Ordinary and Annual General Meetings, October 16th @ 7.30pm and Subscription Renewal Reminder

10 10 2018

Dear Members,

Just a gentle reminder that next week on Tuesday October 16th NSAS will have a combined brief Ordinary meeting (with no speaker) and its Annual General Meeting (AGM). Our President, David Stevenson, will provide an account of the past year and an outline of what he sees for NSAS in 2019 and beyond. Other Committee members will provide their summaries of the year.

Also, importantly, the members will elect the NSAS Committee members and office bearers for our 2019 year.

To celebrate the end of our year, there will be food and drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, provided at the conclusion of the meeting. This is an opportunity to catch-up with other members and welcome new members in an informal and relaxed setting. Also, it is an opportunity to provide feedback to Committee members should you wish to do so.

It is your club so please come along and make this an enjoyable night.

Lastly, please make sure that your subscription renewals are paid this month.
These are the details.

Single: $50
Family: $70
Concession: $25 Individual, $35 Family
School-aged: $10

It would be appreciated if you could directly credit the NSAS bank account, details provided below:

National Australia Bank
BSB 082 204
Account Number 02 896 5234

Please remember to include your name in the space provided so that the payment can be identified with you.

It would be greatly appreciated if this could be done as soon as practicable because it is easy to forget and members need to be financial for 2019.

Alternatively, if you prefer to pay cash, just come along and pay the Club Secretary on the night of the AGM.

Looking forward to next weeks AGM and clearer skies for 2019.

Yours faithfully,
Tony Oesterheld
Club Secretary





NSAS General Meeting for August; special speaker

11 08 2018

The NSAS General Meeting for August will be on Tuesday the 21st August at 7:30 PM at Regis Hall, Regis Campus, St Ignatius College, Lane Cove.

Our speaker this month is Prof. Paul Francis, ANU Distinguished Educator, Astrophysicist. He will speak on “Greatest Unsolved Mysteries of the Universe”. See the abstract below.

We will keep the new meeting format. Just a short meeting starting at 7:30 to discuss NSAS matters, then straight into our guest speaker’s presentation. This will be followed by tea and coffee where you can socialise (and talk astronomy) with our guest speaker and other members.

As usual, visitors are most welcome!

Cheers
David Wallace

P.S. Just a reminder that this Saturday (11th August, i.e. tomorrow night) is a member only viewing night.

Abstract
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When you hear astronomers talking on the TV, we like to boast about all the things we’ve discovered. But in reality, we know very little about our universe. In this talk I’ll highlight some of the greatest things we don’t know. I will include some of the huge famous mysteries, such as why the Big Bang happened, what the universe is made of, and whether there is life in space. But I’ll also talk about some of the less well known mysteries, such as comet tails far from the Sun, how Quasars shine, and mysterious space blobs.





NSAS General Meeting for May; special speaker

13 05 2018

The NSAS General Meeting for May will be on Tuesday the 15th May at 7:30 PM at Regis Hall, Regis Campus, St Ignatius College, Lane Cove.

Our guest speaker is Mark Wardle (Macquarie University) talking about “Star formation within one parsec of the supermassive black hole at the Galactic Centre”. Abstract follows.

As usual, guests are most welcome!

P.S. For those of you who do not know, we are conducting the New Astronomers Group (NAG) course this coming Saturday 19th May. This course is open to members and non-members (fees apply). Tell your friends and relatives about it. Enrolments can be made at https://nsas.org.au/nag/.

Also, there is a members-only viewers night on Saturday 19th May. You can show off your telescope and tell the NAG participants (i.e. potential NSAS members) what a wonderful organisation NSAS is.

Macquarie University is also holding their Astronomy Open Night on Saturday 19th May. NSAS members will be there supporting Macquarie University as well as promoting NSAS.

Cheers
David Wallace

Star formation within one parsec of the supermassive black hole at the Galactic Centre.

Black holes tend to tear anything in their vicinity apart.  This has long been thought to suppress star formation in the immediate surrounds of the supermassive black holes lurking at the centres of galaxies.  But just last year it was discovered that stars are forming in interstellar clouds within 1 pc of Sgr A*, the 4 million solar mass black hole at the centre of the Galaxy.   In this talk I will present our results and discuss their significance for understanding the environment of Sgr A*.





