AAS

Our inaugural meeting was on the 8th November 2010 and we officially formed in February 2011.
AAS holds monthly meetings 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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Cosmology Discussion Group May 22nd

A good turn out and discussion at this week’s session on the topic of Galaxies. 

The “News of the Month” presentation and briefing notes have been posted on the “Downloads” page.

         News of the month    :    Briefing notes

 

Next Meeting 22nd May @ 7:30pm

The next meeting is a Cosmology Discussion meeting.
The topics will be
1)   Recent news stories – around 6 items,                2)  Galaxies – formation and evolution

 

A colour coded image of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, in the constellation Fornax, reveals thousands of galaxies over the full range of the Hubble Space Telescope’s colour spectrum, from infrared to ultraviolet. The image was compiled from data gathered over 841 orbits of telescope viewing time. 
NASA / ESA / IPAC / Caltech / STScI / ASU

 

 

 

 

I have put some brief notes together, NOTES, and also a video from the Illustris Project, which I have edited down to 3:37, showing a computer simulation of galactic formation, VIDEO.  The full video (6:12) is on Youtube. 

Come along and share your opinions and knowledge with us, I’m sure we will all learn something new.  All welcome

Meeting this evening, Monday 24th April

This evening we welcome back Dr. Fraser Lewis from Cardiff University School of Physics and Astronomy. Fraser will be discussing the provocative topic “what has astronomy done for us?”

As usual the meeting starts at 7:30 pm upstairs in the King’s Head public house.

Next meeting tomorrow Monday 27th March – X-ray binaries

The Society welcomes back Paul Roche from Cardiff University.  He will be describing X-ray binary stars.  These are binary star groups – two stars orbiting each other – where one star is stealing matter from the other.  The process generates large amounts of X-rays which is how we can detect them.  As usual the meeting is in the King’s Arms and starts at 19:30 BST, everyone welcome.

Artists impression of X-ray binary system courtesy of NASA

Comet hunt time!

The comet with the snappy name of 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak is now quite easily visible with binoculars and is presently very high in the sky, virtually overhead.  it was first discovered by Horace Tuttle in May 1858 and later described again by Michel Giacobini in 1907 and then again by Ľubor Kresák in 1907 – hence its long name.  It is a short period comet and comes around every 5.4 years.  Comets move across the sky and to see where it is on any given night you can find a map here

As I write this on the 21st March 2017 it is high overhead in Ursa Major, near to the star Merak (Beta Ursae Majoris).  Scanning around the area will quickly spot a hazy blob and that is the comet.  It is quite diffuse at the moment and its core is just visible in my 200 mm reflector but not with 80 mm binoculars.

Its magnitude (how bright it appears) is quoted as about 9.1 at present, that is well below naked eye visibility but an easy binocular or telescope object.  It should brighten quite a bit by the end of March as it moves through the body of the Great Bear and ends up in Draco in early April.  It is forecast to reach maximum brightness (mag. 8.65) around the 9th April but will still not be visible without binoculars.

So if it is clear go out and have a look for it, this is an easy comet to find and nice and high.  If anyone manages to image it please send it to me and I will add it to this post.

Nick

AGM Monday 13th March 2017, King’s Arms, Abergavenny

For your information notes and reports from last year’s meeting can be found on the links below.

AAS AGN 2016 notes     AAS RPTS  

 

Next meeting Monday 27th February, basic astrophotography

Astrophotography can seem like a dark art to those unfamiliar with the techniques.  However it is a skill that like any other can be acquired but it has a long learning curve and at its finest can be astronomically expensive and technically demanding.  This used to always be true but with low cost digital cameras, for certain kinds of imaging, it can be very easy to do and you may already have the equipment to start making some very pleasing pictures of your own.  This session will introduce you to simple techniques to produce astronomical pictures using smart phones, bridge cameras, digital single lens reflex cameras and webcams (lucky imaging).  You do not even need a telescope!  To keep it simple we will not cover the much more complicated deep sky imaging techniques but what is covered in this session should give a solid grounding for moving onto that at a later date.

As usual the meeting will be in the King’s Head, Cross Street and start at 7:30pm

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This evening’s meeting, 28th November

Tonight Geoff Hill will give a talk on the constellation of Orion.  This iconic constellation is a large an obvious feature in the winter sky – a constellation that everyone with any interest in astronomy will immediately recognise.  It is also a constellation that has some of the best examples of star forming nebulae, reflection nebulae and dark nebulae.  Many of the stars in the constellation are close and bright and represent stages in stellar evolution from the new born, through middle age to old age.  Whether you are a seasoned observer or an absolute novice this will be a talk well worth listening to.

Nick Busby will also present an introduction to observing some easy to find open star clusters.  These objects are a great starting point for new observers as they are bright, easy to locate and in many cases can be seen in binoculars.  This is also a good time of year for observing them and a great way to cut your teeth in observational astronomy.

Usual venue, the King’s Head, 7:30 pm.

See you there.

Basic astronomy sessions – slide pack now available

For those members that have been following the basic astronomy sessions, that are held after the normal meetings, the slide pack is now available as a PDF.  It may be found on the website under the tab “Download” – it is under the “PDF presentations” and called “The life and times of stars”.  You may also access it by clicking here