• Observing for Saturday 20 September is OFF

    Hi All, The weather is looking bad for Saturday therefore the night is OFF.
    Sunday is not looking any better either.
    Phil Angilley.
    Observing Officer NSAS.

  • NSAS – Beginners Night in the Field, New Site, AGM and 2021 Fees
  • Members Only Observing, Saturday 12 September is ON

    Hi All, The weather is looking good for Saturday night, with light wind and little cloud cover.
    You must observe all of the Social distancing requirements, and no sharing of telescope Eye Pieces.
    I will open the gate at 5 PM, so come along and have a great night observing.
    Phil Angilley, Observing Officer NSAS, 0448 120 178

  • NSAS Guest Speaker for September

    Guys,

    Our virtual (Zoom) guest speaker for this month is Dr Stuart Ryder, FASA (Adjunct Fellow, Dept of Physics & Astronomy, Macquarie University) who will give a talk on “Bursting with Excitement: Where do Fast Radio Bursts come from?” (details below). This will be held on Tuesday 15th September at 7:30pm. This presentation is open to all (i.e. NSAS members and non-members). To register for this Zoom meeting, please click here.

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

    Note. This is a new invite series with enhanced security and easier to use features. Everyone will be required to register once, ie: no need to re-register each month, using this registration process and the previous invite will not work anymore, and they must have the zoom application installed on their device as the web-link will not work.

    David Wallace

    Bursting with Excitement: Where do Fast Radio Bursts come from?

    Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) were first discovered at the Parkes radio telescope in 2007, and since then have become one of the most enigmatic objects in astronomy. Only recently with the commissioning of the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder in Western Australia have we been able to home in on the source of some FRBs. Despite the fact we don’t yet know what causes FRBs, we have already begun using them as tools to find the “missing matter” between galaxies.

  • August 2020 Monthly Showcase

    Hi everyone,

    There’s still a few days left to submit your entries to the August 2020 Monthly Showcase. Remember, the entries can be photos, videos, drawings, articles, anything astronomy related.

    Please send your entries to me at bpetschel@gmail.com. Please make the images a maximum of 1200 pixels on the longest side for publishing on the website, and include a short description of the target/time/date/location and equipment used. Let me know if you don’t want your entry posted on Facebook or would prefer to remain anonymous.

    Past entries can be viewed at https://nsas.org.au/astrophotography/monthly-showcase/ and https://www.facebook.com/NorthernSydneyAstro

    Cheers,
    Ben

  • Observing for Saturday 22 August is ON

    Hi All, Saturday is looking OK for some observing, therefore the night is ON.
    There will be moderate cloud cover around 4 PM, but this will clear quickly as the night continues.
    This is a Members ONLY night with all of our COVID-19 restrictions to be observed by ALL.
    With Sun Set about 5:30 PM, I will open the gate at 5 PM.
    Phil Angilley
    Observing Officer NSAS
    0448 120 178

  • Members-only Observing for tonight, Sunday 16th August

    The clouds look like clearing tonight so we will have members-only night at Terrey Hills.

    I’m not aiming to stay all night but I need to take advantage of clear skies to set up a new computer and camera.

    Feel free to join me tonight with the normal social distancing and name/phone registration upon arrival.

    I’m aiming to open the gates at 4:30 pm

    Greg McCall.
    0418209970

  • Observing for Saturday 15 August is OFF

    Hi All, the weather for the weekend is looking bad so observing is OFF.
    With the weather improving by Monday, check the web site for a possible Monday Night observing session.
    Phil Angilley
    Observing Officer NSAS
    0448 120 178

  • July/August 2020 Monthly Showcase

    Hi everyone,

    The August 2020 Monthly Showcase is open for entries. Remember, the entries can be photos, videos, drawings, articles, anything astronomy related.

    Please send your images to me at bpetschel@gmail.com with all images in JPG format with a maximum 1200 pixels on the longest side so they can be easily published on the web.

    The excellent July entries can be found at https://nsas.org.au/astrophotography/monthly-showcase/ and https://www.facebook.com/NorthernSydneyAstro (note: we will only publish entries to Facebook with your permission).

    Cheers,
    Ben

  • New Beginners Night for people who have recently purchased telescopes, our new observing site and Virtual AGM

    Hi everyone

    I hope you are all keeping well. Things are certainly not standing still here at NSAS and we are pleased to announce a new support class for people who have recently purchased a telescope. We have determined a way that we can have an open air class for up to 20 telescopes and we welcome anyone who has recently purchased a telescope to join us for 4 hours on a Saturday night to learn the basics of how to setup and drive their scope.

