Category Archives: Society News

Great Notley Solar Eclipse Viewing – BBC Stargazing Live

Partial_solar_eclipse_s

As many of you are probably aware, there will be an eclipse of the Sun on Friday 20th March, in the morning.

For those of us not lucky enough to be in the Faroe Isles at the time, the eclipse will be partial, with the Moon covering 80+% of the Sun as viewed from Essex. Weather permitting it promises to be a spectacular event and the best eclipse seen from the UK since 1999.

We are planning a public eclipse viewing event at Great Notley Country Park to tie in with BBC Stargazing LIVE, which this year is focused on the eclipse.

 

The eclipse begins around 8.30am, and runs through until around 10.30am.

Unfortunatley SOLAR GLASSES ARE NOW SOLD OUT. Sorry!

We will, however, have solar telescopes out, and a limited number of glasses and viewing strips for you to borrow, so hopefully everyone will have a chance to see something, if the weather behaves!

We hope to see some of you there!

greatnotleypcWith grateful thanks to Great Notley Parish Council for their support!

Advertisements

Rosetta & Philae – The March Public Lecture

On March 18th, we have Dave Eagle doing the monthly lecture on the ground-breaking Rosetta mission. This is at the usual place and at the usual time.

The Henry Dixon Hall starting at 8pm, doors open from 7.30pm.

Details and directions can be found in the Events page

Public Stargazing at Great Notley in January

CO74780_01 stars LOUISE SMITH

On the evening of Saturday 24th January, we will be at the Great Notley Country Park in Braintree for another of our public stargazing nights.

From 6pm to 9pm, NEAS will be at the park with a selection of telescopes set up for you to look through.

If the skies are clear you’ll be able to observe the planet Jupiter and some deep-sky objects and we will be happy to answer any questions you might have, and give advice about how to start out with astronomy.

Everyone is welcome to come along and view through our telescopes. The night is free of charge. Please park in the site’s public car park (there may be a site car parking fee) which will remain open until 9pm. Details of how to find the site are on our Stargazing page here.

We will be set up behind the Discovery Centre building, so just follow the walkway round to find us. Please try to keep torches pointed toward the ground (to preserve people’s dark adaption).

Please be aware that we are dependent on clear weather. If it is cloudy you obviously may not get to see anything! And if it’s really raining we will likely call off the event – so please use common sense before setting out. We will still have a couple of members on site in case you have any questions.

Public Stargazing at Great Notley in December

CO74780_01 stars LOUISE SMITHUpdate 20/12: Current forecast is partially clear, 50% and clearing further later in the evening. Some of us are hoping to be there just before 5.30pm to catch a pass of the ISS at 5.32pm.

On the evening of Saturday 20th December, we will be at the Great Notley Country Park in Braintree for another of our public stargazing nights.

From 6pm to 9pm, NEAS will be at the park with a selection of telescopes set up for you to look through.

If the skies are clear you’ll be able to observe some deep-sky objects and we will be happy to answer any questions you might have, and give advice about how to start out with astronomy.

Everyone is welcome to come along and view through our telescopes. The night is free of charge. Please park in the site’s public car park (there may be a site car parking fee) which will remain open until 9pm. Details of how to find the site are on our Stargazing page here.

We will be set up behind the Discovery Centre building, so just follow the walkway round to find us. Please try to keep torches pointed toward the ground (to preserve people’s dark adaption).

Please be aware that we are dependent on clear weather. If it is cloudy you obviously may not get to see anything! And if it’s really raining we will likely call off the event – so please use common sense before setting out. We will still have a couple of members on site in case you have any questions.

Public Stargazing at Great Notley

CO74780_01 stars LOUISE SMITH

On the evening of Saturday 25th October, we will be at the Great Notley Country Park in Braintree for another of our public stargazing nights.

From 6pm to 9pm, NEAS will be at the park with a selection of telescopes set up for you to look through.

If the skies are clear you’ll be able to observe some deep-sky objects and we will be happy to answer any questions you might have, and give advice about how to start out with astronomy.

Everyone is welcome to come along and view through our telescopes. The night is free of charge. Please park in the site’s public car park (there may be a site car parking fee) which will remain open until 9pm. Details of how to find the site are on our Stargazing page here.

We will be set up behind the Discovery Centre building, so just follow the walkway round to find us. Please try to keep torches pointed toward the ground (to preserve people’s dark adaption).

Please be aware that we are dependent on clear weather. If it is cloudy you obviously may not get to see anything! And if it’s really raining we will likely call off the event – so please use common sense before setting out. We will still have a couple of members on site in case you have any questions.

15th October Public Meeting – Jerry Workman – “Comets in our Solar System”

cometThis month Jerry Workman will be talking about “Comets in our Solar System”.

The public meeting takes place at the Henry Dixon Hall, Rivenhall End on Wednesday 21st May. Doors open at 7.30pm for an 8pm start. £2 for members, £3 for non-members. For further information, see the Events page.

Public Stargazing at Great Notley

CO74780_01 stars LOUISE SMITHUpdate 27 Sept 5pm. The current forecast is for high percentage cloud so viewing is likely to be limited.

