Thursday, 28 November 2013

Comet Ison

Comet Ison reaches perihelion (the nearest point to the sun) at 18:37:45 today. The big question is whether it will survive, and if it does, whether it will put on a good show in early december. Here's hoping.

NEXT MEETING

There is NO MEETING in December

Wednesday 29th January

Annual General Meeting

All meetings begin at 7.30pm. The full programme can be viewed here.

Amateur Spectroscopy

Rob Johnson of Liverpool AS gave an enthralling talk yesterday on spectroscopy. He showed us what an amateur could do with relatively cheap equipment to take the spectra of stars and gather informationm from them. It reminded me of my previous studies when I was always amazed at just how much information could be discerned from a simple spectrum. I was also interested to see that he proved that there is oxygen in the earth's atmosphere. I had always wondered...

Friday, 8 November 2013

Multitailed Asteroid ... Comet ... whatever

The Hubble Space Telescope has imaged an object with 6 comet-like tails. Different reports classify the object as a comet or asteroid, revealing the fact that often there is little difference between them.

Further information here and here.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

NEXT MEETING

Wednesday 27th November at 7.30 pm
"Amateur Spectroscopy"
Rob Johnson (Liverpool AS)

Monday, 30 September 2013

Comet Ison

The following website is worth a look (particularly their LIVE Distance page which is rather fun):

http://www.cometison2013.co.uk/

NEXT MEETING

Wednesday 30th October at 7.30 pm.
"Weather on the Planets"
Dr. Grant Allen (University of Manchester)

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

NEXT MEETING

THERE IS NO MEETING IN AUGUST

Wednesday 25th September at 7.30 pm
"The Evolution of the Solar System"
Prof. Jamie Gilmour (University of Manchester)

Saturday, 6 July 2013

NEXT MEETING

Wednesday 31st July
"The Messenger & Dawn Missions"
Prof. Lionel Wilson (Lancaster University)

THERE IS NO MEETING IN AUGUST

Thursday, 30 May 2013

NEXT MEETING

Wednesday 26th June
"Planetary Magnetism"
 Dr. Richard Holme (University of Liverpool)

Members' Night

Yesterday's Members' Night saw a number of short presentations from different members of the society.

Barbara Cunningham spoke on using Robotic Telescopes. Two to look at are:
Observing with NASA
The Bradford Robotic Telescope

Don Bass addressed the topic of Spectra and Astronomy with a look at the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram.

Richard Sargent spoke about the FAS (Federation of Astronomical Societies), and also mentioned some recent observations of Comet PANSTARRS C/2011 L4 and Saturn.

There was also a discussion on the practicalities of setting up society run observing nights.

Thanks to all who contributed.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

NEXT MEETING

Our next meeting, on Wednesday 29th May, is our Members Night with contributions from members of the society. It would be good to have members prepared to contribute to the evening.

Galaxies and dark matter

Yesterday's meeting saw a superb lecture by Dr. Phil James (Liverpool John Moores University) on "Galaxies and Dark Matter". He outlined the case for dark matter and considered the possibilities of what it might be. He also looked at alternative possibilities and their strengths and weaknesses. A very clear and interesting presentation.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

NEXT MEETING

Wednesday 24th April
"Galaxies and Dark Matter"
Dr. Phil James (Liverpool John Moores University)

Gamma Ray Bursts

Our March meeting was a fascinating explanation of Gamma Ray bursts by Dr. Francisco Virgili (Liverpool John Moores University). Below are links to two video clips from the talk.

Collapsar:

video

Binary star merger:

video

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS

Has anyone observed this comet?

If so, please comment to this post and tell us the details..

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) - updated

Information on this comet, which may become visible to the naked eye, can be found here:

Cometography
Wikipedia
Space.com
British Astronomical Association
Minor Planet Center
Spacedex

There are, no doubt, many other sites with information. If you know of any, or have more up to date information, please feel free to add them via the comments section.

NEXT MEETING

Wednesday 27th March
"Gamma Ray Bursts"
Dr. Francisco Virgili (Liverpool John Moores University)

Full programme here

Extreme Physics

Last Wednesday, Dr. Ben Stappers (University of Manchester, Jodrell Bank) gave a very interesting talk on pulsars, and the physics we can do with them, such as checking the predictions from Einstein's theory of relativity, and searching for gravitational waves. He answered our questions patiently and helped us all to understand better these mysterious objects.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Long Service

The society wish to thank two ladies for their long service on the committee.

Maureen Layzell has served on the committee for 28 years, 25 as treasurer. Stella Brookes has done 36 years on the committee during which she did 10 as secretary.

Very well done, and thank you both.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

NEXT MEETING

 Wednesday 27th February
“Studying the Extremes of Physics with Pulsars”
Dr. Ben Stappers (University of Manchester, Jodrell Bank)

Full programme here.

AGM++

Tonight was our AGM which was wonderfully concise. All the business was done and there was no waffle! Subscriptions remain the same as last year at £13 (£7 for concessions, under 16s are free).

This was followed by Richard Sargent giving us his excellent survey of the astronomical year ahead. Many thanks.

Friday, 18 January 2013

2013 Programme


All meetings are on the last Wednesday of the month at 7.30 pm.

Wednesday 30th January
 AGM plus talk
Richard Sargent (Chester AS)

 Wednesday 27th February
“Studying the Extremes of Physics with Pulsars”
Dr. Ben Stappers (University of Manchester, Jodrell Bank)

Wednesday 27th March
"Gamma Ray Bursts"
Dr. Francisco Virgili (Liverpool John Moores University)

Wednesday 24th April
"Galaxies and Dark Matter"
Dr. Phil James (Liverpool John Moores University)

Wednesday 29th May
Members Night

Wednesday 26th June
"Planetary Magnetism"
 Dr. Richard Holme (University of Liverpool)

Wednesday 31st July
"The Messenger & Dawn Missions"
Prof. Lionel Wilson (Lancaster University)

There is NO MEETING in August

Wednesday 25th September
"The Evolution of the Solar System"
Prof. Jamie Gilmour (University of Manchester)

Wednesday 30th October
"Weather on the Planets"
Dr. Grant Allen (University of Manchester)

Wednesday 27th November
"Amateur Spectroscopy"
Rob Johnson (Liverpool AS)

There is NO MEETING in December