• Feb 2020 Monthly Showcase voting and March 2020 call for entries

    Hi everyone,

    There are still a few days left to submit your entries for the March 2020 Monthly Showcase. There haven’t been any entries yet, so it’s your chance for an easy win!

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

    Also, since meetings have been cancelled for the time being, we are now doing online voting for the Monthly Showcase. Please read the below slide pack to see the February 2020 entries, then go to https://nsas.proboards.com/thread/116/february-2020-monthly-showcase-voting and cast your vote. Voting closes 7th April.

    Cheers,
    Ben

    February 2020 Monthly Showcase – for voting

  • NSAS – Announcements and Updates on club activities

    Hi everyone

    “We live in interesting times” seemed an apt 1936 quote by Sir Austen Chamberlain to start this update to you. We have some of the most interesting things going on above us at the moment but alas also around us and the distraction of both are hypnotic. Reading the pages of the various papers and news sites brings to reality the threat of the coronavirus whilst also the wonders of the scientific research that also uncovers more and more knowledge about the reality we live in. Indeed, in reading the Science Daily Dark Matter page https://www.sciencedaily.com/news/space_time/dark_matter/ also reveals articles on the latest supercomputers researching the Coronavirus so it seems that both will be topics of conversation and research for some time. I trust that everyone is keeping well and practicing safe distancing as this seems to be the only real defense until a vaccine is available.

    The Committee has held several meetings over the last couple of weeks to determine our course of action for the club for the next 6 months.

    The use of the hall by the St Ignatius school has been put on hold until at least the start of Term 2 (27th April) and to contact them then to determine what happens next. As a consequence the April Club Meeting will be cancelled and the 30+ attendees for the New Astronomers Group (NAG) will be postponed till later in the year. In also what has been a long sought after goal I am pleased to announce that we have a New AstroPhotography Group (NApG) course which was slated for 16th May and whilst it is pleasing to announce its existence it is bittersweet as the Committee also needs to advise that it will also be put on hold due to uncertainty of the situation.

    The committee spent a fair bit of time also discussing our observing nights and how we should proceed here. Given the continuing restrictions on socialising and the fact that many of our members fit the profile of the worst affected by the virus the committee has decided to put observing on hold. There was much debate about distancing happens naturally around telescopes etc but I feel that for the club to hold events at this time is not prudent and that the members well-being is of the primary concern. Whilst it may be an individuals choice to attend a field to observe, the club should not be facilitating members, or the public, by advertising and hosting such events. No doubt the site can still be used by individuals as it is a public facility but this will be at the individuals choice. We will of course monitor the situation and reverse this decision as soon as we can. I realise that not everyone will agree with this but in the interests of the club, and our members health I believe that this is the correct course to take.

    Our return to the Hunter Valley for our Star Party is still currently on track for late September. Whilst we haven’t committed to a booking at this point we have advised the site that we still plan to attend but will need to hold off on the booking at this point. The site is a large area in a quieter and darker area of the valley. Whilst it is next to a road the traffic in that area is particularly quiet. The plan includes marques at Two Fat Blokes’ new estate with platters of food and wine from the area, and as Jacinta is our organiser for this year the party side of the name is getting a good work out. It should be a fun filled event but also settled in a darker site with less sky glow than last year. More details to come as we will continue to flesh out the plans but we won’t be confirming things till mid-year.

    2FB HVSP site
    Two Fat Blokes’ new estate

    Our search for our new site is progressing well with over 15 sites reviewed and evaluated. We are currently short listing and plan to bring to the club our recommendations to proceed. Some of the options require little investment whereas others come with lots of facilities and club houses already established but will require an ongoing financial arrangement that the club will need to be committed to. There is even a potential for a 10 year plan if the club so chooses. Shout out to Greg McCall, Nick Angelini, Phil Angilley, John Lin and Dave Armen on the progress to date. Look out for our next update in a few weeks time.