On the evening of Saturday 27th September, we will be at the Great Notley Country Park in Braintree for another of our public stargazing nights.

From 6pm to 9pm, NEAS will be at the park with a selection of telescopes set up for you to look through.

If the skies are clear you’ll be able to observe some deep-sky objects and we will be happy to answer any questions you might have, and give advice about how to start out with astronomy.

Everyone is welcome to come along and view through our telescopes. The night is free of charge. Please park in the site’s public car park (there may be a site car parking fee) which will remain open until 9pm. Details of how to find the site are on our Stargazing page here.

We will be set up behind the Discovery Centre building, so just follow the walkway round to find us. Please try to keep torches pointed toward the ground (to preserve people’s dark adaption).

Please be aware that we are dependent on clear weather. If it is cloudy you obviously may not get to see anything! And if it’s really raining we will likely call off the event – so please use common sense before setting out. We will still have a couple of members on site in case you have any questions.

Sky Notes for July 2014 with James Abbott

Mars and Saturn remain fairly well placed for most of July in the late evening skies, but rather low in the South West. By months end Mars is setting at 11pm. The 2 planets close on each other along our line of sight so that by the end of July they are about 14 degrees apart and almost exactly the same brightness. The other bright planets are all close to the Sun in the sky and so are difficult to see.

We are all familiar with the bright planets which along with the Sun form the main bodies of our Solar System. But in recent decades more powerful telescopes, search programmes and improved techniques have revealed that our system, and probably most other star systems in our galaxy, also contain a veritable menagerie of smaller objects in huge numbers. The main groups are asteroids, comets, dwarf planets, and larger icy bodies, as well as dust and debris belts. Then there are the large families of moons around the largest 4 planets.

The old text book strict dividing lines between these families have broken down to an extent. Some objects classed as asteroids can display cometary activity. Some of the moons of the planets are captured asteroids. Ganymede is classed as a moon, but is larger than Mercury. So is Titan – and it has a dense atmosphere and planetary weather. Would Enceladus be classed as a comet if it were in a free orbit around the Sun ?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/space/solarsystem/moons/enceladus_%28moon%29

Perhaps we need a new classification that takes more account of factors including composition and size.

Hubble Space Telescope images of Ceres helped scientists determine it was unique from other objects in the asteroid belt.

Hubble Space Telescope images of Ceres helped scientists determine it was unique from other objects in the asteroid belt.

Throughout July, two of the largest such objects in the Solar System, Ceres and Vesta, will be very close together in the sky. On July 5th they are about a sixth of one degree apart – for comparison that is about a third the width of the Full Moon. This unusually close approach will be visible in binoculars, as will the movement of the two bodies relative to each other as the month progresses. The area to look at is in Virgo, just above Mars and the best time is after 11pm BST in the first half of the month. On July 5th, Ceres is mag +7.6, Vesta is mag +6..3 and the pair are 1.5 degrees South West of zeta Virginis. If you have zeta in your binocular field of view, you will have Ceres and Vesta too. Ceres is currently classed as a dwarf planet and is about 1,000 km in diameter.

Vesta is about half that diameter and is classed as an asteroid.

Full Moon this month is on the 12th, meaning that the second half of the month will be best for dark skies, helped by the end of the all night summer twilight on July 23rd. By the end of the month there is a 2 hour window of dark skies from mid-Essex.  Late July is also a good time of year to watch for meteors. There will be several known showers active, each of them producing modest numbers of meteors, but together increasing the chance of seeing some activity.

The first quarter Moon will be just 2 degrees from Mars on the evening of the 5th July and 3 degrees from Saturn on the 7th, both approaches best seen at about 11pm.

The Milky Way will be ideally placed to be seen in late July from areas away from streetlights. At midnight the subtle glow of billions of stars at great distance from us can be traced out running from overhead in Cygnus down towards the South.

 

Solar Observing at Great Notley – Sat 21st June

IMAG0337

NEAS will be holding a public Solar Observing day at Great Notley on Saturday 21st June, beginning at 12pm midday and running through until around 3pm. This observing session is open to everyone, so please do come along and take a look at our nearest star through specialist solar telescopes. There is no charge (but there may be a site parking fee). We set up in the field behind the main building, a short walk from the public car park. Please park in the public car park.

Please note that observing is weather dependent. If it is cloudy, you may not get to see anything, and if it is raining we will call the event off. If it is cloudy we will have members on site to answer any questions you might have about astronomy.

NEVER look at the Sun with any telescope or binoculars without specialist equipment. Permanent eye damage will result.

  • For more information about Great Notley Country Park and how to get there, click here.

June Public Meeting – Andy Green – “Apollo Missions”

spaceThis month Andy Green talks to us about the Apollo Missions.

The public meeting takes place at the Henry Dixon Hall, Rivenhall End on Wednesday 21st May. Doors open at 7.30pm for an 8pm start. £2 for members, £3 for non-members. For further information, see the Events page.

%d bloggers like this: