We held a Solar Watch at the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal on July 1st. The weather was very good with just a few passing clouds. The clouds had the advantage of allowing members time to cool down telescopes and explain the physical nature of our nearest star with the aid of photographs and diagrams to members of the public. Only one faint sunspot could be seen on the day, nonetheless the opportunity to view the sun safely, either through projection, solar filters or using the society’s Coronado, was enjoyed by many enthusiastic visitors who could observe the sun and see the occasional prominence.
See David and Richard getting their awards for research into the presence of dust in galaxies
Am considering going. Has anyone been before? Is it worth the visit?
Eleven EAS members travelled to Lancaster to hear Prof Monica Grady speak on the Rosetta mission. It was an entertaining presentation giving some insight into the difficulties, complexities and timescales of such a mission. We were told why the orbiter and lander were called Rosetta and Philae – it is linked to the famous Rosetta Stone in the British Museum and how this led to the deciphering of Egyptian hieroglyphics. The hope was that this mission would ‘decipher’ some of the secrets of the early Solar System. The instruments, built with late 1990’s technology, were delivered for integration onto the spacecraft in early 2001 and subsequent launch in 2004. The spacecraft flew by several asteroids before hiberbnating for 4 years prior to the encounter with Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko (67P)… it did wake on command to much relief and well, the rest we know… The science analysis will go on for several more years.
At the end, there was a lively Q&A with several EAS members asking questions.
Overall, an excellent evening.
A talk which may interest members:
Wednesday 14 June, 6.30 pm, Lancaster University, Cavendish Lecture Theatre in the Faraday lecture complex.
Professor Monica Grady (Open University)
ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft was launched in 2004, arriving at its target comet in July 2014. The Philae lander was deposited onto the comet’s surface in November 2014, operating for 70 hours before its battery failed.
Monica Grady was scientific advisor to the lander’s Ptolemy instrument team. In her talk, she will relate what it was like to land an instrument on a comet, and discuss some of the results from the mission.”
Every year at around this time amateur astronomers – including several EAS members – start looking out for displays of “noctilucent clouds”, or “NLC”, in the north after midnight. What are they? There’s a beginners guide on my blog which will tell you when to look for them, and what you’re looking for…
Quick reminder that it’s our May meeting tomorrow night. There’ll be the usual round-up of space and astronomy news (some GORGEOUS images of Saturn this month) and a look at what’s in the sky at the moment, and a report on our recent Society trip to Alston Observatory too. I’m sure someone will have some photos from the MoonWatch to show as well. And we have a very special guest speaker this month, so please come along and support them… (please note: our guest speaker begins his talk at 8pm, the meeting begins at 7pm as usual!)
The next public observing event being held by the Society is a “MoonWatch”, at the Brewery Arts Centre this coming Friday May 5th, starting at 8pm. Members of the EAS will have telescopes set up in the gardens of the Brewery Arts Centre to show people the Moon. which will be shining close to Jupiter that evening.
The event is free, and members of the public are invited to bring along their own equipment – cameras, binoculars and telescopes – to join in the fun!
Quick reminder – there’s no meeting tomorrow night as it’s Bank Holiday. Back NEXT Monday with lots of news and a great guest speaker..!