Hi everyone

Well here we are again! I hope you are all keeping safe and well. It was looking quite promising there for a bit but we find ourselves back in lockdown.

As a result of the current lockdown we have unfortunately had to cancel the trip to Coonabarabran which is a great shame as I know many of us were looking forward to the dark skies. We have alerted the hotel but if you have made your arrangements with them then you might want to give them a call and confirm what your intentions are as I know we have some members who are outside of the lock down areas.

On a more positive note the skies are quite clear at the moment and the rain seems to have gone away for a while and we are now into our best time of the year for observing. There are quite a few things around at the moment, notably Jupiter and Saturn are both in opposition this month (ie: they are at the closest to earth at the moment) so make sure you get out and have a look at them. Look due east and Jupiter is 30 degrees above the horizon at 8pm – Saturn is about 15 degrees almost directly above that – a little bit to the left.

We also have the Perseid shower next week (12th and 13th August) so look out for these. The best time to see them will be early in the morning around 3:00am till 5:30am and you need to look due north and very low on the horizon. If you are in Sydney make sure you are positioned so you can see the horizon and not looking over trees or shrubs else you won’t see the horizon.

Our talk this month is on Pulsars and Planet 9 by Rami Mandow. Rami is a keen radio astronomer and currently doing his Masters of Astronomy and Astrophysics with Swinburne University of Technology and it should be a very interesting talk as he explains about looking for Planet 9 with Pulsars and gravitational waves. The talk is at 7:30pm on Tuesday 17th August on the zoom link at our home page https://www.nsas.org.au.

As we recently discussed our new site, Forest Trail Park, is now up and running in Terry Hills although temporarily locked down due to covid but we hope to have it open soon. Our new site subcommittee has been established to help manage its development going forward. If you wish to contribute please let us know by reply email.

Looking forward to seeing you all at 7:30pm Tuesday 17th on zoom at the Hunting for Planet 9 talk.

Stay safe and clear skies.

David Stevenson