NSAS General Meeting for July; special speaker

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

Our speaker this month is Tibor Molnar. He is an Honorary Associate of the Department of Philosophy, University of Sydney. Tibor teaches Philosophy and Science at the university’s Centre for Continuing Education and the WEA. Tibor’s enthusiasm for Science in all its forms is well reflected in his presentation style. See the abstract below.

We will keep the new meeting format. Just a short meeting starting at 7:30 to discuss NSAS matters, then straight into our guest speaker’s presentation. This will be followed by tea and coffee where you can socialise (and talk astronomy/philosophy) with our guest speaker and other members.

As usual, visitors are most welcome!

Cheers
David Wallace

P.S. Just a reminder that this Saturday (7th June, i.e. tonight) is a member and visitor viewing night. There will be a member only viewing night next Saturday (14th July). The next solar observing will be on Sunday 19th August.

Abstract
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With ever-more-powerful instruments, we peer further and further into the unknown. And much of what we find is “unknown”: novel, unexpected, surprising. Indeed, this is what makes Science interesting and exciting – especially astronomy and cosmology. It is also what makes Science difficult. While technologically challenging, observation is the easy part. Description is even easier: a blue dot here; a red flash there; a vibration here; a difference there; etc. The hard part is the interpretation of what we see – the ‘making sense’ of patterns, correlations and invariances in our empirical data.

And not only is ‘making sense’ hard; it is, strictly speaking, not even scientific – observations/experiments don’t come with instructions for how to make sense of them. Rather, to the chagrin of many scientists, ‘making sense’ is a metaphysical issue… and metaphysics is something that scientists eschew with a passion!

In the absence of metaphysics, their preferred tool-of-choice is mathematics – the so-called “language of Science”. Produce the correct mathematical formulation, scientists say, and all is explained! Well, not so. Mathematics is powerful, but it is inadequate/unsuitable for the task of ‘making sense’. Mathematics can describe patterns and correlations, but it cannot make sense of them. Mathematics can describe relations between observations, but it cannot determine what those observations are of.

We all expect – nay, even demand – that Science ‘make sense’. In this presentation, Tibor Molnar explores this problem of ‘making sense’, and offers a little “Analytic Philosophy” to help achieve it.

Observing for Saturday July 7th is ON, Visitors Welcome

Hi All,

The weather for Saturday Night the 7th of July is looking Great, therefore the Night is ON.
This is a Visitor Welcome night, so I hope to see some new faces.
The night is going to be very cold, 14° down to 12° by midnight, so bring your warmest cloths.

I will open the gate about 4:30PM, so see you there.

Regards,
Phil Angilley

02 9939 7319

0488 120 178

Solar Observing for Sunday July 1st is ON

Hi All,

The weather for Sunday is looking good.
Solar observing for this Month is ON.
Come along and join us from 11 AM to 1 PM, for your change to have a look at the Sun.
There will be a variety of telescopes for observing the Sun Spots and Solar Flares.

Regards,
Phil Angilley
Observing Officer NSAS

02 9939 7319

0488 120 178
pangilley

Observing for Saturday June 16th is ON

Hi All,

The weather for Saturday Night the 16th of June is looking Great, therefore the Night is ON.
The night is going to be very cold, 15° down to 10° by midnight, so bring your warmest cloths.

I will open the gate about 4:30PM, so see you there.

Regards,
Phil Angilley

02 9939 7319

0488 120 178

NSAS General Meeting for June; special speaker

The NSAS General Meeting for June will be on Tuesday the 19th June at 7:30 PM at Regis Hall, Regis Campus, St Ignatius College, Lane Cove.

Our speaker this month is Kirsten Banks, an undergraduate Astrophysics student at UNSW, and a proud Wiradjuri woman. Join Kirsten on a journey through the night sky from the perspective of an Indigenous Astronomer. Hear star stories and delve into the astronomical knowledge of Aboriginal Australians in a fun and engaging talk led by the wonderful Kirsten Banks.

We will keep the new meeting format. Just a short meeting starting at 7:30 to discuss NSAS matters, then straight into our guest speaker’s presentation. This will be followed by tea and coffee where you can socialise (and talk astronomy) with other members.

As usual, guests are most welcome!

Cheers
David Wallace

P.S. Just a reminder that this Saturday (16th June) is a members only viewing night. The next visitor night will be Saturday 7th July. Solar observing will be on Sunday 1st July.

Observing for Saturday May 19th is ON

Hi All,

The weather for Saturday Night the 19th of May is looking OK, therefore the Night is ON.
This is a Members ONLY night, with the people attending NAG.

With Sun Set at 5:10, I will open the gate at 4:30 PM.

I look forward to see you all at Terrey Hills.

Regards,
Phil Angilley

02 9939 7319

0488 120 178

NSAS General Meeting for May; special speaker

The NSAS General Meeting for May will be on Tuesday the 15th May at 7:30 PM at Regis Hall, Regis Campus, St Ignatius College, Lane Cove.

Our guest speaker is Mark Wardle (Macquarie University) talking about “Star formation within one parsec of the supermassive black hole at the Galactic Centre”. Abstract follows.

As usual, guests are most welcome!

P.S. For those of you who do not know, we are conducting the New Astronomers Group (NAG) course this coming Saturday 19th May. This course is open to members and non-members (fees apply). Tell your friends and relatives about it. Enrolments can be made at https://nsas.org.au/nag/.

Also, there is a members-only viewers night on Saturday 19th May. You can show off your telescope and tell the NAG participants (i.e. potential NSAS members) what a wonderful organisation NSAS is.

Macquarie University is also holding their Astronomy Open Night on Saturday 19th May. NSAS members will be there supporting Macquarie University as well as promoting NSAS.

Cheers
David Wallace

Star formation within one parsec of the supermassive black hole at the Galactic Centre.

Black holes tend to tear anything in their vicinity apart.  This has long been thought to suppress star formation in the immediate surrounds of the supermassive black holes lurking at the centres of galaxies.  But just last year it was discovered that stars are forming in interstellar clouds within 1 pc of Sgr A*, the 4 million solar mass black hole at the centre of the Galaxy.   In this talk I will present our results and discuss their significance for understanding the environment of Sgr A*.