NSAS General Meeting for February; special speaker

3 02 2018

The NSAS General Meeting for February will be on Tuesday the 20th February at 7:30 PM at Regis Hall, Regis Campus, St Ignatius College, Lane Cove.

Our guest speaker is Tara Djokic, a PhD candidate at the School of Astrobiology, UNSW. Her abstract follows.

As usual, guests are most welcome!

David Wallace

P.S. For the observer types, Solar Observing will be on Sunday 4th February (i.e. tomorrow). Member + Visitor Night Observing will be on Saturday 10th February and Memebers-Only Night Observing will be on Saturday 17th February.

Hydrothermal systems, early life on Earth and implications for astrobiology
 
Astrobiology seeks to answer questions regarding the origins and extent of life in the Universe. Geology provides a window in time that offers evidence needed to address these astrobiological questions. The study of ~3.5 billion years old stromatolites from the Pilbara, Western Australia has shown that some of the earliest evidence of life on Earth was thriving in hot springs on land. This evidence provides a geological perspective that may be relevant in origin of life studies, and subsequently for implications in the search for life elsewhere.





No NSAS General Meeting in January

13 01 2018

Dear Fellow Amateur Astronomers,

Please note that there is no North Sydney Astronomical Society General Meeting this month. The next General Meeting will be held on the 20th February.

However, observing is still on. There is a visitor welcome observing night on the Sat 13th Jan (i.e. tonight) and a members only observing night on the Sat 20th Jan. The next solar observing will be on Sun 4th Feb.

Also, there will be a total lunar eclipse on Wed 31st Jan. Stay tuned for more information on this from Phil Angilley, our observation officer.

Cheers
David Wallace





NSAS General Meeting for November; special speaker

10 11 2017

The NSAS General Meeting for November will be on Tuesday the 21st November at 7:30 PM at Regis Hall, Regis Campus, St Ignatius College, Lane Cove.

Our guest speaker is our own Bob Fuller. He will be given a talk on “Did Aboriginal Australians record a simultaneous eclipse and aurorae in their oral traditions?”. An abstract is below.

As usual, guests are most welcome!

David Wallace

P.S. For the observer types, Member + Visitor Night Observing will be on Saturday 11th November (i.e. tomorrow night) and Memebers-Only Night Observing will be on Saturday 18th November.

Abstract: We investigated an Australian Aboriginal cultural story that seems to describe an extraordinary series of astronomical events occurring at the same time. We hypothesised that this was a witnessed natural event and explore natural phenomena that could account for the description. We select a thunderstorm, total solar eclipse, and strong Aurora Australis as the most likely candidates, then conclude a plausible date of 764 CE. We evaluate the different factors that would determine whether all these events could have been visible, include meteorological data, alternative total solar eclipse dates, solar activity cycles, aurorae appearances, and sky brightness during total solar eclipses. We conduct this study as a test-case for rigorously and systematically examining descriptions of rare natural phenomena in oral traditions, highlighting the difficulties and challenges with interpreting this type of hypothesis.





NSAS General Meeting for September; special speaker

9 09 2017

The NSAS General Meeting for August will be on Tuesday the 19th September at 7:30 PM at Regis Hall, Regis Campus, St Ignatius College, Lane Cove.

Our guest speaker is Dr Kyler Kuehn from AAO, who will update us on Starbugs and the TAIPAN instrument, which are now in operation.

As usual, guests are most welcome!

P.S. For the observer types, Solar Observing will be on Sunday 10th September, Visitor Night Observing will be on Saturday 16th September and Memebers-Only Night Observing will be on Saturday 23th August.

Dave W.

 

Abstract: Spectroscopic observations of stars and galaxies often show us much more than we can learn from simple images, though they often require significantly longer observations.  One way to make spectroscopy more efficient is to observe many objects at once through a long slit or with numerous independent fibres.  I will describe Starbugs, a robotic optical fibre positioning system that facilitates the observation of hundreds of stars or galaxies simultaneously.  I will also describe the science and engineering of TAIPAN, an instrument currently undergoing commissioning on the UK Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory, and the first instrument to make use of the novel Starbug technology.