MINUTES | 2010
5th March 2010
Meeting held on Friday 5th March 2010 at the 1st Timperley Scout hall.
Chris Suddick (Chairman)
The Chairman introduced the speaker, Richard Bullock to speak on “The Mechanics of (Newtonian) Gravity”. Richard explained that the Greeks were probably the first people to think about gravity. Aristotle, Galileo and Newton were mentioned. The Roche limit was touched on and Richard introduced Einstein’s theories, which presented an alternative to the Newtonian view of gravity.
The Chairman thanked the speaker for his very interesting talk and those present showed their appreciation.
Richard Bullock confirmed that the Society is in funds.
Chris Suddick reported that it was the Committee’s view that ADAS should change its Bank to Barclays. The Yorkshire does not open on Saturdays, whereas Barclays do, and the branch network is much wider. Members unanimously agreed to the change. Chris reported that difficulties have arisen as some cheque signatories are no longer members.
ADAS members will be attending a meeting of the Wythenshawe Astronomy Group.
Members were invited to attend a gathering at Victoria Park, Stretford to mark Earth Hour on 27 March.
The date of the next meeting has been moved to 9 April
There being further business the meeting closed at 9.30.pm
9th April 2010
Meeting held on Friday 9th April 2010
Chris Suddick (Chairman)
The Chairman introduced The speaker for the evening, Richard Tyers. Richard’s topic was: "Herschel to Hubble - the story of Nebulae".
In 1609 Galileo looking at the heavens and wondering about the complexity and variety of the night sky. He saw the nebulae of the Milky Way and tried to understand what it all meant.
Over time others followed in his footsteps - Copernicus in the 18th C then Herschel (1738-1822). Herschel was an amateur astronomer and built his own telescopes some of which were quite large, resulting from these larger ‘scopes he was able to look more closely and systematically at nebulae, concluding that they were unresolved clusters of stars.
In his 1784 paper “On the Construction of the Heavens” he classified nebulae into 5 different groups. He believed that the sun was part of the Milky Way. He discovered over 2500 nebulae, a great leap considering that in 1781 Messier discovered only 103.
Things moved at speed and in 1865, now Sir John Herschel, counted 5709 and in 1887 J.L.E. Dreyer found 7840 - and later 9369. Astronomers did not know how far away or how big - there was no satisfactory method of measuring distance. However in 1838 the German F. W. Bessel used parallax to measure the distance of stars, other than the sun.
Henrietta Leavitt identified periodic luminosity and noted that brighter stars - Cephid variables - had longer periods and the period was proportional to the brightness.
Over time the measurements became more accurate Hertszprung and Russell improved matters and produced the HR diagram of luminosity v temperature and type.
Harlow Shapely concluded the Milky Way was 300,000 Light Years across but measurements over time varied by a factor of 10! Hubble was also out by a factor of 2. There seemed to be some confusion about the size of the Milky Way which depended upon what was considered, at the time, to be included and whether some of the spiral galaxies were in fact part of the Milky Way.
There are still plenty of things that we need to know about the Universe for instance Dark Matter, Dark Energy and it is hoped that the large Hadron Collider will reveal some answers when it gets fully up to speed.
Richard took a number of questions from the audience and was thanked by Chris for his really interesting talk.
Three Astrocalendars have been received from the FAS - these were distributed amongst members. Information from the institute of Lighting Engineers with Guidance Notes for the Reduction of Light Pollution and some promotional leaflets for the Sky at Night magazine have also been received.
The Treasurer was not present but it was reported that we are attempting to open an account at Barclays but some problems are arising with the form filling required. The matter is ongoing.
Chris Suddick and Roger Livermore attended a meeting of the astronomy group at Wythenshawe Park. This is a group of inexperienced people who simply want to look at stars and who really need a little expert help. They meet once a month and have a limited amount of equipment.
Geoff Flood and Ged Birbeck attended the Dark Hour meeting in Victoria Park, Stretford, where Graham Cliff and Christine Lavender had set up telescopes which enabled the public to look at the Moon, Mars and Saturn. The night started cloudy but cleared well later on. Unfortunately Trafford did not extinguish lights in the Borough. It is intended to repeat this event next year. A similar event is being considered to be held in Worthington Park in Sale.
Graham Sinagola has been interviewed, about amateur astronomy, for a local radio station.
There being no other business the Chairman closed the meeting.
4th June 2010
Minutes of the 456th meeting on June 4th 2010
Present were :- Chris Suddick, Steve Holt, Ged Birbeck, Peter Baugh, Tony Aremia, Rachel Ormes, Stephen McHugh, Richard Bullock, Kevin Thurstan, Norman Thurstan, Colin Eaves, Szymon Baradwej.
Total of 12 present.
The Chairman welcomed the members and Introduced Dr Alastair Gunn as today’s speaker, with a presentation entitled “Cosmic Journey”.
Dr Gunn told us he Is an astro physicist and radio astronomer who looks after the VLBI system from Jodrell Bank. He also does a lot of PR for astronomy and has put together several talks for Cunard Cruises including his Cosmic Journey.
