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The Local Group

Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Field Theory - What do they mean and what can they do for us? ~ Prof. Claudia Eberlein Univ of Sussex

Professor Eberlein will give a brief introduction to the underlying concepts of quantum theory, explain some of its perceived "weirdness" , and discuss its most common applications in both modern science and everyday life. While not the right person to discuss detailed astronomical and cosmological applications, she will point out what they are (and who else to invite for future talks). Professor Eberlein is happy to work very interactively with the audience and give more attention to questions of particular interest. 


This Month In Astronomy ~ July 2018 ~ Simon and Justin Allen

Dust storms and dumplings

Exploring the Universe with the James Webb Telescope ~ Dr Stephan Wilkins (Univ. of sussex)


The Webb Telescope, due for launch in 2021, is a flagship IR observatory under construction by the European Space Agency, NASA, and the Canadian Space Agency. Webb will provide an unprecedented improvement in sensitivity and resolution allowing it to revolutionise many fields of astronomy from the study of objects in our own solar system to observations of the very first galaxies to form in the Universe


This Month In Astronomy ~ September 2018 ~ Simon and Justin Allen, David Pulley

A review of some interesting astronomy news and a look at recent images taken by members.

Amateur Astronomer Participation in the TESS Exoplanet Mission ~ Dennis M. Conti (AAVSO)

As the next step in our discovery of exoplanets, TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) was launched on April 18, 2018. TESS is a follow-on to the very successful Kepler space telescope, which itself has discovered over 3,000 exoplanets. However, unlike the small patch of sky that Kepler focused on, TESS will be conducting an all-sky survey of nearby stars.

Follow-up observations by amateur astronomers will be an important part of the TESS pipeline to help distinguish true exoplanet transits from false positives, as well as to help refine their ephemerides.

This talk will describe how amateur astronomers can participate in the TESS exoplanet mission and thereby help adDavid Pulleyvance our knowledge of these distant worlds

This Month in Astronomy ~ Tony Baxter, Sebastian von Harrach,

Gravational Waves, Spectroscopy and more.

How do they get those spectacular astronomy pictures? ~ John Mallett (HAG)

 A beginners view of the basics of astrophotography.  Looking at the basics of collecting and processing a set of images and some of the hardware and software requirements to get started.

I will also bring along a set of raw image data for those without a telescope, tracking mount and a cooled camera to have a go at processing with some freeware tools.


This Month in Astronomy ~ Roy Bicknell; Simon Allen; David Pulley

October meteors; the first exo-moon; Mars: A lost Opportunity; Aliens at Sunspot and much more.

Gaia: a revolution in positional astronomy ~ Dr Roger Wood

Almost everything about the Gaia satellite is ground-breaking and astonishingly ambitious. Located at Lagrange Point L2, 1.5 million km from Earth, it will, over the course of its 5+ year mission, survey around 1 billion objects to give positions, proper motions and parallaxes about 100 times more precise than any previous catalogue, as well as information on brightness, radial velocity and spectral type. These data will exceed in both quantity and quality all previous compilations by huge factors and allow analysts to study the structure, motions, composition and history of our Milky Way galaxy in unprecedented detail. The two tranches of data released to date have already provided fresh insights and, when the full catalogue is published in 2022, it will provide enough material to keep astronomers busy for decades to come.


This Month in Astronomy ~ David Pulley, Tony Baxter

Barnard's star,

The Local Group