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The Good, the bad and the ugly ~ David Hornsby

What is a good telescope for the amateur astronomer? Magazines and web sites offer lots of advice, but what can one trust? This evening is an opportunity for the Local Group astronomers to share their personal experience of scopes they have actually used themselves. Of course, there is no such thing as the “ideal” scope, but some are less than ideal than others! Members will talk a bit about the good and bad points of their own telescopes in the hope of giving useful information to fellow members who may well be prospective purchasers of telescopes.

Contributors: David Hornsby, Roy Bicknell, Simon Allen, Pete Smith, David Wallis, Jim Truelove and Barry Soden (and others).

The King’s New Clothes ~ Barry Soden

Barry gives his take on the sum… 1 + 2 + 3 + 4…….α = -1/12

 The Search for a Long Term Energy Source

Fusion: From Stars to the Lab ~ David Pulley (Time permitting)

Stars can do it; we can't.  Well not quite but is nuclear fusion within our grasp?  This review will look briefly at the last three millennium and our changing thoughts on how the Sun is powered culminating with our early attempts at nuclear fusion in the laboratory.

The Quest for Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) Ignition ~ Tony Baxter

Fusion Scientists across the World have been awaiting results from the LLNL National Ignition Facility(NIF), to demonstrate fusion ignition and gain.  Based on previous results, the experiments were approached with a high degree of confidence, with a much heralded milestone of September 30, 2012.  Given the $3.5bn cost of the facility, the scientists involved have come under scrutiny affecting the future of the Laboratory, but the more recent experiments are proving tantalisingly close to the necessary threshold conditions.

The Local Group