Dr Fabio Biancalana of Heriot-Watt University gave an amazing, mind-warping talk on black holes at our May meeting, introducing some amazing concepts to the 100 plus members of the audience. We also had some very interesting questions raised by audience members.

Also at the meeting:

  • Download presentation as a PDF

    Download presentation as a PDF

    Alan Pickup gave a presentation on the sky for May, plus some images by members submitted to our Flickr group

  • Two new members were welcomed to the Society
  • Andrew updated us on various “astronomy and space” items that had caught his attention
  • Mark Phillips gave a talk on Astronomy in the Twilight Zone
  • Hugh “Iridium” Somerville gave a brief presentation on the Iridium Satellites
  • There were various Society news updates too including:
    • a potential observing site for us as Newbattle Abbey College
    • details of our plans for another Telescope Help Shop – experienced volunteers requested
    • the Charles Piazzi Smyth exhibition currently running in the Nelson Monument on Calton Hill
  • Sean updated us on various topics that had come to his attention:
    • Isle of Man stamps to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11
    • Go Stargazing events also to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11
    • A stargazing break led by Bob Mizon on Exmoor
    • Events at John Moore University, Liverpool also for Apollo 11 50th
    • Notification of the AGM on 7th June 2019
    • Memberships need to be up to date in order to vote
    • We will also hold an EGM at this meeting for an amendment to Clause 3 of our Constitution
    • ASE will have a presence at the Scottish National Airshow at the Museum of FLight on 27 July. Volunteers needed on the stand.

Details from Society updates follow:

1. Outstanding Membership applications ahead of AGM – ask them to sign forms if they are here this evening.

2. AGM on Friday 7 June –

The Agenda, papers and accounts and annual report well be circulated, by email, to members on the weekend of Sat 18/Sun 19May. They will also be available on the Members Section of the ASE website.

The current President, two Vice Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer and five ordinary Councillors have all indicated their are willing to stand again for the Council in 2019-20.  If unopposed, they would all be deemed reelected for another year. However, any member who has been a paid-up member for 12 months, and is not in arrears, can seek election to the Council by sending their nomination in writing to the Secretary. This nomination must be seconded by another Member. The deadline for reciept of nominations is 21 days before the AGM. So, that is by Friday 17 May 2019.  Email the Secretary at secretary@astronomyedinburgh.org

The Treasurer will not be present at the AGM, so any member questions on the accounts will be noted and if President/Secretary can answer on the night, the Treasurer will respond as soon as possible

3. The Secretary is proposing an Amendment to Clause 3 of the Constitution of the ASE, which governs how people may become members of the Society. The Council is supporting this amendment, and is it designed to streamline the procedure for membership. A paper setting out the proposal, the thinking of the Council on this issue and the procedure for an amendment will be in the paperwork for the AGM circulated in mid-May. Officially this will require a Special General Meeting to be held. The Council has decided that this will take place on 7 June, immediately after the AGM. So, the running order for Friday 7 June will be the Ordinary June meeting st 7:30pm, followed by the AGM, followed by the SGM. Both the AGM and SGM need a quarter of the Society membership to be present to be a valid meeting (this is 24 Members). So members are asked to stay on after the ordinary meeting next month. We expect this AGM and SGM will not take very long and all of the events should be over by 9.30/9.40pm at the latest.

4. As part of our 2019/20 programme of events the ASE will be present at the 2019 Scottish National Air Show at Museum of Flight in East Fortune on Sat 27 July 2019. We are looking to undertake solar observing and public engagement as the event. So we are looking for ASE members to volunteer to take part in the event, and bring astro equipment. The Council will send more details in due course, but initial expressions of interest should be emailed to the Secretary. We’ll be making further announcements about other event soon, including the CPS200 Symposium, the next telescope workshop (in September), the 2019 Doors Open Day (In September) and an event for the Transit of Mercury on Monday 11 November.

Dear The Astronomical Society of Edinburgh,

Saturday 20th July 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing and with it comes a fantastic opportunity to celebrate arguably one of humankind’s greatest achievements.

The Go Stargazing team are as keen as ever to help promote events being organised as part of these celebrations and raise awareness of them to as wide an audience as possible. If you are organising an event and would like it featured on our webpage at https://gostargazing.co.uk/apollo50 please do let us know by reply to this email. Over the coming months and as anticipation of the anniversary increases we will promote your activities through our website and social media channels in the hope that we can help attract attendees to your events.

Indeed we are keen to promote all of your forthcoming public stargazing events, a service we are pleased to offer without any charge (Go Stargazing is not-for-profit). Please do take a moment to review the events we have listed for you at https://gostargazing.co.uk/event-organiser/6809 and if we are missing any (or if they are for some reason incorrect) do please get in touch!

Clear skies!

Neill, Will, Rob and Richard.

Stargazing Break lead by Bob Mizon

We would love you to join us for our fabulous Stargazing break in the Exmoor Dark Sky Reserve which is the first dark sky reserve in Europe.
This break includes accommodation with Dinner, Bed and Breakfast. Talks and stargazing hosted by Bob Mizon MBE FRAS, coordinator of the British Astronomical Association’s Commision for Dark Skies: author, oserver and planetarium operator. You will also have the opportunity to experience a viewing inside a mobile planetarium and also lunch at a traditional Exmoor Inn.
The cost of the break is £200 per person with no single supplements.
For further information, or to make a booking, please either call us on 01643 821425 or email hotel@yarnmarkethotel.co.uk

With the 50th Anniversary of the first moon landing getting close, there are a number Moon-related events coming up:

4th May: May the Fourth Be With You – a family-friendly day of activities at World Museum in Liverpool
Part of the Anniversary celebrations at World Museum, this is a free, drop-in event suitable for everyone. I’ll be there with some colleagues and a bunch of moon-based activities, so do drop by and say hello.

Open from 11AM-4PM, no booking required – just drop in: http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/wml/events/displayevent.aspx?EventId=39486

Last Reminder: 13th May: Moon: Art, Science, Culture – the annual Astrophysics Research Institute Public Lecture
Redmonds Building, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool

For the lecture this year, we are joining the Moon Landing anniversary celebrations and are delighted to announce not one, but two speakers to share many different aspects of the Moon: Dr Alexandra Loske and Dr Robert Massey.

There are more details here: http://www.astro.ljmu.ac.uk/node/235

The lecture will take place at 6PM on 13th May, and is free and open to all – no booking required.

18th May: Rocket to the Moon with Dr Kevin Bowman
World Museum, Liverpool at 2PM and 3:30PM

A talk to celebrate the 50th Anniversary organised by the lovely people at World Museum

Tickets are free, but must be booked in advance – see http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/wml/events/displayevent.aspx?EventId=39703

2nd June: Out of the World with Helen Sharman
Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, evening lecture

Not one we are involved with organising, but this should be a fascinating insight into life as an astronaut, in an amazing venue

More details and tickets here: https://www.ticketquarter.co.uk/Online/out-of-this-world-with-helen-sharman

And from the wider Universe…

3rd May – 1st September: Astronomy Photographer of the Year Exhibition, World Museum
The finest in astro-photography comes to Liverpool with an exhibition of the 2018 winners.

Free entry – see http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/astronomy

Advance Notice: MAD 2020 date: Saturday 4th April 2020
After the success of the Merseyside Astronomy Day again this year, we immediately organised a date for the 2020 MAD with World Museum. Obviously, it is possible that circumstances will change and we will have to move the date, but it is unlikely, so you may want to put it in your diary. I will send out more details on the programme and tickets later in the year.