We had a really interesting and challenging talk from Dr Indranil Banik of the University of St Andrews on Going beyond Einstein to understand the Universe. Alan Pickup also gave us a very comprehensive talk on the Sky in December.
Our guest speaker was Patrick Barth, a PhD student from the University of St Andrews, who spoke to us about “ What makes a planet habitable”. The possibility of life in the wider universe has greatly increased in the past 25 years. We had a detailed explanation of the factors influencing the chance of life on exoplanets and the search for these “biosignatures”.
That was a really interesting story of Pluto from Prof Ian Robson and we had quite a lot of visitors in the AUC too. Sadly Ian couldn’t be there in person because of rail strikes but it was no less interesting. There’s clearly still a lot of affection for Pluto as a planet and you can understand why there was (and still is) such an outcry about it being demoted. But given the number of other, larger-than-Pluto bodies in our solar system, it probably makes sense. Or maybe you disagree?
We had a fascinating talk by Dr Gemma Richardson BGS on the effects of space weather on ground-based technology. Alan Pickup also gave us a talk on the Sky in October and Neil Martin revealed the results of our Image of the Quarter Competition.
What a really excellent talk from Dr Denis Vida of the Global Meteor Network. With all the interest in the recent fireball seen across Scotland a couple of days ago this was a very timely meeting.
Peter Goodhew showed how amateurs can help discover and image new planetary nebulae in today's world where there are huge ground based telescopes as well as the likes of Hubble and Webb.
Jim Paterson spoke to us about “The mustard seed which grew into an observatory”, the story of his involvement in International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) accreditation for Moffat and how that led to a brand new community observatory !