    Given the above the club will further invigorate our Reflections Magazine and Monthly Showcase photos and articles. There is a new Reflections due to come out shortly so I encourage everyone to pick up your pen (or keyboard) and put down some of those thoughts that I know goes around in astronomers heads all the time. Turn your thinking into a muse or some jottings. I recently purchased a new guide-scope and it is decidedly not fixed and its position will definitely move from setup to setup. SharpCap says that this is not a problem! I’ve set out to test this and will be publishing my results in the next few weeks.  (“publishing!” – doesn’t that sound grand!!). The Monthly Showcase will be distributed electronically and you can all vote. Look out for the email…there are some lovely photos and interesting articles this month.

    Meanwhile I have done a total re-haul on my electrics and cabling and significantly reduced my cable snagging risk!

    DS scope
    Dave’s scope

    I hope you are all well and look forward to catching up with you all as soon as we can.

    David Stevenson
    Club President

     

  • Observing for Saturday 28th March is OFF

    Hi All, The Weather for Saturday is looking bad again therefore the night is OFF.
    Phil Angilley
    Observing Officer NSAS

  • Observing Saturday 21st March is OFF

    Hi All,
    The weather is not looking good for Saturday, therefore I have called the night OFF.

    I am going to Mangrove Mt tonight, any takers to join me.

    Phil Angilley
    Observing Officer NSAS
    pangilley@bigpond.com
    0448 120 178
    02 9939 7319

  • Observing Friday 20 March Mangrove Mt

    Hi All,

    With Saturday not looking so good at this present time, I am intending on going to Mangrove Mt, I will get dinner at the Petrol Station at Peat’s Ridge at 1830 and be onsite by sunset at 1900.
    I will be setting up on Kyola Rd, a few 200 M past Mangrove Dam Rd.
    If anyone is interested in joining me, please let me know directly pangilley@bigpond.com 0448 120 178
    Phil Angilley
    Observing Officer NSAS

  • NSAS IMPORTANT UPDATE of General Meeting for tomorrow night CANCELLED

    IMPORTANT UPDATE – In discussion with the St Ignatius school today we were advised that the school is closing down all use of its facilities other than for direct school activities.

    Consequently the NSAS meeting with Fred Watson as the speaker for tomorrow night will need to be postponed.
    The school has also advised that until the start of Term 2 (27th April) the facilities are not available.
    Whilst this is disappointing it is understandable given the circumstances.
    The committee will be convening a Committee Meeting in the weeks ahead and we will keep you appraised of developments.
    David Stevenson
    Club President
  • NSAS General Meeting for March; special speaker (Cont)
    Everyone,
    With the COVID-19 virus about the committee has discussed the advice from the Australian Dept of Health and based on this we will be proceeding with Fred Watson’s talk on Tuesday night. The Dept of Health advice is to limit organised, non-essential gatherings greater than 500 people and workplaces, schools, universities, shops, supermarkets, public transport and airports are not subject to any additional restriction.
    However restrictions will be applied for anyone with a cough, sniffle or any symptoms of a fever or cold. If you have any of these symptoms please do not attend Tuesday night.
    If you have any reason to believe that you may have been exposed to COVID-19 then please do not attend Tuesday night.
    For the safety of all of our members and visitors if you are symptomatic I, and the club, will ask you to leave and I would prefer to not have to do that.
    In WHO advice (link) it discusses that an aid to stopping transmission you should not shake hands nor stand within 1m of someone with symptoms. Again for our members, guests and visitors safety please adhere to this on Tuesday.
    I do hope to see many of you there, healthy people only of course 🙂 as it promises to be a very interesting talk and topic. In talking to Fred today Fred indicated that there is some new news to come out of ASKAP so I am quite intrigued.
    Stay well

    David S.

  • NSAS General Meeting for March; special speaker

    The NSAS General Meeting for March will be on Tuesday the 17th March at 7:30 PM at Regis Hall, Regis Campus, St Ignatius College, Lane Cove.

    Our speaker this month is Fred Watson from the AAO who is going to be talking about “Fast and loose – the mystery of FRBs”.

    As usual, visitors are most welcome!

    Cheers
    David Wallace

    Title: Fast and loose – the mystery of FRBs

    Summary:
    For the past decade or so, the world’s radio astronomers have been baffled by cosmic signals that defy attempts to explain them. Dating from an unrelated trawl through archival data from the Parkes Radio Telescope, the story of Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) has now shifted to some of the most advanced radio astronomy facilities in the world. They include ASKAP, the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder, located in remote Western Australia. But we don’t seem to have progressed very far in our understanding of FRBs. In this fully-illustrated talk, Fred Watson deviates from his lifelong work in optical astronomy to investigate what we are doing to fathom these freaks of the radio Universe.

