• NSAS – World Record Attempt, Fred Watson confirmed for our first Online Speaker session, Gladys let us back on the field and updates to the NSAS Website

    Hi everyone!

    Thank you to all those who responded to the survey and it was an overwhelming positive response to attend our speakers online given the current covid-19 situation. Consequently I’m very pleased to be able to confirm that Fred Watson will be “with us” on the 16th June at our 7:30pm virtual General Meeting. Stay tuned for details on how to register for the event as we set this up. Priority will be given to members and as it is our first time there are a few kinks to iron out but please pencil the date in the diary. We will send a subsequent email with the relative links and guides etc, meanwhile download zoom to your phone, ipad or PC depending upon what you want to watch on. On the night will start with some short club news and then will be handing over to Fred. There will be further follow-on speakers that will be announced for the months ahead.

    It was great to see that Gladys Berejiklian has raised the number of people who can get together (with rules applied) from the 1st June. The committee will be meeting shortly to confirm our decision and the processes that we will put in place for a return to the observing field. To begin, the nights will be Members Only and more stringent registration onto the field with numbers limited and first in first served rules will apply. We hope to get this out to you in the next week or two in time for 13 June, which is currently predicted to be dry.

    If you’ve been to our website lately you will see that we have been making some adjustments with our monthly showcase photos, Articles and Reflections Magazine getting a rework. Now, all articles will be able to viewed directly from the website as well as as a part of the Reflection Magazine. Both options are available depending upon if you wish to review specific articles etc. This also means that Google and other search engines will be able to catalogue our articles and photos and they will appear in the search results. Simply Google “NSAS Monthly Showcase” and you will see several links of the submissions to the club.

    Lastly – on the darkest night of the year, 21st June 2020, you are invited to be part of a World Record attempt for the largest number of people to attend an online lesson and to record an observation of the night sky. The Australasian Dark Sky Alliance (ADSA) is hosting the event down under but this is being organised on a global scale. Even if you live close to the city where light pollution is a problem then they especially want you to be involved as this is exactly what they need to know. Simply follow this link here to find more details. For $3 you get to make an observation, be in the draw for some super prizes and get a copy of the certificate, assuming the world record is broken of course!!

    I trust you are all keeping safe and well and I hope to see you all shortly.

    David S
    President

  • NSAS – Is there an end in sight to this? Is NSAS zooming a Fred to you?

    Hi everyone

    Great to talk to you from what appears to be the other side of our “first contact” with Covid-19. Hopefully we all manage this well and it becomes our only culture twisting experience. Certainly I must admit I like working from home and it feels normal now although getting out under the starry skies on our nights is something I am REALLY looking forward to. Since my last message to you there have certainly been some nice sky nights with little wind and cloud and as we come into the star gazing season this will only get better.

    There are a few things to update you on.

    On the good side the Northern Beaches Council sent an email out yesterday easing its restrictions on the community fields and hence we expect to use the field soon. However, as the restrictions still require a maximum of 10 people and the messaging is still very much cautious the Committee has decided that we will only become active at Stage 2 which raises the number of people to 20. So stay tuned for Stage 2 announcements.

    On General Meetings and use of the school facilities St Ignatious has advised us that we will be unable to use its facilities until the end of Term 2 which is about another 3 months. Consequently we are looking to start our Speaker sessions on the Tuesday 16th June via Zoom with Fred Watson, Australia’s Astronomer at Large.

    We are also considering if our New Astronomers Group (NAG) course can run online and would like your input on this as well please. NAG is designed for beginners or if people are after a refresher.

    Clear Skies
    David S

  • Monthly Showcase – April voting

    For April, the entries displayed below. Please vote on your favourite at: https://nsas.proboards.com/thread/121/april-2020-monthly-showcase-voting. You’ll need to be a member and logged in to the forum to place your vote.

    For May, entries are open – please send your submissions to me at bpetschel@gmail.com.

  • Monthly Showcase – March results, April entries open

    Hi everyone,

    Congratulations to Kym Haines whose wonderful image of M83 Southern Pinwheel Galaxy was voted the best of the March 2020 entries. It was a close contest with only one vote separating him from the other entrants. Congratulations also to David Wallace who had the best article “Light Detectors”.

    There are still a few days left to submit your entry for April 2020. There’s been only one entry so far, so it would be great to have a few more. Please send your submissions to me at bpetschel@gmail.com

    Cheers,
    Ben

  • Monthly Showcase – Feb results, March voting

    Hi everyone,

    Congratulations to Greg McCall who had both the best image (as voted by members) and the best article (as voted by the committee) for February. The image was M83 Southern PInwheel Galaxy and the article was an Introduction to Astrophotography. All of ourmembers’ excellent contributions will be published in Reflections magazine.

    For March, the entries are attached in PDF format (see link below). Please vote on your favourite at: https://nsas.proboards.com/thread/120/march-2020-monthly-showcase-voting. You’ll need to be a member and logged in to the forum to place your vote.

    For April, entries are open – please send your submissions to me at bpetschel@gmail.com.

    Cheers,
    Ben

    March 2020 Monthly Showcase – for voting

  • Reflections

    Hi everyone,

    Please find link below to the latest edition of Reflections.

    Jean-Luc

    Reflections March 2020

  • ICRAR Lectures

    If any of our members are interested, the International Centre for Radio Astronomy and Research (ICRAR) are conducting livestream lectures on YouTube every Wednesday at 9:30pm Sydney time.

    Last Wednesday lecture was on “Pluto, the Oddball” from Dr David Gozzard.
    You can catch this at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZH4ZNde2O0

    Here is the link to their Facebook post:
    https://www.facebook.com/199692286227/posts/10158277555306228/?d=n

    Subscribe now to be notified. They’ll run a new lecture every Wednesday at 9:30pm (Sydney time), thanks to ICRAR and ASTRO 3D. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCobAtc3ejuyreZAtIha4XHQ

    Andrew Murphy

  • NSAS Organised Observing Canceled

    Hi All,
    For the foreseeable future all organised observing is cancelled.
    This includes Solar, Visitor and Member Viewing Nights.
    Phil Angilley
    Observing Officer NSAS

  • 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.

    Click here -> February 2020 Monthly Showcase – for voting

    Cheers,
    Ben

  • 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