Solar Observing at Great Notley

Today, Saturday 6th August, we will be at Great Notley Country Park with our solar telescopes set up to observe the Sun in complete safety. You will be able to see any visible sunspots, as well as prominences and flares.

Pop along any time between midday and 3pm (approximately) to take a look at our nearest star. We will be setting up in the field opposite the main building, next to the overflow car park. Viewing is weather dependent. If it is cloudy you may not see anything.

NEVER look at the Sun without proper specialist equipment. Permanent eye damage will result.IMG_2256

July Public Meeting – Update

Unfortunately due to illness, tonight’s talk (20th July) has had to be cancelled. Our public meeting will now be more of a social event. Feel free to drop in for a chat, to ask questions, or to bring along that telescope you haven’t been able to use for some advice. We’ll be at Henry Dixon Hall from around 7.30pm until approx 9.30pm. If clear, we may have telescopes set up outside.

Entry will be free of charge.

Apologies for any inconvenience.

July Public Meeting

Our next public meeting takes place on Wednesday 20th July. James Hannan will be giving us a talk about using physics to explain phenomena in observations, and how observations can tell us more about the construction of the universe than you might think.

Tea, coffee and refreshments will be provided. Doors open at 7.30pm with the talk starting at around 8pm.

Henry Dixon Hall, Rivenhall End CM8 3HR

Members £1, non-members £2, children U16 free. All welcome.

June Public Meeting

67POur next public meeting takes place on Wednesday 15th June. Wendy Clark will be giving us a talk entitled ‘Chasing Comet 67P’.

PACA (Pro-Am Collaborative Astronomy) seeks to build collaborations between professional observers & scientists and amateur astronomers, to enhance scientific research. Currently, PACA supports various comet observing campaigns, such as the Comet Integrated Observing Campaign (CIOC), ESA/Rosetta mission to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (CG), and other independent comet campaigns.

Wendy will talk about how she became involved in PACA, and how she obtained, analysed and presented data on Comet 67P.

Tea, coffee and refreshments will be provided. Doors open at 7.30pm with the talk starting at around 8pm.

Henry Dixon Hall, Rivenhall End CM8 3HR

Members £1, non-members £2, children U16 free. All welcome.

Great Notley Solar Observing

On Saturday 11th June we will be at Great Notley Country Park with our solar telescopes set up to observe the Sun in complete safety. You will be able to see any visible sunspots, as well as prominences and flares.

Pop along any time between midday and 3pm (approximately) to take a look at our nearest star. We will be setting up in the field opposite the main building, next to the overflow car park. Viewing is weather dependent. If it is cloudy you may not see anything, and if raining the event will be cancelled.

NEVER look at the Sun without proper specialist equipment. Permanent eye damage will result.

IMG_2256

May Public Meeting

Our public lecture on Weds 18th May will be given by Dr Paul Jerram, Chief Engineer for the Space Imaging Division at e2v. e2v designs CCD and CMOS imaging sensors and sub-systems for space missions by the world’s largest space agencies, including NASA, ESA, JAXA, CSA and most recently for the Russian-led World Space Observatory. The talk – Made in Essex: High Performance Sensors for Space and Astronomy – will cover the different sensors that e2v makes and the missions for which they have been used. While the main focus will be on New Horizons and Rosetta, Paul will also give an insight into some of the other missions where e2v has made a contribution: exoplanets, Mars, the Sun and a look back at Earth.

Tea, coffee and refreshments will be provided. Doors open at 7.30pm with the talk starting at around 8pm.

Henry Dixon Hall, Rivenhall End CM8 3HR

Members £2, non-members £3, children U16 free. All welcome.

Transit of Mercury 2016

Figure 1:  Mercury Transit courtesy of pics-about-space.comOn Monday 9th May, we will be running a public observing event at Great Notley Country Park for the Transit of Mercury. This is a relatively rare event, where the planet Mercury will pass directly between us and the Sun and will be visible as a small disk crossing the face of the Sun. The next transit will occur in 2019 and then not until 2032. This transit will be particularly favourable for viewing in the UK, beginning at 12.12pm BST and running through until 19.40.

The event will only be visible using a specially filtered telescope. Mercury is too small to be seen with the naked eye, so solar eclipse glasses will not reveal anything. DO NOT attempt to view the event using an unfiltered telescope or binoculars – permanent eye damage will result.

We will be in the park from around midday and, weather permitting, we will have members on site for the whole duration. We will have specialist solar telescopes set up and you will be able to see the transit, plus any visible sunspots and prominences.

Feel free to pop along for a look at any point throughout the day. We will, as usual, be happy to answer questions on telescopes and astronomy. Please keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter feeds for the latest updates. If it is raining all day the event will be cancelled. If showers are forecast, we may alter the our timings accordingly. If cloudy, we will likely still be on site in the hope of it breaking up enough to view the Sun.

April Public Meeting – Gary Auker

On Weds 20th April we welcome one of our regular speakers, Gary Auker, who will be giving a talk entitled “Mars: Putting the Jigsaw Together”.

Through the centuries, humanity has pieced together, with ever increasing detail, what the planet Mars is really like: how it may have been in the distant past, and whether it was a possible abode for ancient or current life. From Cassini’s initial calculations made in the 17th Century, through the advent of the space age, to the latest mission to Mars – the Trace Gas Orbiter – we have been able to piece together the information to gather an ever clearer picture of Mars, a world worthy of our continued exploration.

Tea, coffee and refreshments will be provided. Doors open at 7.30pm with the talk starting at around 8pm.

Henry Dixon Hall, Rivenhall End CM8 3HR

Members £2, non-members £3, children free. All welcome.

 

April Stargazing at Great Notley

On Saturday 16th April, we will be holding the next in our series of public stargazing nights at Great Notley Country Park. We will have telescopes set up from 6-9pm and you will be able to view the Moon, stars, nebulae, galaxies and any visible planets. We can teach you about the constellations and how to recognise them, and answer any questions you may have about astronomy or telescopes. The event is free (site parking fee applies). We can be found somewhere in the vicinity of the main building, near the Sky Ropes.

Please note, sunset is not until 8pm. We will be on site to answer questions or offer help with telescopes, but there will be little to see until the sun goes down.

Our stargazing sessions are suitable for all ages (children must be accompanied by an adult). The ground underfoot can be quite muddy after rain, so please bring appropriate footwear, and wrap up warm – never underestimate how cold it can get standing around! Hats, gloves, layers and two pairs of socks are all advised.

If it is raining, the event will be cancelled. If cloudy, viewing may be limited, and we may choose to cancel if we think there is no chance it will clear. Please follow our Facebook and Twitter feeds for the latest updates on the event, or call the park on 01376 347134.

Details of how to get to the park can be found on our Stargazing page.

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March Public Meeting – James Hannan

On 16th March, our Chairman, James Hannan, will be giving us a talk about The Physics Behind a Lunar Base. With attention focused on Mars, the possibility of a base on the Moon has been somewhat passed over. Is a base on the Moon, necessary? What is the likelihood of us being able to go back or even colonise? And who is likely to be the first: Europe, NASA or China?

Tea, coffee and refreshments will be provided. Doors open at 7.30pm with the talk starting at around 8pm.

Henry Dixon Hall, Rivenhall End CM8 3HR

Members £1, non-members £2, children free. All welcome.

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