  • February 2020 Monthly Showcase

    Hi everyone,

    There’s still one day left to submit your entries to the February 2020 Monthly Showcase. We’ve received one article and one image so far, but it would be great to get a few more.

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

    Cheers,
    Ben

  • Solar Viewing Sunday 1st March is ON

    Hi All,
    We are going to try to get some Solar Viewing in on Sunday.
    There will be some cloud about but we will give it ago.
    We will setup at 11 AM near the Observatory in the grounds of St Ignatius.
    Visitors are always welcome.
    Phil Angilley
    Observing Officer NSAS
    9939 7319  0448 120 178
    pangilley@bigpond.com

  • Observing for Saturday February 22nd is OFF

    Hi All,
    The weather for Saturday the 22nd February is looking Bad, therefore Observing is OFF.
    There is predicted cloud cover of 90% and rain.

    Regards,
    Phil Angilley
    Observing Officer NSAS

    PDAngilley
    89 Ryan Place
    Beacon Hill
    2100
    02 9939 7319
    0448 120 178
    pangilley@bigpond.com

  • Monthly Showcase-winning images Nov/Jan
    Here is John Sandoval’s November 2019 Monthly Showcase-winning image of Orion Nebula and Running Man (resized as the original was 37MB) and Greg McCall’s January 2020 Monthly Showcase-winning image of the Triffid Nebula.
    Regards,
    Ben
  • Observing for Saturday February 15th is OFF

    Hi All,
    The weather for Saturday the 15th February is looking Bad, therefore Observing is OFF.
    There is predicted cloud cover of 90% and Thunder Storms.

    Regards,
    Phil Angilley
    Observing Officer NSAS

    PDAngilley
    89 Ryan Place
    Beacon Hill
    2100
    02 9939 7319
    0448 120 178
    pangilley@bigpond.com

     

  • NSAS General Meeting for February; special speakers

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

    Our speakers this month are Pero Manojlovic and Rami Alsaberi from Western Sydney University. They will give a presentation from their PHD theses. See abstract below.

    As usual, visitors are most welcome!

    Cheers
    David Wallace

    NOTE 1: We have recently had problems with sending e-mails to all NSAS members. Some members have not receiving these e-mails. We don’t know what causes this, but it corrects itself eventually. So, if you have not received NSAS e-mails recently, do worry. You can still find out what is happening from the NSAS web site (see https://nsas.org.au/news/).

    NOTE 2: We will be producing NSAS membership badges within the next week or so. We will also update a NSAS Membership Badge board. So if you don’t want your NSAS membership badge to appear in the “naughty corner” of the NSAS Membership Badge board, could you please pay your 2020 membership ASAP. This can be done using PayPal from the NSAS web site (see https://nsas.org.au/membership/).

    Abstracts:

    Working with ATCA, ASKAP, and their large surveys
    Australia is home to some of the worlds leading radio telescopes such as Parkes, the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) and most recently the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP). ATCA and ASKAP especially excel at surveys as we have seen recently with projects such as GLASS and the Evolutionary Map of the Universe (EMU). In this talk I will present results obtained by analzying data from both of these instruments, namely samples of radio galaxies, clusters, Bent-Tail galaxies and other AGN which has comprised my PhD project so far. Studies on surveys such as these are essential for larger upcoming projects such as EMU’s near fullsky survey which will observe over 70 million radio sources in the sky.

