Thursday, 7 September 2017

2017 Programme Update

The 2017 Programme has been updated to show a change of speaker:

       Wednesday November 29
       Rocket Science 101
       Mr. Sid Jones                       (Chester Astronomical Society;  North Wales Society of Engineers)

The full 2017 Programme of events is available here.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

What next for the FAS?

The Federation of Astronomical Societies, of which CAS is a member, needs volunteers to take on the roles of executive officers who are retiring at the AGM ( to be held at the University of Birmingham on 22-Oct-2017).  Here is what the President of the Federation says:
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As I mentioned in my May email update to All FAS Societies there will be a number of positions vacant at the AGM. There have been no expressions of interest and at our last Council Meeting, we discussed what we should do.  I myself am standing down as I was invited to stand for BAA President in its next session. Shaun O'Dell is standing down from Secretary - Shaun has been a stalwart of the Federation for many, many years and will be sorely missed. Mike Pritchard (Membership Secretary) has been doing his role for many years, and has made a great contribution. Also Sean Elvidge our website manager has too many commitments to give the role the attention it needs - but again we really do appreciate all the work he has done in this role and in helping to organise the annual convention.
So we will be without President, Vice-President, Secretary and Membership Secretary - these are all 'exectutive officer' positions which leaves just two in post (Treasurer and PLI Secretary). And our Website Manager position will also become vacant at the AGM.

Without people in these positions, it is very difficult for the FAS to continue. I remember a couple of years back at the AGM Frank Johns raised this issue then, and to use a rugby analogy the future was 'use it of lose it'.

At the council meeting, one member raised the interesting questions 'should the FAS continue? and can the FAS continue?' We did not have much time to discuss the 'should' question - but the landscape of astronomical societies in the internet age has changed a lot since the inception of the FAS in 1974.

However we spent much more time on the 'can' question - there has been difficulty attracting people to serve on council and attempts to make this easier (such as using Skype instead of face-to-face meetings) has not helped much. With a need to attract at least three executive officers plus the website manager (an essential position these days), and with the unlikely-hood of this, we had to give realistic consideration to the possibility of winding up the FAS. There is provision in the Constitution for this, though not much in the way of process to achieve this. Probably the key service the FAS provides to members is the Public Liability Insurance (PLI) - so with any winding up of the FAS we would want to ensure that PLI continued in the short term, and there was a home for this in the future, and there would be a smooth transition. It is also important for societies to express their opinion on the proposition, and so it would be intended to ballot societies.

This is not a decision the FAS council has made lightly - and to some extent this is a backup position. However, if there are no volunteers to take on the executive officers vacant posts, the FAS will have to close.

So, if you do wish the FAS to continue the time to step forward is NOW.

Clear skies,
Callum Potter
President: Federation of Astronomical Societies
president@fedastro.org.uk
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If you could help in any way it would be much appreciated by all members.

University of Liverpool Course: An Introduction to Astronomy

Continuing Education 2017/18 programme
 
Continuing Education at the University of Liverpool provides short courses, lectures and events throughout Merseyside. The new 2017/18 programme offers day-time, evening and Saturday courses in a number of subjects including history, archaeology, music, English literature and much more. There are University credits available for some courses, however you are under no pressure to study for credit – you can simply choose to study for pleasure.
You can enrol on all courses online here https://goo.gl/4HgeDJ - if you would like any more information about Continuing Education visit our website www.liverpool.ac.uk/continuing-education.

The programme includes an Introduction to Astronomy course running on Mondays (7:00pm - 9:00pm) from 9th October 2017 – 11th December 2017.
Description
A 10 week introduction to the planets in our solar system, stars, galaxies and the wider Universe, this course is a non-mathematical, beginner's guide to astronomy. It also includes an introduction to the practical observation of the night sky, and a trip to the Liverpool Astronomical Society’s Observatory in Cronton, Merseyside.
 

Friday, 1 September 2017

European Dark Sky Places Conference, 20-22 September 2017

Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park in partnership with the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere are holding the first European Dark Sky Places Conference in Galloway, Scotland.

