ESA’s Galileo rockets

Poor old ESA (European Space Agency) and its Galileo project to produce a better range of sat nav satellites than the Americans. The last two rockets launched only a few days ago have apparently been successfully launched and put into orbit. Except they are in the wrong orbit.

This was because they used vacuum cleaner motors to get them into the final position but hadn’t planned on the EU down rating the motors from 2200 to 1600 watts.

So the Eddington Society have been asked to help the ESA so we are meeting on Bank Holiday Monday at Kendal Castle to help push the two satellites into their correct orbit. Broom handles, bamboo canes or anything similar will help. We meet at ** o’clock so see you there.

EAS August Meeting

Since the last meeting, the Museum projector has been fixed, so we can now see pictures in colour! (For those who missed the July meeting, everything was a deep, deep green….) So Stuart Atkinson was able to show his latest NLC photos to best advantage. After 10 years in Kendal, he has finally managed to capture NLC above the Castle, and it was truly a gorgeous image.

Richard Allen (the son of our ex-treasurer David Allen, it turns out) gave a nicely-pitched lecture on how the size and orbit of the Earth determine the weather patterns that exist on it, and also how the climate has been affected in the past by things such as the tilt of the Earth’s rotation axis to its orbital plane (why we have summer and winter) and the changing eccentricity of the Earth’s orbit over time. He finished with a sobering summary of the current evidence that mankind’s activities on Earth have very recently upset long-standing balances between the carbon dioxide entering and leaving the atmosphere (man-made climate change).

Liz Hodgson

Stunning Rosetta pictures…

Rosetta is there and in orbit about comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The pictures are stunning – see http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta/Highlights/Postcards_from_Rosetta and others here.

Great job after 30 years from conception, 20 years of planning and assembly, and 10 years getting into position to do this … I must admit I share Stuart’s frustration at the lack of images but if I’d been involved that long, I think I would like to look at the data myself first!

Ian B