NSAS General Meeting for June; special speaker

5 06 2017

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

Our guest speaker is Chris Lidman from AAO, and he’ll be talking about the Dark Energy Survey.

“Ever since the discovery of the accelerating universe 20 years ago, astronomers have been trying to understand the reasons for the acceleration by undertaking ever more detailed surveys of the cosmos. The Dark Energy Survey is the latest, and currently, largest survey of this type.  In this talk, I will provide an overview of the Dark Energy Survey, present some preliminary results, and discuss some of the even larger surveys that astronomers are planning to undertake in the near future.”

As usual, guests are most welcome!

NSAS General Meeting for May; special speaker

1 05 2017

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

Our guest speaker is Glenn Davis from Francis Lord Optical, who will talking to us about the optics done by them for LIGO.

“Back in September 2015 Gravitational Waves were recorded for the first time, and verified the following February. The instrument that recorded the signal is called LIGO.
What few people  realise,  is that all the optics were manufactured in Australia by the CSIRO.
Glenn Davis who was one of the 13 people working on the project, will be talking about how these optics were  fabricated to such high tolerances!”

As usual, guests are most welcome!


NSAS General Meeting for April; special speaker

5 04 2017

The NSAS General Meeting for April will be on Tuesday the 18th at 7:30 PM at Regis Hall, Regis Campus, St Ignatius College, Lane Cove.

Our speaker is Luke Tscharke, Night Sky Astrophotographer, who will show his work and describe the techniques.

“In my presentation I will be discussing wide field astrophotography and nightscapes. I will cover the following aspects:
• The equipment I use to capture my images
• Top locations in Australian for wide field astrophotography images
• Safety tips for shooting in the dark
• Camera settings for a wide field astrophotography shoot
• Planning for a wide field astrophotography shoot, including a demo of the apps I use for the planning”

As usual, guests are most welcome!

NSAS General Meeting for March; special speaker

9 03 2017

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

Fred Watson is our special treat as speaker this month.  Many of you will have seen him on TV or in person, and know that he never disappoints.  His subject for us is:

Build an Observatory! A nineteenth century global imperative.

Why do so many of the world’s great cities house ageing astronomical institutions within their limits? From Marseilles to Melbourne, from Paris to Pulkovo, the unmistakable architecture of a nineteenth century observatory is easily discovered by visitors. In this talk, Fred Watson explores the reasons for this ubiquitous astronomical presence while taking a tour of some of the leading representatives. He also reveals some of the more outlandish examples of the genre, and the extraordinary characters who built them.

FRED WATSON comes from a long line of Freds, but was the first in his family to become a scientist. He has been an astronomer at the Australian Astronomical Observatory since 1995, and is best known for his radio and TV broadcasts, talks, and other outreach programs, which earned him the 2006 Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Science. He has written a number of popular astronomy books, and has both a science-themed CD and an award-winning symphony libretto to his name. Fred was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2010. He has an asteroid named after him (5691 Fredwatson), but says that if it hits the Earth, it won’t be his fault.

As usual, guests are most welcome!

NSAS Feb General Meeting

5 02 2017

February’s NSAS General Meeting will be on Tuesday the 21st, at Regis Hall, Regis Campus, St. Ignatius College, Riverview St, Lane Cove.


Our speaker this month will be one of our own, Krishan Anand, who will be educating us about the history and background of Indian astronomy.  Some of the major points are:


  • Ancient observation, modern confirmation
  • History of Indian Astronomy
  • Theory of Relativity – Einstein’s deep interest
  • The significance of 108
  • Summer Winter Solstices and Equinoxes
  • Ancient Indian Deep Astronomy Analytics
  • The Sacred Mount Kailash
  • Oppenheimer and the Gita
  • The Indian Vedic View Precession
  • Astronomy of the Greatest Hindu Temple in the world
  • Konark SUN Temple UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • The layout of Udayagiri Ancient Observatory
  • Summary and Wrap up

NSAS Events for October 2016

4 10 2016
Here are the events that we have on this month.  I look forward to seeing you at one of them!


Night time observing is scheduled for Saturday the 22nd (visitors welcome) and Saturday the 29th (members only).  We will be observing from our site in Terry Hills.

Solar observing is scheduled for Sunday the 16th.  The solar observing group meets near the observatory at St Ignatius at from 11am to 1pm.

If you’re not on the email list for ON/OFF notifications, let me know and I’ll pass on your details to Lawrie.

General Meeting

We have our general meeting on Tuesday the 18th.  We don’t have a guest lecturer this month, as it will be our Annual General Meeting.

The key item in the agenda will be voting on changing the society’s constitution.  Gordon sent out an email with all the details last week.  If you’re a member and you didn’t receive this email, please let me know and I’ll ensure that you get all the details.
We will also accepting nominations for and voting in the committee for the next year.  Three committee members will be stepping down, so if you think you might be interested in taking on a small part to help run the society, please let me know.  Gordon will send out further details of the positions available closer to the meeting.
There will be drinks and nibblies following the meeting.

The New Astronomer’s Group

This month we have our final session of the New Astronomer’s Group (NAG) course for 2016.  It will be on October 25.  Mathias Sorg will be talking about astrophotography – which is always a much enjoyed presentation.  We’ll also have some drinks, nibblies, and the drawing for and presentation of the Chris Mirana prize.

NSAS September General Meeting

18 09 2016
Our general meeting for September will be held this Tuesday the 20th, at 7:30pm.
This month our guest lecturer is Dr. Duncan Wright, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Dept. of Astrophysics and Optics, UNSW, who will be giving a talk titled “What is the future for discoveries of low-mass exoplanets?”.  His abstract is as follows:
Many of the low mass exoplanet discoveries are made using high precision doppler velocities. These planets have typical Doppler velocity amplitudes of <2 m/s, similar to the uncertainty in each measurement, and often similar to the Doppler amplitude of stellar activity (intrinsic variation in the star appearing as a Doppler shift). New technologies claim/aim to achieve Doppler precisions of ~10cm/s, and that this will enable the discovery of Earth mass exoplanets in an Earth-like orbits i.e. arguably the major goal of exoplanet discovery. I will discuss the techniques and limitations  involved in detecting a low mass exoplanet from high resolution spectra with a focus on new technologies, and I will try to answer whether these are the methods that will be finding Earth 2.0's in the near future.