The next meeting of the Society is on Thursday 19th May when Martin Lewis returns to give the second half of his excellent talk on imaging planets, this is one not to be missed. The meeting starts at 7:30 pm and the Zoom link is given above.
Notice:Telescope for sale – one of our members has a 12″ Dobsonian to sell for £425 ONO, there is also a selection of eyepieces for sale as well. If you are interested please email the Chairman via Observing@AbergavennyAS.org.uk and i will put you in touch with the seller.
The next meeting of the Society will be on the 12th May at 7:30 pm. The Sun has definitely woken up and is providing some wonderful views of prominences, filaments, sun spot groups and plage. An h alpha telescope is the perfect instrument to observe these features and a number of members have expressed interest in purchasing one but are not sure what to buy. in this meeting Nick Busby will explain the different types, what they can be used for, how much they cost and much more. The picture below was taken recently from Abergavenny by Nick, showing some of the increased activity.
You can join in the national, annual star count organized by the Campaign For Rural England, simply count the stars in Orion and report the results online you can find the full details on the following link.
Bob Wright (Usk) gave an interesting talk on the JWST back in January. In case you wanted a little more on the current situation I came across a video on the “Launch Pad Astronomy” channel on YouTube.
It’s entitled “How James Webb orbits nothing”. It goes into the theory behind how the JWST can orbit an empty spot in space – just in case you ever wondered. It also emphasises the task that is faced by the JW team and the number of variables that they have to take into account. A couple of interesting points from the video are that the telescope elliptical orbit around L2 takes about 6 months and, it’s up to twice the size of the moon’s orbit around Earth (JW orbit 250,000 to 832,000 cf the Moon 360,000 to 400,000km). The other point was that it isn’t actually orbiting L2 but a point slightly on the Earth side of L2. Reasons are in the video. You can access it at this LINK .
Also, the “Where is Webb” website, HERE, explains how the first photons have been received of star (HD84406, some 260 l.yrs distant in Ursa Major) although, as the mirrors are not yet aligned, the picture isn’t much to look at.
It’s December 2021 and the final moment in a saga, started in 1996, to build and launch a successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is due to be hoisted aloft by an Arian 5 rocket from French Guiana on the 22nd. It will then take some 6 months to deploy before any science can be done. It is a very complex engineering project and there are a host of things that can go wrong during its deployment, so fingers crossed. JWST is an infra red telescope covering the wavelengths 0.6 to 28.3 µm, cf the visual range of 0.38 to 0.76 µm. This will enable it to look back to the era of the origin of stars and galaxies.
The main objectives of the JWST mission are:- 1) To investigate the light from the dawn of the universe some 13 billion years ago; 2) To study the formation of the first galaxies; 3) To look for the first generation stars and better understand the formation of stars and their planetary systems; 4) To study planetary systems in the Milky Way and potentially analyse the atmospheres of and look for signs of life from these planets.
In order to protect the instrument from the Sun, earth and moon, to get its operating temperature as low as possible, and increase its sensitivity, it is being placed at the Lagrange L2 position, some 1 million miles away in line with the sun and earth, with a huge parasol to protect it. If anything goes wrong then that is it, it cannot be serviced like the HST was!