Venue: Kindle Centre Belmont Road Hereford HR2 7JE  ( Next to ASDA)       7.00 - 9.00pm

Proposed Programme for 2017/2018

Thursday 7th September 2017 Isaac Newton & the Surrey Pumas – a tangential look at the theory of gravity
Mike Frost (BAA Director: Historical Section).

We are delighted to start the 2016/2017 session off with a visit by Mike Frost - Director of the British Astronomical Association's Historical Section. You can find out more about the BAA Historical Section here. Mike lives in Warwickshire and on his website (here) he declares an interest in chasing eclipses and visiting astronomical sites worldwide - I wonder if he managed to get over to the USA to observe the Solar Eclipse on 21st August. 

Mike is giving us his "offbeat look" at Newton's theory of gravity - featuring hollow Earths, counter-Earths, Trojan asteroids, Kirkwood gaps, Lagrangian nodes, the three-body problem, and those mysterious beasts rumoured to haunt Surrey playing fields and Bodmin Moor.

We had a very entertaining talk from Mike Frost for our meeting at the beginning of September to open the season - he gave us a wide ranging history of gravity. Mike gave a couple of plugs to other events that might interest HAS member - 

  • Friday 13th - Saturday 14th October 2017 - International Astronomy Show (details below)
  • Saturday 25th November 2017 - BAA Historical Section meeting at  Birmingham and Midland Institute (BMI). Five talks given through the day ending with the inimitable Dr Allan Chapman. More information here.

Thursday 5th October 2017The Great American Eclipse – 21st August 2017
A presentation by Society members who were there!
Our October talk will be on the Great American Eclipse given by Chris, Paul and Sue - who were in the right place at the right time, but ... (you'll have to join us to hear their story)

Thursday 2nd November 2017New Horizons at Pluto
Paul Money (Reviews Editor – Sky at Night magazine)
We are delighted to welcome Paul Money to Hereford to talk about NASA's New Horizons craft, its flyby of Pluto on 14th July 2015 and what we have discovered. The NASA New Horizons web site is here. Paul is Reviews Editor for the Sky at Night magazine where he also has a blog (here). He is a Fellow of both the British Interplanetary Society and Royal Astronomical Society and has been awarded the FAS 'Eric Zucker' award for contributions to astronomy in 2002 and the Sir Arthur Clarke Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 for the public promotion of astronomy and space

Thursday 7th December 201710th Annual Webb Lecture: Fourteen Pioneers of Astronomy
Mr Bob Mizon (Co-ordinator – Commission for Dark Skies)

The Annual Webb lecture celebrates the contribution that the Reverend Thomas William Webb made to astronomy. The Reverend Webb was born in Ross-on-Wye, educated at Oxford, ordained and later assigned to the parish of Hardwicke, Hereford. Here he wrote his classic astronomical observing guide "Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes" published in 1859 for which he is best known today. There are several articles online about the Revd Webb - there's one in Herefordshire Life here.

Bob Mizon is best known for his long quest to fight light pollution and has written a number of books on this subject as well as producing an annual "Stargazers' Almanac" which provides a monthly guide to the stars and planets (see here). He has been a central figure in the BAA Commission for Dark Skies (previously known as the Campaign for Dark Skies) since it was started in 1989 (see here for CfDS).


Thursday 4th January 2018Home from Home – a look at the TRAPPIST system of exoplanets
AGM followed by a talk by Christianne Wakeham (University of Worcester)

Christianne is an educationalist with extensive experience in Higher Education, workforce development and community-based learning as a teacher, course designer and mentor. A scientist by training, Christianne has a degree in Applied Physics and an MSc in Medical Science. She is the Programme Leader for the University of Worcester/Bulmer Foundation’s Master’s Degree in Sustainable Development Advocacy and the Postgraduate Certificate in Evaluation for a Sustainable Future. Christianne taught undergraduate science at the Open University for twelve years. She is also a trustee for Madley Environmental Study Centre MESC where we've had the pleasure of meeting her on our various visits and star parties at the centre. 

If you've not come across the Trappist system before - Trappist-1 was found by a team led by a Belgian astronomer who so loved his beer that he managed to create an acronym for their research telescope that brought together his two loves. Have a google if you want to find out more.

Thursday 1st February 2018The High-Energy Universe
Dr Justin Bray (University of Manchester)

We are delighted to welcome Dr Justin Bray, Research Associate at the University of Manchester, to give us a talk covering radio astronomy and high-energy cosmic rays which he's entitled "The High-Energy Universe". 

Justin is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Manchester.  He began his career in Australia where - after dabbling in a range of jobs, including scheduling buses and mining for gold - he completed an undergraduate degree and PhD at the University of Adelaide and the Australia Telescope National Facility in Sydney.  His PhD project involved using the Parkes radio telescope to search for radio pulses from ultra-high-energy neutrinos hitting the moon.

After graduating in 2013, Justin moved to the UK, working at the University of Southampton primarily on algorithms to process data from the Square Kilometre Array, a new radio telescope to be constructed in Australia and South Africa.  In 2015 he came to Manchester, where he is now based out at Jodrell Bank Observatory, where he is developing an array of particle detectors to allow the Square Kilometre Array to study high-energy cosmic rays.

We are most grateful for Justin stepping in at short notice as our scheduled speaker, Dr Rene Breton, was unable to join us but warmly recommended his colleague Dr Bray to take his place.

Thursday 1st March 2018CANCELLED
Due to the snow, the March 1st meeting is cancelled. However, Prof. Robert Walsh's talk "Living with a Star – a new encounter with the Sun" has been rearranged for our 
May meeting.

Thursday 5th April 2018Society Visit to Madley BT Communication Centre and Earth Station.
Please note earlier start time of 6.30 pm.
Further details at society meetings.

Thursday 3rd May 2018Living with a Star – a new encounter with the Sun
Prof. Robert Walsh (University of Central Lancashire)

Thursday 7th June 2018TBA

Thursday 5th July 2018Comet observing: Visitors to our Solar System
Guy Hurst (Editor of The Astronomer magazine)

No meeting in August