Guildford Astronomical Society

Archive for the ‘Forthcoming Events’ Category:

Guildford Cathedral – Star Gazing Evening

20th January 2018 at the Cathedral.
Details to be notified



The Mole valley Geological Society monthly meeting on 9th November 2017 presents


MVGS 09_Nov_ 2017

At the Dorking United Reformed Church Follett Hall
Post Code – RH4 1BS
Non-members entry fee £3-00
Biscuits from 7:30pm. Lecture starts 8:00 pm

SAGAS 2017 Summer Convention

Don’t miss the chance to go to the SAGAS 2017 Summer Convention on 15th July 2017 in Clanfield (just South of Petersfield). It’s just £10 for the day for GAS members and there are five fabulous talks plus a chance to see the Clanfield Observatory and, weather permitting, some solar observing.

BLACK HOLES: How come they’re so bright…
Dr Aru Beri, University of Southampton

HIGGS BOSON – Beyond the media hype
Dr Iacopo Vivarelli, University of Sussex

Richard Kacerek, founder of the UKMON project

Graham Bryant, Clanfield Observatory

Dr David Bacon, University of Portsmouth

Download the details and booking form from this link.

What’s Up – September 2015

The September edition of What’s Up [3.2 MB] is now available for download.

For those of you who use SkySafari, here is a .skylist file with this month’s suggested objects. (Select “Save As…” from the right-click menu on the link to download – the actual wording varies depending on the browser you are using)

Newlands Corner Public Observing Evening

Newlands Corner 2015-03-27Friday, 27th March 2015 from 6.30pm

In collaboration with BBC2’s Stargazing Live, Guildford Astronomical Society are holding another of their very popular and highly enjoyable public observing evenings at the NT Car Park, Newlands Corner, Shere Road, Guildford GU4 8SE. Members of the public are invited to come along and meet GAS members and their telescopes and take a look at the wonders of the Night Sky.

The Moon will be at first quarter and so we’ll have good dark skies later in the evening to better see faint objects such as nebulae and galaxies.

See the beautiful Great Orion Nebula, the Great Andromeda Galaxy, the Pleiades and many other stars, clusters, galaxies and nebulae that will be visible throughout the evening.

Jupiter will be spectacular in the South East and will be on show most of the evening. Some of the members’ telescopes are equipped with high-power eyepieces that will show its bands of coloured clouds and maybe even the famous Great Red Spot!

At least four of Jupiter’s satellites will be visible. These are the same four moons (Callisto, Europa, Ganymede and Io) that Galileo saw in January 1610 when he first turned his telescope on the giant planet. If you look at Jupiter a few times during the evening and note the position of the moons you’ll easily see that they’ll have moved in their orbit around Jupiter. This what led Galileo to conclude that Copernicus was right: the Earth goes around the Sun!

This event is:

  • Suitable for everyone,
  • Free and
  • There’s no need to book

Obviously it’s cold at this time of year so we thoroughly recommend that you wrap up warm and wear wellington boots out on the field where the telescopes are located (hot drinks will be on sale in the Visitor’s Centre if you need a warm break). Also, because of potential tripping hazards in the dark out on the field, children must be accompanied by an adult.

If it’s cloudy we’ll be indoors with a display, exhibition, possibly a short talk and GAS members will be on hand to answer questions.

GAS Posters in PDF format advertising the event are here (1up), here (2up) and here (4up).

GAS would like to thank the Surrey Wildlife Trust for their kind permission to use the Visitor Centre.

Two talks: ‘Is Life Quantum Mechanical?’ and ‘A field guide to Isotopes’

RAGTalk2The University of Surrey Physics Society invites you to an evening with Prof. Jim Al-Khalili and Dr. Paul Stevenson, on the 25th of March, to find out if Life is Quantum Mechanical or not, and to explore the uses of Nuclear Isotopes in our everyday lives. The event has been organized through RAG to raise donations in aid of ‘The Shooting Star Chase Charity’, which is a leading children’s hospice charity caring for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions and their families.

It costs about £9.5 million a year to maintain the current level of care and hence we believe that every bit of donations that we raise will go a long way to help these families.

The schedule of the event:

Date: 25th March, 17:00 – 19:00
Location: Lecture Theatre D (Griffiths), University of Surrey.
Entry: Minimum £1 but welcome to donate whatever you can.

16:40 – 16:55 – Drinks reception (light snacks will be provided)

17:00 – 17:50 – ‘Is Life Quantum Mechanical?’ by Prof. Jim Al-Khalili

17:50 – 18:00 – Break (drinks available outside in the foyer)

18:05 – 19:00 – ‘A field guide to Isotopes’ by Dr. Paul Stevenson

The précis of both the lectures are as follows:

Is Life Quantum Mechanical?

This lecture introduces the exciting new field of Quantum Biology. It has recently emerged that robins migrating from Sweden to the Mediterranean every autumn appear to use quantum entanglement (what Einstein called “spooky action at a distance”) within proteins in their eyes to help them navigate by detecting the earth’s weak magnetic field. There is also solid evidence that plants use quantum coherence to speed up the process of photosynthesis, while enzymes, those metabolic workhorses that drive much of the action in our cells, use quantum tunnelling to accelerate chemical reactions. With a background in theoretical nuclear physics, Jim Al-Khalili is one of a growing number of scientists interested in trying to understand how fragile quantum mechanical phenomena manage to survive in the wet, warm biological world.

A field Guide to Isotopes

This lecture takes a tour of uses of different nuclear isotopes of elements in things like medicine, geology, as well as straight nuclear physics.

Newlands Corner – Partial Eclipse of the Sun on 20th March

Maximum Partial Eclipse 20-Mar-2015GAS will be at Newlands Corner, Shere Road, next Friday morning, 20th March 2015 from 8:00am, observing the partial eclipse of the Sun and you’re all welcome to come along and bring your friends and families! Wear wellies or other sturdy footwear in case the field is muddy!

For information on safe viewing of the eclipse the Royal Astronomical Society and Society for Popular Astronomy have produced a useful downloadable booklet.

Viewed from Guildford the eclipse starts at 8:24am with the Moon’s disk just ‘nicking’ the edge of the Sun’s disk. The Moon will continue to eat into the Sun’s outline until it reaches about 84% maximum obscuration of the Sun’s disk at 9:30am and will then move away until the last ‘nick’ disappears at 10:40am – a duration of 2 hours 16 minutes. The eclipse will be partial from Guildford with increasing obscuration the further North you travel (94% in Aberdeen) and will be a rare Total Eclipse in the Faroe Islands. It will be the biggest eclipse in the UK since the total eclipse on 11th August 1999 and there won’t be another comparable partial eclipse in the UK until 12th August 2026 (total in Bilbao, Spain)!

For a great animation showing what the eclipse will look like visit the excellent website.

GAS Posters in PDF format advertising the event are available here (1up), here (2up) and here (4up).