Our inaugural meeting was on the 8th November 2010 and we officially formed in February 2011.
AAS holds monthly meetings 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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Oops – Correction for Next Meeting: Monday 25th Feb

Another mistake on my part – losing grip, must be!

Correct day and date is Monday 25th February at 7:30pm


Next Meeting – Monday 25th February

For our next meeting Jenifer Millard from Cardiff University School of Physics and Astronomy will be talking about GALAXIES.
Jenifer is an amateur astronomer and also co-presents the blog @AwesomeAstroPod.

Jenifer Millard

Usual time and venue, The Kings Head, next to Abergavenny Town Hall, at 7:30pm

Should be an interesting and informative evening.  All are welcome.

How dark are your skies?

The British Astronomical Society has joined with  the  Campaign to Protect Rural England for Star Count 2019. This cosmic census that will help map light pollution across the country.

All you will need to do is to count the number of stars you can see (with the naked eye) within the constellation of Orion. The national Star Count will take place from Saturday 2 February until Saturday 23 February, to give families a chance to take part. 

How to take part:

  • Try to do your count on a night when the sky is clear, with no haze or clouds, then wait until after 7pm so the sky is really dark.
  • Looking south into the night sky, find the Orion constellation, with its four corners –  and ‘three-star belt’. Take a few moments to let your eyes adjust, then simply count the number of stars you can see within the rectangle made by the four corner stars – Betelgeuse, Bellatrix, Rigel and Saiph. You should not count these corners stars, but you can count the three stars in the middle (the belt).
  • Make a note of the number of stars seen with the naked eye (not with telescopes or binoculars) and then simply complete the online survey form on the CPRE website (will be available at the start of the Star Count).
  • Share your experiences with others on social media using #starcount2019 @CPRE @BritAstro
  • Check back to see the national results and see how your area compares to the rest of the country.

The constellation of Orion showing the Star Count area. Count stars within the area marked, but not the corner stars.

Image by Paul Brierley

Next Meeting Monday 11th February

A question was asked at our January discussion group about the evolution of the Solar System and planetary migration.  So, at this meeting we can explore the issue in a bit more depth.  I am hoping I will be able to show a short video, or videos, illustrating the Grand Tack Hypothesis.

If we have some time left over there are other topics that have piqued my interest in the last month that we can look at.

All are welcome and all input is appreciated.

Suggested Topics:-
1          Formation of the Solar System  –  planetary migration
2          Did a collision trigger life on earth
3          Mining the Moon
4          Black Hole spinning as fast as it theoretically can.
5          Dark Matter: The milky way halo & another low DM galaxy discovered.
6          The Hubble Constant confusion: using quasars to estimate it’s value.

If there are any topics that anyone wishes to talk about do bring them along or let me know by email or at a meeting.  

Usual time and place: 7:30pm in the upper room at the King’s Head, Abergavenny

Dave Phillips RIP

You may have read in this week’s Chronicle a piece by the Abergavenny Film Society announcing the death of Dave Phillips.
Dave was also a long time member of the Abergavenny Astronomy Society.

Next Meeting 28th January

Keith Mosely FRAS, from Monmouth Astronomical Research Society, is coming to talk to us about the BepiColombo joint European/Japanese mission to investigate the planet Mercury.
Usual time and place, 7:30pm in an upper room at the Kings Head, next to Abergavenny Town Hall.
All are most welcome

ESA-JAXA BepiColombo probe to Mercury

BepiColombo is a joint mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to the planet Mercury.  The mission comprises two satellites launched together: the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) and Mio (Mercury Magnetospheric OrbiterMMO).  The mission will perform a comprehensive study of Mercury, including characterization of its magnetic field, magnetosphere, and both interior and surface structure. It was launched on an Ariane 5 rocket on 20 October 2018 at 01:45 UTC, with an arrival at Mercury planned for December 2025, after a flyby of Earth, two flybys of Venus, and six flybys of Mercury. Wikipedia

The adventures of Curiosity rover in Gale crater: exploring the geology of Mars

For information there is a lecture on the geology of Mars at Swansea University on Saturday 15th December 2018, it will be given by Professor Sangeev Gupta from Imperial College, London.  The event is hosted by the South Wales Geological Association (SWGA).  The meeting will begin at 11:00 am with refreshments being served from 10:15 am.  The Lecture will be in the Department of Geography in the Wallace building.  The refreshments will be on the landing area on the first floor, just upstairs from the main entrance.

Admission is free and there is no need to book, just turn up.

Next meeting Monday 10th December, The Chelyabinsk affair

As day was breaking in Siberia on the 15 February 2013, a huge meteor descended at over 60,000 kilometers per hour over the Ural Mountains and exploded at an altitude of 25–30 kilometers over the industrial town of Chelyabinsk. It had an estimated equivalent explosive force of 500,000 tonnes of TNT. It showered space rocks down onto the surrounding landscape, drawing thousands of people to go hunting for them.

Dr. Elizabeth Pearson was one of them, later shooting a documentary for Channel 4 called Meteor Strike – Fireball from Space. She will tell her story of that memorable trip, the meteor, and what has happened to the pieces since at the Society’s meeting next Monday, upstairs in the Kings Head Hotel in Cross Street, Abergavenny, starting at 19:30. Visitors are most welcome.

Elizabeth completed her PhD in extragalactic astrophysics at Cardiff University and is currently is the News Editor of BBC Sky at Night Magazine, where she reads up on all the latest advancements in space travel and flight.


The Mike Thomas Christmas Lecture

Usk Astronomical Society will be holding the Mike Thomas Lecture on the 20th December 2018 and all members of Abergavenny Society are cordially invited. 

This year our old friend Dr. Paul Roche from Cardiff University School of Physics and Astronomy will present on “Robotic Astronomy”.  The meeting will start at 7pm in the Old Grammar School, 18 Maryport Street, Usk. NP15 1AE.  There is plenty of free local car parking near the Rural Life Museum.  The Old Grammar School is situated at the northern end of Maryport Street (opposite end to the prison) and opposite the Spar supermarket.

Monday 26th Nov., Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be a presentation by Chris Starr,  FRAS FBIS, IAAA.

The title of his talk will be

Journey to the dawn of the Solar System

This will look at the history of the solar system focusing on NASA’s Dawn Mission. The Dawn Mission was launched in 2007 to study the asteroid belt objects Vesta and Ceres. It orbited both proto-planets and was retired this month on the 1st November.  It is currently in an uncontrolled orbit around Ceres.

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft arrived at Vesta on July 15, 2011  Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Chris Starr is a space activist, writer and speaker. He worked as Head of Geography and Space Science at an international school in Switzerland until 2011, where he built a small observatory and organised public outreach events in the Alps, including the design and installation of a major outdoor exhibition for IYA 2009 in the ski resort of Villars.
He left secondary teaching in 2011 to continue working in STEM outreach in the UK. He founded the Wells & Mendip Astronomers in Somerset, of which he is Chairman.

Usual Time & place:  7:30pm, The Kings Head, Abergavenny

Everyone is most welcome.  Come and learn how our Solar System came into being.