We are a society based in the northern suburbs of Sydney (NSW, Australia), containing a number of streams to cater for astronomy related interests at all levels. We have a number of core streams and activities at NSAS and these are listed below. Please visit the site regularly to get updated news on our upcoming events and activities.
NOTE: Due to coronavirus (COVID-19), club observing nights are currently for members only till the end of September 2020. We plan to run virtual General Meetings / Guest Speaker Talks as well as the NAG (New Astronomers Group) training. Visitors are welcome to our virtual Guest Speaker Talks and NAG. Stay tuned for updates.
We are pleased to announce a new support class for people who have recently purchased a telescope (both NSAS members and non-members). We have determined a way that we can have an open air class for up to 20 telescopes and we welcome anyone who has recently purchased a telescope to join us for 4 hours on a Saturday night to learn the basics of how to setup and drive their scope. The next course is Saturday 26th September and bookings are now available. For more information, click here.
Our virtual (Zoom) guest speaker for this month is Sarah Caddy (PhD candidate at Macquarie University’s Dept of Physics and Astronomy) who will give a talk on “Optical and infrared space telescopes” (details below). This will be held on Tuesday 18th August at 7:30pm. This presentation is open to all (i.e. NSAS members and non-members). To register your interest, please click here.
“Optical and infrared space telescopes have revolutionised our understanding of our place in the Universe. The Hubble Space Telescope unveiled a Universe much vaster than we could have ever imagined, capturing the minds and imaginations of a generation. It’s long awaited successor, the James Webb Space Telescope promises to further this legacy beyond our wildest imaginings. But all of this comes at a significant price, and the development of these complex giants of optical and infrared astronomy is often thought to be best left to the experienced veterans of the game – NASA.
However, we have arrived at a crucial point in Australia’s entrance into space science. The recent launch of the Australian Space Agency, fuelled by a growing presence in space around the world has ignited a drive to develop an Australian addition to the collection of space observatories. In this talk I will introduce you to SkyHopper, Australia’s first infrared, satellite based space telescope. SkyHopper combines the dexterity of a cube satellite with near real-time up and downlink. SkyHopper’s optical payload boasts a Hawaii-2rg detector developed for the James Webb Space Telescope itself and a novel, custom designed filter system which will enable it to simultaneous image in both broad and narrow band passes from 0.8 – 1.7 microns. SkyHopper’s sights will be set on identifying Earth-sized exoplanets around ultra-cool, low mass dwarf stars. It will perform rapid follow up of gamma ray bursts with the aim of identifying high redshift, gamma ray bust candidates, and it will capture the diffuse light from the first stars and galaxies that existed in the Universe known as the Cosmic Optical and Infrared Background. Finally, SkyHopper will present the unique opportunity for Astronomers around the country to perform research on a space telescope designed and built in Australia.”
For details of our upcoming courses please refer to our New Astronomers Course.