NSAS General Meeting for April; special speakers

8 04 2019

The NSAS General Meeting for April will be on Tuesday the 16th April at 7:30 PM at Regis Hall, Regis Campus, St Ignatius College, Lane Cove.

Our speakers this month is our own Bill Vass and Ben Petschel. Bill will talk about the Fermi Paradox. Ben will talk about some of the topics in mathematical cosmology. Details of Ben’s talk is below.
Abstract: I will talk about the Drake equation which is used to estimate the number of civilisations in the galaxy that could communicate with us, and the perils of high speed interstellar travel. If time permits, I will also talk about the orbit equation.

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 speakers and other members.

As usual, visitors are most welcome!

Cheers
David Wallace

P.S. For those who cannot wait for Ben’s talk on the Drake equation, you can check out the amazing article in the April 2014 issue of Reflections.





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
========
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.