Date   
WELCOME

Michael Morris
 

WELCOME to the new Worcester Astronomical Society Newsgroup. This newsgroup is open to all members of Worcester Astronomical Society.

The newsgroup is designed to compliment the society's website, which can be found at http://worcesteras.freeserve.co.uk. It allows members to find out about breaking news, such as whether observing evenings are going ahead; post observing reports, scanned sketches and digital images; download copies of presentations and supporting materials that is available for some talks; post links to interesting websites; and chat to other members on line.

How do I join the Worcester Astronomical Society newsgroup?
Applying for membership is easy, free and should only take about 2 minutes. However, you will need to create a Yahoo! account if you don't already have one. Your membership will have to be approved on line by one of the moderators (a committee member) before you can access the members-only features. We hope to approve membership requests within a day or two, but it will probably be done much quicker. You can find out how to apply for membership at http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/groups/original/members/index.html

Do I have to be a member of the newsgroup to read it?
No, anyone can read the postings on the newsgroup. However, you'll need to be a member to post on it or to access the files, photos or links.

How do I post a comment or question?
Once you're logged in to Yahoo!, go to the worcesteras newsgroup and click on Messages > Post on the left hand side. If you're new to the newsgroup, your first few postings will be cleared through the moderators before they appear on the newsgroup.

How to do I post pictures or sketches?
All photos and scanned sketches will be approved by a moderator before they appear on the newsgroup. Please, no family snaps or pretty landscapes - just astro stuff or society events. It's really helpful to other members if you can include details of the object you have imaged, including exposure details and the equipment and processing techniques used. Please read the photograph and sketch posting guidelines before posting any pictures. These guidelines can be found in the `Files' section.

Can I post files, links or calendar entries?
As a member you cannot directly post a file, link or calendar entry. Requests for links, calendar entries and for files to be posted to the `Files' section should be e-mailed to: worcesteras@...

What can I post?
The main stipulation is that you only post things relevant to the society and/or to astronomy. We have come up with a very simple set of posting rules. You can find them in the `Files' section.

How do I know what's been posted on the newsgroup?
If you go to `Edit membership' just above the newsgroup title bar. Scroll down to Step 2 – Message delivery to select how you want to be informed (or not) about postings to the newsgroup. If you just want to receive messages from moderators (For instance, Notification of whether Observing Evenings are going ahead or not), select Special Notices. You can change these settings at any time.

Clear skies

The Moderator Team

Posting video files - an answer.

Michael Morris
 

At the February meeting at Lower Smite Farm we had a query about posting video files on the newsgroup. If the society is to host video files they would have to posted in the 'Files' section of the newsgroup. I'm afraid we only have 100MB of space allocated to us for this section of the newsgroup which is nothing like enough space to host video files. The photos section (which has 100GB of space) will not accept videos.
The answer therefore is for members to post any video files they want to display on Youtube, and then send us a link to the Youtube video.

Re: Posting video files - an answer.

Michael Morris
 

I've added a link to a video I took of the occultation of Saturn in May 2007 to show how this works. Look in the 'Links' section of the newsgroup.

--- In worcesteras@..., "michaelcharlesmorris" <michaelmorris4@...> wrote:

At the February meeting at Lower Smite Farm we had a query about posting video files on the newsgroup. If the society is to host video files they would have to posted in the 'Files' section of the newsgroup. I'm afraid we only have 100MB of space allocated to us for this section of the newsgroup which is nothing like enough space to host video files. The photos section (which has 100GB of space) will not accept videos.
The answer therefore is for members to post any video files they want to display on Youtube, and then send us a link to the Youtube video.

First Light for the Evostar 150

Andrew Buckland
 

12/14th February 2011

After several months of thinking about it I obtained a Skywatcher Evostar 150 refractor from Chris last week.

One thing that strikes you about a relatively slow, F8, six inch refractor is its sheer size. Ok, the tube is only about 6 inches in diameter but with the dew shield fitted it is about 5 foot long.

