Comets and Binocular astronomy
Sep
6
8:00 PM20:00

Comets and Binocular astronomy

We’ll try and combine two topics in this session. Many members do not have scopes but they do have binoculars. We’ll cover the different designs and demonstrate how to use them. And we may be able to see Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner which reaches closest approach on the night of 10th/11th September, after which it rises after midnight. Plus our regular items – planetary round-up, Cullen Objects and a Book of the Month.

Comet.jpg
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Telescope collimation and polar alignment
Oct
4
8:00 PM20:00

Telescope collimation and polar alignment

Collimation.jpg

As the evenings draw in again, it’s time to get some serious observation and photography in! Now is the time to make sure your scope is in good condition and we’ll run through some of the key steps to get the most out of your instrument. But whenever we come to talk about this, we tend to skim past collimations and polar alignment till right at the end. So we’ve decided to make them a topic in their own right. We’ll talk about tools that can be used for this and software solutions too. Plus our regular items – planetary round-up, Cullen Objects and a Book of the Month.

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Astrophotography workshop – taking the picture – remote imaging – guiding
Nov
1
8:00 PM20:00

Astrophotography workshop – taking the picture – remote imaging – guiding

It’s clear that more and more of our members are at the stage they’d like to dip their toes into the complex business of astrophotography. But even getting to the stage of attaching a camera to your scope can be daunting. It isn’t, and we’ll show you how. And hopefully we’ll be able to take some sort of image on the night. You’ll need to bring scopes and cameras (whether they’re CCDs or DSLRs, or even your smart phones!). Plus our regular items – planetary round-up, Cullen Objects and a Book of the Month

DSLR Astroimaging Setup.jpg
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Astrophotography workshop – image processing
Dec
6
8:00 PM20:00

Astrophotography workshop – image processing

Now for cool part (though some call it the Dark Art!) of processing those astro-images you’ve so carefully and painstakingly taken. For this you’ll need your image files and your computer. You’ll need to have some stacking software on your computer (we shall be demonstrating Deep Sky Stacker). Also we shall be using Adobe Photoshop so you need to have that on your machine as well. We’ll be covering the Levels and Curves routines to bring out the detail of those images and showing you a couple of sharpening techniques to improve those images even further. If you haven’t managed to capture images at this stage we’ll have a few we prepared earlier for you to work with. We may even have time to delve into PixInsight. Plus our regular items – planetary round-up, Cullen Objects and a Book of the Month.

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Perseids BBQ
Aug
12
8:00 PM20:00

Perseids BBQ

The Perseid meteor shower will reach its maximum rate of activity on 12th August 2018. Some shooting stars associated with the shower are expected to be visible each night from 23rd July to 20th August. The maximum rate of meteors expected to be visible from a dark location is around 80 per hour. The Moon will be out of the way too, so with luck we should see plenty of meteors. 

Please note, this is a members only event.

Perseids.jpg
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Dr Melanie Windridge - Aurora: in Search of the Northern Lights
Jul
18
8:00 PM20:00

Dr Melanie Windridge - Aurora: in Search of the Northern Lights

Dr Melanie Windridge.jpg

Do we really understand the northern lights? Tour operators will have us believe that we do, but there are still mysteries hidden behind the dancing curtains of light.
Interweaving the science with a background of their history, folklore and changing landscape, Aurora brings together space, place and science in magnificent style. In a journey that takes her through Scandinavia, Canada and Svalbard, culminating in a spectacular solar eclipse, Dr Melanie Windridge delves into the Northern Lights.

This beautiful and inspiring lecture will describe our connection to the Sun, the scientific processes behind the polar lights, and some of the unwanted technological effects of Space Weather – with beautiful images and adventure stories. 

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Astro-imaging exhibition
Jul
5
8:00 PM20:00

Astro-imaging exhibition

Since it’s the time of year when because of long day lengths we can’t really do astronomy, this is your chance to show off your best astro-images taken during the last twelve months. Last year’s exhibition was a major success and resulted in the first WAS Calendar being produced. Plus our regular items – planetary round-up, Cullen Objects and a Book of the Month.

Exhibition.jpg
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Jerry Stone - 'We are all going to Die’
Jun
20
8:00 PM20:00

Jerry Stone - 'We are all going to Die’

We’re All Going To Die!
The threat from Near-Earth Objects

It came from space! It was 10 km across and it killed nearly all life on Earth! That was 65 million years ago. When might it happen again? The Earth was actually hit by minor asteroids in 1908 and 1947, and recent studies suggest that there are more such objects than previously thought. 
The threat is real – it isn't a case of "if", but "when"

On the assumption we survive for the next few days!!! Jerry Stone - Author of "One Small Step", commemorating the first men on the Moon, Founder, The Sir Arthur Clarke Awards and President, The Mars Society UK will  be here to talk to us about what we can do about it.

jerrystone.PNG
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Lunar Observing
Apr
5
8:00 PM20:00

Lunar Observing

If planetary observing is the favourite pastime of our members, Lunar Observing runs it a close second. We’ll cover all aspects of lunar observing, from phases to libration, crater formation and tidal locking. And if there are any queries following last month’s session on Planetary imaging with webcams, we can cover some of that ground again. We’ll also have our regular items – planetary round-up, Cullen Objects and a Book of the Month.