    Discovery of a Pulsar-powered Bow Shock Nebula in the Small Magellanic Cloud Supernova Remnant DEM S5
    We report the discovery of a new Small Magellanic Cloud Pulsar Wind Nebula (PWN) at the edge of the Supernova Remnant (SNR) DEMS5. The pulsar powered object has a cometary morphology similar to the Galactic PWN analogs PSR B1951+32 and `the mouse’. It is travelling supersonically through the interstellar medium. We estimate the Pulsar kick velocity to be in the range of 700-2000 km/s for an age between 28-10 kyr. The radio spectral index for this SNR-PWN-pulsar system is flat (-0.29 +- 0.01) consistent with other similar objects. We infer that the putative pulsar has a radio spectral index of -1.8, which is typical for Galactic pulsars. We searched for dispersion measures (DMs) up to 1000 cm-3 pc but found no convincing candidates with a S/N greater than 8. We produce a polarisation map for this PWN at 5500 MHz and find a mean fractional polarisation of P ~23 percent. The X-ray power-law spectrum (~2) is indicative of non-thermal synchrotron emission as is expected from PWN-pulsar system. Finally, we detect DEMS5 in Infrared (IR) bands. Our IR photometric measurements strongly indicate the presence of shocked gas which is expected for SNRs. However, it is unusual to detect such IR emission in a SNR with a supersonic bow-shock PWN. We also find a low-velocity \HI\ cloud of ~107 km/s which is possibly interacting with DEMS5. SNR DEMS5 is the first confirmed detection of a pulsar-powered bow shock nebula found outside the Galaxy.

  • Solar Observing for Sunday 2nd February is OFF

    Hi All,
    The weather is considerably worst than forecast, so I must call the day OFF.
    Phil Angilley
    Observing Officer NSAS

  • Solar Observing Sunday 2 February is ON

    Hi All,
    Solar Observing for Sunday 2nd February is ON.
    Visitors Welcome.
    We will setup at the usual location at 11 AM.
    It is going to be HOT, bring some shade.
    Phil Angilley
    Observing Officer NSAS
    0448 120 178

     

  • January 2020 Monthly Showcase

    Hi everyone,

    There are still a few days left to submit your entry in the January 2020 Monthly Showcase. There haven’t been any submissions yet so you could be looking at an easy win!

    Remember, the targets can be anything astronomy-related and 10km and up.

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

    Cheers,
    Ben

  • NSAS – The sky clears for Bring Your Own Scope night, NSAS acquires another quality scope, Hunter Valley Star Party planning begins and Calyx support required

    With the bushfires and storms about we were a little sceptical that our Bring Your Own Scope night would go ahead but we were pleasantly surprised that the heavens cleared up and we had a very informative session with a number of people achieving their goals for the night. These included challenging photos of M42 through a Celestron 9.25” SCT onto a small chip camera (ASI290), first goto alignments for several people on Meade, Celestron and Skywatcher scopes, and with one person exploring focusing routines and techniques. The demonstration setups went well although polar alignment proved challenging for the astrophotography setup due to the light pollution. All-in-all it was a successful night with over 30 people attending with many experienced people supporting the night – Thank you to everyone who attended.

    On the night we also test drove a Celestron ED80 Refractor that has been donated to the club. The Bintel guys were on hand to give us some thoughts on how this can be used. It is currently on a push-to scope which took all of 5 minutes to setup and have it focussed on M42 and Venus. It’s a very easy rig to get going and provides a good quality image. The scope will be available in the Club’s Telescope library and can be borrowed by financial members with placement of a deposit. Bookings are made through emails to nsas@nsas.org.au.

    Following on the positive feedback we received for the HVSP we are again going to the Hunter Valley for this years Star Party. We are looking at several other sites to obtain a darker aspect and have some promising leads. Our VP, Jacinta Nicholson, is progressing these and hopes to tie down some details in the coming month. The timing is again aligned to the new moon with the dates Thursday 17th Sept – Sunday 20th Sept. Pencil in these dates and watch this space !!

    NSAS has again been invited to support the Royal Botanic Gardens with their “Astronomy at the Calyx” events which testament to Phil Angilley and the team that supports this educational event. Last year the funds raised enabled the club to purchase a new Celestron 6SE which is proving popular having been borrowed by a few financial members. The Calyx event for the 4th Feb is SOLD OUT with over 100 people attending and hence we are looking for 2 additional supporters for the night. If you are new to this, it is relatively straight forward and we will provide some basic training so you can become part of the team. If you are able to help please let me know by reply email.

    I hope you have all had a good January and are settling into the new year. I found an interesting podcast from the BBC – “13 minutes to the Moon” and am enjoying this. It is an easy listen and covers off many interesting aspects in the lead up to the moon landings. The cast include many people directly related to the Apollo program and if you are interested in the moon program I can recommend it.

