Croydon Astronomical Society
est. 1956

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Meetings

Meetings are held at the Royal Russell School, Coombe Lane, Croydon, Surrey CR9 5BX,

start at 7:45 pm and finish around 10 pm.


Our society is a registered charity. We do not charge a mandatory admission or membership fee, instead relying on voluntary donations by the following methods:


We try to structure the meetings to appeal to our members and guests of all levels, from beginner to expert. They normally consist of an introductory talk by one of our members, society news, or an observers section; then a refreshment break followed by the main lecture where the speaker presents a more in-depth talk. A small nominal charge is made for refreshments.

Next meeting ►

Friday

31st Oct

2014

For this meeting we welcome once again a speaker who is a former president of the British Astronomical Association (BAA), the 2005 RAS award winner for services to astronomy, and editor of 'The Astronomer' since 1975. Guy Hurst will speak on "Professional-Amateur collaboration in Astronomy", originally given as a presidential address at the AGM of the BAA. He will illustrate the very wide range of objects which can now be studied jointly by amateurs and professionals. Methods of exchanging notes and advice are supplemented by showing numerous images and measures of key objects. The considerable help given by both sides to each other will hopefully persuade others to participate, making observing useful as well as fun.

The shorter/beginners' talk will be by Martin Gaiger, on "Lunar Imaging". The Moon, as well as providing a wealth of detail, is an ideal starting subject for astronomical photography.

After the introduction there will be a short illustrated mix of recent astronomical news, events and observations.

Schedule

All our regular school meetings are on a Friday evening. The dates for 2014 and 2015 are below:

• 5th Sep,  19th Sep,  3rd Oct,  17th Oct,  31st Oct,  14th Nov,  28th Nov,  19th Dec 2014.

---------------------------------- Christmas break 2014 ----------------------------------

• 9th Jan,  23rd Jan,  6th Feb,  20th Feb,  6th Mar,  20th Mar 2015.

------------------------------------- Easter break 2015 ------------------------------------

• 10th Apr,  24th Apr,  8th May,  22nd May,  5th Jun,  19th Jun,  3rd Jul,  17th Jul 2015.

----------------------------------- Summer break 2015 -----------------------------------

Schedule detail

• Oct 31st: Guy Hurst: Professional-Amateur collaboration in Astronomy;

• Nov 14th: Chair Peter Hutton: Imaging the Sun;

• Nov 28th: Dr Myrto Symeonidis: Supermassive black holes: the monsters lurking in the centre of galaxies;

• Dec 19th: Christmas meeting: Food, drink and fun (more details soon).

There are several speakers pledged to give a talk in the new year. More details of these talks will be appearing on the CAS website, Facebook and Altair_B as soon as they arrive and also given at the meetings and the email notification to members on the next mailing.

Friday

25th July

2014

This Friday 25th July we have Tony Sizer, a guest speaker from the Orpington Astronomical Society, who will be giving us a talk on 'The Violent Universe'. From the big bang and inflation to supernovae and black holes, the most violent events in the Universe are the most exciting.

Before the break there will be a talk by Alan Drummond on Comets. Although new comets cannot be predicted we are never too far away from the next bright one. These 'messengers' give us information on the early solar system.

Friday

11th July

2014

This Friday 11th July we revisit Mars with an illustrated talk by Jeremy Workman. The rovers Spirit and Opportunity have been sent specifically to search for evidence in rocks and soil that hold clues to past water activity on Mars.

Before the break there will be a talk by Peter Hutton on imaging the Sun, using just taken photographs with his own equipment, showing that successful imaging is now cheaper than ever.

Friday

27th June

2014

This Friday 27th June we have a speaker from our own society, Ray Bailey, who will be speaking on two subjects. One talk is of his own 'Purley' observatory, where he will detail the construction, equipment and observing techniques, illustrating with photographs of both the observatory and observations. The other talk will be on measuring Sidereal Time, using a technique easily carried out by observation of the night sky.

Before the break there will be some recent astronomical news, events and observations, some by members.

Friday

13th June

2014

This Friday 13th June we have our own established speaker Konrad Malin-Smith, who will be taking us south of the equator and show us the 'Wonders of the Southern Skies'. As the orientation of the Earth is with the southern hemisphere towards the centre of the galaxy it is not surprising that there are more objects, pertaining to our galaxy, to view in that direction. There will be something for everybody; history, photography, equipment, some theory and will include the important Cepheid variables.

Before the break Roy Easto will be speaking to us about his project, recreating the measurement of the distance to the planet Mars by Cassini in 1672. This project required teaming up with others in far off places, and using their images to compare with those taken from our observatory at Kenley.

Time permitting there will be some recent astronomical news, events and observations, some by members.

Friday

30th May

2014

This Friday 30th May we have James Fradgley, an experienced speaker, who will be talking to us on several subjects that will fill the evening.

