Many thanks to Bob Mizon for his entertaining and educational talk. Several members requested that we make the list of ten targets for light-polluted astronomers available, so here goes:
||Track right from the base of triangulum
||Double Star with high colour contrast
||Last bright star in Andromeda moving up from Pegasus
The Wristwatch and NGC1502
|Asterism; star chain and includes an open cluster
||Find Perseus then extend a line Algol to Mirphak by approx 1.5 the distance
||Optical (line of sight) double with high colour contrast
||Find Sirius. Track down to delta (Wezen). The double is up and left from there.
|Y Canum Venaticorum
||Approx halfway between Cor Caroli and Phad (in the Plough)
The Owl (Stick Man)
||Extend line from epsilon to delta by about half again.
|R and T Coronae Borealis
||Star chart recommended
||Star with high apparent velocity (2.3″ per year)
||Find double cluster and use a pointer — 7 degrees away on same declination
||Sc Spiral Galaxy with off-centre nucleus
||Consult a star chart
Thanks to everyone who came to the meeting this month. I am sure you will agree that we had some excellent talks. Haley Gomez gave us an insight into the current and on-going research into the mysteries of cosmic dust. Titanic Stellar Explosions account for some of it, but lots of it is just mysterious.
Eliot Hall gave us an introduction to observing comets — it seems that they are good targets for insomniacs. Like boy-scouts the comet observer must be prepared.
Steve showed off some Jupiter images.
Haley Gomez will be coming all the way from Cardiff to present her talk on Titanic Stellar Explosions and Cosmic Dust Mysteries. Eliot will tell us about his exploits in observing comets, and the chair is going to show off some Jupiter images and videos.
A supernova has been discovered in the relatively nearby galaxy known as M82. Just google M82 and supernova and a world of images and articles will open before your feet!
Sadly this is the second January that we have had to cancel the January slot. Last year snow stopped play. This year there was a fire in the hall which knocked out the electrics. Luckily the fire was discovered and extinguished before any major damage could be done. Let’s hope that next year doesn’t suffer the same fate.
We sent messages via email and through Facebook and Twitter and flagged up the problem on the website but some people still turned up expecting Mike’s talk on Moons of the Solar System. Apologies to them for a wasted trip. We will run Mike’s talk in June after the AGM, so we won’t miss out.
Bad news. The Baptist Hall has had a (relatively minor, I believe) fire which has damaged the electrics. This means that it is unlikely there will be a meeting on Jan 17th.
Please keep an eye on this web site for the latest news.
It’s the Christmas Social event on 6th December. We’ll kick off at 7:30pm, so it would be good to arrive a bit before then.
This event is open to members and their friends/relations and we do make an at-cost charge for food. There will be a quiz and raffle. We have a singer/guitar player performing for us and of course there will be vittles. Maybe some other activities will manifest during the evening.
Please let the committee know if you are coming and whether you would be supplying a raffle prize and/or pudding. Also let us know if you have and special dietary requirements.
Following on from Roger’s talk, here is the link to his Project Alcock page.
If anyone wants to get more information about the programme or comets in general, then Roger is happy for you to contact him.
Our new season starts this week on 20th Sept.
We have a packed programme of two presentations (three if you count the introduction): a beginners’ item from Eliot Hall on imaging the Sun, and a main topic by Steve Hill on “Why this Universe? Exploring the Cosmic Landscape” which explores some speculative ideas about the origin of the Universe. You get to meet the son of a plumber and learn all about string theory. Well maybe not all.
Since this is the first meeting of the new season, please be prepared to cough up membership dues. We have left the rates unchanged for another year, so it is a very reasonable £10 for an individual for the year or £15 for a family.
This Friday 21st June is our AGM. Normally we try to get the formal process over and done with quickly. There are some items that you should be aware of:
1) Alan Aked is formally our treasurer, but Rosie is doing most of the day-to-day work of looking after the funds. We could do with someone stepping up to the plate and taking over the treasurer role.
2) I would like to raise the topic of membership fees, so come armed with opinions. We haven’t changed the fees for as long as I can remember and we should consider revising them even if we don’t do it in the end.
3) Ideas for getting more members would be appreciated.
4) We need a picture for the membership card for next year. I have one submission, but the more the merrier.
5) If you have any items that you would like to raise at the meeting, let us know and we can add them to the agenda.
Once the AGM is out of the way, we will to do something interesting (the meeting is billed as “member talks”, but we can be flexible):
1) We can do a Q&A session if we get some Qs, so send in any questions you have about astronomy and we will attempt to answer them (no question is too basic but there may be some that are too complicated – we will try our best!)
2) I will bring my astro-images from over the years. Feel free to bring your own and we can look and admire.
3) If you have any astro-related experiences from the past year to tell us about, we would be happy to hear, whether it be the sighting of Saturn or the discovery of a supernova.
4) I am happy to re-run my beginners’ item from last month if people are interested.
5) If you have any other suggestions let us know.