    Clear Skies and see you in Feb.

    David S

  • Observing for Saturday 25th January is OFF

    Hi All,

    The weather for Saturday 25th January is predicted to have heavy Cloud cover, therefore the night is OFF

    Regards,
    Phil Angilley
    Observing Officer NSAS

    02 9939 7319
    0448 120 178
    pangilley @ bigpond.com

  • NSAS – Beginners Night and Bring Your Own Scope

    Hi everyone

    A reminder that this coming Tuesday (21st January) we are holding one of our popular events where you get to bring along your own scope and set it up and talk with other experienced astronomers/enthusiasts on how to get it working or ask questions about some weird aspect of it which may seem troubling.

    To make this event more information packed we will also be running some demonstrations of an Observing telescope setup and an Astrophotography setup. These sessions will start promptly at 7:40pm and will go from a standing start through to full set-up. The Observing setup should take approximately 30 mins and the astrophotography session will take an hour. We are planning on several manufacturers’ mounts (Celestron / Meade / Skywatcher) so there will be opportunities to attend one associated with the popular manufacturers which you may have.

    If you bring your own scope we will have people on hand to assist with your own setups. You need to bring your scope as you would in the field so if it requires power/battery you need to bring that too.

    The sessions start at 7:30pm at Regis Hall ( Link to map ). Experienced people please come along as you may have the key to someone’s question.

    Looking forward to seeing you there.

    David Stevenson
    President

    P.S. Visitors are most welcome.

  • Solar Viewing Sunday 5 January is OFF

    Hi All,
    There is going to be heavy cloud cover on Sunday, so I must call the viewing day OFF.
    Phil Angilley
    Observing Officer NSAS
    pangilley@bigpond.com
    99397319
    0448120178

  • Observing Tonight (28/12) is ON

    Guys,

    Just to let you know that observing tonight (Sat 28/12/2019) in ON at Terry Hills.

    David Wallace

  • “Bring your own Scope” night in January

    Santa’s delivering Telescopes!

    Yes – I was talking to somebody who is in the know and they let me know that Santa is delivering a new telescope to one of our members for this Christmas!! So hopefully it is you! Whoever it is they must have been a good boy or girl because it sounds like a nice addition to the collection.

    To help you, and everyone else who might have a new scope, or maybe you want to blow the dust of one yourself, or even if you want to just come along and have a chin wag we are having another “Bring your own scope” or “Beginners night” at 7:30pm on Tuesday 21st January at Regis Hall.

    David Stevenson
    President

    astronomy-clipart-science_astronomer

  • Our New Website goes live

    If you have looked at the NSAS Website in the last few days you may have noticed our new website is now up and running. We are still ironing out the bugs so let us know if you notice anything not quite right. A BIG thank you to Ilya Genkin who took on the challenge and has been busy designing and updating the site for the last 3 months.

    The site is designed to be more colourful and eye-catching. We have retained all the previous information but it is arranged in a more intuitive manner with an ability to drill into areas more easily. The forum is now integrated into the website and hence now provides an opportunity for members to interact with each other, to upload photos etc or for the society to provide members only information for special events etc. The site also accepts PayPal payments using credit cards and sports new calendar functionality. You can have it laid out in monthly grid (default) or in a list format if you prefer. The calendar is also searchable making it easy to look for things. For example – you can search for “visitors” or “members” or leave it blank and click “Find Events” to see everything. Give it a test drive and let us know what you think.

    If you are not yet a member of the forum feel free to register and if you have a question you can now pop it up there and have other members of the society lending a hand.

    Reflections has also been elevated in “statue” as it is now listed on the front page.

    I wish everyone well and look forward to seeing you all in the new year.

    David Stevenson
    President

  • Observing for Saturday December 21st is OFF

    Hi All,

    The weather for Saturday the 30th November is looking Bad, therefore Observing is OFF.
    There is predicted cloud cover of 60% and high Smoke haze.
    Lets try again Saturday 28th December.

    Regards,

    Phil Angilley

    Observing Officer NSAS

    PDAngilley

    89 Ryan Place

    Beacon Hill

    2100

    02 9939 7319

    0448 120 178

    pangilley