Before the break it will be the Goldilocks Planets and after the break the 3 subjects of: 'OBAFGKM', 'Night vision for astronomers' and the 'Hydrogen 21 cm line'.

Time permitting there will be some recent astronomical news, events and observations, some by members.

Friday

16th May

2014

This is our annual general meeting (AGM) The meeting will be held first and then after the usual break, we hold an open forum, an invite and opportunity to share any questions you have on the meeting and society as a whole. The agenda, appendices and minutes of the meeting last year will be as paper handouts for all.

The AGM is for members only; however guests may attend although they cannot take any part themselves in the meeting.

Time permitting we may include some astronomy towards the end, either in the form of news, photographs, short films or answering questions.

Friday

2nd May

2014

This Friday 2nd May our main speaker will be Alan Drummond who will be speaking on 'Order and Chaos in the Universe'. In our universe, order arises out of the natural chaos and we'll see the processes that enable this and also discover and learn of the Strange Attractor.

The meeting will start with an extended news, events and observations section, where recent members' observations will also be shared.

Friday

11th Apr

2014

This Friday we have our annual exhibition meeting, where you are invited to share any images or drawings taken in the last year (or not shown before), and equipment you use, such as telescopes, binoculars, cameras, adapters etc.

Our society astronomer, John Berman, will be showing his images from Kenley, displayed through the projector and in print around the room. There will be displays from other people, accompanied by explanations of how they were taken, and will show that the techniques do not necessarily need be advanced. This will be a good time to enquire on telescopes and observing techniques etc.

Friday

28th March

2014

The main talk for this meeting is 'Active Galaxies', a look at those galaxies that have an unusually bright centre. The luminous core is fuelled by a super massive black hole and we look at the mechanism, characteristics and varieties they exhibit. The easily visible Messier galaxy M77 is one such example.

The shorter beginners' talk will be by Peter Hutton, on the continuing development of his observational equipment and results so far. He will detail what works and what doesn't, and illustrate his achievements through photographs.

Friday

14th March

2014

We welcome Richie Jarvis who will be speaking on ‘Capturing the Heavens - an Introduction to Astrophotography’, a look into the world of astrophotography, the type of equipment used and examples of the various ways to take pictures of the night sky.

Richie presents a monthly Internet Radio show called Under British Skies on Astronomy.FM, has appeared on The Sky at Night television programme and has his own website: http://www.deepsky.org.uk/.

The short beginners talk will be on the constellation Ursa Major by William Bottaci and there will also be a short presentation of astronomy news, events and observations, from our own members and around the world.

Friday

28th February

2014

We continue a popular theme for our Royal Russell School meetings, where we have four speakers, each presenting a talk where the subject begins with the same letter of the alphabet, and we now reach the letter 'U'. Expect a medley of subjects, all astronomical; the first will be presented before the refreshment break and the other three directly afterwards.

There will also be a short presentation of astronomy news, events and observations, from our own members and around the world.

Friday

14th February

2014

We welcome once again Paul Coleman who will be speaking on Auroras, nature's amazing light show, illustrating with his own photographs taken recently from northern Canada, having braved temperatures of 30 degrees below. He will also be bringing his own high resolution projector to show them at their best.

The beginner's shorter talk will be a biography of Edwin Hubble, by Alan Drummond. Come and find out why his astronomical career is so highly regarded.

There will also be a short presentation of astronomy news, events and observations, from around the world and our own members.

Friday

31st January

2014

We welcome once again our own established society speaker John Murrell, on ‘G2V - our Sun, an average star?’ Our Sun is frequently described as an average star. We examine the Sun in the context of other stars, looking at stellar properties and how we measure them. The talk will end by asking if our star is indeed average based on the evidence presented.

Friday

17th January

2014

The BBC Stargazing Live event differs from the usual documentary type programme, in that it presents multi-formatted but integrated content. Following on from our society’s involvement, on the 9th Jan at the Royal Holloway University, we present those areas of astronomy that cannot be easily dealt with in any one-subject talk, but all related to the experience of the event and particularly to observational amateur astronomy. Included will be little known and surprising essentials.

The beginner's shorter talk will be the oft-postponed presentation by Roy Easto, on his project of measuring the distance to our Moon. In a way this is like retracing history's footsteps, enacting the kind of observations that our forefathers were able to and limited to, using simple equipment and techniques; to achieve a landmark result. Something easily within scope of amateurs today, and details of participating in this project will also be given.

Friday

3rd January

2014

The New Year starts with a talk by William Bottaci on the ‘Local Group and Neighbouring Galaxy Clusters’. This will cover the immediate neighbourhood of galaxies (Local Group), their individual peculiarities and how they interact with each other and also shed some light on the Great Attractor.

The beginner's shorter talk will be by Mike Ross, on the space probe Gaia, an ambitious mission to chart a three-dimensional map of our Galaxy, the Milky Way. Gaia will provide unprecedented positional and radial velocity measurements with the accuraciesrequired to produce a stereoscopic and kinematic census of about one billion stars in our Galaxy and throughout the Local Group.