    Beginners Night Special Class Outline

    The Beginners Night Special (BNS) is part of the society’s New Astronomers Group (NAG) which operates classroom-based courses although these are currently restricted due to covid. It will include a guided walk-through where experienced astronomers and astrophotographers will assist you to set up your own scope and have a guided tour through the heavens.

    Date: 29th August 2020
    Time: 4:30pm – 9pm
    Where: JJ Melbourne Hills Memorial Reserve
    1A Kamber Rd, Terrey Hills NSW 2084

    Places are limited and registration is required to attend. Bookings can be made through the following link BNS Link or on the society’s website: www.nsas.org.au. There is a small $10 fee per telescope for non-members (max 4 people per telescope) to cover costs.

    The night includes;

    • Demonstration on how to set up a typical telescope (Celestron, Meade and SkyWatcher)
    • An allocated astronomer who will be familiar with your equipment (if one of the 3 above).
    • At registration time you can nominate specific interests or questions you might have so we can make sure that these are answered on the night
    • Time for you to setup your own scope with assistance from your astronomer
    • Viewing time to observe;
      • Moon
      • The Jewel Box NGC4755
      • Omega Centauri Globular Cluster NGC5139
      • Saturn
      • The Butterfly Cluster NGC6405
    • Question and Answer time with your allocated Astronomer

    The class will be conducted in a safe distancing manner and you will be required to confirm a social distancing statement when you register.

    We’d love to introduce you to the fascinating world of astronomy and if you have made the recent decision to purchase a telescope, this Beginners Night Special will make it easy for you to get started on your journey.

    The booking form can be found at: www.nsas.org.au. If you have any questions then please use the contact form at the NSAS website.

    Our New Site

    We recently announced the society’s intention to acquire a new site in the St Ives / Terrey Hills area. I recently met with the construction manager and talked through our requirements with him. It is shaping up as an impressive capability we will have access to. Imagine a Mesa (bring back school memories ?) with a road up one end and and then down the other. It will be raised about 5 metres above the surrounding area and in a darkened area between St Ives and Terrey Hills. Stage 1 should be finished ~Nov.

    Our PhotoBook

    Our Photobook is coming along nicely so please keep your “snapshots” rolling in. Please send them to photobook@nsas.org.au.

    Virtual AGM and call for nominations

    We will be conducting our AGM virtually this year over zoom. To bring some festivities we are encouraging people to attend with Wine, Cheese and Crackers and a smiling face. Zoom has the ability to break up the meeting into several breakout rooms so people will be able to “mingle” through different rooms…..I have absolutely no idea how this is going to work but it seems like fun to try. Keep your eyes peeled for further updates on this. I feel that we have made some good progress this year despite COVID on the things we set out to do. The prospect of our New Site and the fact that our Website now has a payments capability up and running are signs of our progress.

    If you would like to be part of the team that makes up the Committee then please put your hand up and let myself or Tony Oesterheld know. All positions will be declared open and hence feel free to chip in and make a difference. We do have a Treasurer’s spot open as David Wallace has decided to take a break after pitching in for a number of years now which I am very grateful for him doing so and we will miss him.

    Sorry for the long email but hope you are keeping well.

    Clear skies
    David S
    President

  • NSAS Guest Zoom Speaker for August

    Our virtual (Zoom) guest speaker for this month is Sarah Caddy (PhD candidate at Macquarie University’s Dept of Physics and Astronomy) who will give a talk on “Optical and infrared space telescopes” (details below). This will be held on Tuesday 18th August at 7:30pm. This presentation is open to all (i.e. NSAS members and non-members). To register your interest, please click here.

    David Wallace
    NSAS Treasurer & Web-Master

    Optical and infrared space telescopes have revolutionised our understanding of our place in the Universe. The Hubble Space Telescope unveiled a Universe much vaster than we could have ever imagined, capturing the minds and imaginations of a generation. It’s long awaited successor, the James Webb Space Telescope promises to further this legacy beyond our wildest imaginings. But all of this comes at a significant price, and the development of these complex giants of optical and infrared astronomy is often thought to be best left to the experienced veterans of the game – NASA.

