• NSAS Astrophotography Zoom Meeting for October 2020

    Hi,As promised at our Astrophotography breakout room at the AGM, I am running a Zoom meeting this Tuesday the 27th of October at 7:30 pm

    I (hopefully) will be showing a proposed observation site layout of our new PFA site. I will present some current thoughts on the new site as we understand the PFA plans. We will be looking for member feedback on the layout so that we can consider the ideas and discuss our plans with the PFA management.

    I’m also looking for discussion items that we can consider to present in future meetings so that help members with issues as well as trying to solve any ‘quick fix’ issues that our member brains trust might be able to assist on the night.

    Remember, the little issues you have may have a simple solution from other members which can potentially save you a lot of time. Your unsolved problem could inspire a member to think over the next month and come up with a solution at the next zoom meeting.

    I’m also looking for volunteers to present at future meetings. Examples would be a quick show and tell of your setup, a description/presentation of some gear or idea or just a quick show of your latest astrophoto.

    Walking around our observation site each month over the past few years, I have noticed lots of unique setups and ideas, both photography and visual. As I’m also interested in Astro technology, and I think these technology ideas help us with astrophotography, I also welcome talks on any Astro technology subjects as well. Subjects such as power and Polar Alignment are common to both visual and photography.

    Zoom details are the same as our general meeting but just in case you don’t have the details, click on this link:

    Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/w/99145927226?tk=4s1OkTSMkSE12hUugs1qDLM6VTWryVFaIdGjJn8XJ7A.DQIAAAAXFY7KOhZKSU9ZRi1lM1RScXVBY1JYQ0NzNHdnAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA&pwd=WmRSbkpvZUVGS2ZnQUZxb1o1Ritodz09

    Meeting ID: 991 4592 7226 Passcode: NSAS2020 One tap mobile +61871501149,,99145927226# Australia +61280156011,,99145927226# Australia

  • Observing for Saturday 17 October is OFF

    Hi All, The weather is going to be bad for Saturday so the night is OFF.
    Phil Angilley, Observing Officer NSAS.

  • Members Only Observing for Saturday 10 October 2020 is ON

    Hi All, The weather for Saturday is looking good, so the night is ON.
    I will open the gate at 6:30 PM.
    Phil Angilley
    Observing Officer NSAS
    0448 120 178

  • NSAS – Notice of AGM, Update on Beginners Night in the Field, PhotoBook and New Site progress

    Hi Everyone

    This is just a short note to remind you that the AGM is being held 7:30pm Tuesday 20th October. I’m pleased to report that all positions have a seconded nominee but an open invitation continues to exist for everyone if you wish to be part of the team. The AGM considers the appointment of 7 formal positions (President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary and 3 Committee Members). 

    If you would like to be involved but not necessarily be part of the Committee then there are many other roles and ways to help out. These can be as simple as helping out with crowd control (yes I’m serious!  ) on our new Beginners Night in the Field or can be more formal with specific responsibilities such as Assistant Observing Officer, Reflections Magazine Editor, Membership Officer, Course Manager of the NAG, Catering Officer or other roles. There are a base list of these on the website at http://www.nsas.org.au/about-nsas/committee/  but these can be tailored to suit your interests.  

    Please remember that this is an AGM so make sure you stock up with wine and cheese but I will need to ask you to refrain from dancing on any table tops.  Remember – your camera is on!!

    I will be attempting to create a breakout room where beginners can ask questions about their scopes etc. I’ve been told that breakout rooms are like “herding cats” and “Organised Chaos” so it will probably not go well in which case I will apologise in advance. If it becomes too much, remember the wine and cheese.
    Beginners Night in the Field (BNF)
    The club has now held two BNFs and they have had a lot of good feedback and appreciation shown by the attendees. We were more organised with our second event and it ran quite smoothly (as I said – better crowd control!). These are limited in places so we can remain covid compliant and allow a beginner to have about 3-4 hours support in understanding and getting their scope going. The thinking is that these will be a permanent feature and probably run most months depending upon demand. 

    Ken Schofield has been working on the NSAS Photobook and I’ve been lucky enough to see the preview – and it looks AMAZING and I want one! If you have some photos that could be included please send them (or a link) to mailto:photobook@nsas.org.au. We will have the draft up at the AGM. 
    New Site
    The new site continues to be built. The priority at the moment is getting the base build ready for Council signoff which is due in the next month or so. The construction will continue next year with our eventual location on top of a platform like hill. In the meantime we will have access to a large carpark area which gives almost a 360 degree view, except for 1 tree.  I’m hoping to sign the Access Agreement this week which will be a great way to kick off the new year.   
    I look forward to seeing you all on Zoom on the 20th!
    Clear Skies
    David S
  • Problems with the NSAS PayPal account – RESOLVED


    Good news, the NSAS PayPal account is working again. You can now pay your 2021 membership fees (due October). Also applies for Beginners Night in the Field payments ($10 for non-members, free for members).

    David Wallace

    NSAS Treasurer

  • Problems with the NSAS PayPal account


    Some of you have experienced problems trying to pay your NSAS membership (due October) to the NSAS PayPal account. I have talked to PayPal regarding this, and the issue should be resolved in a couple of days.

    David Wallace

    NSAS Treasurer

  • September 2020 Monthly Showcase

    Hi everyone,

    There are still a few days left to submit your entries for the September 2020 Monthly Showcase. Remember, the submissions can be photos, videos, drawings, articles, anything astronomy related.
    Please send your entries to me at bpetschel@gmail.com and please ensure that any images submitted have a maximum of 1200 pixels on the longest side for easy publishing. Also let me know whether or not you are ok with it being published on Facebook under your name.
  • 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


    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


  • 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.

  • 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).


  • 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

  • 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


  • 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.

  • 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.


  • NSAS Guest Speaker for July


    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.”

    David Wallace