Friday

13th December

2013

This Friday we will have our Christmas meeting where the main feature, after the break, will be an informal fun event, a quiz based around the subject of astronomy.

The first part of the meeting will also be informal and feature some short videos.

As in previous meetings please bring some festive food and drink to share and the break will be longer than usual.

Friday

6th December

2013

The main talk will be by Prof Andrew Norton (recently promoted at the Open University to Professor of Astrophysics Education) on Gamma-ray Bursts. These most energetic explosions are still mostly mysterious but knowledge has increased recently. Come and find out the very latest news and information on the largest bangs in the universe and what may be causing them.

Friday

22nd November

2013

The 'main talk' will be a series of illustrated shorter talks, by several people, all based on an image from an astronomer’s own list of 'top ten' of images during 2012 (it actually contains 21).

The beginner's shorter talk will be by Roy Easto, on his project of measuring the distance to our Moon. In a way this is like tracing history's footsteps, enacting the kind of observations that our forefathers were able to and limited to, using simple equipment and techniques; to achieve a landmark result. Something easily within scope of amateurs today; details of participating in this project will be given.

Friday

8th November

2013

Our own Alan Drummond will be speaking on 'Helium', the second most abundant element in the universe and in stars. Find out how it came to be and the role it plays in making stars shine, albeit in their later lives.

The short talk, by Paul Harper, will be on 'Will Hay', the amateur astronomer who discovered the Great White Spot on Saturn in 1933, and whose day job was as an actor, usually in comic roles.

Immediately after the usual introduction there will be an illustrated mixture of recent astronomical news, events and observations.

Friday

25th October

2013

Postponed from the 27th September is a talk by our own established speaker Konrad Malin-Smith, who will be talking on White Dwarfs, the future of ordinary stars like our Sun. Come and learn what will be its fate and learn many interesting things along the way.

The short talk, by William Bottaci, will be on T Tauri type stars; those which are right on the other side of the evolutionary path to white dwarfs.

Immediately after the usual introduction there will be an illustrated mixture of recent astronomical news, events and observations.

Friday

11th October

2013

We continue a popular theme for our Royal Russell School meetings, where we have four speakers, each presenting a talk where the subject begins with the same letter of the alphabet, and we now reach the letter 'T'. Expect a medley of subjects, all astronomical, the first will be presented before the refreshment break and the other three directly afterwards.

Friday

27th September

2013

Konrad Malin-Smith, our own well established Society speaker, will be talking on White Dwarfs, the future of ordinary stars like our Sun. Come and learn what will be its fate and learn many interesting things along the way.

Friday

13th September

2013

For this first meeting of the 2013-2014 season we start once again with the energetic speaker Greg Smye-Rumsby - of the Astronomy Now magazine and the Royal Observatory - who will be speaking on a brand new subject, which he insists on being a surprise, but we know he never disappoints.

_____________________________________________________________


There are no meetings in August.


Details of our meetings are also available on the CAS Web Calendar found on the home page. Using this calendar you can set up email or SMS text alerts to remind you of the lecture times.

Friday

17th Oct

2014

The main talk for this Friday will be a joint collaboration - actually two speakers on the same subject - on "Relativity Revisited - an introduction". Konrad Malin-Smith and William Bottaci will each give an update on their previous talks, and the two viewpoints on the same subject will help to explain a subject that is a fact of life and yet not easy to visualise.

The shorter beginner's talk will be by John Chandler-Honnor on "First Steps in Astronomy", an introduction to various concepts essential for further understanding.

Friday

3rd Oct

2014

The scheduled speaker has had to be re-arranged for next month, so for this meeting there are two impromptu talks. The main talk is entitled "Where is the centre of our galaxy?" It will explore how the size and structure of the Milky Way was determined, the discovery that there is a centre then how to find it through the intermediate gas and dust.

The shorter talk will be by the Chair, Peter Hutton, on a subject intentionally withheld for more effect during the talk.

Friday

19th Sept

2014

We continue a popular theme for our Royal Russell School meetings, where we have four speakers, each presenting a talk where the subject begins with the same letter of the alphabet, and we now reach the letter 'V'. Expect a medley of subjects, all astronomical, the first will be presented before the refreshment break and the other three directly afterwards.

There will also be a short presentation of astronomy news, events and observations, from our own members and around the world.

Friday

5th Sept

2014

We start our new year at the Royal Russell School with the energetic speaker Greg Smye-Rumsby of 'Astronomy Now' magazine and the Royal Observatory, who returns to speak on a brand new subject, "Space Art - How people have interpreted space, through illustrations." He will illustrate with his own graphics seen in the Astronomy Now magazine as well as those of other artists.

The short talk, by William Bottaci, will be an illustrated mixture of recent astronomical news, events and observations over the summer.

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