    However, we have arrived at a crucial point in Australia’s entrance into space science. The recent launch of the Australian Space Agency, fuelled by a growing presence in space around the world has ignited a drive to develop an Australian addition to the collection of space observatories. In this talk I will introduce you to SkyHopper, Australia’s first infrared, satellite based space telescope. SkyHopper combines the dexterity of a cube satellite with near real-time up and downlink. SkyHopper’s optical payload boasts a Hawaii-2rg detector developed for the James Webb Space Telescope itself and a novel, custom designed filter system which will enable it to simultaneous image in both broad and narrow band passes from 0.8 – 1.7 microns. SkyHopper’s sights will be set on identifying Earth-sized exoplanets around ultra-cool, low mass dwarf stars. It will perform rapid follow up of gamma ray bursts with the aim of identifying high redshift, gamma ray bust candidates, and it will capture the diffuse light from the first stars and galaxies that existed in the Universe known as the Cosmic Optical and Infrared Background. Finally, SkyHopper will present the unique opportunity for Astronomers around the country to perform research on a space telescope designed and built in Australia.

  • July 2020 Monthly Showcase

    Hi everyone,

    There are still a few days left to submit your entries for the July 2020 Monthly Showcase. Remember, the entries can be images, videos, drawings, articles, anything astronomy-related with a target 10km and up.

    Please send your entries to me at bpetschel@gmail.com

    Cheers,
    Ben

  • Observing for Saturday 25th July is OFF

    Hi All,
    The weather is turning very bad so observing for tonight is OFF.
    Phil Angilley
    Observing Officer NSAS

  • NSAS Photo Book

    I am pleased to let you know that Ken Schofield has stepped forward to help us with the creation of a NSAS Photobook. This will be an excellent addition to your coffee table to explain and show your family and friends what is this weird thing called an astronomical society that you disappear to every now and again (or in the case of zoom meetings into the back room or huddled around the kitchen table !!)

    The Photobook is planned to be available in two sizes (8″ x 11″ and 11″ x 14″ – slightly smaller than A4 and A3) and will be about $45 and $75 respectively but final price will depend on interest and how many pages we amass. We will be selecting from all previous entries into the Monthly Showcase, our Photo archives or from any submissions you have. The photos will include any aspects of the club including observing days, field trips and of course pictures of the heavens. All photos will be considered for inclusion however a basic quality yardstick will be put over all. The photobook cost to you will be cost plus $5 (plus postage and handling if you require us to send it to you). If you wish to see samples of what we will be using to create the photobook please refer to www.snapfish.com.au who I have used several times previously and who have always produced a high quality product.

    If you have an image you would like included into the photobook then please send in PNG or JPG form to photobook@nsas.org.au. We will be looking to gather photos in the next few weeks with compilation of the book starting in about a month. Ken’s judgement of what photos to be included will be final but we do plan that if you submit a photo and you order a book your photo will be included in your copy so here’s your chance to get into print!!!!

    Each Photo must be accompanied with the following information – Please type over the below as it will be cut and pasted into the photobook; If you want to remain anonymous then just say your name is “NSAS Member”

    [Photographer Name]
    [Object Name]
    [Equipment Short description – MAX15 words ]

    If you have any questions please send them to photobook@nsas.org.au

    David S and Ken S

  • Members-only Observing for Monday 20th July

    Hi,I’ve organised an extra observation night for Monday 20th July.
    The weather for Monday night is looking good so we will have another members-only night.
    If the weather predictions change, I’ll let you know by 3pm.
    I’m aiming to open the gates at 4:30 pm

    Greg McCall.
    0418209970

  • Observing for Saturday 18 July is OFF, Sunday 19 July is ON

    Hi All,
    Members ONLY Viewing nights.
    The weather for Saturday is looking very bad, with high Cloud cover, therefore the night is OFF.

    Sunday is however looking good after 5 PM, so we will move our observing night to Sunday 19 July.
    Phil Angilley
    Observing Officer NSAS.
    0448 120 178

  • June/July 2020 Monthly Showcase

    Hi everyone,

    The June 2020 Monthly Showcase entries can be viewed here:
    https://nsas.org.au/astrophotography/monthly-showcase/. The page also has a link to an archive of previous entries.

    The July 2020 Monthly Showcase is open for entries. Please send them to me at bpetschel@gmail.com.

    Cheers,
    Ben

  • NSAS Guest Speaker for July

    Guys,

    Our virtual (Zoom) guest speaker for this month is Anita Petzler (PhD candidate at Macquarie University’s Dept of Physics and Astronomy) who will give a talk on “Interstellar Medium” (details below). This will be held on Tuesday 21st July at 7:30pm. To register your interest, please click here.

    As before, we will conduct some normal club business (i.e. what is happening) at the start of this meeting before we hand over to Anita.

    “The gas and dust between the stars in our Galaxy make for some of the most beautiful and compelling images in Astronomy. This ‘interstellar medium’ also provides the raw material for star formation, and as such its study plays an important role in our understanding of how stars form, live and die. In this talk I’ll discuss how I use radio telescopes to study the interstellar medium, and how I go about trying to unravel some of the persistent mysteries of its properties and dynamics.”

