AAS

Our inaugural meeting was on the 8th November 2010 and we officially formed in February 2011.
AAS holds monthly meetings, often with guest speakers.

All guests are welcome!
No knowledge necessary, just a curious mind.

We are able to provide assistance with setting up your telescope or just helping to find your way around the night sky.

AAS is able to host discussions on subjects as varied as Dark Energy through to 'How dark is your sky'.

Come along and get a new perspective on the universe in which you live!

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Next meeting Monday 9th December – Getting started in stargazing

Another in our back to basics series, in this meeting we will cover how to start observing the stars.  Many beginners feel a bit daunted when first starting to try and observe, maybe they have a new pair of binoculars or even a telescope but have no idea how to begin.  In this talk we will describe mostly how to decide on what to look out for, how to find it and how to get the most of what you are looking at.  There is a definite skill in this and one that is easy to learn but by no means obvious to the beginner.  We will reveal the “tricks of the trade”. 

This talk will focus more on looking for things and understanding them rather than how to choose and use optical instruments, that will be covered on another occasion. 

So if you are one of those with a telescope in a cupboard or binoculars lying unused in a drawer but want to get out and enjoy the winter night sky, this is the meeting for you!

As usual, all welcome.  The meeting starts at 19:30 upstairs in the King’s Head, see you there.

December 2019 Meetings

There are 2 regular dates on our calendar for December, Monday the 9th & Monday the 23rd.
Monday 9th  :  We have scheduled another talk in our Basic Series.  Details to follow next week.
Monday 23rd  :  As this is very close to the Christmas holiday we are thinking of having more of a social evening.  Any comments please??

The “open discussion” meeting on the 25th Nov was quite lively, plenty of questions and discussion.  I have posted a copy of the slides I used on the “Downloads” page,  HERE,  for anyone who is interested.

Next Meeting : 25th November

This meeting will be one of our open “round the table” discussions. I have listed a number of suggested topics that we may cover, further details HERE.

Round the Table

 

Please remember that this is an open session. My topics are mere suggestions, which I will prepare some info for. However, if there is any topic that has baffled – intrigued – or just caught your attention then please bring it along with you. I am sure someone will have a view to share!

Suggested Topics:-
1) Transits. There are three bodies that provide us with solar transits, Mercury, Venus and the Moon. We also have exo-planet transits to investigate now.
2) The Solar System. Looking at the earliest written record of an aurora and the news that Voyager 2, launched in 1977, has now crossed into interstellar space.
3) Our galaxy, the Milky Way. The discovery of the first confirmed inter stellar comet to enter the solar system.
4) The Cosmos. Including a claim that the agreed shape of the universe is wrong, another suggestion that wormholes exist, heavy elements from neutron stars, a new gravitational wave detector and how big, or small, can a black hole be?
5) Dark Energy. More claims but few conclusions on dark energy.

 
Usual time and place; 7:30pm at the Kings Head, Abergavenny.
Come along and share your knowledge and/or questions. No expertise expected!

November Meetings

Next Meeting is on Monday 25th November.  It will be an open “round the table” discussion on a number of various topics.  I will put up some suggestions for discussion items on the website in the next week.  If anyone has a topic they would like covered just drop me a mail.
A good crowd turned out on the 11th for Dr Annabel Cartwright’s talk on the hypothesis of transfers of life and organisms between Venus & Earth 500 million years ago.  She said “watch this space” re investigations on a search for biological markers in the Venusian atmosphere.  I await any news with interest! 
It’s good to hear of non standard hypotheses, based on the science, that challenge the established view.  Whether they prove to be right or wrong they help to advance or knowledge and understanding.

Transit of Mercury seen from Abergavenny

The weather in South Wales held out today to show the transit of Mercury for most of the afternoon, starting from about 12:35.  Mercury was still in transit as the Sun set.  The first picture below shows Mercury 10 minutes into the transit.  The 2nd picture shows the full Sun to demonstrate just how small Mercury is by comparison.  These pictures were taken from Abergavenny; for the technically minded both were taken in white light with an 80mm ED refractor and a Herschel wedge.

