Re: NSAS Guest Speaker for November

Abstract from Vanessa Moss:

Behind the scenes at ASKAP

The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder is the nation’s newest radio telescope, featuring advanced receiver technology designed and built at CSIRO. Last year, it started the first phase of Pilot Surveys for a variety of astronomy teams, which marked the end of official commissioning and set ASKAP on the path to full survey operations. Working with ASKAP in this phase is definitely an adventure, as will be outlined by Head of ASKAP Science Operations, Dr Vanessa Moss. She’ll give a behind-the-scenes look at how ASKAP works, the great astronomy discoveries it is making already, how it relates to its northern sister telescope Apertif, the big data and automation challenges already pushing the limits of modern technology, and what the future holds for this telescope in the era of the Square Kilometre Array.

From: NSAS
Sent: Monday, November 9, 2020 10:19 AM
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: NSAS Guest Speaker for November


Our guest speaker for November will be Vanessa Moss from CSIRO. She will speak on data management at the SKA. In keeping with our COVID safe policy, this will be conducted via Zoom. This meeting is open to everybody (i.e. NSAS members and non-members alike). The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 17th November, starting at 7:30pm (AEDST). To join, click here (Password: NSAS2020).

Abstract to follow.

David Wallace

NSAS – New Site Update, New Solar Telescope, Beginners Night in the Field, NSAS Photobook 2020 and Astronomy 2021 now available for order

Hi everyone

I hope you are all travelling well and are staying safe. With the Government easing its rules to 30 people hopefully this is a sign we can shortly ease visitor restrictions and return to semi-normal activities in the coming months. Please stay tuned here for updates.

Our new site continues to come along, although with the recent rain this now looks like being delayed into the new year before the council approves the final development. We will continue to use the Terrey Hills site until further notice with our extended member access.

I’m also pleased to let you know that our friends at Bintel have recently donated a solar telescope to the club. It is a Coronado PST and I tried it out yesterday. There was clear sunspot activity with a cluster of 2 larger spots with two smaller spots readily visible on the sun’s surface. I was also able to make out 2 small solar flares on the edge which was exciting to see. We will bring the solarscope along to the field and if you wish to look through it you will need to provide your own lens, 15-20mm would be the correct size. So next time you are in Bintel, or come across John Mills at the field, please don’t forget to say thank you.

Our new Beginners in the Field program is going well and has helped about 25 people to get going with their scopes. We lost a couple of nights due to cloud cover but anticipate that we will recover these with additional Friday or Saturday night events. If you have a rescheduled booking, keep an eye out for an email which will give you the new details. If you haven’t made a booking and would like help to get going, then keep an eye out on the website for additional nights that will be announced in due course.

The NSAS Photobook for 2020 is now available for ordering.

This is a high quality printed publication of about 60 photos from NSAS members. A PDF draft and more information is available on the NSAS site here. If you have a specific photo you want included make sure you email that photo to before you place your order and make sure you make commentary with your order in the applicable text box. The standard price from Snapfish is $52 but we are able to source these delivered to your door for $45. Similarly we have now had delivery of the information packed Astronomy 2021 magazine and we have 12 copies left at members only discounted rates of $25 pick up in Turramurra (+ $5 delivery if you prefer).

Please note that membership fees are due and can be paid at NSAS Store. Thank you to everyone who has already paid.

The weather is looking good for this Saturday night so hopefully it stays that way for everyone and you get a chance to look up!

Clear Skies
David Stevenson

NSAS Guest Speaker for November


Our guest speaker for November will be Vanessa Moss from CSIRO. She will speak on data management at the SKA. In keeping with our COVID safe policy, this will be conducted via Zoom. This meeting is open to everybody (i.e. NSAS members and non-members alike). The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 17th November, starting at 7:30pm (AEDST). To join, click here (Password: NSAS2020).

Abstract to follow.

David Wallace

October 2020 Monthly Showcase

Hi everyone,

There are still a few days left to submit your entries for the October 2020 Monthly Showcase. Remember, the submissions can be photos, videos, drawings, articles, anything astronomy related.

Please send your entries to me at and please ensure that any images submitted have a maximum of 1200 pixels on the longest side and are in JPEG format for easy publishing. Also let me know whether or not you are ok with it being published on Facebook under your name.

Past entries can be viewed at and at


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

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

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  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 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