I did all of the usual alignment of finder and working out the balance points for the EQ5 mount inside during the week and was keen to actually see this beast in action.

As Saturday afternoon turned into evening the skies cleared and I hurriedly set up and turned the 'scope to the moon. Note to self, will need to extend the legs of the EQ5 mount since the eyepiece was little more than 18 inches above the ground. However, through rapidly deteriorating seeing I was already pleased with the image that the system was delivering. The straight wall (Rupes Recta) was pin sharp in the eyepiece at 40x magnification. I did manage to take a "snap" of the complete lunar disk with the DSLR, I will post this to pictures section in due course. It is amazing to think that it is possible to capture the moon in 1/4000th of a second. Sadly for me that was about all I had chance to see before I had to call it a night.

Tuesday, was a bit better. With the chance of an observing session I set up the scope before dinner allowing it to cool down for a good hour or so before using it in anger. Seeing was average and there was only a small amount of high level cloud. Again the moon presented itself in the window of opportunity that I have from my garden. Though this was just a shake down observing session I managed to capture some acceptable videos of the lunar surface. The magnification and light grasp of this telescope is an improvement over the Celestron 102 and consequently I could turn down the gain a bit more on the SPC900NC webcam.

I will post a composite image of the Copernicus / Sinus Iridum area of the moon in the pictures section of the news group.

With the high cloud becoming more of a problem I turned the scope to Castor and easily split this double at 120x and had a good view of the Mizar/Alcor grouping at 40x.

So ended my first real session with the Evostar 150. It is (slightly) easier to handle than the Explorer 200. It is lighter and less bulky but it is longer and hence the chance of accidentally knocking it is higher. There is some Chromatic Aberration as can be seen in the Copernicus shot but this can be calmed with the use of the Baader Semi Apo filter I have (but forgot to use on that occasion). I have long thought about having a high F number large refractor and now I have one and I am not disappointed.

Clear skies

Andrew

Re: First Light for the Evostar 150

Michael Morris
 

Thanks Andrew
A great observing report. Sounds like a nice piece of kit you've got yourself. Great picture too. :-)

--- In worcesteras@..., "Andrew Buckland" <bucklamp@...> wrote:


12/14th February 2011

After several months of thinking about it I obtained a Skywatcher
Evostar 150 refractor from Chris last week.

One thing that strikes you about a relatively slow, F8, six inch
refractor is its sheer size. Ok, the tube is only about 6 inches in
diameter but with the dew shield fitted it is about 5 foot long.

I did all of the usual alignment of finder and working out the balance
points for the EQ5 mount inside during the week and was keen to actually
see this beast in action.

As Saturday afternoon turned into evening the skies cleared and I
hurriedly set up and turned the 'scope to the moon. Note to self, will
need to extend the legs of the EQ5 mount since the eyepiece was little
more than 18 inches above the ground. However, through rapidly
deteriorating seeing I was already pleased with the image that the
system was delivering. The straight wall (Rupes Recta) was pin sharp in
the eyepiece at 40x magnification. I did manage to take a
"snap" of the complete lunar disk with the DSLR, I will post
this to pictures section in due course. It is amazing to think that it
is possible to capture the moon in 1/4000th of a second. Sadly for me
that was about all I had chance to see before I had to call it a night.

Tuesday, was a bit better. With the chance of an observing session I set
up the scope before dinner allowing it to cool down for a good hour or
so before using it in anger. Seeing was average and there was only a
small amount of high level cloud. Again the moon presented itself in
the window of opportunity that I have from my garden. Though this was
just a shake down observing session I managed to capture some acceptable
videos of the lunar surface. The magnification and light grasp of this
telescope is an improvement over the Celestron 102 and consequently I
could turn down the gain a bit more on the SPC900NC webcam.

I will post a composite image of the Copernicus / Sinus Iridum area of
the moon in the pictures section of the news group.

With the high cloud becoming more of a problem I turned the scope to
Castor and easily split this double at 120x and had a good view of the
Mizar/Alcor grouping at 40x.

