25th November 2016. Members Evening- an opportunity for members to show and discuss interests.
Ken kicked off the meeting demonstrating how modern astronomy has embraced technologey in both the design of telescopes and mounts, relating the difficulties he, as a young astronomer (yes he was young once), aligning and taking photographs before digital cameras existed, and described how his latest acquisition of a short tube telescope on a computer guided equatorial mount enable considerable improvements in the elimination of star trails.
He showed us his latest collection of pictures taken with his DSLR camera and the 'scope/mount set-up.
NGC869 and NGC 884 and M33 both excellent examples of Ken's images which can be found on the deep sky slideshow page
Graham Young then discussed "How long is a full moon?", describing how the distance of the moon from the earth during a "full moon" and the solar light coverage on the moon at any given moment as well as the restrictive view from the various positions on Earth a full moon can be seen as a full moon varied. (did you get that?)
He showed a diagram of these effects with a mathematical formula demonstrating the difficulties in defining how long a period of the full moon would actually be.
Graham and some of his calculations
Pam Foster then talked about the Cloudwatch Project. A project which is designed to record the cloud conditions at a given time every day for the entire year, to determine weather patterns.
Pam also showed us the final result of her personal project to photograph the moon phases over the 28 days of the moon cycle
Weather, the vagaries of lunar positioning throughout the time taken to complete the task and the problems with positioning and resizing each photo onto a single A4 sheet were a few of the problems conspiring against her, but the completed project was quite impressive.
David Patterson followed with a look at the current year's state of play in space flight. He looked at successes and failures in during the year and a brief look at what we may expect in the near future. The talk was illustrated with many slides.
David also showed some photos taken by Andy who sent apologies for not being able to attend, Thanks Andy, there in spirit if not in body!
Tony mentioned that the calendar was complete and ready to be distributed and asked those at the meeting for their help when submitting pictures for inclusion on the website.
Rounding of the evening Jim Barber gave his Sky notes for December