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Posts by gbond
Hilde Schroeven-Deceuninck (European Space Agency)
Robotic Exploration Development Coordinator.
ESA’s UK centre ECSAT is based at Harwell and Hilde’s talk will be on robotic exploration of space and the earth’s environment.
Manned exploration of space is exciting, dangerous and will gather headlines. Robotic exploration of space is cheaper but will never have the element of human danger that the media love. However here is a technology which may confound those who say that exploration of space will never have benefits for our problems down here on earth because robotic space and planetary vehicles will develop in parallel with day-to-day robotic transport on earth.
After the coffee break the usual announcements and members activities. Including Karl Bowers’ experiences and imaging with a 16″/f4.5 telescope. A rather unusual combination.
The usual social evening last Saturday passed very well with lots of advice shared and equipment admired, especially Alun’s new binoculars. Don’t ask the price.
Marc Charron has a link to his images, the last one of which has two Geminids on the same frame taken from the park at the back later on.
There is more to come with the Friday Club meeting as usual on 19th but this time in the upstairs room. Be prepared to park in the school yard next door.
Expect an entertaining view of the universe in the talk. The view from Earth as a whole and how it changes as time goes by. As we charge around the Milky Way, what direction are we headed? Precession has changed our sky over the millennia. What is it? How did the constellations come to be and why we are lumbered with 5,000 year old terminology.
As it’s Christmas – extended coffee break and nibbles. I have promised the hall manager that we will look after the carpet
Sat Dec 9th 7.00pm
This is the night of our Christmas Social.
Bring your treasured possessions to meet the other members and talk about telescopes, books, software and get ideas for Christmas Presents or just wonder how much Alun really spends on astronomy! All welcome, with contributions to the buffet welcome but not essential.
Raffle prizes, pin the tail on the Great Bear.
Followed by RAS “Christmas Special” including glass of Vin d’Asda compliments of the committee.
Pressure on car-parking? We have approval for use of the schoolyard next door for overflow parking.
An afternoon session at St Peters hall on Saturday was attended by the keen imagers to compare notes and share constructive suggestions. The four hours enabled the popular software for astro-imaging to get a thorough examination from the experts and non-experts (that’ll be me then).
Here’s a couple of thumbnails of Robert, Christine and Tim’s sessions.
With thanks to Alun and Peter for organizing and, of course, the contributors. Not forgetting Mrs Bond’s meagre housekeeping allowance that supplied the coffee 🙂
Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd March were busy evenings with about 100 visitors each evening.
This year our venue was the Museum of English Rural Life. Thanks to the British Science Association for providing the exhibition, logistics and refreshments.
The evenings were clear and we had good views of Jupiter from the surprisingly dark lawn at the museum.
Winter Solstice Meeting.
Everyone knows the earth’s tilt causes deep rooted cultural and agricultural effects on human society, as well as dominating wild nature. For example, it has caused some species to suspend animation by hibernation. In former days there were important calendrical factors such as the correct season to plant crops, but modern life often throws up a cultural nuttiness.
We will take a look at the oddities of this situation as well as looking at how calendars and time-keeping evolved. We will finish with a quick summary our star’s workings and the images from SOHO that are so important.
Doors open at 7pm for setting up and conversation.
We have a change of venue for this year’s effort. Click on the poster for programme of park’s events this month.
Please come along, either to help or as a visitor. The society will provide some short talks indoors, and if the weather is OK, there will be a good selection of telescopes to view the night sky. Bright objects only, it’s not a properly dark sky. We have telescopes available if you don’t have your own.
MEMBERS: If you can help in any way – and you really DON’T need a lot of expert knowledge – please let me know. We’ll need telescopes and helpers, plus a few who would like to give a 10-15 minute talk on anything astronomical. I’ve got a talk on meteors; if you have one on Comet ISON, or constellations, imaging, whatever, it would be very welcome. This should attract a lot of younger people, so nothing too technical.
Thanks, Chris. RAS Sec’
Meeting point – location
This meeting is the first of this year’s Friday meetings and if you attend we hope you will enjoy the talk on general amateur astronomy. The talk can be described as looking at the world through the eyes of an astronomerand we hope to inspire the listener to pursue a deeper interest.
Amateur astronomy is going through a period of growth and increasing interest. Not counting the glamour effect of characters such as Brian Cox presenting science on TV there is also the concern for the environment in general and the realisation that nature can still do great harm to the planet.The Reading Astronomical Society exists to encourage the love of science in general and space science and exploration in particular. Participation in our society does not need any form of qualification and does not need any practical experience in observing. Meetings consist of a guest speaker, usually a practising scientist or astronomer, followed by the latest news and activities of our society. Many of our longer term members are experienced observers and image makers. Some members give up their spare time for outreach activities at youth groups and science fairs from time to time.
We emphasise that armchair astronomers who just want to be entertained in an intelligent way will find our meetings enjoyable. Why not come and try-before-you-buy. membership is £25 for year’s meetings (£15 for retired/unwaged and free for students).
We also run a open membership Friday Club where experienced members talk about aspects of astronomy using basic non-specialist language suitable for all ages.
Main meetings are usually on the third Saturday each month from September to June. This will be a good opportunity to sign up for next season.
The main and Friday sections meet at…
St. Peter’s Church Hall
There is parking available at the hall and in the next door school playground.
Reading Buses route 19 stops adjacent to the hall.
astroBASICS is free and open to the public
This month we look at the problems of summer astronomy
and an in-depth look at The Pole Star
The Pole Star is well known by all and often misunderstood by the public at large.
But I am constant as the northern star,
Of whose true-fix’d and resting quality
There is no fellow in the firmament.
Julius Caesar. Act III.
Well Caesar was not to know the Pole star is not fix’d or even fixed. And certainly not constant.
VENUE: St Peters Church Hall,
GPS: 51.443891° -0.928940°
Downstairs in the main hall.
Room open at 7.00pm. Talk starts at 7.30pm.
Please note significant improvements next season as we arrange most meetings on the ground floor. This will much improve our ability to help with the telescope skills of beginners.