 

Next Meeting : Monday 11th November

A talk by Dr Annabel Cartwright, Reader in Astrophysics at Cardiff University School of Physics and Astronomy and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Physics Education Research Group.

Everyone is most welcome.  Come along and hear about another view on where life on earth may have come from.

Dr Annabel Cartwright, Cardiff

Abstract of talk:- 
Current models indicate that Venus may have been the first habitable planet in the Solar System, and may have remained habitable until 700 Million years ago. I examine the hypothesis that complex life may have evolved on the highly irradiated Venus, and transferred to Earth on asteroids. This model fits the pattern of pulses of highly developed life appearing, diversifying and going extinct with astonishing rapidity through the Cambrian and Ordovician periods, and also explains the extraordinary genetic variety which appeared over this period.

As well as her interest in Venus Dr Cartwright studies the formation and evolution of protoplanetary disks and relativistic effects in disks.

Usual time & place, The Kings Head at 7:30pm

 

Next meeting is October 28th

The next meeting of the Abergavenny Astronomy Society is on Monday October 28th in the King’s Head, Abergavenny at 7:30pm.

This month we have a real treat for those interested is cosmology.  Professor Prem Kumar (Professor of Theoretical Physics with the Particle Physics and Cosmology Theory Group, Swansea University) will be discussing Decoding black holes via holography.

Black holes are amongst the most fascinating objects in the universe. Ranging from a few solar masses to a million solar masses, they hold the key to our understanding of the nature of spacetime and how quantum mechanics can be reconciled with gravity. Prof. Kumar will review some remarkable theoretical developments that have revealed deep connections between black hole physics and seemingly unrelated physical phenomena. The emergence of gravitational wave astronomy in recent years means that some of these remarkable aspects of black holes maybe tested and revealed in the immediate future.

Prof. Kumar’s specialization is in the areas of Quantum Field Theory and String Theory, and he is interested in exploring physics that lies at the interface of these two subjects, bridging strongly quantum  and gravitational phenomena.

After schooling in Calcutta, India and subsequently a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras in ‘93, he pursued postgraduate studies in Theoretical Physics at  Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh USA and obtained a PhD in 1998. Following this Prof. Kumar held postdoctoral research positions at the University of Washington, Seattle and at Cambridge University before joining Swansea University in 2005.

Don’t miss this presentation by a local professor working at the cutting edge of cosmology,

Next meeting Monday 14th, The search for the star of Bethlehem

This is a talk in our Basic Series.  David Thomas FRAS from Usk AS will give a talk on “The search for the star of Bethlehem”.  This well researched talk will include descriptions of many of the phenomena that are potential candidates for what the Magi are reported to have seen.  For those new to astronomy it will give a very convenient overview of many of the types of objects that amateurs observe and for the more experienced members insights into the difficulties involved in the interpretation of ancient astronomical and historical observations and records.

As usual the meeting starts at 7:30, upstairs in the King’s Head.  See you there

 

Next Meeting : Monday 23rd September

Monday 23rd Sept., Dr Duncan MacLeod, Gravitational Physics Group, Cardiff University : will be talking on the subject of LIGO and Gravitational Waves.

Dr Duncan MacLeod, Cardiff Uni

Dr MacLeod is a Sêr Cymru COFUND Fellow in the Gravitational Physics group of the School of Physics and Astronomy. His research targets development of improved user-facing software utilities for accessing, processing, and visualising data from the second-generation of ground-based gravitational-wave detectors, primarily the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO).

 

 LIGO, Livingstone

All are welcome.  Usual time and place, The Kings Head, Abergavenny at 7:30pm.

 

? AAS meeting questions, 9th September ?

At our discussion meeting, last Monday, there was a lively exchange of views.
There were 3 unanswered questions asked, that I have since investigated in a bit more detail.  I have posted my comments on the “General Items” page, HERE

Please note that these are my thoughts and comments.  Anyone who disagrees, or can add to them, please feel free to email me HERE and I will post your responses on the website. 

The 3 questions were:-
1)   What are the estimates for how many generations old the sun is?
2)   What is the status of the EHT (Event Horizon Telescope)? and
3)   What particles are DAMA/LIBRA detecting for their recent Dark Matter detection claims?

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