Guildford Astronomical Society

If you have questions about astronomy, choosing and using telescopes and other equipment, John Evans may be able to help here –

But before that !


John Axtell is contributing a half-hour, once a month, programme on Brooklands Radio. Details of the nature of the programme and a direct link to John’s podcast can be seen on our News page.

Matt’s Books of the Month (click the image)


February Meeting - John Lancashire

Our next monthly meeting is on Thursday, 7th February 2019 at 7:30pm.

The Antikythera Mechanism

1. What is the Antikythera Mechanism?
In which I'll explain how the Mechanism was found and how it got there; what it looks like now and what the most recent scans have revealed; what the inscriptions on the Mechanism tell us and the conclusions we can draw from them.
2. How did astronomy develop in Ancient Greece? In this part I'll explain how early theories about the nature of the universe evolved, how data was obtained to support those mathematical models and how they were gradually refined through the period from 450BC to 150AD.
3. But what does the Mechanism do?
I'll then walk through each part of the Mechanism, explaining the design objectives and the technical challenges encountered by the engineers. I'll demonstrate how the complete Mechanism operates and consider what it could have been used for.
4. How could it have been calibrated?
One of the most difficult challenges is to work out how to calibrate a new Mechanism so that it gives accurate readouts in the present day. This hasn't been done before. I'll look at how to start the lunar calendar which drives the Mechanism and then consider how to translate our post-Newton heliocentric data for the planets into the geocentric model deployed in the Mechanism.

John Lancashire

Visitors are most welcome to attend. We charge just £5 (£4 Junior/Student guests) per meeting to help cover the cost of the room hire.

For more details of the meeting location go to the meetings page.

The Guildford Astronomical Society is a member of the Southern Area Group of Astronomical Societies (SAGAS)

The Guildford Astronomical Society is a member of both the
Southern Area Group of Astronomical Societies (SAGAS)
and the Federation of Astronomical Societies (FAS).

The Guildford Astronomical Society is a member of the Federation of Astronomical Societies (FAS)