So ended my first real session with the Evostar 150. It is (slightly)
easier to handle than the Explorer 200. It is lighter and less bulky but
it is longer and hence the chance of accidentally knocking it is higher.
There is some Chromatic Aberration as can be seen in the Copernicus shot
but this can be calmed with the use of the Baader Semi Apo filter I have
(but forgot to use on that occasion). I have long thought about having
a high F number large refractor and now I have one and I am not
disappointed.

Clear skies

Andrew

AURORA ALERT

Michael Morris
 

I've just received a report from the Aurora Alert service operated by Lancaster University about possible aurora visible from the UK over the next few nights.
The message reads ...
"As you may have seen in the news, recent solar activity means that in the next few days we have the best chance of seeing the aurora for several years. If activity is detected we'll send another email. You can also follow us on twitter: @aurorawatchuk.
If you do see any aurora please add your photos to the AuroraWatch UKgroup on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/groups/aurorawatch/
You can also add past sightings - we'll use the best contributions on our webpage: http://aurorawatch.lancs.ac.uk
The AuroraWatch team

This email has been sent by the AuroraWatch mailing list.To unsubscribe or change your subscription options visit
http://www.dcs.lancs.ac.uk/iono/aurorawatch/cgi-bin/subscribe "

To keep updated with the latest news on Aurora displays, visit
wwwww.spaceweather.com. You can subscribe to the Aurora Alerts service free at http://www.dcs.lancs.ac.uk/iono/aurorawatch/

Please post an observing report here if you see an aurora display.

OBSERVING NIGHT IS OFF – 24th February

Michael Morris
 

OBSERVING NIGHT IS OFF – 24th February
Whilst the present weather is clear, the forecast is poor, with cloudy rolling in from the west by 9.00pm. We have therefore decided that the planned observing night at Crown East Scout Hut will NOT go ahead.

Our next meeting is at Lower Smite Farm on Thursday 10th March. We look forward to seeing you there.

THURSDAY 10TH MARCH - CHANGE OF SPEAKER

Michael Morris
 

Unfortunately our scheduled speaker for this Thursday, Dr Ian Kenyon, has had to cancel because of an illness in the family.

However, all is not lost. Chris Livingstone has arranged for Andrew Lound to give us a talk on Jupiter.

We don't have any vacant spots for this year, but hopefully Ian Kenyon will be able to come and update us about progress at the Large Hadron Collider early next year. We hope his family member makes a speedy recovery.

Best wishes and clear skies

OBSERVING NIGHT IS ON – 24th March

Michael Morris
 

OBSERVING NIGHT IS ON – 24th March
The weather forecast looks reasonably clear, so the observing night at Crown East Scout Hut will go ahead as planned. We start arriving at Crown East at 8:30pm. Don't forget to wrap up warm.
Please feel free to bring along your telescope or binoculars; or you can look through one of the other member's instruments.
As with all observing events, you are asked to follow a few simple guidelines to enhance everyone's observing experience.
- If practicable, please try to reverse into car parking spaces - this means your headlights won't shine into the observing area when you leave.
- No bright torches please. If you bring a light, please try to use a red light torch and shine it downwards.
- Be careful in the observing area – it's dark so there is a risk you could bump into someone's equipment in the dark.

Happy observing

Re: OBSERVING NIGHT IS ON – 24th March

Andrew Buckland
 

This observing night was well attended with about 15 members observing during the session despite the presence of thin high cloud, which stubbornly refused to lift.

Four telescopes were in use and a pair of (10-40)x88mm binoculars.

Viewing included M44, M45, M36, M65, M66, the double cluster (NGC884/869) and M1 though the thin cloud prevented observations of other fainter fuzzies.

Later in the evening Saturn was observed "through the trees" at about 100x with Chris' 8".

All in all a good session,
Clear skies

--- In worcesteras@..., "michaelcharlesmorris" <michaelmorris4@...> wrote:

OBSERVING NIGHT IS ON – 24th March

Reminder - Thursday 14th April

Andrew Buckland
 

This Thursday's talk is entitled "South Pacific Eclipse" and will be given by Jerry Workman.

