Friday 25 September 2015

Meeting Presentations

If you have ever thought about coming to hear the presentations given at regular society meetings but were unsure if it would all just "go over my head" and didn't want to ask (we've all been there!), or perhaps just wondered what our speakers talk about at meetings, you may find the Meeting Presentations pages helpful.

The Meeting Presentations pages contain short summaries of some past talks given to the society;  they give an insight into the kind of talks given at the society.

Lunar Eclipse: Monday, 28-Sep-2015

There is a total eclipse of the Moon on Monday morning 28-Sep-2015.  

The complete eclipse will be visible from the whole of the UK if the skies are clear.  (The MetCheck astronomical weather forecast on Friday, 25-Sep-2015 forecasts clear skies.)  Times of eclipse are:

Time (UTC)
Time (BST)
Penumbral Eclipse begins
28 Sep, 00:11
28 Sep, 01:11
Partial Eclipse begins
28 Sep, 01:07
28 Sep, 02:07
Full Eclipse begins
28 Sep, 02:11
28 Sep, 03:11
Maximum Eclipse
28 Sep, 02:47
28 Sep, 03:47
Full Eclipse ends
28 Sep, 03:23
28 Sep, 04:23
Partial Eclipse ends
28 Sep, 04:27
28 Sep, 05:27
Penumbral Eclipse ends
28 Sep, 05:22
28 Sep, 06:22

This will be an unusual eclipse as it occurs when the moon is at it's closest to the Earth in it's orbit.  Technically this is called the Earth-Moon perigee-syzygy.  Because the moon is closer to the Earth it appears larger than an average full moon.  This will not happen again until 2033.

The full moon nearest the Autumnal Equinox is traditionally known as the Harvest moon and is known for it's brightness.  This year it should be quite memorable:  Since the moon is closer to the Earth it appears larger than an average full moon by about 7% (diameter), 15% (area) and will be totally eclipsed by the Earth.

During a lunar eclipse the moon turns a lovely dark, ruddy colour. The depth of colour depends on how deeply the moon enters the Earth’s shadow. 

Friday 18 September 2015

Free Online Astronomy Courses

An organisation called Future Learn, a subsidiary of the Open University, offers free internet based courses designed by various universities and cultural organisations around the world.  They require little or no knowledge of the subject, just curiosity!

Courses starting soon include:

19-Oct-2015  Moons ......................................................... (Open University)   8 weeks, 3 hrs/week
26-Oct-2015  Gravity! From the Big Bang to Black Holes ... (Open University)   6 weeks, 2 hrs/week
04-Jan-2016   In The Night Sky: Orion ............................... (Open University)   4 weeks, 4 hrs/week

Further details are available in the science section of the Future Learn website:

BAA Meeting: 10-Oct-2015 at St. Asaph

There is a British Astronomical Association Back to Basics workshop on Saturday, 10th October 2015 at St. Asaph.

The event is hosted by North Wales Astronomical Society, Gwynedd Astronomical Society and Llandyrnog Astronomical Society.  The venue is OpTIC Technium, Glynd┼Ár University, St. Asaph  LL17 0JD.

Although aimed at beginners the programme includes talks and workshops on:
  • What astronomy can I do?
  • What equipment and books are needed;
  • Solar Astronomy;
  • Radio Astronomy;
  • Lunar Observing;
  • Imaging for beginners.
There is also a tour of the OpTIC Technium facilities and you will be able to meet the next BAA President - our very own Dr Jeremy Shears.

The cost is £13 for BAA members, £15 for non members.  Details, location map and booking form are here: