BRIDGWATER ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY:

Established 1969

 

Next Meeting : Wed Dec 14th   Quiz & Mince Pies

 

Last changed on 9th Nov 2016.

Welcome to the Bridgwater Astronomical Society Web Site. 
We are a small friendly group of individuals interested in hearing about and looking at the night sky together. 
The monthly meeting is held on the 2nd Wed of the month, from Sept until May (Programme) at Bawdrip Village Hall. 
During the evening, at around 8-30pm we will step outside and do some Stargazing, so bring binoculars and telescopes.   (More Info)
New members of all ages and abilities are most welcome with no obligations on regular attendance. Just come along!
Bawdrip Village Hall and the surrounding car park is fairly wheelchair friendly, so if you would like to join us and you have to use a wheelchair, 
you will be most welcome. Just come along!
Bawdrip Hall Map: http://www.geocities.ws/dbown100/bawdripmap2.jpg   
 
New to Astronomy? then start by looking at some of the links below here:  
 Beginners Corner , Stargazing for beginners, Setting up a simple telescope.
 This week's sky at a glance  shows night by night some interesting things to look for in the night sky
If you find you have questions that can’t be answered use the contact details below and we will try to help.
  
Contact us by email at [email protected]  or telephone 01278 683740 for more information.
               

Please use the links in the four sections below; General, Observing, Space Exploration & Cosmology.

 

  GENERAL:     

  Programme of Meetings                     Programme

  News items                                         News                 

  Contact Details                                   Contact         Facebook Page   https://www.facebook.com/bwastro/timeline

  Sites of interest                                    Links

  Pictures of the night sky                     Photos                Bwastro Members Photo Album

  History of the Society                         History

 

 OBSERVING:   

Observing/Stargazing Evenings.     Observing 

Weather                                             Met Office Weather

New to Astronomy? Some basics        Beginners Corner

Setting up a simple telescope.                  Setting

Photography  Basics                            Photography  

 

Viewing the Night sky:  This is a large section below:

 

Sky & Telescope: skytonight ataglance  Very helpful night by night reminder of what is on view, for the week ahead.

 

Heavens Above.  Lots of info including a useful  night sky chart with planets & the  moon. You can also change the date and time to suit your needs to plan your observing on a future date.  This chart is set for Parchey Bridge, Chedzoy, our observing site.  

.heavens-above.com/skychart

Sky Diary  from the Society for Popular Astronomy…. http://www.popastro.com/skydiary/index.php

 

CalSKY  calsky.com  Customise it to your own location, then generate your own observing list for the evening.

 

BBC Science night sky page…. This link has now been removed as the web site appears to be constantly out of date.

Astronomy Now                      astronomynow.com                     

Space.com……                           http://www.space.com/skywatching/                       Skywatching

                                                        http://www.space.com/spaceflight/                         Spaceflight

                                                http://www.space.com/search-for-life/                 Search for Life

News Now Astronomy              Newsnow.co.uk/h/Science/Astronomy

Universe today                            Universetoday.com/

 

 

The Milky Way Galaxy :

http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/galaxy.html  Atlas of the Universe: Tip: Zoom in several times to see the objects nearest to the Solar System in a way you’ve probably never seen them before.

http://astronomyonline.org/OurGalaxy/Introduction.asp?Cate=OurGalaxy&SubCate=OG01  Astronomy on line .org

http://earthsky.org/space/does-our-sun-reside-in-a-spiral-arm-of-the-milky-way-galaxy  Where are we located in the Milky Way Galaxy?

 

 

ISS  ISS      Iridium Flares

 

Sun:  BAA Solar page   

 

Moon:  Moon Map  BAA Lunar page. Virtual Atlas: http://www.astrosurf.com/avl/UK_index.html

http://www.lunar-occultations.com/iota/iotandx.htm 

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/objects/moon

 

Planets  skyandtelescope.com/observing/planets  Various info on planetary observing.

  Mars: Interactive Mars map. Set date & time to see what features might be visible on the face of the planet.

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/objects/javascript/3307831.html#

 

Asteroids(minor planets)

S&T Asteroid page  http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/objects/asteroids

Nasa Near Earth Object Programme http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/

Heavens above: http://www.heavens-above.com/Asteroids

Comets:  

http://cometchasing.skyhound.com/                                         Skyhound comet pages

http://www.heavens-above.com/Comets                                  Heavens above Comet Page

http://www.ast.cam.ac.uk/~jds/                                               BAA comet pages

http://kometen.fg-vds.de/fgk_hpe.htm                                     German comet pages

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/objects/comets   S&T comet pages

 

Meteors: http://www.theastronomer.org/meteors.html   

 

Deep Sky: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/objects/deepsky

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey  http://www.sdss.org/

 

Radio Astronomy:  Jodrell Bank http://www.jb.man.ac.uk/ 

 

       SPACE  EXPLORATION:          

SPACEFLIGHT NOW:  http://spaceflightnow.com/ Shows all the latest goings on in space 

 

NASA :      jpl.nasa   A definitive list of and details of all missions that are still ‘live’.

 

MARS:      http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/  Curiosity rover

                   Marsrovers  There are 2 Mars Rovers still on Mars, but only one still operating.

                  

 

SATURN:  Cassini  Various close fly by’s of Titan, other moons, & Saturn itself. 

 

OTHERS      dawn    Dawn launched Oct 2007, Dawn visited the Minor Planets Vesta (Aug2011) & will visit Ceres (Feb2015)

 

         COSMOLOGY              

   Nasa site on Cosmology         http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/m_uni.html  

   University of Cambridge site   http://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/user/gr/public/cos_home.html

   The Official String Theory Web Site        http://www.superstringtheory.com/cosmo/index.html

   UCLA site                                          http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/cosmolog.htm

 

                                                 

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BAS News:  If members have other items of news to include, write to [email protected]

 

 

150916  A very successful first meeting was had at our new location Bawdrip Village Hall last night. After welcoming members, including 4 new comers, over coffee tea & biscuits, we looked at the various objects that we might see in the night sky, using a PC projector and screen. Then around 8-30pm we all went outside, on a mild very clear evening and had glorious views of the Moon, Mars, Saturn, the double double in Lyra, and M13 in Hercules. A number of people took turns to try their hand at finding objects using the Society’s telescope, a 150mm f7 Newtonian reflecting telescope. New members Martin & Derek were assisted by Terry in getting their Celestron Goto Telescope working properly and they then enjoyed fine views of the objects mentioned above.

 

110216 The Chairman circulated an important email on 080216 to members for discussion, outlining some proposed changes to the society, including change of venue, changes to the content of the monthly meetings, and curtailment of a separate stargazing evening on a Friday. Subsequently at the meeting on 100216, the 8 members present had a lively discussion about the points raised by the letter and several proposals were made. Anyone not included on the circulation list, and who might be intending to resume attendance at Society meetings in the near future should note that there will be a change of venue with the AGM being held at a new location on Wed June 8th.

 

150116 Yet another disappointing turnout for a stargazing evening, with only 3 members turning up!

 

041115 1)Telescope for sale: Meade  ETX-90EC Astro telescope. Contact Mrs.L.A.Gold on [email protected]  Cheddar area.

 

            2)LiveView Photo and Optics Show 2015. Date: Sunday 22nd November, Location: The Cedars Inn, Roundswell, Barnstaple, EX31 2HE. The show runs from 10.30am until 4.30pm and admission is completely free. Parking areas will be clearly marked within the grounds of The Cedars Inn,

 

 

311015 Telescope for sale: Orbinar refractor 1000-90, (90mm Aperture refractor with 1000mm focal length.) Eq mount with slow motion hand controls. Contact Graham in Taunton at [email protected] Offers around £100.

 

211015 Open University courses https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/categorieshttps://www.futurelearn.com/courses/categorieswww.futurelearn.com/courses/categories . (from Ron Cobain) 

 

130815 Perseid Meteor report Wow what a great night. Started slow, nothing much happened from 9-30 till about 10pm then wallop, a stunningly bright slow moving Perseid moving across our eastern sky left a trail for at least 10 seconds. You could have gone home there and then and been quite satisfied with what you had seen but for those that stayed on till 11-30 we saw a further 60 of varying brightness and speed. As we drove down off the Quantocks the skies clouded over, perfect timing. Thanks to all those that came and made it a great evening.

 

120815 Telescope for sale: Celestron 11 inch GPS, I'm asking £ 950. Originally paid £2,800 plus £500 for eyepieces. Bought maybe 5 years ago and used maybe 3 times. Note no power pack. If interested contact Graham Davis via the visitor posts on the BWASTRO Facebook page.

 

300715  A web site to look at, courtesy of Nigel W. http://joshworth.com/dev/pixelspace/pixelspace_solarsystem.html

 

230515 Note that the BWASTRO website, still accessed by entering www.bwastrosoc.org.uk has now been moved from Tripod to Geocities, which should mean no more adds!

 

130315 No Stargazing planned for tonight. No one showed any interest at Wednesday’s meeting!

That will be it now until later in the year unless someone wishes to organise something.

 

110315 Collision estimator site  http://down2earth.eu/impact_calculator/

 

160215

1: In the night sky on Fri Feb 20th after sunset look for the dim planet Mars close to the brilliant planet Venus. Moon nearby as well. Look in the west, probably need binocs to see Mars.

2: 3rd March 2015 Look on the evenings of 3/4/5 March to see the planet Uranus slip past Venus. You will definitely need a telescope for that though.

3: Book Friday 20th March in your diary for an Eclipse of the Sun. Info given here is for Cardiff, which should be good enough for us to set our phone alarms by! Looks like about 88% of the Sun should be eclipsed by the Moon. Remember: Only look at the Sun through proper Eclipse glasses or electric welders shield glass. Don't take ANY chances with your eyesight. 08.22 to 10.37hrs

 

160115 Stargazing evening. A disappointing turnout of only 5 members plus one guest. A fine clear but cold evening gave us wonderful views of Comet Lovejoy Q2, Orion Neb (M42) and Jupiter rising steadily in the east.

 

 

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                           PHOTOS:

 

 Go below for a small selection of pictures to give you some ideas for your own attempts.

Some technical information is given with each picture. Some pics are taken using ‘old’ methods with film, whilst others are taken with digital. Whatever equipment you have, you will be able to do something.  For the basic techniques go to  Photography    

Look at the following section….. Comets  Stars  Moon

 

To look at pictures taken by some of our members……..

Go to       Terry's  Astrophotos      Matt’s page           DB's Pics  

 

          BWASTRO Members photo Album

Is located on Microsoft Skydrive at

http://cid-0c4da7e0d06dcff5.skydrive.live.com/browse.aspx/New%20album?view=thumbs

It’s your album so if you want a photo displayed here, send it to [email protected]

 

 

  

 

COMETS     

 

 

Comet Hale Bopp

 

 

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29/03/97 :  3mins with 50mm f1.8, Nikon camera guided by 10"scope.Colour corrected to remove light pollution causing a yellowish cast caused by the town of Bridgwater. Film:Ectachrome 100ASA push processed  to 400ASA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comet Hale Bopp 12/04/97  20secs at f4.3(prime focus) through 250mm Aperture reflector on HP5 film uprated to 1600ASA. Photo by DB.

 

 

 

STARS

 

Orion Nebula & Horsehead.

 

 

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10min @ f2.8 using 135mm telephoto on a camera, mounted piggyback on a guided telescope. As well as M42, the Orion Nebula, you can just make out the dark shape of the Horsehead just below the faint star below the left hand belt star .                                                       

The Horsehead, difficult visually, but relatively easy to photograph.

 

 

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Jupiter in Leo.(11/06/04) A 15sec unguided digital shot. ISO set at 400, exposure time , f No,  & focusing manually set. Noise reduction set at ON. Camera used Olympus C765, set on tripod with self timer to take the photo. Photo by DB.

 

 

 

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031208   The Moon, Venus & Jupiter, from left to right, seen across Radipole Lake at Weymouth in Dorset.

For the technically minded, digital photo, 1 sec at F2.8,  ISO 400

 

 

 

MOON

 

     ‘Shoot the Moon’

 

 

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 A simple photo that anyone might try!  Digital camera pointed into the eyepiece of 11 x 80 binoculars aimed at the moon. Or use an SLR set at 1/125sec, with the lens wide open set to infinity.

 

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This is a digital shot at 45x  through a 10”Newtonian with the camera held up to the eyepiece.

 

 

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Same as previously but now at around 70x                   

 

 

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                                      And then some more magnification (but a different part of the moon)

Photos by DB.

 

 

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Bridgwater Astronomical Society : Programme for 2016/17:

 

The Monthly Meeting is on the 2nd Wednesday of the month, from 7-15pm. If the weather is fair there will be a stargazing session from 8-30pm, Sept – March.

 

 

Wed Dec 14th   Quiz & Mince Pies

In the night sky Orion is rising in the ESE. Unfortunately the full Moon is also rising not far from it almost due East. A full Moon is so bright it usually blots out almost all other things in the nearby night sky.

 

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/sky-at-a-glance/  This week’s sky at a glance, from The Sky & Telescope mag.

http://www.geocities.ws/dbown100/MoonmapNorton.jpg  A very useful Moon map from Nortons Star Atlas

 

Wed Jan 11th 2017.   Featured constellations: Auriga & Perseus 

Got a telescope for Christmas but can’t figure how to put it together or how to use it? Bring it along to our January meeting and we will get you up and running. Orion is rising moving across to the south as we begin the meeting.

The Moon (1 day before full) is above it in Gemini.

 

Wed Feb 8th 2017       Featured constellation: Orion.  Moon 3 days before full is in Gemini

 

Wed March 8th 2017  Featured constellation: Gemini  Moon 4 days before full is in Cancer

 

Wed April 12th 2017   Talk  TBA

 

Wed May 10th 2017    Talk TBA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CONTACT:                    For further information write to [email protected]

                                              Telephone : 01278 683740

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OBSERVING / STARGAZING 

 

 

A Stargazing session will be held after the meeting at around 8-15pm - 8-30pm at Bawdrip Village Hall car park.

We may also go outside to observe during the 30 minutes before the meeting starts proper at 7-30pm, and possibly during the evening if something important is happening.

 

Bring your binoculars, telescopes, and star charts and red not white lights if you have them.

 

Laser pointers are not allowed, and smoking or vaping is not allowed in the hall or the private car park area around the hall, and no dogs please.

 

You can use some of the links from the Observing section above, to plan your viewing, such as  ataglance to check what is happening from night to night.

 

 

 

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Links to sites of interest to the Astronomer

 

If you have some favourite links why not share them with others. Please email to bwastrosoc at above address.

 

Members Favourite Links:

http://www.astronomycast.com/

http://www.jodcast.net/

http://www.slackerastronomy.org/wordpress/

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/

http://www.lpod.org/

http://www.planetary.org/home/

 

 

Pages for Observers: 

 

This weeks night sky                                                  http://www.skypub.com/sights/sights.shtml        

Comet Pages                                                               http://www.skypub.com/sights/comets/comets.shtml         

Comet Observation Pages                                           http://encke.jpl.nasa.gov/  

Satellite Observing                                                      http://www.skypub.com/sights/satellites/satellites.shtml

Heavens above                                                            http://www.heavens-above.com/

The Astronomer                                                          http://www.theastronomer.org/index.html

BBC  Science & Nature : Space                                  http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/space/myspace/

Astronomy Now magazine                                          http://www.astronomynow.com/

Sky at Night Mag                                                         http://www.skyatnightmagazine.com/ 

The Society for Popular Astronomy                            http://www.popastro.com/home.htm

 

Telescopes  & telescope making:

Picstop.co.ul                                                                http://www.picstop.co.uk/telescopes

Skys the limit (Chinese Imports)                                  http://www.skysthelimit.org.uk/ 

Sherwoods                                                                    http://www.sherwoods-photo.com/homepage.htm

First Light Optics (Exeter)                                           http://www.firstlightoptics.com/

MC2scopes (Frome)                                                                     www.mc2scopes.com   

 

UK Telescopes                                                            http://www.uk-telescopes.co.uk/index.htm

Broadhurst Clarkson & Fuller Ltd                               http://www.telescopehouse.com/acatalog/about_us.html

David Hinds                                                                http://www.dhinds.co.uk/ 

AWR Technology                                                                        http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/awr.tech/

Beacon hill telescopes                                                  http://www.beaconhilltelescopes.mcmail.com/   

 

Societies & Groups:

British Astronomical Assoc                                          http://www.britastro.org/main/

Bristol Astronomical Society                                         http://www.bristolastrosoc.org.uk/

Crewkerne Astro Soc                                                     http://www.cadas.net/

South Som Astro Soc                                                     http://ssas.fateback.com/home.htm

Charterhouse Centre                                                       http://www.charterhousecentre.org.uk/

The North Devon Astronomical Society                            http://www.ndastros.org/

 

Misc.

Hubble Heritage Gallery of Images                                http://heritage.stsci.edu/public/gallery/galindex.html

Hubble Space Telescope  Public Pictures                       http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/pictures.html

ESO Online Digitized Sky Survey                                     http://arch-http.hq.eso.org/dss/dss

Cassini Huygens Mission to Saturn/Titan                           http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/index.cfm

JPL Nasa home page                                                                                  http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/      

Nasa home page                                                                                          http://www.nasa.gov/

ESA                                                                                                               http://www.esrin.esa.it/export/esaCP/index.html                    

 

 

 

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Setting up and using your telescope.   

(Please note that these are brief notes relevant to simple telescopes without electronic GoTo drives etc.)

 

The two most common questions we get asked from someone new to astronomy are usually these

1. " I've just bought a new telescope but I can't find anything with it"

2. "I've just bought a new telescope but I don't understand how to set it up. How do I set it up so that I can find something ?"

 

The first question is usually associated with actually pointing the telescope at an object, and is usually to do with the finder scope not being properly aligned with the main telescope tube. In daylight, point the telescope at a distant object such as a tree or building and then without moving the main telescope, adjust the finder so that the centre of the cross hairs points at the same object that you lined the telescope up on. If you can’t understand how to do this, then forget about the finder scope and at night time try looking up along the length of the main telescope tube to line it up on the object that you want to view. Make sure that the telescope is first set up with the lowest power of eyepiece ( focal length of 20mm or more).

 

The second question is more complicated and is to do with lining the telescope mount up with the sky. If your telescope has an 'Equatorial mount' the polar axis should be pointing towards the Pole star Polaris. To do this look at your mounting and identify the 2 movements that it has. Each movement is around a shaft or spindle. One of these, the polar axis can usually be tilted up or down at an angle to point at the pole star. If there is a scale then it should be set at your latitude(approx +52degrees for Bridgwater). Now when you take your telescope outside, position it so that polar axis points up at the pole star, or if you can't see or identify the pole star, set that axis pointing northwards using a compass. This should be good enough for simple observing.

 

IMPORTANT TIPS:

a) Always start off with the lowest magnification eyepiece in the telescope. This will be the one with the longest focal length such as 20mm or 25mm, and gives a wide field of view most suitable for initially finding things

b) Check before use that the small finder telescope is still lined up with the main telescope. Use a bright star or the moon.

c) Commence viewing on a bright object so that you can get the eyepiece in focus to start with. It will then be easier when you move on to fainter objects.

d) If you have an equatorial mount, line the polar axis up with the North Star, Polaris, as best you can.

 

If you are still stuck with something then send us an email [email protected]

 

 

Basic photography.

By far the easiest object to start with is the moon. You can just hold almost any type of camera to the eyepiece of your telescope and try pressing the shutter. The lens of the camera must be looking into the telescope eyepiece. Focus the moon in the eyepiece before you take your picture, and only use a low magnification eyepiece.

If there are settings on your camera that you can adjust, set focus to infinity or  max distance,  lens  ‘F’  no to lowest such as f2.8, and shutter speed to about 1/125th. Otherwise if your camera is automatic, let the camera do the work and keep your fingers crossed.

 

Another interesting object to consider, but without your telescope this time, and only if you have a camera with at least a 10x zoom facility, is to try a picture of Jupiter and it’s moons. You will need your camera tripod mounted, zoomed in to max setting. If possible use manual focussing, set to infinity, and manual exposure time set at half a second to begin with. Experiment with shorter or longer times to reveal the moons. Jupiter will be over exposed and will show no detail other than a bright blob of light.

 

Other objects will not normally be possible unless your camera shutter can be left opened for more than several seconds, and then the camera must be securely fixed to something on the telescope, and the telescope needs to have a motor drive running so that it keeps pace with the star movements. With this method it is possible to take pictures of the planets, or close ups of the moon.

 

If you have a tripod you may be able to have a go at photographing the stars in the night sky using just your camera lens and a time exposure to collect their light.

First aim your camera in the required direction. As before, set focus to infinity or  max distance,  lens  ‘F’  no to lowest such as f2.8, and shutter speed to 10 seconds or more. If automatic, make sure the camera is set for a time exposure of at least 10 seconds if possible. Shorter times will do but you will only capture the brighter stars in your photo.

Now comes the tricky bit. If there is a self timer button use this to fire the shutter after you have pressed the button. That way you will not shake the camera during the time the lens is open. If not you will have to try and do it manually.

Depending on your camera and specifications you should be able to photograph all stars that can be seen with the naked eye, and possibly some fainter ones. Have a go at the planets among the stars, minor planets, comets, etc. Good Luck.

 

For a detailed article on processing webcam images of the planets go to http://www.skyandtelescope.com/howto/astrophotography/How_to_Process_Planetary_Images.html

http://www.threebuttes.com/RegistaxTutorial.htm

http://www.davesastro.co.uk/techniques/registax_tutorial/index.html

 

 

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BEGINNERS CORNER.

 

Q:  Do I need to buy a telescope?

A:  No not at all. In fact until you decide what it is that interests you in the night sky it is difficult to choose which telescope will suit you best . So to start with, use your eyes, or perhaps a pair of binoculars if you have some, or can borrow a pair, or borrow the Society’s 150mm reflector if you feel confident of having a go.

 

Q:  OK so what can I see with just my eyes?

A:  Well  a whole night sky covered with stars, constellation patterns including the constellation signs of the zodiac (Aries, Taurus, etc)  the moon and planets including, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, but you will need to know where to look ( Click on the Heavens Above link in  Viewing the Night sky’ to get a star chart that includes planet positions).

Then there are shooting stars (or meteor showers as they are known to astronomers), orbiting earth satellites such as The International Space Station Int' Space Station(ISS), Eclipses of the Sun & Moon, Transits(events where objects pass in front of other objects such as the sun or planets), comets…..

 

Q: And what can I see with binoculars?

A; Much, much more. Fainter stars (The bigger the binoculars or telescope lens, the fainter are the stars that you can see), lots of details on the moon (such as its Mares or Sea’s and the many craters that pockmark its surface), Jupiter’s 4 brightest moons (but you will probably need to steady your binoculars on a post or a wall), Saturn’s rings (You can just about make out the elliptical shape of the rings in 7 x 50 binoculars), star clusters, nebulae, galaxies, minor planets(asteroids), fainter comets,  2 more planets of the Solar System  Uranus and Neptune….

 

Q: And what are those funny numbers they always show when advertising binoculars?

A:  Well the numbers are usually something like .. 7 x 35,  or 10 x 50.  The first number, such as 7 or 10,  is the magnification, or how much closer an object will look compared to the eye. The second number, such as 35 or 50, is the size of the lens in millimetres (mm). Remember the answer in the question above… The bigger the binoculars or telescope lens, the fainter are the stars that you can see.

 

Q: All very well, but do I really need binoculars or a telescope?

A: No not at all. Some people are quite content reading about all aspects of astronomy, others like to follow what’s happening regarding space travel and space probes, some like to carry out calculations to prove or disprove theories, and there are many other things that can be done without optical equipment.

 

 

Stargazing for Beginners.

 

 

So ….  moving on to doing some Stargazing, first you need to be able to identify North & South. If you have a compass then use that, or if you can already recognise the Plough use the chart below to identify the Pole Star, which is almost due North.

 

 

 

 

Once you have found the Pole Star you can use your new found knowledge then to find other things….

 

 

 

Having found Cassiopea, you might then be able to find the square of Pegasus.

 

 

 

 

Then that leads you to Andromeda and the Spiral Galaxy M31 (marked as ‘nebula’ on the chart below) that looks like our own Milky Way Galaxy.

 

 

 

 

Things can soon get quite complicated though. Take a look at the next chart!

 

 

 

 

 

So….. Don’t panic!  Here is an all sky star chart that you can download, print off and take outside.

 

 

 

 

So how do you use it?  Look at it carefully and you will see ‘South’ at the bottom. Just above it is marked ‘Sept’, short for September, and to the left

of ‘Sept’ is a ‘20’ indicating the position for 20th September. The short note at the right tells you the chart is for midnight for the dates shown.

So if you went outside at midnight on 20th Sept, looked South and held the chart up in front of you, that would be the view of the night sky that you

should see. If you go out 2 hours earlier at 10pm you need to rotate the chart slightly so that the Roman numerals XX11 are at the bottom.