Rupes Recta.jpg
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Libby Jackson
Mar
21
8:00 PM20:00

Libby Jackson

Libby Jackson  is currently the manager of Human Spaceflight and Microgravity at the UK Space Agency.

From 2007, she worked at Europe's control centre for the International Space Station (ISS) as a flight instructor and controller and in 2010 she became director for the ISS European Space Agency (ESA) Columbus Module. Libby joined the UK Space Agency in 2014 and became spokesperson for Tim Peake's mission to the ISS. She had previously met Tim Peake when working at the NASA Johnson Space Center, just after he had been selected by ESA, and subsequently went on to coordinate the UK Space Agency education and outreach programme for Peake's mission.

Lecture Outline

Humans first went into space in 1961, landed on the moon in 1969, and have been be continuously living and working on-board the International Space Station since 2000, but where will we explore next?  Will the next footsteps be on the Moon or Mars, and who will they belong to?  Libby Jackson looks at what the future of human space exploration might hold and the challenges that will need to be overcome by the next generation of explorers.

 

 

 

libby jackson.jpg

Libby also released her first book last year.

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Planetary observing and webcam imaging/processing
Mar
1
8:00 PM20:00

Planetary observing and webcam imaging/processing

The Society’s favourite topic according to the last Questionnaire we carried out! We’ll cover what to observe with each of the planets and we’ll discuss how to image the planets with webcams and software. We’ll also have our regular items – planetary round-up, Cullen Objects and a Book of the Month.

Saturn.jpg
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Observing Multiple stars
Feb
1
8:00 PM20:00

Observing Multiple stars

Learn about the different types of double star and also multiple stars. You’ll need to make sure your scope is in tip-top condition so that you can work at high magnification and resolve those close together ones. We’ll also have our regular items – planetary round-up, Cullen Objects and a Book of the Month.

Albireo.jpg
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Using Celestial Signposts
Jan
4
8:00 PM20:00

Using Celestial Signposts

Orion_Hyades_Pleiades.gif

To kick the year off a session primarily aimed at our newer members (but experienced members will also learn a thing or two!) and all about using the constellations and key stars as celestial signposts to those exciting astronomical objects we all like looking at. We’ll also have our regular items – planetary round-up, Cullen Objects and a Book of the Month.

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Astroimaging – Part 2 – Image processing
Dec
7
8:00 PM20:00

Astroimaging – Part 2 – Image processing

Now for the cool part (though some call it the Dark Art!) of processing those astro-images you’ve so carefully and painstakingly taken. For this you’ll need your image files and your computer. You’ll need to have some stacking software on your computer (we shall be demonstrating Deep Sky Stacker). Also we shall be using Adobe Photoshop so you need to have that on your machine as well. We’ll be covering the Levels and Curves routines to bring out the detail of those images and showing you a couple of sharpening techniques to improve those images even further. If you haven’t managed to capture images at this stage we’ll have a few we prepared earlier for you to work with. Plus our regular items – planetary round-up, Cullen Objects and a Book of the Month. Now for the cool part (though some call it the Dark Art!) of processing those astro-images you’ve so carefully and painstakingly taken. For this you’ll need your image files and your computer. You’ll need to have some stacking software on your computer (we shall be demonstrating Deep Sky Stacker). Also we shall be using Adobe Photoshop so you need to have that on your machine as well. We’ll be covering the Levels and Curves routines to bring out the detail of those images and showing you a couple of sharpening techniques to improve those images even further. If you haven’t managed to capture images at this stage we’ll have a few we prepared earlier for you to work with. Plus our regular items – planetary round-up, Cullen Objects and a Book of the Month.

 

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Astroimaging – Part 1 – Taking the picture
Nov
2
8:00 PM20:00

Astroimaging – Part 1 – Taking the picture

It’s clear that a number of our members are at the stage they’d like to dip their toes into the complex business of astrophotography. But even getting to the stage of attaching a camera to your scope can be daunting. It isn’t, and we’ll show you how. And hopefully we’ll be able to take some sort of image on the night. You’ll need to bring scopes and cameras (whether they’re CCDs or DSLRs, or even you smart phones!). Plus our regular items – planetary round-up, Cullen Objects and a Book of the Month.

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Telescope maintenance and set up
Sep
7
8:00 PM20:00

Telescope maintenance and set up

As the evenings draw in again, it’s time to get some serious observation and photography in! Now is the time to make sure your scope is in good condition and we’ll run through some of the key steps to get the most out of your instrument. Plus our regular items – planetary round-up, Cullen Objects and a Book of the Month.

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Perseid BBQ - Woodrow House (by WAS Observatory)
Aug
12
8:00 PM20:00

Perseid BBQ - Woodrow House (by WAS Observatory)

The Perseid meteor shower will reach its maximum rate of activity on 12th August 2017. Some shooting stars associated with the shower are expected to be visible each night from 23rd July to 20th August. The maximum rate of meteors expected to be visible from a dark location is around 80 per hour. The Moon will be 21 days old at the time of peak activity, and so will present significant interference in the pre-dawn sky. 

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