Meetings and events in summer 2012

Any changes to our meeting arrangements will be put on our website The list below may include events not held by the Society, but of interest to members or to those interested in astronomy. For those events please check independently about cancellation, admission fees, booking, etc.

Mar 30th - Apr 15th
Edinburgh International Science Festival
with many events about astronomy, geology, etc.
Apr 13th
20:00, ASE, Church Centre, AUC
Prof John Peacock,
Royal Observatory Edinburgh
Vesto Slipher and the expanding universe
Apr 21st
23:00 (tbc), Bill Ward et al., Dalry or Loch Doon
Lyrid meteors observing session
See for details and updates on time and place.
The Lyrid meteors are due to peak on the morning of 22nd April. This is perfect timing as it is a Saturday night into Sunday morning and it falls on the New Moon. The general activity is relatively low with a zenithal hourly rate of ~20, but the shower has shown outbursts in the past.
May 4th
20:00, ASE, Church Centre, AUC
Roger Stapleton, University of St Andrews
Long standing observatories
May 8th
17:30, Crawford Project, Teviot Lecture Theatre, Teviot Place
Dr Stephen Pumfrey, Lancaster University
Galileo's lunatic fringe: His telescopic discovery that never was
Annual Crawford Lecture. Free, booking required (online).
May 14th
19:30, Clydesdale AS, Bankhall, Forth
Prof Ian Morison, Jodrell Bank
Black holes - no need to be afraid
First John Braithwaite Memorial Lecture.
Jun 1st
20:00, ASE, Church Centre, AUC
Alan Walker, University of Edinburgh
Googling the Higgs boson
The speaker will describe in popular terms the essence of the Standard Model of particle physics and the role of the Higgs boson in it. He will also talk a little about the implications for the currently visible universe. This will leave room for a more informed talk - the following month - on particle physics and the early universe.
Jun 6th
Transit of Venus
From sunrise until 05:54 BST, the silouhette of Venus is visible in front of the Sun. Be sure to follow safety advice when looking at the Sun.
Jul 6th
18:30, National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street
Dava Sobel, author of "Longitude"
in conversation with John Brown and John Taylor
Dava Sobel, author of international bestseller "Longitude", is in conversation with Professor John C Brown, Astronomer Royal for Scotland, and Dr John C Taylor, creator of the Midsummer Chronophage, a clockwork artwork inspired by 18th century clockmaker John Harrison. Harrison featured as a main character in "Longitude", which was adapted in 2000 into a BAFTA-winning TV drama with Michael Gambon.
Time: 18:30 - 19:30, doors open at 18:00. Admission £6 (concessions £5), book online.
John Brown is also Honorary President of ASE.
This event ends not long before our own meeting; the venues are literally around the corner of each other.
Jul 6th
20:00, ASE, Church Centre, AUC
Prof Arjun Berera, University of Edinburgh
Frontiers of cosmology and particle physics
An overview will be given on what the fields of particle physics and cosmology entail and the basic underlying physics they are based on. Following this an explanation is given on what the relation between these two fields are. A brief update will be presented on the present state of particle physics and results from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Then a detailed discussion is given about cosmology, covering inflation, dark matter, dark energy and gravity waves. This discussion will also include explaining the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB), which is the fossil remnant of the Big-Bang, along with discussion of the recent satellite experiment WMAP that has measured the CMB and the next experiment Planck, which will present the most detailed results on the CMB early next year. The two experiments, LHC and Planck are addressing some of the most fundamental questions in physics today. The possible outcomes from these experiments and their implications for our basic understanding of physics will be discussed.
Aug 10th
19:00, ASE, Royal Observatory Edinburgh
Members' excursion
Crawford Collection
Please contact the Secretary to sign up and for more information.
Sep 7th
20:00, ASE, Church Centre, AUC
Dr Robert L. Piccioni,
Einstein for everyone
How did he overcome rejection to become the world’s most famous scientist? What were his greatest contributions to science? How do these impact our daily lives? In plain English, what do his theories really mean?
Sep 7th - 9th
BAA, Aberdeen AS, Kings College, Aberdeen, AB24 3FX
The Sun, aurora and NLC
The Aberdeen Astronomical Society is hosting the 2012 weekend meeting of the British Astronomical Association. Tickets are still available (as of 2012-08-30).
Programme and booking form.
Sep 12th
19:30, ASE, Juniper Green Village Hall
Imaging Group
Sep 21st
STFC, Royal Observatory Edinburgh, Blackford Hill
science Photo Walk
Amateur and professional photographers are now being given unique "behind the scenes" access to British science laboratories ... - but space is limited and early registration is required. The science Photo Walks will be held at the Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire (11 September), Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire (13 September), Chilbolton Observatory in Hampshire (19 September) and United Kingdom Astronomy Technology Centre (UK ATC) in Edinburgh (21 September). ... Photographers interested in taking part in this free event can register online at
Sep 22nd
10:00 - 17:00, ROE/ASE, Royal Observatory Edinburgh, Blackford Hill
Doors Open Day
ASE will be helping out, in particular (and weather permitting) with telescopes to look at the Sun and perhaps Venus. Find us near the "Glass Doors Foyer" on the way to the Lecture Theatre.
Sep 23rd
10:00 - 17:00, ROE/ASE, Royal Observatory Edinburgh, Blackford Hill
Doors Open Day
ASE will be helping out, in particular (and weather permitting) with telescopes to look at the Sun and perhaps Venus. Find us near the "Glass Doors Foyer" on the way to the Lecture Theatre.