The visual journey across the universe was done on free software and is all to scale, using real astronomical data.
We start with an aerial view of Jodrell Bank and are told our trip will be as close to the actual journey as possible. The view pulls back and we travel outwards through our solar system, then past other stars, nebulae, star clusters to the edge of our galaxy. As we pull out further we see our local group and see galaxy interactions, next passing through the Virgo galaxy cluster then we see how it and others come together into super clusters and on to the overall known large scale structure of the visual universe all the way to the CMB. Our return journey then retraces its path slowly back inward until we are once again hovering a few hundred meters above the Lovell radio telescope.
Chris Suddick points out the problems trying to explain astronomical size & scale and how he tries to get the ideas across to groups like cubs and brownies.
Alastair then discussed the creation of his presentation using free software such as Celestia. In all it took him 9 months to make and how the complex mathematics behind some of the graphics needed a large amount of computer time to plot.
We then took a break.
On the restart we had the treasurers report.
It was decided we would not be present at this years Timperley village fair as no one wanted to take on the task.
Kevin mentioned the need to make more use of the website or newsgroup site & that we needed to keep e mail addresses and phone numbers up to date.
The meeting was then brought to a close.
3rd September 2010
Chris Suddick (Chairman), Geoff Flood, Steve Holt, Tony Aremia, Peter Baugh, Colin Eaves, Richard Bullock, Roger Livermore, Steve Leicester.
Total present - 9.
Graham Sinagola, Geoff Walton.
Minutes of the 44th AGM were not available and thus could not be confirmed nor could arising matters be taken.
The Chairman welcomed members and thanked them for their attendance.
All existing Officers have agreed to remain in post and as there were no other proposals for office they were re-elected en bloc. In addition Graham Sinagola has agreed to act in a new position as “Speakers Secretary”.
Thus we have:
Chairman Chris Suddick
Treasurer Richard Bullock
Secretary Geoff Flood
Minutes Secretary Graham Sinagola
Speakers Secretary Graham Sinagola
Copies the accounts (attached) were circulated and Richard explained a number of points regarding them.
First of all he explained that as 2 of the 3 signatories to the Yorkshire Bank account were no longer with us it has been found necessary to make some changes.
An account has been opened with Barclays Bank which, unlike the Yorkshire Bank is open on Saturdays, which makes it easier for the Treasurer to transact business. Although we have completed all the paperwork we are still awaiting finalisation from Barclays – but there should be no problems!
We appeared to run at a loss last year but this was due to paying the backlog on room rental.
An item in the accounts “loan” is money paid out by Richard to cover payments to organisations such as the FAS (where early payment gave us a discount on membership). This money will remain outstanding until the Barclays account is operational.
Room charges have still to be paid for 2010.
Although they don’t appear in the accounts we have a number of pieces of equipment which have a significant nominal value. Kevin Thurstan has a list.
Richard needs details of addresses and phone numbers of Trustees to comply with our charitable status. Geoff Flood and Chris Suddick were asked to supply them to him.
A number of items have come up from the Federation of Astronomical Societies.
1. The Society need to supply a postcode for the FAS website so that ADAS can be located. Geoff will arrange this.
2. We are now covered by the FAS Public Liability Insurance Scheme, which might be important at Star Parties etc.
3. The FAS Convention will be held in Cambridge at 9:00am on 9th October 2010. A change to the constitution is proposed which involves 2 new Officers on the Executive.
The next meeting of NWGAS will take place on Saturday 11th September 2010. The meeting will take place at the Pexhill Observatory, near Liverpool at 13:00 hours. We should be represented – if only to get an updated speakers list!
Manchester AS will hold a meeting in the John Dalton Building of MMU at 7:30pm (e-mail if you wish to attend).
Brother Dr Guy Consolmagno will speak on Trans Neptunian Objects.
BBC Sky at night programme offer bonuses for promoting Sky at Night magazine subscriptions. No interest for ADAS.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
It was proposed that all items of equipment be returned to the Society once a year, at the AGM, so that other members have the opportunity of seeing what is available and so that we can check on the state of the equipment.
There was no other business and a break was taken for refreshments prior to a talk from Chris Suddick.
MYTHOLOGY OF THE STARS
There are many myths but Chris stuck to Greek & Roman mythology, pointing out that in practice they are pretty much the same as the Romans simply nicked the Greek myths and changed the names of the Gods.
Starting with Uranus and Gaea through to the main Gods – which include, amongst others, Saturn Pluto Neptune and Jupiter. Then there were the Planetary Gods of Mar, Venus and Mercury You simply don’t want to know how and with whom some of these were created and who did what with whom! We heard how Gods such as Jupiter begat - by various devious means, often with his wife/sister, Io, Europa Gannymede, Callisto etc and that’s where the moons come from (allegedly).
We also learned how clever Chris is, completing the Telegraph crossword with Augean stables which, of course, Hercules cleaned out by diverting a river.
This was an interesting talk which mixed Ancient mythology with modern astronomy.