Doors open at 7:30 for the meeting due to start at 8:00 but several club members
and friends gather before this to have a drink and chat in the bar.
Following welcome announcements we have a guest speaker who speaks on the subject
of the evening for about 45 - 60 minutes. This is followed by questions relating
to the talk.
Announcements about forthcoming events follow.
You can then choose from the following activities:
If the weather is clear telescopes and binoculars brought by members are set up outside
for some observation. Members doing so will be pleased to share their scopes with
If you need help with some equipment then now is your chance to bring it in. Others
in our club will be more than willing to help you . Don’t be shy, we get just as
excited about a telescope bought at the charity shop for £20 as we do one costing
many times more.
Just socialise with others - about anything!
We look forward to seeing you.
AGM followed by:
Is Pluto a Planet?
Jerry Stone FBIS
8:00pm - Doors open at 7:30 although the bar is open earlier for a drink
Jerry is a freelance presenter on astronomy and space exploration. He gave his first
talk on space over 45 years ago, whilst he was at school; now he does this all over
the UK and abroad. He has spoken about space at the British Science Festival, the
Royal Observatory, the Palace of Westminster, the Royal Institution … and a rock
Pluto will be in the news in 2015 as the New Horizons spacecraft - which has Jerry's
name on it - finally reaches Earth’s distant cousin in the outer reaches of the Solar
System, after a journey of 9-1/2 years. But will it actually encounter a planet?
Just 7 months after New Horizons was launched back in January 2006, the International
Astronomical Union voted to re-classify Pluto as a Dwarf Planet, resulting in uproar
in the astronomical community and starting a controversy that still divides opinion
among astronomers and the general public alike. But does it need to? Is there not
a simple answer?
“Is Pluto A Planet?” covers the thorny question of the status of Pluto. It looks
in detail at the IAU definition of a planet and some of its unexpected - and unintended
- consequences. To give an example, Jerry can show that Jupiter - the biggest object
in the Solar System after the Sun - is actually a dwarf planet! He can also show
that it isn’t a planet at all …
So how many planets do we really have? Is it 8, 21 or maybe only 3?
This is Jerry's most controversial presentation, and includes some things that one
astronomer has told him he shouldn’t be saying!
Copies of Jerry's book commemorating the Moon landings - “One Small Step” - will
be available, priced £15, which he will be happy to sign.
Author of "One Small Step", commemorating the first men on the Moon