Society News

Resignation of the May 12th 2016 elected Secretary

posted 10 Dec 2016, 12:26 by Staggsie Nearchos

The society secretary elected at the AGM on May 12th, David Love, has sadly decided he has to step down from his role. Following this unexpected, unfortunate and sudden change the former communications officer, Chris Nearchou, has stepped in as acting secretary for the remainder of the 2016/17 season. Consequently the assistant communications officer, Max Maltz, will take over as the communications officer.

"The Hubble Constant"

posted 7 Sep 2014, 15:03 by Torbay AS

The new season is almost upon us! We are kicking this year off with a lecture by Martin Bastian on the topic of "The Hubble Constant" on Thursday 11th September and we hope you can join us then.

2014/2015 Programme

posted 6 Jun 2014, 10:46 by Andrew Sellek   [ updated 30 Jul 2014, 04:54 ]

The 2014/2015 programme is now available on the website.

We are also pleased to announce that Dr Chris Lintott, FRAS who was once a member of the society, and returned earlier this year to open the new observatory and talk about Exoplanets (for more see here), has kindly agreed to be the society's patron.

M82 Supernova

posted 24 Jan 2014, 10:58 by Andrew Sellek

On Tuesday evening, staff and students at University College London (UCL) observatory observed a supernova occur in M82 (the light started to reach us a few days earlier but took time for it to brighten). The distance to this galaxy means it happened 11.5 million years ago but it is the closest one observed for 20 years.

A supernova usually marks the end of the life of a large star. With most of the fuel used for nuclear fusion exhausted, the star produces less energy and so the "radiation pressure" can no longer resist the gravitational force. The star collapses in, before the outer layers rebound and are thrown off in a high-energy explosion which creates some of the elements heavier than iron. 

However, this occurrence seems to be a White Dwarf Supernova or Type Ia supernova, where the explosion is caused by a white dwarf, the remnant of a lower mass star having accreted material, often from a companion, until  it became massive enough to trigger a supernova.

The supernova has been assigned the name SN 2014J.

Not only is it an excellent object for scientific research into dark energy by the use of neutrinos, and as a Type Ia supernova a "standard candle" whose exact brightness is known allowing us to measure distances across the universe, but it is well timed for our observational evening next month, since it is one of our focus objects for the session! Currently at magnitude, 11.2, predictions suggest that it will reach peak brightness in the first week of February

The Sky At Night

posted 26 Sep 2013, 14:46 by Andrew Sellek

There have been rumours recently about the BBC stopping filming and showing the Sky at Night after December's episode. While this is yet to be confirmed, and the BBC state that discussions are ongoing about the future of the programme, keen viewers can sign the petition here
to help let the BBC know that the programme still has a large following and deserves to continue.

New Website

posted 15 Aug 2013, 04:55 by Andrew Sellek   [ updated 16 Aug 2013, 14:14 ]

The Torbay Astronomical Society has just launched our newly revamped website.
We hope that you find it  easy and cleaner to use.
We also hope to get a few members contributing to keep the site up-to-date.
Check back here soon for more updates.

Also, you are more than welcome to like us on Facebook and join our Facebook group to get more updates and see more content that our members upload.

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