Notes and Links from the September Meeting

Chairman’s announcements

The chairman welcomed the Dark Skies Project Officer for the Friends of the Lake District and asked for volunteers to be a liaison to work for dark Sky Accreditation. A communication from Ullswater Yacht Club who are looking to open their grounds for the use of members. Members were notified of UCLAN public lectures in Lancaster and Preston during October 2018. Members asked to finalise their requests to visit Alston Observatory after the next meeting on Tuesday 2nd October.

Astronomical News

Two news roundups were given by two members. Galaxy news links: Solar Orbiters: Miscellaneous items

More Astronomical News

The Ecliptic

Arising from question Why Mars farther than other planets from Ecliptic last year. Planetary orbits are inclined to the ecliptic plane by up to 6° (maximum reached by the planet Mercury). The Ecliptic coordinate system, Celestial equator, Ecliptic and Celestial poles were covered as well as equinoxes.

Not to be confused with the orbit shape ‘ecliptic’ the word comes from the fact that when the moon crosses the ecliptic we experience an eclipse.

Sky Notes for September

From the Ecliptic the meeting was focused to the constellations near to the Zenith, where starlight travels through the minimum depth of atmosphere to the telescope. By the middle of September, we will be experiencing 7 hours of Astronomical Dark from 9 PM. See Sky Notes in particular.

Guest speaker, Stuart Atkinson Famous Fake Astrophotos

Stuart gave an entertaining but informative talk that also warned of the dangers of false attribution of astrophotographs taken by members. Since the advent of digital cameras and post-processing software images are not only easy to fake, as opposed to the valid enhancement of target features. In addition, the internet has released a Pandora’s Box where the distribution fake images become impossible to control. Images were illustrated from obvious Artistic impressions being passed off as factual to the deliberate stealing of images. For the latter, defences were outlined such as ‘Watermark’ signing to the proven method of introducing errors.