The society’s regular talks resumed for the new season with a fascinating talk from Professor Don Pollacco of the University of Warwick. His talk covered the science of detecting terrestrial exo-planets and the work involved in untangling the natural activity of a star from the influence of its orbiting planet(s).
The talk covered many aspects of the science: the need to understand stellar behaviour and how studying our own sun contributes to this; the need to develop ever more sensitive spectrometers; and the need to improve the mathematical models in order to extract evidence of planetary influences from the overall observed behaviour of stars.
Next came another of Alan Pickup’s The Sky (in September). As well as a brief look back at August’s Perseid meteor shower, Alan showed, through a range of compiled diagrams and members’ images, what’s ahead overhead in the coming weeks, including the movements of the planets, the constellations and some of the deep sky objects.