3: Test it IN THE STORE before you buy - some are good, some are not so good (been dropped, etc) - YMMV and AitP is not responsible if you buy a ‘bad’ one….

We want to introduce YOU to the natural wonders of the night sky…

Posters available for download, printing and distribution here


Full Schedule

12pm - Chailey Village Fete at Markstakes Corner, South Chailey

Dog Show!

Fun Dog Show with many classes for any breed/mix.

Classic Cars & Tractors!

Chailey Tractor Club proudly displays their amazing classic tractor and car collection.

Beer Tent, Food and Refreshments

Harveys. Gin. Coke. Burgers. Etc.


Groups of 20 people lie down in the Inflatable Planetarium and watch the Universe Expand before your very eyes!

Punch & Judy

Join World Famous Punch and Judy man Robert Styles for a bit of traditional village fun!

4pm - Chailey Village Fete Ends


6pm - Astronomy in the Pub Introduction

Speaker: Richie Jarvis - AitP Skyguide

A short introduction to the Event, and location of Fire Exits + Q&A Session

7pm - SkyGuide

Speaker: Richie Jarvis

Summary: A dazzling tour of the Night Sky + Q&A Session

8pm - Planets

Speaker: William Joyce - Astronomer & Planetary Scientist

Summary: Everything you ever wanted to know about Planets + Q&A Session

Bio: William Joyce was an astrophysicist and spacecraft engineer, and is now a planetary scientist, who also provides outreach talks, planetarium shows, and short courses on most aspects of these subjects for astronomy societies, geological societies, the public, schools and special events, in the UK, overseas, and on-board cruise ships as a guest speaker.

He has a BSc in Astrophysics which led to research in satellite remote sensing instruments, followed by an industrial career in laboratory work, spacecraft software engineering and aerospace systems engineering. He is a Chartered Physicist and a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.

More recently, Will returned to academia and gained a BSc in Earth and Planetary Science, followed by working as the resident Astronomer at Herstmonceux Observatory, showing people the night skies using the largest telescopes in the UK.  He is currently lecturing at Birkbeck University of London, and providing teaching and course development in geophysics and planetary science subjects for undergraduate and Masters students’, while studying for a PhD in satellite remote sensing of volcanoes and lavas on the Moon.

William is happy to share his experience with people of all ages and backgrounds, so please do ask him any burning questions you have on anything to do with space.

9pm - Exploring the Universe with the James Webb Space Telescope

Speaker: Dr Stephen Wilkins - University of Sussex

Summary: How the JWST will be used, and gather exceptional data (if it works!)

Bio: Dr. Stephen Wilkins was born in Yorkshire and obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Durham. He then obtained his PhD from the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge and subsequently worked as a researcher at the University of Oxford. In 2013 he accepted a lectureship at the University of Sussex and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2016. His research currently focuses on the very first galaxies to form in the Universe.

10pm - Astronomy in the Pub Ends


Contact: Richie Jarvis

Telephone: 07702 705427

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

South Common Observatory Website by Richie Jarvis

Proudly Hosted By:

The Five Bells

East Grinstead Rd, Chailey, BN8 4DA

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Telephone:  01825722259


Chailey Bonfire Society

Chailey St. George’s Day Fete Organisers and Helpers

Markstakes Corner, Chailey, BN8 4DA

Secretary: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The Science/Astronomy parts of the events are run by the Astronomy in the Pub Sussex Branch.  We wish to thank the Lewes Branch of the British Science Association, The Five Bells, Chailey Bonfire Society, ESAS, SSAS, EAS, BAS, CAS and other volunteers who assist to make these events possible for YOU to VIEW!


We are Astro-Geeks.

We talk too much, love telescopes,

& We are not afraid to let YOU use them!

The Quickening
Written by Richie Jarvis   
Friday, 09 February 2018 03:58


It is not really a secret anymore, but I found out in 2017 that I am autistic.

They used to call it Asperger's Syndrome, which I prefer, but the diagnostic manual changed, so now we are all Autistic. As opposed to the non-Autistic people, who are called Allistic. Whatever it is actually called, does not matter. The more I look back on my life, the more sense it makes. I have a pretty good memory. I've suppressed most of my childhood for years, because for me, an extremely emotional autistic person, it was extremely painful. And now, they are coming back, one by one. And every single one hurts today just as it did then. I do learn something about myself with each one though!

I used to have regular meltdowns as a child (which is what I learnt my tantrums were in 'Spectrum Speak'), and my Mum, bless her cottons, did her best, took me to the Doctors, took me to the child psyche, etc, etc. But no-one knew what to do....

