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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Next meeting of the Astronomical Society

Owing to some individuals that decided to log into the meeting on the 1st April and disrupt it we had to close the meeting.  It has been decided to re-run the meeting this coming Thursday 8th April at 7pm.  Bob Wright will present the second half of his talk on the Artemis project (this is the third time we have tried to do this presentation – so let us hope third time lucky!).

The link is in the email sent to you but this will not be available on this website – in order to try and deter the unwelcome visitors we had last week.  In addition, when you join the meeting there will be a “waiting room”and attendees will be admitted to the meeting at around 7pm so if you log on a bit early please be patient.  I will also keep an eye out for latecomers during the meeting.  If you want to join the meeting but do not have the link you can contact me at the following email address        Observing@AbergavennyAS.org.uk

 

Next meeting of the astronomy society is Thursday 1st April 2021 at 7pm

The next meeting of the astronomy society will be on Thursday 1st April 2021 at 7pm.  Bob Wright will present the second half of “The Artemis program”.  This is a U.S. government-funded international human spaceflight program that has the goal of landing “the first woman and the next man” on the Moon.  This talk was originally planned for the 11th March.

 

Nova in Cassiopeia

A nova has flared up in Cassiopeia.  A nova is caused when a white dwarf in a binary pair has been drawing material from its companion star.  A point is reached where a thermonuclear reaction starts and the white dwarf flares up for a few weeks and is visible right across the galaxy.  It is not to be confused with a supernova which is an altogether less common and more violent affair.  This nova is shining at about magnitude 7.5, that means it is just too dim to see by eye but easily visible in binoculars.  It is also fairly easy to find and the link below gives some clear instructions on how to locate it.  Fortunately it is close to the open cluster Messier 50, and in binoculars it is just below and to the left and in the same field.  These are fairly rare events, astronomers estimate that there are around 50 in the Milky Way each year but only a small proportion are visible from Earth.  There may be some clear nights this week so get your binoculars and go nova hunting!

Bright Nova Erupts in Cassiopeia

 

Next meeting Thursday 18th March 2020

The next meeting of the Society will be at 7pm on Thursday the 18th March.  Mr Keith Moseley, former Head of Physics at Monmouth School, will present on “How Stars Work”

The Zoom details to access the meeting are given below:
Topic: Astronomical Society Meeting – Keith Mosley- How stars work
Time: Mar 18, 2021 07:00 PM London

 

Next meeting 7pm Thursday 11th March – Artemis part 2

The next meeting of the Society will be by Zoom on Thursday 11th March 2020 at the usual 7pm.  Bob Wright will complete his account of the Artemis mission to the Moon.  Details of the Zoom link are below:
Time: Mar 11, 2021 07:00 PM London

Next meeting 7pm Thursday 25th February – Observing nebulae

This Thursday Martin Griffiths will give a talk on Observing Nebulae.  Many of you will know Martin from his long association with the Society and the many excellent talks he has given in the past.

There are many forms of nebulae, some easy to spot, others more difficult. In this lecture Martin will explore the best ones to observe and recommend some challenges for the observer and give guidance on instrumentation in order to maximise one’s chances of seeing these wonderful objects.

Topic: Astronomy Society meeting
Time: Feb 25, 2021 07:00 PM London

Feb 2021 – Mars Month?

18th February:  Nasa has managed to crane their rover and helicopter into the Jezero Crater on Mars.  It’s now about 2km from what is thought to be an ancient (that’s 4 billion years ago!) river delta that fed a huge lake.  Jezero is a small town in Bosnia with a population of 1100, Jezero means lake in a number of Slavic languages.  This crater was named in 2007 by the IAU as part of a project to name significant craters after small towns and villages in the world.
Now we await the testing of Perseverance and Ingenuity’s’ systems and for the science data to start to come back.

Mars2020 now joins the two other visitors to Mars this month:-
1)   On the 9th February the successful mission by the UAE to put the Al Amal (Hope) Probe into orbit to study the Martian atmosphere amongst other objectives.  This makes the UAE the 5th country to reach Mars and the second to enter orbit on it’s first try;  and
2)   Followed on the 10th February by the successful insertion of Chinas’ first mission to Mars, Tianwen-1, into orbit.   It also carries a rover that is scheduled to land in May or June.  The Tianwen-1 rover includes a ground penetrating radar that can “see” up to 100m below the surface.

Emirates Mars Mission – LINK     :     Tianwen-1 – LINK     :     Mars2020 – LINK

Virtual starparty

There will be a virtual star party on the 1st March, hosted by Bwlch and Llangorse tourism and presented by Nick Busby.  It is suitable for all ages 10 years up and assumes no prior knowledge of the stars.

Stargazing activity for this week

Additional note, I did this exercise for Abergavenny last week and although it was not the best of nights – it was a bit misty and very cold, I managed to count 14 stars in Orion from my back garden in Abergavenny.  The app then informed me that that was better than 77% of places in the UK so that can’t be bad. – Nick Busby

 

Not sure if it will be clear at all this week but if it is there is an activity going on that the Campaign for Rural England organises each year.  The idea is that you count all the stars you can see by eye in the constellation of Orion and send in the results.  This will allow any changes to light pollution in the UK to be mapped.  You can find full details and all support materials by clicking on the following link:

Star Count: a lockdown-friendly stargazing activity for the whole family

 

Something for Feb – Perseverance Rover due at Mars

There is a lot of interest in Mars at the moment from a number of different countries with current missions from China and the UAE and plans by the ESA/Russia, Japan and India in the next 3 or 4 years.

First up look out on the 18th February for the scheduled landing of the NASA Mars Perseverance Rover, if successful it will be another engineering feat using a “sky crane”.

Mars Perseverance Rover landing Feb 2021

Mars Perseverance Rover landing Feb 2021

It includes another engineering first, Ingenuity, the first helicopter to operate outside of the Earth.  This is a test to check the feasibility of flying a drone on a planet with a much thinner atmosphere, 1% of the thickness of Earth’s atmosphere.  It weights 1.8kg and is fitted with counter rotating blades running at 2,400rpm.

Mars Perseverance Rover-Ingenuity Drone

Further info:-
Perseverance Mission  :  Ingenuity Helicopter  :  Wikipedia page-missions to Mars