15 02 2016

What a perfect night for viewing,with a beautiful clear sky and the unrestricted horizons of the Terrey Hills site and the pleasure of low light pollution so close to Sydney.
A record attendance of twenty members and twelve visitors, with another record of nineteen telescopes and one binoculars.
The nineteen telescopes covered the full spread of designs, from Refractors, Newtonian, DOBs, Schmidt Cassegrain and Maksutov.
it was great to see Hiroshi with his beautiful12 inch Celestron & new members Muhammad and Rubyet with their new Dobsonian.
Astrophotography was to the forefront with four setups. I understand that Samuel and Mathias were still photographing after Chris left at 1.30am.
Chris & John found the viewing of Jupiter to be the best ever, with the cloud bands and the great red spot clearly in view.
I had a great night and confirm that even with my 8 inch LX90, the bands of Jupiter were clearly defined. I also found the Orion nebula, the Refection Nebula in Orion and the Tarantula Nebula with ease. The Gem Cluster in Carina and the old favourite, the Jewel Box, were a beautiful sight. I even located the Spiral Galaxy in Pavo.
The Terrey Hills site also proved its worth with the convenient parking adjacent to the telescopes and the ease of departure without inconveniencing other viewers.It also showed that the site can easily cope with even larger numbers of observers. Overall, it was a STELLAR night.

Ken Jones.

Guest Lecture this Tuesday – Dr Charley Lineweaver

15 02 2016
We have our general meeting this Tuesday the 16th, at 7:30pm at Regis Hall in Lane Cove.  Our guest lecturer is Dr Charley Lineweaver from ANU, and his talk is titled “How to Find a Habitable Planet?”.   You may recognise Charley from his regular TV appearances on shows like Catalyst.  We had Charley speak to us a few years ago, and I’m sure I’m not alone in saying he’s one of the best speakers we’ve had, so it’s definitely worth coming along.

His abstract is as follows:

Astronomers have identified thousands of planets in orbit around other stars.
Some of these planets are in the habitable zones of their host stars.
Are we alone?
I will discuss the possibility of life on these planets and the strategies that will be used to find
life. I will also discuss the Gaia hypothesis and our new Gaian Bottleneck Model.

Hope to see you there!

Observing for Tonight 13th February is ON

13 02 2016

Don’t miss out on a rare cloudless night for deep sky observing.
The gate will be open from about sunset.
Lawrie Webb.

Solar Observing for Today, February 7th is OFF.

7 02 2016

The forecast is for 60% cloud cover at 11am, steadily increasing to 70% by 2pm.
Lawrie Webb.

Tonight, February 6th Observing is OFF.

6 02 2016

The consensus among the regulars is that the cloud is too unpredictable to go ahead.
Lawrie Webb.