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MINUTES | 2011

4th February 2011



Chris Suddick (Chairman), Geoff Flood, Colin Eaves, Dave Butterworth, Steve Holt, Kevin Thurstan, Tony Aremia, Steve Saint, Josh Saint, Andy Greenhow, Stephen McHugh, Kevin Rodgers, Karin Rodgers, Geoff Walton, Peter Baugh, Nick Odom, Ged Burbeck 
+ 1 other.
Total 18

Chris introduced Alan Banks, formerly of Macclesfield AS whose talk was entitled:

Observing the 3rd Planet

Alan introduced himself as being not only an astronomer looking up he now monitors satellites, via a dipole aerial and receiver which he has cobbled together himself. Whilst initially tracking the satellites and getting images from archive material he now gets direct or indirect reception using free software (although one has to be licensed).
Initially if man wanted to get a better view of what was happening around him he would climb trees or hills to look around. The next development was to get greater elevation by using balloons then by ‘planes and finally via an array of satellites.
It was in 1957 that sputnik was put up and then in 1958 Explorer1 discovered the Van Allen belt, but at this stage the object was just to spy on the enemy.
Now of course many countries have satellites either in polar orbit or geostationary orbit. Whilst many of these are still used for espionage purposes others are of considerable use to mankind and can study many occurrences on earth.
Alan showed by video or stills some great images showing many applications of the images received, the most common being metrological images which can track and thus forecast the direction of storms or other weather patterns and giving early warning of potential problems. We were shown fluctuations in the ozone “hole” seasonal variations in ice at the poles. An outstanding example of water misuse was indicated by the drying up of the Aral Sea which can clearly be seen drying up over a relatively short period of time.
Seasonal variations are another aspect which can be traced, for instance when trees lose leaves in winter there is less CO2 absorption but there is more pollution via heat generation.
Particularly useful information may be generated in showing the direction of travel of disasters such as forest fires, the flow of floods or volcanic eruptions. 
These and many more were illustrated and clearly this is a fascinating subject.
Although costs are tending to increase anyone wanting further information can look at Alan’s website,

Chris thanked Alan for his talk.

In the absence of Graham Sinagola and owing to the total incompetence of the stand ins there was no milk so we did not get a “teabreak”.

There was no Treasurer’s report
The Secretary drew attention to various meetings of other societies via the FAS website.
The Liverpool AS Imaging Workshop on May 7th 2011
The Wythenshawe Stargazers meeting in Wythenshawe Park on Wednesday 9th March 2011.from 6.00 – 9.00pm.
The Chairman then closed the meeting.

7th September 2011



Chris Suddick (Chairman), Geoff Flood, Tony Aremia, Geoff Walton, Colin Henshaw, 
Roger Livermore, Peter Baugh, Richard Bullock, Norman Thurstan, Steve Holt.


Ged Burbeck, Graham Sinagola.


In the absence of Graham Sinagola minutes of the last AGM were not available.


In each case there was only one volunteer for office and they were thus appointed with the agreement of those present.

CHAIRMAN Chris Suddick

TREASURER Richard Bullock


MINUTES SECRETARY Peter Baugh (in liaison with Geoff Flood)



Richard presented his report (attached) which shows that last year we had 15 paid up members which is just about enough o keep the Society afloat, however, it was pointed out that 2 of those will be leaving the area.  
Items of loans and the repayment of them were a result of Richard Bullock kindly lending money to the Society as a result of problems with the banks.
Rental for the period 2009 - 2011 has not yet been paid to 1st Timperley Scouts. This will amount to a sum of £400.
All in all the Society has a balance of £1285 and Richard forecast that we should break even in the coming Society year.
Richard will contact Mark Crossley to get a cheque signed so that funds can be transferred from the Yorkshire Bank to Barclays.


Geoff reported that most correspondence comes in via e-mail and that these had been forwarded to members. All the current membership of ADAS can be contacted by e-mail with the exception of Tony Aremia who is kept up to date by the Secretary.

Correspondence includes a monthly list of meetings supplied by the FAS and for September they include (locally) interesting meetings at the West Didsbury AS, Liverpool AS and Macclesfield AS. In the future it would be good if ADAS submitted notices.

An e-mail has been received from Nick Odom who has emigrated to New Zealand. He was enthusing about the dark skies and the ability to see a great deal simply using binoculars - he can’t wait for his telescope to arrive.


With the withdrawal from office of Graham Sinagola it is necessary to arrange a programme of speakers from scratch. Graham has the NWGAS list and Peter Baugh will need to get that from him, he will also need contact addresses for the BAA and FAS. The Secretary will liaise with him in this respect. 

The Chairman noted that to keep costs low it is necessary for more members of the Society to give talks and we should aim that half of our meetings should be addressed by members. In October 2011 Peter Baugh will speak about Caroline Herschel so we are looking for another 4 internal speakers for this season.

The possibility of doing a live link with Colin Henshaw is being examined or the possibility of Colin sending a talk on a memory stick for presentation 


Colin Henshaw raised the possibility of increasing membership via articles in local magazines such as the Hale and Altrincham Handbook or View Timperley, ideally when there is an interesting astronomical event happening.

Geoff Flood pointed out that we have a notice up in Timperley promoting ADAS and that Timperley Library has him as a contact for the Society but clearly there is more that could be done. The bigger problem seems to be retaining new members rather than attracting them.

There being no other AGM business the Chairman closed this part of the meeting.

Following a refreshment break Colin Henshaw gave a talk entitled 

Astronomy Without a Telescope

Fist of all Colin showed photographs of the Lunation 1094 which showed the complete changes of the visible moon over a 1month period, a feat that would be virtually impossible in Britain as we never get a whole month that is cloudless. Colin was clearly up at some odd hours to catch these pictures as you get, in this case 7 crescents in the morning and 6 in the evening.
But why do astronomy without a telescope? A number of reasons were given but mainly it’s low cost. having said that a good deal of money can be spent on cameras and ancillary equipment.

The first thing is to learn to find your way around the sky via a star atlas and the BAA hand book which informs of dates and times of happenings. So armed then one can start to do some real astronomy, meteor counts and other data, planetary observation etc.

Colin specialises in Variable Stars and measures variability using the brightness of known stars as an indication of variable brightness’s. Colin explained that Venus and Jupiter are too bright but Saturn and Mars are possible.

Other observation possibilities include Milky Way (perhaps not in Manchester) , the visual appearance of which Colin feels has been neglected, Eclipses when one can measure changes in temperature and humidity at the earths surface, Zodiacal Light. Noctilucent clouds are often seen in this part of the country and are caused by water vapour on meteoric dust

Using binoculars in many cases gives more scope and it is even possible to view deep sky objects. One can observe comets assessing the magnitude size and position of the tail and other aspects.

Colin concluded that Astronomy without Telescopes is low cost, rewarding and can be appreciated by others.

A vote of thanks was proposed by Chris Suddick, who then closed the meeting.

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