Next meeting by Zoom Thursday 25th 7:30pm

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89046641103?pwd=NjZuQlFPQjBoVWhtODJUNVJYRWlXUT09

Meeting ID: 890 4664 1103
Passcode: 689201

The next meeting of the Astronomy Society will be this Thursday the 25th November; Bob Wright will give a talk on exploring Venus.  The meeting will be by Zoom only and the links for joining can be found above. The meeting will start at 7:30 pm, all welcome.

Observing group

An observing group is being formed that any members can join. The idea is that you register your details with a WhatsApp group (the Astronomy Observing Group) and from time to time when members are going out to observe and they want some company a notfication will pop up on your smart phone. Obviously you will need a WhatsApp account but that it is. It is open to anyone whatever your experience or equipment – even just a pair of eyes and an interest. You can leave the group anytime to stop the notifications. The issue it addresses is that some members would like to do some observing but may lack experience or just want some company, also to book events more than a day or so in advance given the weather in South Wales is asking for problems.

To join the group simply send your details to Andrew Lohfink, the coordinator. You can do this by texting Andrew on his mobile phone number which is 07506448815. In the message please include your full name, the society you are a member of (if any) and a request to join the observing group, Andrew will then add you to the list. Andrew is the custodian of this data and it will not be used for any other purpose.

A notice from Simon at Bath Astronomers.

Register free on Eventbrite.

The Caroline Herschel Prize Lecture 2021 has been awarded to Dr Jenny Carter, University of Leicester, and you are invited to the online, free to attend event this coming month. It is entitled “Earth versus Sun: a precarious relationship in space” and is being held on Zoom at 7pm on Thursday 18th November.

You need to register for the free event via Eventbrite beforehand using the link https://tinyurl.com/2tjzdz3m. Details of the Zoom meeting will be sent to you in due course.

https://apps.talktalk.co.uk/appsuite/api/mail/image002.jpg?action=attachment&folder=default0%2FINBOX&id=36226&attachment=1.3&user=3&context=1732991&decrypt=&sequence=1&delivery=view

The talk:

The intimate, yet turbulent relationship between the Sun and Earth dominates space around our planet. We are familiar with one consequence of this interaction, through the spectacular displays of aurora, and other effects include currents induced in long distance cables, or the loss of signals and damage to spacecraft. Collectively, we term these effects `’space weather’. Understanding this space weather is paramount for our technology-dependent society.

In this talk, we will explore how our Earth is protected from the Sun’s solar wind by its magnetic field. We will follow how the Earth’s magnetic field gets buffered and altered, as the solar blows stronger, weaker, or changes direction. We will see how the SMILE spacecraft will soon revolutionise our view of near-Earth space by taking the first images of the solar-terrestrial interaction. Space near Earth is highly dynamic and volatile, and this drama is played right above our heads.

The Caroline Herschel Prize Lectureship is awarded annually and previous recipients include Dr Becky Smethurst, Dr Anna Lisa Varri, and Dr Sarah Rugheimer. It is awarded by the Herschel Society, in association with the Royal Astronomical Society, to celebrate Caroline’s memory by supporting promising women astronomers early in their careers.

Website and Meetings

Apologies for the website which I am sure many of you will have discovered is not working, it is just a blank page.  Please be assured it is being looked into and we hope to have it up and running again soon, hopefully this post will reach you ok.  We have not yet started having in-person meetings yet but have been observing how Usk AS have got on with resumed meetings.  There have been a number of issues to resolve there. A new much larger venue is being used which allows for social distancing, which  Abergavenny AS does not have.  The new venue has had some problems with the bandwidth of the internet connection, which has been responsible for the poor quality of the Zoom meetings.  That is being addressed by the venue.  In the meantime if any members would like to attend the Usk meetings in person they are more than welcome.  For the time being in-person only meetings are being held one week followed by a Zoom only meeting then an in-person only meeting and so on.  The arrangement will be kept under constant review.

The next in-person meeting is to be held tomorrow evening in the large function room at the back of The Grange at the top of Maryport Street, Usk.  It starts at 7:30 and all are welcome.  A group then normally adjourns to the bar and you are very welcome to join in there as well.

The talks are aimed at beginners.  Andrew Lohfink will be discussing binoculars and how to observe with them and Nick Busby will present on finding and observing planets for beginners

Brecon Beacons Virtual Dark Sky Festival – 24th to 26th September 2021

Abergavenny Astronomical Society, Usk Astronomical Society and the Brecon Beacons Dark Sky Board have been working to run the first Dark Sky Festival.  This first event will be held on-line over the weekend of Friday 24th to Sunday 26th September.  There is a great line-up of speakers and authors presenting.

The festival is suitable for anyone with an interest in the night sky, particularly younger audiences over the age of 10.

Please visit https://www.breconbeacons.org/things-to-do/activities/stargazing/dark-sky-festival-2021 for more information and to book. All events are £2 per household.

The programme is as follows:-

Time travelling
24th September 11:30 – To gaze up at the stars is to look back into the past, much as Earth bound geologists do today. Alan Bowring

Where has the night gone?
24th September 14:00 – This talk explores the mounting challenges bats are facing with the increase in artificial lighting at night and how we can practically mitigate this problem. Dr. Henry Schofield

A beginner’s guide to observing planets
24th September 19:00 – This guide for absolute beginners will show you how to find and observe planets and what to look out for. Nick Busby

What’s eating the universe?
25th September 10:00 – Award-winning physicist Paul Davies walks us through the puzzles and paradoxes that have preoccupied cosmologists from ancient Greece to the present day. Paul Davies

Welsh myths and legends of the night sky
25th September 14:00 – In this talk David Thomas explores how the Welsh characters and heroes of the Mabinogion and other folk tales are reflected in the night sky. David Thomas

How stars work
25th September 19:00 – Are other stars like our Sun? If not what are they like – small and peaceful, or large and violent? What makes them the way they are? How long will the Sun be around for and what might happen to it? Keith Moseley

The greatest adventure
26th September 12:00 – The Greatest Adventure traces the events of the 20th century; the first satellite in orbit; the first animal, man and woman in space; the first spacewalk; as well as the ultimate US victory in the race to land on the moon. Colin Burgess

Meteorites and the story of the solar system
26th September 14:00 – This talk will reveal how the solar system was formed, explain why we are made of stardust and provide some surprising facts about the origin of some familiar materials. Nick Busby