    Cheers
    David Wallace

  • NSAS – Fred Watson, New Observing site, New Monthly Showcase format and Help requested

    Hi everyone

    I hope you are all well and are enjoying the little more freedom that we have. This, on top of some great observing nights we had last week, have been great for my astrophotography sessions as I’ve managed to finally break the cobwebs and get out there. The two objects above are both Messier 8 with the one on left being a straight LRBG M8 shot and Greg McCall’s on the right is all NarrowBand. Both interesting interpretations – makes it seem more like Art doesn’t it?

    For those who managed to join us for our inaugural NSAS Online session with Fred Watson it is clearly not just art but hard science too. Fred took us on an interesting journey through Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) covering the last decades and also revealed some of the latest information which is literally only weeks old. A team, led by an Aussie, Jean-Pierre Macquart, had managed to work out that FRBs passing through space were having to push through matter and the distortion on different wavelengths enabled the team to work out how much matter the FRB had had to pass through, and consequently managed to work out that the universe’s 2.5% missing matter that everyone has been hunting for has been hiding in plain sight. Fred also took us through suspected FRB origins and from the measurements a possible explanation is that FRBs are from a 30km explosive event on a neutron star. This is amazing when you consider that that 30km explosion is many many light years away, and we can detect it here on earth. FRBs are clearly an area of continued research.

    At the NSAS Online session we also discussed some work that the Committee had instigated regarding more observing capabilities. The outcome of the sub-committee’s work is that the society now has access to the Terry Hills Observing site for 11-12 nights a month as opposed to just 2 previously. We have also begun negotiations with another organisation for access to a suitable site, located in a darker area but still reasonably centralised. The site will be available 365 days of the year and will be branded our NSAS site with a 5 year minimum lease. The site is currently undergoing earthworks and is planned to be available late in the year. Whilst we have not finalised our contractual arrangements our discussions are promising. To help us secure this opportunity we are looking for some help from a lawyer who can help advise us (pro-bono) in finalising the agreement. If you are able please respond back letting us know you can help.

    We have also been making some tweaks to the Monthly Showcase and now all photos will be shown up on our Facebook site and on our website. We will no longer be voting on photos etc but encouraging any photo on anything astronomy related and we will post these, and if you like a photo simply “like” it. If you like them all then feel free to “like” them all.

    We previously had mentioned the intended production of a photobook of NSAS photos and society events and if you would like to assist us pulling this together in a small project we’d love to hear from you.

    A reminder that all events are members only at this time due to the health risks associated with sharing of eyepieces. The society has two telescopes available to members for nightly bookings which can be used at these events as the eyepieces can be properly cleaned afterwards. If you are interested please reply here and let us know.

    I hope you all stay well.

    Clear Skies
    David S
    Club President

  • June 2020 Monthly Showcase

    Hi everyone,

    There are still a few days left to submit your entries for the June 2020 Monthly Showcase.

    Please send your submissions to me at bpetschel@gmail.com. Remember, the entries can be photos, stories, videos, anything astronomy-related and with a target 10km and up.

    The May 2020 entries can be viewed here: https://nsas.org.au/2020/06/23/monthly-showcase-may-2020/

    Cheers,
    Ben

  • Monthly Showcase – May 2020

    For May 2020, the entries displayed below.

  • Standby Observing Night Sunday 21 June is ON

    Hi All, We will hold a Standby Observing Night tonight Sunday 21 June.
    I will open the gate at 4:30 PM.
    Phil Angilley
    Observing Officer NSAS
    0448 120 178

  • Observing for Saturday 20 June is OFF

    Hi All, The Weather is looking bad for tonight therefore the night is OFF.
    Phil Angilley
    Observing Officer NSAS
    0448 120 178

  • Standby Observing night Sunday 14 June

    Hi All,
    Sunday night is looking really good, so we will hold a Standby Observing night.
    With sunset just before 5 PM, I will open the gate at 4:30 PM.
    This will be a STRICTLY Members ONLY night.
    All members MUST come and sign in with me and provide an email or phone number.
    There is to be NO sharing of equipment, 1.5 M distancing is to be observed at all times.
    Phil Angilley
    Observing Officer NSAS
    0448 120 178

     

  • Observing Saturday 13 June 2020 is OFF

    Hi All,

    We were hopping for some observing to night but again the weather is looking bad so the night is OFF.
    We will try again next Saturday.
    Phil Angilley
    Observing Officer NSAS.