Details on the conference website at: eudarkskiesconference.com

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Next Meeting: Wednesday 27-Sep-2017

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 27-Sep-2017.           *** There is no meeting in August.  ***

Our guest speaker will be Dr. Rene Breton, from the University of Manchester, who will talk about Einstein's Relativity Tested to the Limit with Pulsars.

The meeting will be at 7:30 P.M. at the usual venue:  the Burley Memorial Hall, Waverton, CH3 7QN

BAA Weekend Conference: Friday-Sunday, 8-10 September

The British Astronomical Association Weekend Conference will be held at The Kings School, Chester on Friday-Sunday, 8-10 September, 2017.  Details of the weekend are available and bookings can be made on the BAA website here.

N.B. Bookings close on 21-Aug-17.

CAS members are eligible for the discounted fees.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Next Meeting: Wednesday 26-Jul-2017

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 26-Jul-2017.

Our guest speaker will be Mr. Steve Warbis, from Macclesfield Astronomical Society, who will talk about Quick Astrophotography in a Light Polluted Sky.

The meeting will be at 7:30 P.M. at the usual venue:  the Burley Memorial Hall, Waverton, CH3 7QN

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Next Meeting: Wednesday 28-Jun-2017

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 28-Jun-2017.

Our guest will be Mr. Peter Williamson F.R.A.S, from Shropshire Astronomical Society and  BBC Radio, who will treat us to A Solar Event - a talk and practical demonstration.

The evening will begin earlier than normal at 18:00, with an outdoor event where, weather permitting, we will be treated to an opportunity to see solar observation and imaging in action.  This will be held in the car park at the rear of our usual venue and will be followed by a normal indoor meeting at 19:30.

The meeting will be held at the usual venue:  the Burley Memorial Hall, Waverton, CH3 7QN

Friday, 12 May 2017

2017 Programme Update

The 2017 Programme has been updated to include:
  • an extra meeting (Friday, 27-October-2017) - a Telescope Surgery: Learn to use a telescope effectively.

    Setting up a new telescope can be a daunting task, especially for the first time.  Some modern telescopes can make the task easier, but poor instructions and jargon - both astronomy and computer related - can be bewildering if you are not familiar with it.  If you have a telescope and have not figured out how to use it (you are not alone!), or have a problem you don't understand or just want to learn how to use your telescope effectively, this is an event for you.  Bring your telescope along and experienced society members will help you.
The full 2017 Programme of events is available here.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Free Magazines

Sky and Telescope Magazines


We have been offered some free copies of Sky and Telescope magazines. The issues cover the years 1980–1984, 1986–1987 and are described as being “in good condition and mostly complete”. The owner can deliver them to the Burley Hall for one of our regular meetings.
(Ref: GT)

 

Astronomy Magazines

 

We have been offered some free copies of Astronomy magazines. The issues cover the years 2002 – 2010. They will have to be collected (soon, please!) from Guilden Sutton, about 4 miles east of Chester.
(Ref: KW)

If you are interested in either set of magazines, please email one of the following:

CAS Secretary               CASSecretary2@gmail.com
CAS Newsletter Editor   CASNewsletter@hotmail.co.uk

Friday, 28 April 2017

Next Meeting: Wednesday 31-May-2017

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 31-May-2017.

Our guest speaker will be Dr. Megan Argo, of The University of Central Lancashire, who will talk about When Galaxies Collide.

The meeting will be at 7:30 P.M. at the usual venue:  the Burley Memorial Hall, Waverton, CH3 7QN

Saturday, 15 April 2017

2017 Programme Update

The 2017 Programme has been updated to include:
  • the BAA Weekend Conference in Chester (8,9,10-September-2017);
  • an extra meeting at which Dr. Allan Chapman will speak, 10-November-2017).
The full 2017 Programme of events is available here.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

BAA Weekend Meeting Programme: September 2017

This is the programme for the British Astronomical Association Weekend Meeting which will be held in Chester on Friday-Sunday, September 8-10, 2017:

 

