The next meeting of the Society will be on Monday 25th September 2023 at 7:30pm. As usual we will be upstairs in the Hen and Chickens Pub in Abergavenny, Flannel St, NP7 5EG.
We will be looking at the autumn sky and what can be seen with basic equipment or simply by eye. The talk is aimed at absolute beginners although there will be things to interest the more experienced observers.
All welcome whatever your level of experience or knowledge
Each year at Christmas Usk Astronomical Society holds the “Mike Thomas Lecture” in memory of a very long standing member and supporter of the Society that passed away around 5 years ago. It is traditional that members of other local astronomical societies are invited to the event which is on Thursday 15th December at 7:30 in the Grange Social club, Maryport Street, Usk. Wayne Jones from Heads of the Valleys AS will give a talk on the demands that space travel puts on the human body. This is as much a social event as it is a lecture and there will also be a buffet. There is no charge for the evening but if any member intends to go please let Nick Busby know by emailing Observing@AbergavennyAS.org.uk before Monday. This is simply so that we know how many to cater for.
Mars has just passed opposition, that means when it is at its closest point to the Earth in its orbit, so it is presently very bright in the southern sky and very hard to miss on a clear night. At just before 4am tomorrow morning, Thursday December 8th, the Moon passes in front of the planet. This is called an “occultation”, a rare event particularly when Mars is as its brightest until 2033. It will be a great sight in binoculars and a super photo opportunity. The image below shows a screen shot of a simulation of the occulation from Stellarium. Mars will emerge about an hour later at 5:56 am. The forecast is clear, so set your alarm clock!
Although the weather forecast is not very promising for tomorrow morning and the solar eclipse, a few of us will be in Bailey Park, Abergavenny with proper solar scopes from 9:30am should anyone want to view the eclipse but does not have suitable equipment. As it lasts for over an 1 hour and a half we may get a few gaps in the clouds with a bit of luck.
There will be a partial solar eclipse visble from Abergavenny, weather permitting, on the 25th of October from around 10:08 to 11:45. If you wish to observe it under no circumstances look at the Sun with unprotected eyes, only use equipment specifically designed for the purpose. You can also look at the reflection of the Sun in a bucket of water
The next meeting of the Astronomy Society will be first floor in the Hen and Chickens Pub, Abergavenny at 19:30 on the 24th October. The subject will be “Observing the planets for absolute beginners”. With Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune well placed this is an ideal time to get out and observe the planets. You can find most of them without any optical aid but can see interesting features with binoculars and fascinating views with telescopes. This talk will show you how to find them and the best ways to observe them.