“Let’s weigh the Galaxy” evening
For our first session after the summer break we are going to look at how we can estimate the mass of the galaxy.
It is much simpler than you might imagine, so bring a pencil and some paper and you can do it yourself!
All we need to use is a couple of Newtons laws – no maths involved, just a bit of arithmetic. We can then see if Sir Issac got it right.
Just in case you think starting with the galaxy is a bit ambitious we will first weigh the Earth and then the Sun.
If there is time after all the scribbling we can consider what use weighing the galaxy is in cosmology.
Hope to see you there – all welcome
A remainder that, now the summer break is over, we are back on our meetings schedule of 2nd and 4th Monday of the month.
September meetings are on
12th September – Cosmology Group
26th September – General AAS meeting
Topics will be confirmed – Everyone is welcome, expert or beginner or anything in between.
On the 1st September there will be a total solar eclipse in Madagascar. A local travel company is arranging trips to the event, the details are attached in the link below. If there are members that are interested please contact the company directly.
The travel company is not connected to Abergavenny Astronomical Society and this notice is for information only.
Mada Eclipse Tour 2016 CL
Unfortunately we will have to postpone the visit of Helen Usher as she is not able to attend the meeting tomorrow as planned. Instead Nick Busby will deliver the talk “From Pen Y Fan to Olympus Mons” – from the highest peak in southern Britain to the highest volcano in the solar system. This talk was originally prepared for the Brecon Beacons Geopark Festival. It considers the geology and inner structure of the Earth and other terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus and Mars) and how it has shaped how they look today – why is Mars cold and desolate? Why is Venus like a medieval vision of hell and why in contrast is the Earth brimming with life?
Time permitting we will still run the beginner’s session on “Magnitude”
Time as usual 19:30 BST in the Kings Head, Abergavenny.
On Monday evening we are delighted to be able to welcome Helen Usher from the School of Physics & Astronomy, Cardiff University. This is Helen’s first time presenting to our Society and appropriately for the time of year she will talk about “Seeing the sun in a different light”. The Sun is our nearest and dearest star and there is still much to understand about how it works; examining the Sun at different wavelengths is an important tool in helping us to gain that understanding.
We will also run the second session in our beginners series after Helen’s talk. This will explain “Magnitude”. This is a term often mentioned by our speakers and this session, which is expected to last less than 1/2 an hour will explain what it is and why it is important. The notes for this talk can be found in the “downloads” section of this website.
Usual time and place – 19:30 BST, Kings Head, Abergavenny
We have started running some beginner’s session to help new starters get up to speed quickly and enjoy the talks all the more. The first one was on Monday – on using binoculars. The presentation has been added to the website for you to peruse and also one on “Magnitude” and a new written guide for those wishing to purchase their first telescope. We will cover these topics in future sessions. You can find these documents here.
As you may have seen from the link on the web page we now have a Facebook page, HERE.
At the moment it mirrors the postings that are on the webpage but we are thinking about how best to develop it. If you are on Facebook perhaps you can like the page, if that is the correct terminology.
Monday 23rd May, Professor Mike Edmunds, from Cardiff University School of Physics and Astronomy, will be attending the Society’s monthly meeting and will present on the subject of The Great Quasar debate. Mike is no stranger to the many of us that have attended his talks in the past – he is always a star performer (no pun intended!) and is certain to enthrall us again on Monday evening – 7:30 Kings Head.
Quasars – for those unfamiliar with the term (quasi-stellar radio sources) – are extremely bright and distant objects that have provided mystery and fascination in equal measure since their discovery around half a century ago. Mike is sure to show these enigmatic objects in a new light (pun intended).
Modesty prevents me from praising the next speaker:-
In support of the Geopark Festival, next week Wednesday 25th May 7pm, Nick Busby will be bringing the Geopark together with the International Dark Sky Reserve in an inquiry into heavenly bodies. He will be giving a lecture in Brecon entitled “From Pen y Fan to Olympus Mons (The highest mountain in the Brecon Beacons and the highest mountain in the solar system)”
Our Old Red Sandstone is an iron-stained sequence of sandstones and other sedimentary rocks deposited by rivers eroding a mountain chain around 400 million years ago. And it was an ancient body of water that deposited the red sedimentary rocks of Mars billions of years before.
A talk on the geology of the 4 inner planets of the solar system, looking at the forces that have shaped them and made them what they are today.
At Elim Hall, Canal Road, Brecon LD3 7HL
Cost: tickets £5 on door (£3 concessions)
Event sponsored by
Brecon Beacons Park Society
Unfortunately it looks like the weather is not going to allow us to observe the Sun today so we will have to call off the session in Usk, looking for the transit of Mercury this afternoon. One of the perils of a weather dependent hobby!
See you at the meeting this evening
Today has been gorgeous but it looks like a weather front is coming in so it may be that the transit of Mercury will be a bit of a washout tomorrow. Still you never know – we will see what tomorrow brings. If there is any chance of seeing the transit we will set up some ‘scopes in Usk as planned. Check the website or give me a call on 07889 658403 if you want to check what is happening.
Keep your fingers crossed