WADHURST ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY

NEWSLETTER November 2002

INDEX: MEETINGS, OTHER NEWS, CONTACTS,

MEETINGS

LAST MEETING

Summary of the meeting of the Wadhurst Astronomical Society held on 13th. November 2002.
Michael Harte opened the meeting, before introducing the speaker he announced that agreement had been reached with the Pantiles Camera Centre for members to obtain discounts on production of their membership card or current subscription receipt. Discounts would vary according to manufacturer examples being 13% with Orion, less with Meade and probably no discount on CCD's.
Michael then introduced the speaker for the evening, none other than our chairman Murray Barber who was to talk about "Some Astronomical Adventures". Murray started by briefly describing holidays he and Valerie had spent taking telescopes to destinations in France, Wales, the West Country and later La Palma. He described the Dobsonian he owns, which was on display, and how he had designed it himself with ease of transport in mind, by showing the drawings of the more important design features.
During these trips Valerie realised she was not getting her fair share of observing and decided she needed a telescope of her own. An OMC140 which is a Maksutov design was obtained, this also was on display and is another telescope which is fairly easy to transport, and once polar aligned the drive is sufficiently accurate for astrophotography.
Concerning polar alignment Murray pointed out that this was not always as easy as one might think, and recommended the use of the Telrad sight. Murray showed some excellent slides of deep sky objects taken at various locations including some very good ones taken on a trip to La Palma.
While showing these slides Murray was able to demonstrate the considerable improvement obtained by using an IDAS filter to combat light pollution and sky fogging. (A write up on this filter is available in the November issue of "Astronomy Now").
A short series of questions concluded the talk, mostly concerning the possible use of digital photography. Murray said he had recently purchased a digital video camera and would be trying it out soon.
The evening concluded with a vote of thanks from Michael Harte, and Sean gave his usual summary of the night sky for the next few weeks, emphasising that a good display of the Leonids was expected on the night of 18/19th November.

NEXT MEETING

The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 12 December. As usual, the doors open at 7.15 and the meeting starts at 7.30 prompt.
This month is the AGM of the society. The official business will be kept as short as possible but will include the changes to the committee Ian King to take over as Secretary from Tim and Sean has agreed to take over custodian from Peter Prince. Ian Reeves has agreed to remain on as treasurer for another year so that we do not lose both secretary and treasurer in the same year. Be warned we will be looking for a member to take over the role during the coming year.
It is reported that one or two of the members have offered to give short talks at the meeting. No confirmed details at this time, so those members who want to know will have to attend!

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OTHER NEWS

TREASURERS REPORT

The societies accounts are with the examiner and copies should be available for distribution at the December meeting. A substantial increase was thrust on the society during the past year in the form of hall hire fees. Insurance costs rose as did speaker fees, which are based on transport expenses. In the absence of any tombola income the prospects were looking bleak. However, half the gap in events revenue was met by 3 very successful raffles. We ended the year with a modest surplus to carry into the financial year, to the relief of the treasurer, who resisted the prospects of higher annual subs this time around. They remain at 15 for individual members and 20 for joint/family membership. On that note would members, who were unable to make the November meeting through the heavy rain, please send your subs payable to the society to Ian at Broadwater Lodge, Stone Cross Road, Wadhurst, TN5 6LR.

DVD

It's still not too late to put in your sealed bids to the treasurer for the DVD player that has been donated to the society. Please note this is a brand new boxed item and was kindly donated to the society for fundraising purposes. There is a minimum reserve price of 50, which is a bargain for a New piece of equipment! Please get your sealed bids to the treasurer before the December meeting.

STAR PARTY

The next society observing session is due to take place on Friday 6 December. As usual we will be meeting at the Crow & Gate in Crowborough at 7.30 pm before moving of onto the forest.

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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

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

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

Librarian: Joan Grace 01892 783721

Custodian of Equipment: Peter Prince 01892 836284

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COPY FOR THE NEXT EDITION OF THE NEWSLETTER TO REACH THE EDITOR BY 24 DECEMBER 2002