WADHURST ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY

NEWSLETTER JULY 2001

INDEX: MEETINGS, OTHER NEWS, CONTACTS

MEETINGS

LAST MONTH

The last society meeting was held on 11 July, the speakers were Nik Szymanek and Ian King and the title of the talk was Astronomical imaging on La Palma. Nik gave the first half of the talk and spoke first about the island and the observatory. The images accompanying this part of the talk were all taken using standard photographic film, but the images were far from standard! Unfortunately, words cannot describe the sheer impact of these stunning photographs, suffice to say that the observatory uses many of Nik and Ians photographs for their publicity shots. Starting with images of the observatory, the talk progressed through static astronomical images to those using a mount to track the stars. After a break for refreshments we were treated to Ian’s half of the talk. This dealt with the CCD images that the duo take, firstly those using RGB imaging and then the latest ones using LRGB imaging. These images were also stunning to say the least. The latest idea is to try LRGB imaging using ordinary film, this should result in even more stunning images, which it is hoped the society will be privileged to see in the future.

After the talk, Ian gave a detailed account of the Fete that took place on 7 July (details are below). Sean then gave the now usual constellation talk, this month dealing with Ophiuchus more of the details can be found here. Joan then mentioned the course that she has been studying at Jodrell Bank Observatory (again details are below).

NEXT MONTH

Please note that there is no meeting at Uplands in August. However, we will be holding a star party on Friday 17 August. The Society Barbeque is due to be held on Saturday 1 September. The next meeting at Uplands is on Wednesday 12 September, at the usual time of 7.30. The speaker is Bob Turner, the title has yet to be finalised, but will be either “The Sun” or “New Hubble Images”.

STAR PARTY

The society is holding a star party (weather permitting) on Friday 17 August. The venue is "Jack Fullers" at Oxley’s Green, near Brightling, thanks to Roger Berman for allowing us to use the site. "Jack Fullers" is at the crossroads at Oxley’s Green and Click here for a map of how to get there. All members are welcome, and please bring a telescope if you have one. The society telescope will be on view if it has been completed. Tim is also bringing his 18” Dobsonian and will be pleased to show the views through his new Nagler eyepiece and OIII filter! For any further details or queries, please contact Tim on 01732 832745.

SOCIETY BARBEQUE

The society barbeque is to be held on Saturday 1 September at Greenman Farm, Wadhurst. Greenman Farm is on the B2099 Wadhurst to Frant road. From Wadhurst come past the railway station, under the railway bridge, and Greenman Farm is on the left. Click here for a map of how to get there. All cooking facilities and cutlery etc is provided but please bring your own food (to cook) and drink. Again all members and their families are welcome from around 7 p.m. onwards. The evening will hopefully include observing so please feel free to bring telescopes etc with you. Please direct any queries to Michael Harte on 01892 783292. Thanks once again to Michael and his wife for acting as our hosts for the evening.

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OTHER NEWS

TREASURERS REPORT

The membership of the society has now reached the grand total of 50 members plus 2 students. The accounts stand at Reserve £1018.48 and Current £542.73.

SOCIETY TELESCOPE

Work has now started on the construction of the society telescope, and it is hoped that it will be completed sometime in August. It is possible that it may be available for the Star Party on 17 August, but if not should be in use at the Barbeque on 1 September.

WADHURST PRIMARY SCHOOL FETE

The conditions were appalling, ranging from drizzle to steady rain for most of the event. However, the loyalty of support by both supporters of the school and our own stall holders was commendable.

The results for the society are interesting! The bookstall was a low achiever, we tried with a stock of good clean and new hardbacks and for our efforts were rewarded with £3.87. It is obvious that the market has now been destroyed, at least for the time being. The video sales failed completely. However, this could be because another stall was selling them for 50p each!

The tombola was better news. We finished with a total of £148, only £3 less than at last years event at Uplands. This was no doubt due to the two really impressive/expensive prizes that we had on offer (thanks to Chris Clark and Michael Harte). The remainder of the 12 new prizes were Enhanced White Elephants, we also had 12 prizes left from last years event. From a starting stock of 24 items we now have 4 left over, one of these is the Tasco telescope! The telescope is now in the keeping of Peter Prince who will be holding it for the society along with the slightly larger society telescope!

UNIVERSITY COURSES

Joan has now finished her course at Jodrell Bank Observatory on “Life in the Universe and SETI”.  She is hoping to take the “Introduction to Radio Astronomy” course later in the year.  Other courses on offer from Jodrell Bank are “Exploring the Radio Universe” and “Frontiers of Modern Astronomy”.  Prices range from £105 to £155 depending on the length of the course.  Jodrell Bank is part of the astronomy distance learning consortium together with Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Central Lancashire.  A number of members have now taken courses from the consortium as well as the Open University.  If you ask around at the society meetings I am sure that these people will be willing to give any advice they can.

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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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