 

 

 

 

Similarly if it’s October 20th then you need to rotate the chart the other way until ‘20 Oct’ is at the bottom. Again if the time is 10pm instead of 12pm

then rotate the chart by 2 hours on the upper scale from ‘11’ back to ‘O’. If it was 11pm you would move it to ‘1’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A brief History of the Society.

 

1969  Spring/ Summer,  Formation of the Bridgwater Astronomical Society. Five Members present.

 

1969 3rd Nov. There were seven members present, plus a new member Mr Buckland. This brought the total membership of the Society to 11. Mr Charles Key was the chairman, Mr K Combes the Vice Chairman, Mr Duncan Bee was the secretary and Mr Gentile was the Treasurer.

 

1969 Dec.  The Society has 15 members.

 

1970 6th Jan.  There were seven members present. Additional officers elected were Mr Stone as Press Officer and Mr Livingstone as Librarian. It was also agreed that members should pay 6d a week to cover the cost of the clubroom.

 

1970  4th Feb.  A secretary’s report exists. It mentions that ‘the club has now been in existence for just over 6 months and has added 14 members to the original 5.’ ‘The last 6 months have seen a change of meeting place from the Bridgwater Squib to the Fountain Inn’

 

1971 June WL Buckland becomes the secretary.

 

1972 Sept Mr G Jarvis makes his first appearance.

 

1973 Sept Mr D Bown makes his first appearance.

 

1973 Oct  Ken Coles had been nominated as the Society’s representative to be trained in the use of the Charterhouse telescope.

 

1977: Oct 12th The first Observational Evening at Parchey Bridge arranged by Mr D Bown for the following Friday.

 

1980: June 11th  Mr G Jarvis becomes Treasurer after Mr Coles relinquishes the position.

 

1982: June 9th  Mr D Bown replaces Mr W Earp as Deputy Chairman.

 

1984: June 13th Mr D Bown succeeds Mr K Coombs as chairman.

 

1984:  Sept 12th First meeting in room D10 at Bridgwater College, Bath Rd.

 

1985: Nov 18th  Mr Bown, the chairman and provider of monthly notes, presents notes stating that Halley's comet will be near the Pleiades in a few days time.

 

1987: Jan 21st Mr Earp tells of a letter received from Mr Dowling in Australia, commenting on Orion being upside down. Also, this meeting had to be postponed for a week due to the severe arctic weather.

 

1987: Oct 7th Patrick Moore gives a lecture at the BCL Social Centre.

 

1998: 10th June Walter Buckland retires as secretary after 27 years, Gordon Mackenzie takes over the role.

 

1999: Aug 11th  Members travel to various places to view the Total Eclipse of the Sun.

 

 

 

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Introduction Continued……. (return to Start of Introduction)

 

 

The meeting schedule is roughly as follows:

19.00hrs The hall is opened. Set up tables, projector etc.

19-15:  Tea, coffee and biscuits (50p): Informal  discussions about  anything astronomical before the start of the meeting.

19-30:  Official start of the Meeting: An informal discussion about anything in the News.

19-40:  Any matters arising from the previous meeting, any other business, and any communication received.

19.50   A general look at what is visible in the night sky using  The sky & Telescopes ‘This weeks sky at a glance’, and the ‘Sky Notes’ of the BAA (British Astronomical Association)

20-00:  Then, a more detailed look at a particular constellation, the Moon or Planets, the objects that we intend to look at outside.

20-30:  We then go outside to do some stargazing or may continue informal talk inside if the weather is insuitable.

The Society has a basic 6” reflecting telescope, that is brought to each meeting for members wanting to try out a telescope. Do come along and have a go if you have never tried one before. It is really quite easy.

21-00:  Official closure of the meeting and locking up of the hall or meeting place.

 Members can if they wish, stay on a longer to carry on observing outside if the sky is clear.

 

Bawdrip Village Hall and the surrounding car park is fairly wheelchair friendly, so if you would like to join us and you have to use a wheelchair, you will be most welcome to come along.

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We operate a No Smoking and no Laser Pointers policy at both our meetings in the hall and during Stargazing in the Hall Car Park.

 

Get more info from [email protected]

 

From September 2016:

£5 Annual membership subscription, and £1 per meeting.