Stars: Life and Death of the Universe

 

Friday     19:00 - 21:30

Professor  Lyndsay Fletcher  (Glasgow)                         Living with a Star

Saturday 10:00 - 18:00

Professor Paul A. Crowther  (Sheffield)                         Birth, life and death of massive stars
Professor Nate Bastian         (Liverpool John Moores)    Stellar clusters and stellar populations
Dr Jacco van Loon               (Keele)                             Stellar Ecology
Professor Bill Chaplin           (Birmingham):                    Sounding stars and the search for other
                                                                                    worlds in our Galaxy
Dr Matt Darnley                   (Liverpool John Moores)    Novae: (Brief) new life after stellar death

Sunday   10:00 - 13:00

Visit to The OpTIC Centre, Saint Asaph, which designs and builds advanced optical systems.

 

Extra Activities - Friday Afternoon - St. Peter's Foucault Pendulum

A visit to St Peter’s Church to see a demonstration of the Foucault Pendulum.
This can be repeated on Sunday afternoon if required.

The conference will be held at:
The King's School, Vanbrugh Theatre, Wrexham Road Chester CH4 7QL.

Full details of the programme, location, costs and booking can be found on the British Astronomical Association website.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Next Meeting: Wednesday 26-Apr-2017

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 26-Apr-2017.

Our guest speaker will be Mr. Kevin Kilburn, of The University of Manchester and Manchester Astronomical Society, who will talk about The Forgotten Star Atlas. 

The meeting will be at 7:30 P.M. at the usual venue:  the Burley Memorial Hall, Waverton, CH3 7QN

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

NASA Astronaut Visit: 22-Mar-17 (Wallsall) and 25-Mar-17 (Leicester)

The following notice may be of interest:
We are hosting former NASA Astronaut Dr. Don Thomas for some events in the U.K. in March 2017. Dr Thomas will also be undertaking a number of school visit during his stay here. We would appreciate any publicity you can give to these events. We are a non-profit, no salary, community interest company.
The first of our 'Astronaut Events' of the year is on March 22nd in Walsall, West Midlands at the Calderfields Golf and Country Club. Further details at the 'Astronaut Event' website.
On Saturday March 25th a whole day of activities are planned at the National Space Centre in Leicester. Further details can be obtained and tickets can be purchased directly through 'Eventbrite'.
The Gala Dinner at only £50.00 per head is great value, drinks reception and a 3-course meal hosted by Astronaut Don Thomas.
Please forward this email to society members and anyone you know with an interest in space exploration, thank you.
Kind regards,
Nick & Bryar Deakin, Kirstie Deakin and Colin Shales.

Professor Albert Zijlstra: The History of the Earth

Our guest speaker on 22-Feb-2017 was professor Albert Zijlstra, of The University of Manchester, who delivered an excellent talk on The History of the Earth.  Professor Zijlstra has kindly provided links to two web sites (blogs) on which he discusses some related topics:

Ice ages:   http://www.volcanocafe.org/ice-age/
Calanaishttp://www.volcanocafe.org/the-stones-of-calanais/   (actually the history of Scotland)

Professor Zijlstra managed to compress the entire history of the earth (about 4.5 thousand million years) into about one and a half hours - a compression ratio of about 25,000,000,000,000 to 1;  you will understand, therefore, that the web sites contain a considerable amount of information that is well worth exploring.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Next Meeting: Wednesday 29-Mar-2017

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 29-Mar-2017.

Our guest speaker will be Professor Mike Bode, of Liverpool John Moores University, who will talk about The Liverpool Telescope: A Giant Robotic Eye on the Universe. 

The meeting will be at 7:30 P.M. at the usual venue:  the Burley Memorial Hall, Waverton, CH3 7QN

Friday, 17 February 2017

Next Meeting: Wednesday 22-Feb-2017

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 22-Feb-2017.

Our guest speaker will be Professor Albert Zijlstra, of The University of Manchester, who will talk about The History of the Earth. 

