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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Monday 12th Nov. Next Meeting

The next meeting is next Monday evening, 12th November.  Usual time and place, 7:30pm at the Kings Head, Abergavenny.

It will be a “chat round the table” session.  No fixed agenda, but an open meeting.  However, there are a number of topics that I have read about over the last month, see below.

Mission Updates:-
Hubble Space telescope; BepiColombo (Mercury); New Horizons (Kuiper Belt); Kepler space telescope 

Solar System:-
Formation & history; Planet X (more evidence?); Oumuamua (visitor to the solar system); Mars (water)

Galaxies:-
Milky Way spiral arms; the Milky Way’s super massive black hole; what stops star formation; Exoplanets; Hi to our neighbours(should we turn the “porch light” on?)

Universe:-
Early star formation (like 13 billion years old and in the Milky Way); Colliding black holes

I will provide some information on these subjects so, if there is anything that catches your eye come along and we can explore it together.  We can cover as many or as few of these headings as we want but, if there is any other topic you would like to mention please do come along and throw it into the mix.

See you Monday.

Monday 8th Oct, Next Meeting

The next meeting will be on Monday, 8th Oct.  Usual time and place:- 7:30pm at the Kings Head, next to Abergavenny town hall.

This month rather than mainly talk about a single item there are a number of topics that have caught my eye over the last few weeks that we can explore.  I have put a brief list below.  Depending on how the discussions and exchange of views/ideas goes we may or may not cover all the topics.

  • Is there no one out there??  Exo-planets and panspermia in the news, again. 
    At present there are 3,851 confirmed planets in 2,871 systems.  Now a possible exo-moon has been discovered.  Plus a new approach to boost the chance of finding extraterrestrials (if any!) and also researchers have generated phosphates, a key part of DNA, in conditions like the molecular clouds that form solar systems.
  • Gaia – A 5 year mission to construct the largest, most precise three-dimensional map of our Galaxy by surveying more than a billion stars.
    The 2nd data release, last April, provides info on the position, parallax and proper motion of 1.3 billion stars. New insights have started to come from this data.
  • Have we found the last of the missing ordinary matter in the universe?
    Previous observations have failed to find half of the normal matter in the universe. Now this matter has been found, in diffuse gaseous filaments between the galaxies. As this gas is cold and diffuse it has been impossible to see it but new techniques have confirmed its existence.
  • Inflation: Yes or No? How did the universe start.
    A short video about inflation (only 2 mins) from David Kaplan. Plus Roger Penrose’s theory that the universe is cyclical.
  • Very Big and Very Early.
    Another massive black hole discovered that is 780 million times the mass of the sun and dates from 670 M years after the big bang.  How did it get so big so soon?
  • Solar System.
    Still arguing about Pluto’ status; a new body some 80AU from the sun (Pluto is 34AU) which hints at Planet X further out; more evidence for a turbulent period involving the gas giants during the evolution of the solar system; how Curiosity’s motor confirmed the Mars dust storm had gone global.
  • Dark Matter.
    A new analysis has ruled out primordial black holes, formed at the birth of the universe, as being the mysterious dark matter. Plus a new wide field map of the 3 dimensional distribution of matter in the universe, based on looking at 10 million galaxies, “gives us a better picture of how much dark energy there is”.

If there are any topics or ideas that anyone wishes to talk about do bring them along or let me know by email or at a meeting.  All input is most welcome.

All comers welcome.  No expertise required, only a inquisitive mind.  See you on Monday.

Next meeting 14th May – Prof. Mike Edmunds, Cardiff University, School of Astrophysics and Astronomy : Ancient Astronomy: megaliths, landscapes and cosmologies.

Prof. Mike Edmunds is always one of our most popular speakers – this is one certainly not to be missed – he is lead academic on the Antikythera Mechanism Research Project, a device made in Greece 2,000 years ago.  In this talk he will discuss how much was known about astronomy in ancient times, before the written word? Did people worry about what happened in the sky? What was their picture of the Universe? This illustrated talk will try to describe what surviving archaeological evidence may and may not be able to tell us. Stonehenge will feature – but there is a lot more besides!

Meeting starts at 7:30 pm upstairs in the King’s Head – everyone welcome.

Next Meeting Reminder & Question

Pushed the wrong button and sent out a email by mistake  –  Apologies, K
First the reminder:-
Next meeting tomorrow, 9th April, Kings Head, Abergavenny at 7:30pm.
Topic “Where did all the stuff come from?”.
Elements used to make a smart phone are HERE.   Notes I prepared in December for this topic are HERE

And now a question:
Anyone know where this picture is (it is local) and what it depicts?

 

Trip to Jodrell Bank and observing opportunity

Jodrell Bank Visit 15th May

In association with Usk Astronomical Society we are arranging a trip to the Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire.  The date is Tuesday the 15th May.  It will be a whole day trip leaving in the morning and arriving bank around 7pm.  The cost of the trip is £7 per person group entry (£5 concessions) and around £8 transport (to be confirmed depending on numbers).  In addition there is the possibility to take afternoon tea (£16.50) and attend a talk by an expert (numbers limited to 28).  If you are interested in attending please let me know asap so that I can make the arrangements.

Observing@AbergavennyAS.org.uk

You can find out more by visisting the Jodrell Bank website:

What’s here?

Observing opportunity

On the 10th April (next Tuesday) we propose to have an informal observing session at the Middle Ninfa campsite just outside Abergavenny, you can see a location map by following the link below:

Middle Ninfa Location

The session will start around 9:30 pm when it is dark.  Beginners very welcome, if you have binoculars bring them along.  You do not need to bring anything but yourself as there will be some telescopes there for you to look through. This will be a very informal session and there is no charge.  We will be watching the weather forecast and will of course postpone the event if the weather is unsuitable (which in truth it has been for what seems like ages!).  Do please check the Abergavenny Astronomical Society website http://abergavennyas.org.uk/

before setting of – we will put a post there indicating if the session is on or off.  If you are subscribed to the site you will of course get the usual e-mail.

On health and safety, observing is usually a very safe pastime, the main dangers being tripping in the dark or dropping weights on toes.  Owing to the informal nature of the event the organisers can accept no responsibility for those attending or their property.  You are therefore asked to be aware of any hazards, and take care; by attending the event you accept these conditions..  It is suggested that you bring a red torch (that does not degrade your night vision) and refrain from using the light in mobile phones, which are very bright.  Also wrap up well!

 

Monday 8th January – Back to basics

For all those that got shiny new binoculars for Christmas or even a telescope or for those just starting out in astronomy, this session is to help you find your way around the night sky, identify constellations and patterns in the stars and remember them.  Finding your way around the sky is a skill that can be learned more easily than you might think – but the learning process can be greatly accelerated when you know a few simple tricks.  Using planetarium software to simulate the night sky and worksheets that you can use afterwards on your own, we will explore the winter sky to understand how to identify, recognise and remember the signposts in the stars.  With a bit of practice you will be able to amaze your friends on clear nights by pointing the constellations and even the names of stars!

Usual start time 7:30, upstairs in the King’s Head, everyone welcome.

 

Is this what is in store for the Milky Way & Andromeda?

I came across a Hubble video recently.  It consists of a computer simulation of 2 galaxies colliding along with 5 pictures of actual collisions as a comparison.
The details are on the “General Items” page.

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  

 

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