Wednesday 10 October 8:00pm The Bayfordbury Observatory Mark Gallaway
Meetings held at: The View (Formerly Fairway Tavern) Panshanger Golf Complex Old Herns Lane, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire AL7 2ED Tel:01707 336007
Mark is a professional astronomer, author and science educator working at the University of Hertfordshire’s Bayfordbury Observatory where he teaches observational astrophysics to undergraduates.  He also deals with the day to day operations of one of the UK’s largest teaching observatories.  He is actively involved in the Observatory’s extensive public engagement programme and runs a small outreach programme, independent of the Observatory, focusing on primary education. As an Ogden Science Officer, Mark works with secondary schools and their primary feeders in Hertfordshire and Essex in order to improve science literacy within the classroom.  In addition, he works with teachers and parents to highlight the importance of physics to the UK economy and the necessity of a broad understanding of science in an evolving job market. He occasionally makes television and radio appearances as a pundit and has been a science consultant for a number of documentaries, television shows and movies.  His current area of research is Star Spots on M-Dwarfs, star formation and ultra-high precision photometry with small telescopes. He also has an interest in star formation, galaxy structure and the application of Graph and Set theory.
Membership details: £20 per year* Non-members £3.50 first 3 meetings  then annual membership subscription due pro rata for remaining meetings. Free to under 18s and full time students.  Proof of status may be required. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult but are not charged.
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What happens at our meetings? Doors open at 7:00 for the pre meeting show of astro photographs taken by group members followed by main meeting arrival from 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: 1. 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 others. 2. 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. 3. Just socialise with others - about anything! We look forward to seeing you.  No need to book - just turn up.

Have you ever wanted to try photography with your telescope?

Maybe, but not quite sure where to start? Our club has a section that goes by the grand name of Hertford Astronomy Group Astrophotography Section (HAGAS for short).  This is a group of people who also wondered how to go about taking photos with their gear and through trial and error have come up with some stunning photos. The point to get across is that they also didn’t know how to do it once and now get together to share experiences and techniques.  Moreover, they are delighted to help anyone who wants to make a start in this fascinating area.  So, what are you waiting for?  Send Denis a message and come along to one of their meetings and have a go at shooting the stars. Remember two things: 1. They were all beginners once. 2. There is no such thing as a daft question - only the one you don’t ask. Have a look at these photos that have been taken by the people who attend this group: More photos on the HAGAS Imaging Group page
Terry’s Sky Notes
Proposed Programme of Events 2018-19 (subject to change)
September 12th
Roger O’Brien 
October 10th
Mark Gallaway
The Bayfordbury Observatory
November 14th
Martin Braddock
Artificial Gravity
December 12th
Alice Sheppard
Galaxy Zoo
January 9th
Martin Hardcastle
Surveying the Sky for Radio Galaxies
February 13th
Paul Money
Images of the Universe - Part 3
March 13th
Alistair Scott 
Britain in Space
April 10th
John Timmins
Telescope Choices
May 8th
June 12th
Bob Marriott
Jerry Stone
Silver-On-Glass Revolution and AGM
Apollo 11: Fifty Years on the Moon
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‘Oumuamua & Interstellar Asteroids
Hertford  Astronomy Group
We’re coming to the Star B Que
The HAG Star-B-Que Saturday September 15, from 6pm until late. We are holding a special - and different - event for members.  It’s a combination Star Party and Bar-B-Que - A Star- B-Que :) The idea is to start off with the Bar-B-Que - before sunset at 7:15pm - so we can see to cook and eat our food whilst it’s light. Then we’ll move on to observing, starting with the Moon, which will be just over a day before First Quarter. It's due south at 5:50 and sets at 10.22 The Sun is 10º below the horizon at 8:15, by which time we should be able to see Mars, Saturn and Jupiter. Bring your own food to cook, and cutlery.  We’ll provide disposable bar-b-ques, plus fruit juice and lemonade - and marshmallows!  It’s at Wheathampstead Cricket Club, Nomansland, Wheathampstead, St Albans AL4 8EY - where we held our first “My Telescope Doesn’t Work” session. We will also bring some observing kit, but we’d like you to bring your own as well. This is a special social occasion combined with some observing - weather permitting! It’s for members and their families and is free. If you’d like to come along then click on the link below and let us know how many others will be coming with you.  You’ll then be sent a confirmation and additional details.
Regrettably Postponed
Observing the Night Sky
Imagine   the   Earth   is   at   the   centre   of   a   hollow   sphere   and   that   a   picture   of the   night   sky   is   projected   onto   the   sphere’s   inner   surface.   The   stars   appear to   move   across   the   face   from   east   to   west.   However,   they   are   not   moving, this movement is due to the Earth’s rotation around its polar axis. In   order   to   identify   individual   stars   astronomers   have   given   the   stars      co- ordinates   relating   to   their   relative   positions   in   the   sky.   These   are   known   as RA   ( Right   Ascension ),   the   equivalent   to   longitude   and   Dec.   ( Declination ),   the equivalent to latitude. RA -right ascension (altitude) – the point where the object first appears on the horizon, due to the Earth’s rotation, measured in hours and minutes, using the circumference of the Earth as the base reference divided into 24 hours i.e. 1 revolution. Dec – declination (azimuth) - the angle, in degrees, of the object in relation to the Earth’s equator either:   +  above the equator, or    below the equator. Polaris  e.g. Co-ordinates for pole star Polaris ( UMi) in the constellation Ursa Minor are RA 02h 32m & Dec +89 16m 
As the Earth’s polar axis is inclined at 23.4 degrees to the celestial equator the path of the Sun and the stars crosses this plane twice a year, in March and September, and they are called equinoxes, when the duration of daytime and night-time are approximately equal . SIZING NIGHT SKY OBJECTS A simple guide to identifying the approximate size of an object in the sky, can be achieved by pointing to the object with your arm out straight from the shoulder and using the diagrams below to obtain a value in degrees.