AAS

Our inaugural meeting was on the 8th November 2010 and we officially formed in February 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.

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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Perseid meteor shower

Tonight, the 12th August, is this year’s peak of the Perseid meteor shower and although not one of the most favourable years and with a dodgy weather forecast it is still worth having a look out to catch a glimpse of this natural wonder.  Unfortunately there is a very large Moon around, full moon is on Thursday.  The moon will not get tucked away below the horizon until after 2:30 am tomorrow morning, which is also a very good time to observe the meteors, even if a bit late for many of us.  However the Perseid meteor shower does contain more than average lumpy bits so there is always a sporting chance of a fireball or two which even the Moon cannot diminish.

The Perseids are called that because they seem to all emanate from a point in the constellation of Perseus, which tonight is in the north east when most people will be looking for the meteors.  Contrary to some reports in the media that does not mean you have to look towards Perseus to get the best chance of observing them, they can appear anywhere in the sky.  The best place to look is straight up, that is where it is darkest.  Lie down on a lounger, make yourself comfortable and simply look up without any optical aid.  Conditions allowing you should see at least one meteor every minute or so.

The Perseids meteors are little fragments of dust from the tail of a  (Swift-Tuttle) that passed this way some thousands of years ago.  As the fragments hit the atmosphere at around 36 km/sec the friction causes them to heat the air around them an burn up, that is what causes the light that you see.

If it is cloudy tonight do not despair the meteors last for a week or so more but of course at much lower rates than at the peak.  If you are out generally observing from late July through the first couple of weeks of August you may see one or two Perseids in an evening

Happy Hunting!

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