AAS

Our inaugural meeting was on the 8th Nov 2010 and we officially formed in Feb 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.

We host discussions on subjects as varied as "finding your way around the sky" to "Dark Energy".

Come along and get a new perspective on the universe in which you live!

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Happy New Year

Wishing you a very happy, peaceful and healthy New Year.

It has certainly been a difficult and challenging year to put it mildly.  Out of necessity we have become used to staying in touch via Zoom but can look forward with hope that at some point this year we will be able to meet again in person. 

On a more positive note and setting aside for a moment the problems that 2000 held, from an astronomical observers viewpoint it was a remarkable year, particularly for those with an interest in our solar system.  Jupiter and Saturn were around for much of the summer although annoyingly low in the sky, but they made up for that with the best conjunction since 1623 on 2000 December 21.  The 1623 conjunction was not visible at night – you would need to go back to 1226 to have seen the next best one and you will not be able to see a similar conjunction until 2080.  The planets also made a spectacular triple with a crescent Moon on the December 16th.

Still on the planets, Mars has had one of its best apparitions in many years.  It was very close and large and thankfully, unlike the last apparition a couple of years ago was not veiled by sandstorms.  It is still observable high in the south west early in the evening although is much smaller and receding rapidly.

In July, literally out of the blue, we had the comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE).  This comet was first spotted back in late March during the NEOWISE mission of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) space telescope.  Nobody knew then what a beautiful naked eye object it would turn out to be.  It was easily visible at dusk in the northern skies for a couple of weeks.

All of these phenomena could easily be observed by eye and even photographed with basic equipment, which goes to show that you do not need to go to any expense to enjoy the night sky, it can be a very welcome source of joy and diversion from more earthly problems whatever one’s means.


Comments:-

Its been about 10 months since I took up astronomy and being a member of AAS (at least in theory as I didn’t quite make my first meeting before lockdown kicked in early 2020) has helped enormously.
Particularly a big thank you to Nick Busby who has helped me enormously with both setting up my telescope and tips and advice- I have enjoyed the Zoom meetings very much – very informative and interesting thanks to all who gave presentations.
I am looking forward to this new year and observing the night sky, as well as doing a bit of astrophotography – will be great when we can get together for real , have a pint and meet some of you!
Clear skies and thank you!!!
Tony P-F

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