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Wiltshire Astronomical Society Posts

2019 November Meeting and Newsletter

Tonight, Tuesday 5th November 2019, we’re looking forward to welcoming Andrew Lound to our November monthly meeting.

Andrew will be looking at Uranus and the history of William Herschel’s discovery of that fabulous planet. Andrew’s full bio is in this month’s newsletter.

Andy Burns has put together a bumper newsletter, with lots of contributions from members, thanks Andy!

The Palma to Aberdeen flight BY1213 flying across the Moon at 8:57 from Chippenham. Credit: Andy Burns

2019 October Meeting and Newsletter

Hot exoplanet. Credits: ESA/ATG medialab, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Tonight, Tuesday 1st October 2019, we’re excited to welcome Dr Chris Pearson from RAL Space in Harwell, Oxfordshire to our October monthly meeting.

Chris will present the state of the art on what is surely one of the most exciting topics in all of science today, Exoplanets. Chris will also cover his involvement in Esa’s ARIEL mission that is currently in development.

2019 September Meeting & Newsletter

Credit: Peter Chappell 2019

Tonight, Tuesday 3rd September, we kick off our new season with a thanks to Andy Burns for his dedication to the society over 25 years and continuing to publish our PDF newsletter. Here’s to another 25 years!

For our meeting tonight, we will be in the capable hands of Steve Tonkin who will talk about Time and Calendars and the relevance to astronomy. To see more from Steve, check out his website https://astunit.com. Steve’s talk will be followed by our (short) AGM. Thank you to all the committee volunteers and those that help the society.

Note on this month’s featured image. We had a couple of members travel out to Argentina and Chile for the total solar eclipse in the crisp skies of the Andes. Here is an image from Peter Chappell. Image detail: 3rd Contact: f6.3, ISO 3200, shutter speed (S/S) 1/160 of a second at 400 mm.

2019 June Meeting & Newsletter

Summer Skies …

For our final meeting of this season, scheduled for Tuesday 4th June 2019, we welcome Owen Brazell who will ably guide through how to observe the amateur astronomer’s favourite, planetary nebulae. Please see our meetings page for further details.

Accompanying the monthly meeting is this month’s newsletter kindly put together by Andy Burns, featuring the latest news and events for Wiltshire AS and the other local astronomy societies, get the newsletter here (link).

As a reminder, the society now enters it’s summer recess for the monthly meetings. The new season for 2019/2020 will restart on Tuesday 3rd September 2019. During the summer months, please keep an eye on the club’s public Facebook page (link) where we will continue to post news and society info. If you are a society member, then keep up to date with other members on the members facebook group here (link).

2019 May Meeting & Newsletter


For our May meeting on Tuesday 7th May 2019, we welcome our friend from over the border, Mark Radice who will be giving us some practical observing tips for our own Solar System. Please see our meetings page for further details.

Accompanying the monthly meeting, is this month’s newsletter kindly put together by Andy Burns, featuring the latest news and events for Wiltshire AS and the other local astronomy societies (Download link).

2019 April Meeting & Newsletter

For our April meeting on Tuesday 2nd April 2019, we welcome back the long-time friend of the society and accomplished author, Martin Griffiths. Martin will delight us with his hopefully upbeat talk on “Universal Death, or How the Universe is trying to kill us”. Please see our meetings page for further details.

Accompanying the monthly meeting, is this month’s newsletter kindly put together by Andy Burns, featuring the latest news and events for Wiltshire AS and the other local astronomy societies (Download link).

Credit: Andy Burns
Andy’s image this month comes from his successful trip to Iceland in March to see the Northern Lights.

Smoke messiered things up …

Last Friday’s (29th March 2019) Wiltshire Astronomical Society observation session was very well attended and much interest was shown. Unfortunately, the attempted messier mini marathon was spoiled somewhat by a nearby bonfire obscuring many setting objects and the skies never quite became clear enough to make out anything remotely faint.

Of the planned 30 major targeted objects, I only managed to find 13 in total. However this was using the old fashion method of finding them i.e. star charts and finder scope. It was a good evening though with lots of friendly banter throughout and thanks goes to the observing coordinators and all members who attended.

Member post by Chris Brooks

Scheduled Observing Session Tonight

There is a scheduled (subject to email confirmation) observing session tonight, Friday 2th March 2019, meeting at 19:30 at Lacock, Wiltshire. Please see our observing page https://wasnet.org.uk/observing/ for further details.

Source: Wiltshire Astronomy Society

The observing team are hoping to chase down targets in a Mini Messier Marathon, see this list of suggested viewing order for Messier Objects (link) and this finder booklet to messier objects (link).

IMPORTANT NOTE. The final “ON”/”OFF” email alert on whether the session goes ahead will be sent to the Wiltshire AS Observing Email List usually by the afternoon of the day of the session. Members and non-members can subscribe to the observing mailing list through our observing page https://wasnet.org.uk/observing/. Please use the mailing list as the confirmation.

2019 March Meeting

We’re excited that we have got Chris Starr giving us a talk on “A Most beautiful Moon – A History of Lunar Exploration” for our March meeting on Tuesday 5th March.

Please see (link) to this month’s newsletter for further details of the meeting and this month’s activities.