Venue - Lower Smite Farm, the headquarters of Worcestershire Wildlife Trust. Directions on our website http://www.worcesteras.freeserve.co.uk

Time - 8pm.

Clear skies.

"South Pacific Eclipse"

Andrew Buckland
 

Jerry Workman gave us an informative talk about his visit to see the total eclipse in French Polynesia on the 11th July 2010.

Jerry's talk covered his post eclipse visit to Easter Island and he gave an interesting description of the Moai and other geological and meteorological aspects of this isolated island.

His talk then moved on to describe his stay in Tahiti and visit to the island of Moorea.

The talk finished with his description of the eclipse itself, viewed from the Hao coral atoll located 600 miles east of Tahiti. Jerry was able to get good shots of the build-up to totality and all of the stages of totality apart from the third contact diamond ring where the cloud intervened.

Jerry's next astronomical visit is to view the transit of Venus in June 2012.

Reminder - Thursday 21st April

Andrew Buckland
 

This Thursday's practical astronomer talk is entitled "The Eye in Astronomy" and will be given by Dr Pete Goillau.

Venue - Crown East Scout hut
Directions on our website http://www.worcesteras.freeserve.co.uk

Time - 8:30pm.

Clear skies.

Moon photos

Mike <im.clement@...>
 

To The Moderator  of the  W.A.S. Group

 

Here attached are 2 Moon photos I made recently

and I thought that members might like to see them posted on the Yahoo  newsgroup website.

 

 

12sr-Copy2

Part of the Terminator towards Moon’s North .  Taken on (day 8),  April 11th 2011  , at 22.19 BST  from  Woodmancote , Cheltenham , Gloucestershire.

 

Composition shows :-  Plato (N ,top of photo) , Mare Imbrium with the great mountain ranges, curling around Archimedes and other craters, running from Plato to Eratosthenes (S).

 

Equipment used :-  Meade ETX 125  fitted with a X2 Barlow and Canon 350D camera body ( primary mounting )

 

Photographic settings :-   1/5 th second at ISO 400.

 

Photo editing :-  PhotoPlus X4  and Registax.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

10-4-2rsjpg

Middle-of-Moon area .  Taken on (day 7 ), April 10th 2011 , at 21.30 from

same location.

 

Compositiion shows :-  crater Hipparchus and others around it , to the W of Mare Tranquillitatis.

 

Equipment and editing  details were same as per above except exposure time was 0.3 sec.

 

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

Mike Clement   ( Member )

 

 

  22 Denham Close , Woodmancote,

Cheltenham, GL52 9TX.  tel.no.   01242 674866.

 

 



Re: Moon photos

Michael Morris
 

Hi Mike
Thanks.  I'll try to get them uploaded this week.
Nice photos by the way.
 
Michael Morris


 

To: worcesteras@...
From: im.clement@...
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2011 22:16:42 +0100
Subject: [worcesteras] Moon photos

 

To The Moderator  of the  W.A.S. Group

 

Here attached are 2 Moon photos I made recently

and I thought that members might like to see them posted on the Yahoo  newsgroup website.

 

 

12sr-Copy2

Part of the Terminator towards Moon’s North .  Taken on (day 8),  April 11th 2011  , at 22.19 BST  from  Woodmancote , Cheltenham , Gloucestershire.

 

Composition shows :-  Plato (N ,top of photo) , Mare Imbrium with the great mountain ranges, curling around Archimedes and other craters, running from Plato to Eratosthenes (S).

 

Equipment used :-  Meade ETX 125  fitted with a X2 Barlow and Canon 350D camera body ( primary mounting )

 

Photographic settings :-   1/5 th second at ISO 400.

 

Photo editing :-  PhotoPlus X4  and Registax.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

10-4-2rsjpg

Middle-of-Moon area .  Taken on (day 7 ), April 10th 2011 , at 21.30 from

same location.

