Christmas Meal 2016

Our Christmas meal at the Hare and Hounds once again proved a great success.  Even though only seven members made it to the banqueting table on the date chosen (and no we didn’t lose any on the way up) did not detract from the evening.  [Read more about Christmas Meal 2016]

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Venus, Mars, Neptune, Mercury, Saturn
  • Meteor Showers: Quadrantids
  • Comet 45P
  • January 2017 Sky Charts

In the second part of our tour through the winter sky we shall look at some more deep sky celestial treats to tempt you outside. 

To begin, locate the constellation of Gemini, the twins, whose two leading stars, Castor and Pollux ride quite high in the South-East sky.  The object we are seeking is the Planetary Nebula - NGC 2392 or ‘The Clown face’ nebula, a telescopic object well worth observing.  To find -follow the line of stars in Gemini extending away from Pollux... [Read more about A Winter Sky Ramble (Part 2)]

Night Scenes 2017

We are starting to distribute Night Scenes 2017, so if you would like a copy it’s just £4 to society members, £5.50 otherwise.  Cannot be certain how many copies will remain once all those spoken for have been dispatched, so don’t delay, it would make a fantastic new year's gift. [Read more about Night Scenes 2017]

In our Solar System we find to kinds of planets: small rocky planets closer to the sun, and ice giants further out.  The rocky planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars) have only three moons among them, whereas the ice giants (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Saturn) have around ninety.  This month's video article by 'Astronomic' explains...

  [Read more about Why do we only have one moon?]

As far back as 1982, Prof Southwood recalled, he was present at the meeting at which the  Cassini mission to Saturn stemmed. David remembers the date well – June 30th – his birthday. 

David was founder of what became the Space and Atmospheric Physics group, part of the team arguing for a ‘bolt on lander’ which eventually would be funded by ESA as NASA was reluctant to do so. The lander was not destined for Saturn, but its mysterious and largest moon Titan. Huygens was born. Prof Southwood was also leader of the team which developed the magnetometer on the main Cassini spacecraft... [Read more about Astromeet 2017 Talk Summary: Prof David Southwood "Cassini-Hyugens and Rosetta/Philae"]

Alan Chapman, giving a lecture.Allan's chosen subject this year Mary Somerville-the Lady Mathematical Astronomer, one of the first serious scientific woman of the 19th century, a ‘grand amateur', of independent means who could pursue her passion to a professional level.  In and an age when scientific work was undertaken by men, very few women could be counted as equal to their male scientific peers... [Read more about Astromeet 2017 Talk Summary: Dr Allan Chapman: "Mary Somerville 1780-1872"]