The meeting will be at 7:30 P.M. at the usual venue:  the Burley Memorial Hall, Waverton, CH3 7QN

Professor Zijlstra warns that this may be a long talk so it would be advisable to arrive a little earlier than usual to facilitate a punctual start.

BAA Weekend Meeting at King’s School: September 2017

The date of the British Astronomical Association Weekend Meeting has changed.

The conference will be held over the weekend of Friday-Sunday, September 8-10, 2017.

The venue is unchanged:  The King's School, Vanbrugh Theatre, Wrexham Road Chester CH4 7QL.

N.B. The BAA website has not been updated yet.  The date it gives (15-17 September) is incorrect.

[The date changed to avoid a clash with a Chester Racecourse meeting which has been moved to the weekend of the original BAA meeting.]

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

BAA Request

We have been asked by the British Astronomical Association to pass on a request to any of our members who are also BAA members:
 
Dr Nick Hewitt
“Gara”, Billing Park
Wellingborough Road, Northampton NN3 9BQ
Home: 01604 404007 Mobile: 07753 671091
15/01/2017
Dear Society President or Secretary,
I am writing to you in order to enlist your assistance in my task to try to forge greater relationships between the British Astronomical Association and grass roots amateur astronomy in Britain. We at the BAA feel that we have a great deal to offer amateur astronomers in expertise and experience but feel this resource is not being fully tapped. We are aware of some dissatisfaction of some members, and of some negative views of non-members. We hope to redress this.
I am attempting to find BAA members within the many astronomical societies in Britain, to gain their views and enlist some help (this would not be onerous!). I am hoping that you may ask your society members who are BAA members to contact me (nickdhewitt@btinternet.com ) just to make themselves known. I can then correspond with them directly. If you do not have any BAA members within your society, I would be pleased to know this too, so would be grateful for a note from yourself to this effect.
I do hope you may be able to assist me in this, and look forward to hearing from you in due course.
Yours sincerely
Nick
Dr Nick Hewitt
Trustee, British Astronomical Association

Friday, 3 February 2017

North West Astronomy Festival: 1,2-Jul-17

The 2017 North West Astronomy Festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday 1-2 July at the Heath in Runcorn Cheshire.

More details can be found on the North West Astronomy Festival website.

BAA Workshop: 11-Mar-17 “Back to Basics”

The British Astronomical Association is holding a “Back to Basics” workshop on Saturday, 11-March-17 hosted by Mexborough and Swinton Astronomical Society in South Yorkshire.

The workshop, aimed at beginners, will feature a talk by BAA president Jeremy Shears entitled: “What equipment & books do I need?”

The BAA website gives full details as does the S&MAS website.

Public Lecture: 15-Feb-17 University of Leeds

As part of the “ERC=Science²” project, funded by the European Research Council, the University of Leeds is holding a free public lecture on Wednesday 15th February at 16:30. The talk, by Professor John Plane of the School of Chemistry, is titled: “Cosmic Dust – From Stars to Climate”.  For more details, the location or to register follow this link.  The lecture and speaker are described thus:
This lecture will explore the origins of cosmic dust in the solar system, its impacts on the Earth’s atmosphere and its role as an indicator of rapid climate change.

John Plane is a Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry in the School of Chemistry at the University of Leeds. He is recognised as a world-leading expert in the chemistry of the Earth’s atmosphere, from the upper ocean to the edge of space. His research involves field observations, laboratory and theoretical studies, and the development of atmospheric models, in order to understand the interactions between the different atmospheric regions. Professor Plane has recently been awarded the Vilhelm Bjerknes Medal for 2017, by the European Geosciences Union (EGU), for distinguished research in atmospheric science.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Next Meeting: Wednesday 22-Feb-2017

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 22-Feb-2017.

Our guest speaker will be Professor Albert Zijlstra, of The University of Manchester, who will talk about The History of the Earth. 

The meeting will be at 7:30 P.M. at the usual venue:  the Burley Memorial Hall, Waverton, CH3 7QN

Professor Zijlstra warns that this may be a long talk so it would be advisable to arrive a little earlier than usual to facilitate a punctual start.