WADHURST ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY

NEWSLETTER APRIL 2001

INDEX: MEETINGS, OTHER NEWS, CONTACTS

MEMBERS SATISFACTION

Further to last months opening paragraph on member’s satisfaction, I am happy to say that I have had a few comments. However, these comments represent less than 10% of our total membership! As stated last month whilst it is tempting to think that no comment means that everyone is happy, it does not necessarily follow. It would therefore be nice to have some more input from other members. If you have anything to say, good or bad, please contact the editor at pbamblett@hotmail.com (01732 368656) or indeed any member of the committee whose contact details are below.

MEETINGS

LAST MONTH

Last months meeting was held on Wednesday 11 April, and it was very nice to see a good turn out of members both new and old. The talk was by Konrad Malin-Smith, and the subject was La Palma Observatory. Konrad visits La Palma about once every two years, and has built up a large number of slides. For this talk he limited the number of slides shown to 80, these varied from general photos of the island and observatory to astronomical images taken on the island by Konrad himself. Some of these were truly amazing, and gave a very good indication of how good a site La Palma actually is. The price that was quoted by Konrad for a 10-day trip including spending money was £600. If any member is considering visiting La Palma Konrad has said that he is quite willing to give advice and introductions, contact can be made directly by E-mail or through Tim.

The usual break for refreshments was perfectly arranged to coincide with the passing overhead of the ISS. Everybody went outside and right on cue it appeared for us! Details of the viewing times for the ISS can be found at www.heavens-above.com .

Konrad’s talk was followed by Joan’s regular piece on the constellations. This month Joan covered the constellation Leo.

After the meeting a few members took the opportunity for some viewing through Murray’s 10” scope. We were also able to view the ISS for a second time!

NEXT MONTH

Next months meeting is on 9 May at the usual time of 7.30. The talk this time is by Peter Mata, and subject matter is spacecraft. Peter used to work for the European Space Agency on spacecraft design.

FUTURE MEETINGS

Tim has now booked a speaker for the meeting on November 14 2001. We will be having a talk by Bob Mizon and the title of the talk is Astro Alphabet, 26 slides from A to Z on Astronomical subjects. Bob is the co-ordinator for the Campaign for Dark Skies, and also operates the Mizar Travelling Planetarium.

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OTHER NEWS

TREASURERS REPORT

We now have 41 paid up members plus 2 students. The Current Account balance stands at £528.49 with £1015.73 in Reserve. A deposit of £25 has already been made towards a new 8¾” mirror for the Societys telescope. The balance of £190 is due in about a months time, following which we will have to meet the cost of construction. Further details of the telescope are below.

WADHURST FETE

The Uplands Fete on the 16 June has unfortunately been cancelled, at least for the present time. We have however, arranged to appear at this years Wadhurst Primary School Fete. This could well be to the benefit of the society, as there are a number of pre-teenagers at the school who are more than a little interested in Astronomy. The event is on Saturday 7 July from 12 – 3 pm, although we will need volunteers from around 11 am for setting up. It is hoped that we will be able to run a tombola as well as having a display of telescopes, though the tombola is dependent on the donation of prizes! Any offers of help or prizes please contact Ian Reeves at a meeting or as below. This event has attracted a lot of interest in the past, due to it being located at Sparrows Green where the westbound B2100 meets the B2099.

SOCIETY TELESCOPE

By the time this newsletter is published, the mirror set for the society telescope should have been ordered. It has now been decided that the mirror will be an 8¾” F5.8 Newtonian. As stated last month Peter Prince has agreed to act as custodian for the telescope. The telescope will be available for loan to all paid up members of the society.

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CONTACTS

Chairman: Murray R. Barber 01892 654618 murray.barber@virgin.net

Secretary: Tim Bance 01732 832745 timbance@hotmail.com

Treasurer: Ian Reeves 01892 784255

Editor: Peter Bamblett 01732 368656 pbamblett@hotmail.com

Web site: Rob Cray rob@arcray.net

Publicity: Michael Harte 01892 783292 michael@greenman.demon.co.uk

Dir. of Obs.: Sean Tampsett 01892 667092 sean_tampsett@hotmail.com

Joan Grace 01892 783721

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