The online calendar is now updated with this term's talks.
This podcast from Awesome Astronomy is well worth a listen, great content and humour.
Jupiter is at opposition at 01:28 BST 9th May i.e. this Wednesday. That means that the planet, the Earth and the Sun are in a line - that is significant because that is when Jupiter makes its closest approach to the Earth – termed perigee – making it appear at its brightest and largest (about 45 arc seconds). It is worth observing even with binoculars - you will easily spot its 4 largest moons. With just about any telescope you may also seen the bands and clouds in its atmosphere. The attached picture was taken from Abergavenny last night. The dark dot near the bottom of the planet and a bit to the left is the shadow of Europa, just to the lower right of that you may spot a small pale dot, that is Europa itself. One can tell that the planet is close to opposition because the shadow of the moon is so close to the image of the moon itself - that is because everything is almost in line - Jupiter, Europa, Earth, Sun. To view the planet look low in the south around midnight or an hour or so either side. you cannot miss it! It is in the constalleation of Virgo.
Agenda for the AGM of Usk Astronomical Society scheduled for
19th April 2018 at 7.00pm in the Old Grammar School, 18 Maryport Street, USK.
1) Minutes of previous meeting held on the 27th April 2017 AGM:
2) Reports by officers:
3) Election of officers:
4) : Presentation of last year’s amendments to the constitution for approval.
5) : Honorary Life Members.
6) : Membership Subscriptions
6) : AOB:
The meeting of the 8th will consider the following two topics
The Night Sky in March Open Discussion
History of Space Huw Price with Alen Cruttenden
Good call to cancel the meeting of the 1st! It isn't often that we have had to take these precautions but better to be safe than sorry. We hope the weather improves for next week, 8th.
Stay safe, warm and well.
Light from the earliest stars to form has been detected. For the first time signals form stars formed only 180 million years after the big band have been seen. You can see more of the details here:
For those that were not at the last meeting - we have moved from the room we have been in for years to the top floor of the building. This has given us the chance to fit new AV equipment - a 120" screen, new projector, powerful sound system and some much nicer furniture. Our collection of telescopes and other kit, that were being stored in various places in the center have now also been moved to the top floor.
Picture of Aristarchus, Heroditus and Vallis Schroteri. Taken in Abergavenny last night in near infra red (>742 nM) using a 200 mm Maksutov. This is a composite of six pictures taken at high resolution. The settled seeing and using IR instead of visible light gave very stable images for stacking. Objects significantly less than 1 km across are resolved. Aristarchus, for scale is 40 km across. It is a young crater for the moon, possibly only 450 my old.
Although the weather is very cold and snowy at the moment it seems, during clear spells, that the seeing is exceptionally good. I suspect that is because the jet stream is playing away over Russia somewhere. Great time for observing/ imaging the moon. the planets are all very low and not really available at the moment although Jupiter does rise in the small hours so should be worth a look for the really hardy/keen. The transparency has been moderate when the clouds clear, just as well as we are at full moon time now ;-(
here is the link to the Moons of the solar system online course https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/moons
a decade time-lapse of the Crab Nebula! You can see it expand and see the pulsar wind swirling about! https://www.astrobin.com/full/327338/0/ (C) Detlef Hartmann
Happy new year guys, a quick note to tell you about the April Astrocamp 2018. Booking is now open for the 14th- 17th April 2018 http://astrocamp.awesomeastronomy.com/
I have been attending this event twice a year for the past 4 years, it is an absolute blast. The organisers put on a fantastic weekend of observing and fun at the pub, in the past we have had talks on Gravitational waves and the Herschel space observatory by Dr. Chris North, Galaxies and dark matter by Jeni Millard, X Wing in space by Matt Kingsnorth, Flight Director from the ESA (that’s the Essex Space Agency by the way!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7ub0mFVDV0 along with others.
The location of this gathering of astronomers and astrophotographers is the camp site in Cwmdu, we take over the site for the weekend and the owners kindly turn off the lights for the duration. The weather is generally good with many hours of observing etc but on the off chance that Welsh weather doesn't play ball, the social side of the gathering takes over under the gazeebo on the common.
New attendees are welcomed and the Astrocamp family continues to grow.
It is with great sadness that have been asked by the family of Mike Thomas, to inform you all, that he passed away peacefully this morning, 10th December 2017.
It is difficult to say how much he will be missed in our societies, but how easy it will be to speak of his adventures with us.
one of his many best friends,
Nick has managed to book Dr. Gareth Morgan, Planetary Scientist, Centre for Earth & Planetary Studies
Smithsonian Institution, National Air & Space Museum to give a presentation of one of his papers on Thursday 21st of Decenber.
This is such a wonderful opportunity to learn about the latest developments at the forefront of planetary science, that we have arranged this extra meeting.
Thanks to Sandra and Lynda for organizing the new society jackets and Tee-shirts. I Love them! The jackets I mean.
Wednesday 8th November
A reminder, particularly appropriate since he is the focus of our current fundraising efforts, that next Wednesday's lecture in Usk Sessions House at 7.30pm will be on Alfred Russel Wallace, one of Usk's most famous but still under-recognised sons, who made major contributions not just to evolutionary theory and natural history but also to economics, social reform and even astronomy.
Contact 01291-673233 to see if you can book a place, if you are not a member of Usk Civic Society.
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