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:
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.
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. 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 Martin a message and come along to one of their meetings and have a go at shooting the stars.
Remember two things:
They were all beginners once.
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:
A huge blue-white supergiant 2,600* light-years from the Sun. If the star were placed at the centre of the Solar System it’s radius would extend out to the Earth’s orbit.
* Values may be refined as data received from ESA’s Gaia Astrometric Space Observatory is currently being processed.
Vega - Lyra (RA 18h 37m Dec +38ᵒ 47' Spec.type AO Va)
A main sequence, blue tinged white giant variable star, which is 4 x larger than our Sun. Has a rapid axial rotation (see size comparison) and is 25 light-years away. It is encircled by an extensive disc of dust debris, thought possibly resulting from interactions with other bodies, comets, asteroids or even ecoplanetary system formation.
A white giant star, 17 light-years from the Solar System and is almost twice the size and mass of the Sun. This star’s fast axial rotation of 9 hours, compared with the Suns 25 days, has caused it to have an oblate shape which is a 20% larger equatorial diameter than its polar diameter.
Terry’s Sky Notes
Protoplanet 4 Vesta
Between the 5th June and 16th July the asteroid Vesta, at its closest approach to the Earth on the 19th June, will be 170m km/106 million miles away. This should, given clear night skies, be visible enough to be seen without optical aid, although it will only appear as a vibrant bright spot, even through binoculars. The asteroid will not be as close again until 2040.
In 2011 NASA’s Dawn spacecraft found that Vestamay have been hot enough, in the past, to form a crust, mantle and a core, sufficient to generate a magnetic field. It’s surface is peppered with craters and the image above illustrates a series of three adjacent impact craters nicknamed The Snowman. There is also is a very large crater (not shown) near the south pole having a mean diameter of 525 km/326 miles (Rheasilva).
A NASA compilation of some of the missions images can be viewed as a video at: https://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/videos/#gallery-23
Sources: NASA, Sky & Telescope Weekly, Wikipedia
for June 2018 HAG Newsletter
Here are the dates for our programme
September 12, 2018
October 10, 2018
November 14, 2018
December 12, 2018
January 9, 2019
February 13, 2019
March 13, 2019
April 10, 2019
May 8, 2019
June 12, 2019
Our current plan includes the following topics. In alphabetical order:
Apollo 11 - 50 Years on the Moon
Images of the Universe - Part 3
InSight - Exploring the Interior of Mars
Lives of Galaxies
News from Space
ʻOumuamua is the first known interstellar object to pass through the Solar System. Formally designated 1I/2017 U1, it was discovered by Robert Weryk using the Pan-STARRS telescope at Haleakala Observatory, Hawaii, on 19 October 2017, 40 days after it passed its closest point to the Sun. When first seen, it was about 33,000,000 km (21,000,000 mi; 0.22 AU) from Earth (about 85 times as far away as the Moon), and already heading away from the Sun. Initially assumed to be a comet, it was reclassified as an asteroid a week later, and finally (6 November 2017) as the first of the new class of interstellar objects.
After six decades, Roger O’Brien is still an amateur astronomer. Whilst working for 26 years in a bank in the City, he “survived” to earn a BSc in Astronomy and began teaching.
One course was held at the Sele School and it was students from that course, who founded the Hertford Astronomy Group.
He says that one of his proudest moments was to be elected President of HAG.