AAS

Our inaugural meeting was on the 8th Nov 2010 and we officially formed in Feb 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.

We host discussions on subjects as varied as "finding your way around the sky" to "Dark Energy".

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

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Virtual Meeting Thursday 26th November 2020

The next Society meeting will be on Thursday 26th November.  Bob Wright from Usk Society will present part one of “Worlds among the stars” a talk on exoplanets. 

Around 4200 exoplanets have been discovered to date,  they have been found in all shapes and sizes and have caused astronomers to completely rethink many of the theories of solar system formation.  As the technology develops smaller and planets are being discovered and with the new huge telescopes coming on line in the coming years the prospect of directly imaging some of them will probably become a reality.  Clearly an area of astronomy to watch.

The meeting will start at 7pm, Zoom call details below:
Topic: Astronomical Society Meeting, Worlds among the stars
Time: Nov 26, 2020 07:00 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86715002563?pwd=RjJ5YzdmejNkZkhLVzQ2MzBrQ1NEZz09

Meeting ID: 867 1500 2563
Passcode: 463786

Responses to “Happy Birthday” plus cautionary sky watching tale

Yes a big Happy Birthday to AAS – personally as I joined back in March just as lockdown was coming in, I look forward to attending my first meeting!
Zoom is the next best thing and good fun though
Tony PF

Congrat’s all!!!
Sorry I’ve not joined you in recent meetings. Life is chaotic and working from home / kids, I completely lose all track of time. I’ve even set alarms 5 minutes before, and still missed the meet!
Have spent many nights out with the telescope / binoculars with one of my boys (until the recent inclement weather that is).
Stay safe…
Mark H

Am having a glass of red to celebrate 10 years…here’s to at least another 10…..cheers….Bri Wigg…
Brian W

Something to celebrate.  Sorry I’m not more regular. 
This tiny anecdote for Abergavenny AS’s 10th birthday celebrations warns of the dangers of planet watching.
“Having learned via AAS recently of the opportunity for good sightings of three planets soon after dark, I took my binoculars [that someone left in the bunkhouse and never claimed] and walked straight out into the dark. I did not take the precaution of allowing my eyes to adjust and walked straight into the table that had stood on the lawn most of the summer. The tabletop is made of recycled oak staves from an ancient barrel, older, we were told, than our cottage which itself dates from 400 years ago. Very hard and ungiving those timbers are. The blow came right across both thighs but only the left muscle was damaged. It is remarkable how much damage you can do in such a trivial way. Now, over a fortnight later, I am slowly recovering and have stopped taking ibuprofen to relieve the pain. But tennis and cycling are definitely still off the agenda and I must take extreme care when walking down muddy slopes to avoid any risk of slipping. Lesson well learned.
So when you next go planet watching or star gazing- take a torch!”
Richard L

Happy 10th Birthday

One of our founding members has pointed out to me that yesterday, the 8th November was the 10th birthday of Abergavenny Astronomical Society, it was 10 years since we first met in the Kings Arms in Abergavenny.  It certainly doesn’t feel like 10 years time has passed so quickly!  Looking forward to the time when we can all meet again in person safely.

Next virtual meeting of Abergavenny Astronomy Society is Thursday 29th October

The next virtual meeting of Abergavenny Astronomy Society is Thursday 29th October at 7pm.  The subject will be the night sky in November.  Now we have the dark nights winter is well and truly with us and weather permitting this gives us even more opportunities at more social hours to go out stargazing.  Mars is still an outstanding object and high in the sky, early in the month it is not much smaller than it was at its opposition in early October but it is starting to move away and by the end of November it is about 3/4 of the size.  Now is the time to view the wonderful open clusters of Auriga and Perseus.  As the Milky Way gradually moves towards the horizon distant galaxies are revealed and the Andromeda galaxy is just about overhead, the best time to observe it.  Please the find the link for the meeting below.

Topic: Astronomy Society Meeting
Time: Oct 29, 2020 07:00 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86350515007?pwd=K1dwM2FpU2tWb2Ezb0RxelhTUHhFdz09

Meeting ID: 863 5051 5007
Passcode: 669707

Next meeting of the Society is Thursday 15th October at 7pm by Zoom

The next meeting of the Society is Thursday 15th October at 7pm by Zoom.  Bob Wright from Usk Society will present on the planet Venus.  Venus is presently an early morning object, it rises in the east in the constellation of Leo,  before the Sun at around 4 am.  For those early birds it is hard to miss as it is very bright at more than magnitude -4.  It has recently had a lot of media interest owing to the detection of a so called “biomarker” gas in its atmosphere – Phosphine.  The work was done by an international team of astronomers, led by led by Prof. Jane Greaves from Cardiff University, who many of you may remember gave an excellent talk to Abergavenny Astronomy Society in March 2019.

