AAS Web page Problem

If you have tried looking at our webpage you will know that it is only showing a blank page.  Hopefully I will get it working again before to long.
However, the auto email posting system is still working so you should still get notifications of meetings etc.
Sorry for the disruption.
20th Sept, 2021

Monthly Meetings

Just a quick reminder for those who attended the Zoom meeting with Nick last week, and info for those who didn’t.
Nick said that, as we are now in the summer season, there will be no more Zoom meetings in July and August. AAS normally has no meetings in July & August so this follows our usual practice.
It looks as though COVID restrictions are slowly being eased. With a bit of luck face to face meetings may be allowed in a couple of months, for those who feel comfortable with it. I for one, will look forward to it.
Further information and updates will be forthcoming when we have more info.
In the meantime enjoy your summer.

Feb 2021 – Mars Month?

Map of the global topology of Mars overlaid with locations of landers and rovers
Map of the global topology of Mars overlaid with locations of landers and rovers

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

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

Responses to “Happy Birthday” plus cautionary sky watching tale

Yes a big Happy Birthday to AAS – personally as I joined back in March just as lockdown was coming in, I look forward to attending my first meeting!
Zoom is the next best thing and good fun though
Tony PF

Congrat’s all!!!
Sorry I’ve not joined you in recent meetings. Life is chaotic and working from home / kids, I completely lose all track of time. I’ve even set alarms 5 minutes before, and still missed the meet!
Have spent many nights out with the telescope / binoculars with one of my boys (until the recent inclement weather that is).
Stay safe…
Mark H

Am having a glass of red to celebrate 10 years…here’s to at least another 10…..cheers….Bri Wigg…
Brian W

Something to celebrate.  Sorry I’m not more regular. 
This tiny anecdote for Abergavenny AS’s 10th birthday celebrations warns of the dangers of planet watching.
“Having learned via AAS recently of the opportunity for good sightings of three planets soon after dark, I took my binoculars [that someone left in the bunkhouse and never claimed] and walked straight out into the dark. I did not take the precaution of allowing my eyes to adjust and walked straight into the table that had stood on the lawn most of the summer. The tabletop is made of recycled oak staves from an ancient barrel, older, we were told, than our cottage which itself dates from 400 years ago. Very hard and ungiving those timbers are. The blow came right across both thighs but only the left muscle was damaged. It is remarkable how much damage you can do in such a trivial way. Now, over a fortnight later, I am slowly recovering and have stopped taking ibuprofen to relieve the pain. But tennis and cycling are definitely still off the agenda and I must take extreme care when walking down muddy slopes to avoid any risk of slipping. Lesson well learned.
So when you next go planet watching or star gazing- take a torch!”
Richard L