One of the most painful things about my childhood was interaction with other kids. From my early childhood I remember clearly the day 'it' changed. The day that I was no longer tolerated by my peers. I was 6. I learnt very very early on that one-on-one with another human I could cope. My method: the same I use today - showing off! That is fine now, I realise now that I am going to continue to do things that interest me. If folks wish to look over my shoulder, that is fine too.  I suppose it is my way of socialising. I try not to shove it down others throats, but they keep asking me things, so I guess they wanna know, right?

Anyway, I digress...

Back then, that was devastating to me. I was an outcast. My eagerness to please became more and more obvious as I grew up, and the less and less I knew what I was doing wrong. I didn't get the rules. Written rules were not fine, but it was (and still is) the unwritten rules that trip me up. Why can Jane get away with that and I cannot? It is only now that I look back and realise quite how badly I didn't get the rules. I thought I was being treated unfairly. I got frustrated, I got angry, and then they started pushing buttons, because they got a reaction. And the cycle repeats, and still repeats to this day.... They are still out there, they just have different names nowadays.

Yes, I knew I was different, and no, I didn't want a label, or an excuse. They just seemed like cop outs, right? Well, sorta-kinda not it turns out. I am still learning, and having an annoyingly accurate memory for this stuff just, well, sucks.  But also is a bonus too.... Cos although it hurts, at least I can get a handle on what went wrong!

On the day of diagnosis I was free. I had an answer WHY. I suddenly didn't have to worry (so I thought) about stuff too much anymore. The weight lifted off on that day was amazing.

It was...

The Quickening

(Highlander.... Love that film)

Since then, I have been able to release my brain to work on shit I want it to.... mostly.

Don't get me wrong - I don't want any sympathy here.  I am not after a sainthood - I just want to put my own experience out there, because it turns out a lot of folks are in the same boat.  Wondering how they will survive the next day.  So if you read this, and it strikes a cord, well, do what works for you is what I am saying.


Instead of wasting huge effort (and you have NO idea how tiring it is unless you have done it) masking myself totally. Masking is another thing - copying - selecting little bits of Susan, and Greg, and Dinesh, and Jim, mashing it all together to try and make a face that works.....

But here is the catch.... It ONLY works for that person.

I have one for Gini, one for Emily, one for Sam, etc, etc. And sometimes they are incompatible. I will never forget taking one girlfriend home.  I couldn't function - I had to get out of the room, because the 2 masks were so totally incompatible.  I was paralysed.  The more people are present, the worse the problem, and the more tiring it is for me. But those that know me well make allowances. And for that I am glad.

Another example... Looking at people. I've always been good at this part, and as far as I know, folks have never noticed that I glaze over when looking at them. Silly things like getting distracted and pretending something caught my eye. All of it takes brainpower, and when you train yourself like I have, although not second nature, it is doable.

Another one.... Trying to work out what people were actually saying versus what their body language was saying.... People speak, words come out of their mouths. But does the body language match the words or intended action. Sometimes you get 3 signals, all in conflict. Mouth says one thing, head says another, body says something completely different. They might just be worrying, or stressed, but if I watch, I pick it up - I couldn't tell you what made me nervous of that person though, just that I don't trust them at that moment. You watch folks - the amount of out of sync communications that goes on is incredible. And I've had to teach myself that language.... I still get it wrong, but I am not too bad nowadays. (well, I hope anyway!)

I know none of this is actually important NOW this second, right? I mean, this stuff, well, it scars and hurts a bit, but I can cope, right?

That is what I thought.... Turns out, nope, if you do what I did and force all them emotions to the bottom of a pit, stick the most acceptable mask you can on and parade around copying people, it really fucks you up later on in life.... Depression is a bitch of a mistress.... Still, all this understanding seems to be helping with that part of it too, so onwards and upwards.

And so, in signing off, I will just say this....

I am free....
I am free to concentrate on the stuff I wish to in my own head.... sometimes
I am free to be me....

And seeing as it is currently 03:30am GMT, I guess that means I had to get this out before I could sleep..... Just another thing, insomnia. (4am now edited....)

Good Night Everyone!



Original: South Common Observatory - 2018-02-09T0400Z
Edit1: South Common Observatory - 2018-02-09T0400Z
Edit2: South Common Observatory - 2018-02-09T0415Z
(And probably more to come!)

Off Topic: Immigration Crisis? Why?
Written by Richie Jarvis   
Wednesday, 09 September 2015 16:22

Maybe this is the answer to the Worldwide Immigration Mess

Why not remove all borders across all countries? Global population will gradually migrate to the best places - the places they migrate from become farmland (tear a few slums down - not a forest....)

The migrants will either settle, and pay taxes in the country they settle in, or be moved on. Their choice.... Over time, our growing population will settle across the planet - starting with the Western civilisations first (it seems to be where everyone wants to be right now!)

Folks will also move onto different countries and areas over time too, and I bet that gradually, the benefits offered by each country become very similar the world over. Of course, we will all have to bury the hatchet, settle our differences and agree to disagree...

But isn't that a better way for humanity to live?

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