Category Archives: Uncategorized

Stuart Grainger, 1935–2017

StuartIt is with great sadness that NEAS announces the loss of our good friend and Observatory Director, Stuart Grainger, at the age of 81.

Stuart had been a member for some 17 years, and served on the committee for much of that, being instrumental in helping to shape the society into the organisation it is today. Every year for the past 5–6 years he had announced he would retire from his role, only to decide to carry on for “just one more year”. His passion and commitment to the society were second to none. Anyone who has attended one of our public lectures, stargazing nights at Great Notley, or school or scout group outreach events is likely to have met Stuart, who continued to attend virtually every one of these up until very recently when ill health prevented him (reluctantly, we might add!) from doing so.

Stuart worked tirelessly to keep our observatory running smoothly, often carrying out maintenance and repairs himself, and was always in attendance at our Thursday night club sessions. Our observing facilities are NEAS’s greatest asset, and Stuart’s contribution to the whole operation cannot be underestimated.

He was a kind and extremely genial man with a fascinating mind and huge heart. His passing leaves a huge hole, both in the society and in the hearts of all who had the pleasure of knowing him.

Rest in peace, Stuart.

March Public Meeting

VenusOn Wednesday 15th March we welcome John Press, who will be giving a talk about Venus.

The second planet from the Sun and brilliantly beautiful in the night sky at the moment, Venus’s beauty belies the inhospitable world that she really is. John will talk about the myths and legends of Venus, describe the planet’s features and the space missions that have been sent to this most hostile of places.

We look forward to seeing you there!

 

Doors open 7.30pm, with the talk beginning around 8.00pm

£2 for NEAS members; £3 for non-members

Henry Dixon Hall, Rivenhall End CM8 3HR

Tea, coffee and refreshments will be provided.

Starfest Date Announced!

StarFest2017

Starfest is back! Thanks to valuable feedback we’ve decided to move Starfest to earlier in the year. Same format as always: 6 speakers, solar gazing, traders, Terry’s model display, artwork, and this year an astrophotography workshop.

Starfest will be on Saturday 15th July at Chelmer Valley High School, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 7ER.

Prices: Members – £8; non-members – £10; students – £5.

Tickets can be purchased via Paypal on our website, just click on the Starfest link on the bar above or by clicking here.

March Stargazing at Great Notley

After a disastrous run of weather-related cancellations this season, we are ever hopeful that on Saturday 4th March we will be able to host the next in our series of public stargazing nights at Great Notley Country Park. From 6.00–9.00pm we will have telescopes set up 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). There is no need to book: just turn up any time from 6.00pm. We can be found somewhere in the vicinity of the main building, near the Sky Ropes.

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, especially in winter.

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. If the weather looks changeable we will usually make the decision by 3pm.

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

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February Public Meeting

spectroscopyThis coming Wednesday 15th February, we will be welcoming Dr John Coffin who will be giving us a talk entitled “First Attempts at Spectroscopy: Detecting the Fingerprints of Stars”. In the talk, John will explain how to use a simple diffraction grating to image the spectra of stars and other objects. He will describe the science behind spectroscopy and the software used to analyse spectra. Using his results he will discuss potential applications of this exciting technique.

We look forward to seeing you there! For hand out click here

Doors open 7.30pm, with the talk beginning around 8.00pm

£2 for NEAS members; £3 for non-members

Henry Dixon Hall, Rivenhall End CM8 3HR

Tea, coffee and refreshments will be provided.

February Stargazing at Great Notley

Update 11 Feb: Stargazing tonight cancelled due to cloud and snow! Again!

On Saturday 11th February, we will be holding the next in our series of public stargazing nights at Great Notley Country Park. From 6.00–9.00pm we will have telescopes set up 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.

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, especially in winter.

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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January Public Meeting – Open Evening

IMG_5202On Weds 18th January our public meeting is going to be an open evening where you will be able to drop in and find out more about the society, about telescopes or astronomy in general. If you had a new telescope for Christmas and are having trouble setting it up, bring it along and we will help you. If you are thinking of buying a telescope and don’t know what is the best one for you, come and ask. If you want pointers as to how to find things in the night sky we are happy to help. Or if you just want to come for tea and a chat, that is fine too.

We are also holding a bring and buy sale, so if you are looking to add something to your collection – maybe an extra eyepiece for that new scope – come along and take a look, or if you have any equipment that you would like to sell, you are welcome to do so.

There will be no set entrance fee on the night – all we ask is for a small donation to the society if you think it has been worthwhile.

Tea, coffee and refreshments will be provided.

Henry Dixon Hall, Rivenhall End CM8 3HR, 7.30-9.00pm

January Stargazing at Great Notley

Update 7th Jan: Regrettably we are forced to cancel stargazing due to a forecast of mist and fog. Our next session at Notley will be on 11th Feb.

On Saturday 7th January, we will be holding the next in our series of public stargazing nights at Great Notley Country Park. From 6.00–9.00pm we will have telescopes set up 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.

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, especially in winter.

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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Quiz Night

imageCome and join us for a little festive fun at our annual quiz night this coming Wednesday 7th December. It won’t all be questions on astronomy so don’t let that put you off! Tea, coffee and refreshments are provided but feel free to bring along some nibbles for your table.

No pre-booking is required, and you don’t need to come as a ready-made team: we are all friendly people and will just team up on the night!

Doors open 7.30pm with the quiz starting around 8.00pm.

Entry is £1 per person

Henry Dixon Hall, RIvenhall End CM8 3HR

November Public Meeting

plutoThis coming Wednesday 16th November, we will be welcoming regular speaker Jerry Workman, who will be giving a talk about Pluto. Once identified as the outermost planet of the Solar System, Pluto was later demoted to the status of dwarf planet. Jerry will give some background to Pluto, and go on to talk about the data from the New Horizons mission, which has sent back fantastic high resolution images of this fascinating world. We look forward to seeing you there!

Doors open 7.30pm, with the talk beginning around 8.00pm

£2 for NEAS members; £3 for non-members

Henry Dixon Hall, Rivenhall End CM8 3HR

Tea, coffee and refreshments will be provided.

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