As usual the meeting will start at 7pm by Zoom, the details of which are below. 

There has been some feedback that a few people have experienced problems joining the meeting by Zoom from the link.  The link launches Zoom in your internet browser, the settings in some people’s browsers block certain features and do not allow Zoom to launch.  If you experience that if the browser says it has blocked Zoom, click on “allow”.  Alternatively go to the Zoom site in advance (https://zoom.us/download) and download and install Zoom on your computer, it is free.  Start the programme and simply enter the meeting number and password when requested and it will take you into the meeting.

Topic: Venus the morning star
Time: Oct 15, 2020 07:00 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84066576842?pwd=MkVrWXZHVFhoY1pFQVZERCtsUEtPQT09

Meeting ID: 840 6657 6842
Passcode: 487218
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kwMTULve1

Mars at its closest

Mars is currently at its closest point to the Earth and will not get closer for around 17 years, so now is the ideal time to observe it.  Technically it was at its closest point on the 6th October but it reaches its opposition – that is when the Sun, the Earth and the planet are all in a straight line, on the 13th October.  In the case of Mars the opposition does not exactly coincide with the closest point owing to its rather eccentric orbit.  It will be well positioned for observing for the next few months but will be getting smaller as time goes on.  Presently its diameter is just over 22 arc seconds but that will decrease by about 23% per month.  Realistically you will need a telescope to see any details on its surface but the rocky and sandy deserts are then quite easy to spot.  You may even be able to see the southern polar cap – although that is looking very small now as the Martian summer gets into full swing.  The picture shows the planet from Abergavenny on the 5th October when it was almost at its closest.  In this picture South is up and you can just see the little polar cap.  The light coloured areas near the edge of the planet are clouds.

summer get into full swing.

Next virtual meeting is Thursday 1st October

The next virtual meeting of the Society will be at 7pm on Thursday the 1st October.

Mars is presently at it very best for observing and will be like that for the coming weeks.  A combination of various factors mean that it will not be as easy to observe from our northern latitudes for many years to come.  In the meeting we will explore the best ways to observe the planet and what you might expect to see.

Winter is almost upon us and as a plus it brings the brilliant winter constellations in this meeting we will have a look at what there is to see in the November night skies.

Topic: Astronomical Society Meeting
Time: Oct 1, 2020 07:00 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83311230592?pwd=NUdYSFRsV1M1MFBVbUlsUmJrZHFtdz09

Meeting ID: 833 1123 0592
Passcode: 684277

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kddq8Ftj13

Next virtual meeting 17th September, 7pm

This Thursday we will have another virtual meeting of the Society along with members from Usk Astronomical Society.  This will be another in the back to basics type talks, this time on an absolute beginners guide to astrophotography. 

Astrophotography is a large and complex subject that can also be very costly in equipment, but like anything if taken gradually bit by bit it becomes much more accessible.  This talk looks at how with basic equipment – say a digital camera of some sort or even just a smart phone you can start to produce some amazing results.  You do not even really need a PC but it does help.  Basic instructions to get you started will be given plus some top tips to avoid common pitfalls.

The meeting will start at 7pm and it will be open from 6:50, please log on before 7 if possible so we are ready to start on time.

Topic: Astronomical Society Meeting
Time: Sep 17, 2020 07:00 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84670026528?pwd=WjF2bDJERUczSG1wTGlFeEtLa00wdz09

Meeting ID: 846 7002 6528
Passcode: 884442

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kcGvE078P

Meeting this Thursday 3rd September

There will be a Zoom meeting of Abergavenny Astronomy Society, joined with Usk Astronomy Society this Thursday evening at 7 pm.  The details for joining the meeting are below, just click on the link.  David Thomas from Usk will lead a discussion on various hot topics/ recent news in astronomy.

If you have not joined a Zoom meeting before don’t be shy it could not be easier.  You can use whatever device you are reading this message on e.g. smart phone/ laptop/ tablet/ desktop.  Simply click on the link below.  If you have Zoom installed on the device it will ask you if you want to use it, otherwise it will just connect you through your standard browser.  That’s all there is to it, you can then just sit back and listen

Topic: Usk & Abergavenny Astro Societies meeting
Time: Sep 3, 2020 07:00 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89360916194?pwd=dDlJZ2lkV084UWI1eDY2c1IxZGJTUT09

Meeting ID: 893 6091 6194
Passcode: 518423

DIY stargazing

Although the good weather seems to have taken a turn for the worst and the Perseid meteor show was pretty effectively clouded out, clear skies will surely return and you may want to try the following podcast that describes some simple things to look for in the August/ September skies.   The planets Jupiter and Saturn are very prominent in the south and for the night owls Mars rises after midnight in the east and will get easier to observe as we get into autumn.