 

Compositiion shows :-  crater Hipparchus and others around it , to the W of Mare Tranquillitatis.

 

Equipment and editing  details were same as per above except exposure time was 0.3 sec.

 

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

Mike Clement   ( Member )

 

 

  22 Denham Close , Woodmancote,

Cheltenham, GL52 9TX.  tel.no.   01242 674866.

 

 




Re: Moon photos

Michael Morris
 

Uploaded to photos section.

--- In worcesteras@..., Michael Morris <michaelmorris4@...> wrote:


Hi Mike
Thanks. I'll try to get them uploaded this week.
Nice photos by the way.

Michael Morris





To: worcesteras@...
From: im.clement@...
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2011 22:16:42 +0100
Subject: [worcesteras] Moon photos









To The Moderator of the W.A.S. Group

Here attached are 2 Moon photos I made recently
and I thought that members might like to see them posted on the Yahoo newsgroup website.


12sr-Copy2
Part of the Terminator towards Moon's North . Taken on (day 8), April 11th 2011 , at 22.19 BST from Woodmancote , Cheltenham , Gloucestershire.

Composition shows :- Plato (N ,top of photo) , Mare Imbrium with the great mountain ranges, curling around Archimedes and other craters, running from Plato to Eratosthenes (S).

Equipment used :- Meade ETX 125 fitted with a X2 Barlow and Canon 350D camera body ( primary mounting )

Photographic settings :- 1/5 th second at ISO 400.

Photo editing :- PhotoPlus X4 and Registax.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

10-4-2rsjpg
Middle-of-Moon area . Taken on (day 7 ), April 10th 2011 , at 21.30 from

same location.

Compositiion shows :- crater Hipparchus and others around it , to the W of Mare Tranquillitatis.

Equipment and editing details were same as per above except exposure time was 0.3 sec.




Yours sincerely

Mike Clement ( Member )


22 Denham Close , Woodmancote,
Cheltenham, GL52 9TX. tel.no. 01242 674866.

OBSERVING NIGHT IS OFF - Thursday 28th May

Michael Morris
 

Due to a combination of the unavailability of committee member's to open up the site and the forecast of cloud from 9:30pm, tonight's observing night has been called off.

We look forward to seeing you at our next main meeting at UNIVERSITY OF WORCESTER on May 12th. This is a joint meeting with the Institute of Physics.

Reminder - Thursday 12th May

Andrew Buckland
 

This Thursday's talk is entitled "How to find a Black Hole" and will be given by Dr. Somak Raychaudhury. This is a joint meeting with the Institute of Physics.

Venue - University of Worcester
(directions http://www.worcester.ac.uk/discover/find-us.html)

Time - 7:30pm

Please note different venue and start time.

Clear skies.

"How to find a Black Hole"

Andrew Buckland
 

At very short notice Ms Chiara Mingarelli (University of Birmingham) stepped in for Dr Somak Raychaudhury to present this talk.

In an extremely entertaining and informative lecture Ms Mingarelli started off by explaining the terms of escape velocity, how it can be applied to different sized objects and how the term Black hole came into use.
e.g. if the mass of the Earth was squashed into a sphere 2cm in diameter it would form a black hole.

The talk went on to cover popular misconceptions about Black holes, the ways that they can form and how we can detect the massive Black hole at the centre of our galaxy - which we know must be there since stars have been tracked orbiting "nothing".

The audience was then informed that there are two good ways of finding a Black hole. Either using gravity wave detectors such as LIGO or by detecting the X-ray signature caused by the heating of material as it falls into the Black hole to form jets.

To sum up, Black holes can be felt but not seen. They are the ultimate victory of gravity over all other forces.

Reminder - Thursday 19th May

Andrew Buckland
 

This Thursday's practical astronomer session is for member's contributions. Members are invited to present short (5 - 15 minute) talks on a practical astronomy based subject. Alternatively, just turn up and learn something new.

Venue - Crown East Scout hut
Directions on our website http://www.worcesteras.freeserve.co.uk

Time - 8:30pm.

Clear skies