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NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day
NGC 4565: Galaxy on Edge

What's Up - Week of 22nd May

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 00.58 BST at the start of the week after which we do not see true astronomical darkness till 21st July

  • The Moon is waning and will be New on Thursday

  • The Sun has three small sunspots groups, none of which is active

  • The ISS makes passes this week: Tuesday 23.19.58 reaching 38 degrees from SW to E. Wednesday at 22.28.20 to 26 degrees SSW to E. Thursday 23.12.04 to 60 degrees WSW to E. Friday 22.20.10 to 43 degrees SW to E. Saturday 23.04.18 to 83 degrees WSW to E and Sunday 22.12.14 to 67 degrees WSW to E and 23.48.42 to 85 degrees from W to E

  • There are three bright evening Iridium flares. On Wednesday at 22.15.05 at 47 degrees altitude in SE and on Friday at 22.02.06 at 51 degrees in NE and a superbright flare on Saturday at 22.04.01 at 55 degrees in NE

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News - 12th May

External talk: JAG and Gavin James gave a talk in Alderney, at the Alderney Museum, on 'Back Garden Astronomy. There was a good audince of 34 locals attending. The talk was given to encourage the Island's Campaign for Dark Sky srtatus, recently gained by neighbouring Sark

Royal Astronomical Society AGM: CEB was elected Vice-President(A) for a two year term. Professor ian Crawford was elected vice-President(G)

27th April

Royal Society Presentations and Awards: CEB joined Sandor Kruk and other members of the BAAO committee for the Reception and Presentations at the Royal Society to the medal winning team from the 10th International Olympiad in India last December. The newly selected team of 5 and a reserve were also present as they start preparing for the 2017 IOAA in Phuket, Thailand in November. Professor Chris Lintott was there to give the prizes of certificates, books and binoculars and then delivered a talk to a large audience on the possibility of Alien life

7th April

RAS Open meeting: CEB delivered the last of 4 talks at the April open meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society in the Geologicl Society's lecture room on Piccadilly. The talk, presented to a diverse audience of distiguished professonal astronomers, was titled The British Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad - from inception to International success

6th April

BAAO Selection Camp: CEB joined the other UK Team Leader Sandor Kruk and other Tutors in Oxford on the 3rd day of the British Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad selection Camp. 11 year 12 pupils had performed suficiently well in the BAAO papers to attend 4 days of lectures, tests and observing held in the Astrophysics Department in Oxford. CEB delivered a talk on Telescopes and Optics which followed an inspirational address by Professor Bob Williams who was visiting from STSci (ex-President of IAU and the inspiration behind the Hubble Deep Field image) After supper in Jesus, the group gathered on the 6th floor to observe by eye and then with binoculars and telescopes. Bright stars were identified and the Moon and Jupiter viewed in detail. A good ISS pass was also seen. The team of 5 and a reserve will be decided before the end of the week and they will then recieve further training before representing the UK at the 11th International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrrophysics in Phuket, Thailand in November

3rd to 5th April

Friends trip to EGO: 17 Friends of the Telescope joined CEB for a 3 day trip to Pisa. The focus of the visit was a morning and lunch at the European Gravitational Observatory (EGO) and the Virgo Interferometer facility. We were given a superb talk and tour and are now well briefed and excited about the next Gravitational Wave discovery. We felt very lucky to have seen the Observatory at this early phase of Advanced Virgo

1st April

External visit: JAG and Gavin James hosted members of JAG's family. In gaps between the clouds Mars and Jupiter were seen by eye and the brighter stars as they appeared. The Moon was viewed in Binos and ETXand the M42 in the 10 inch followed by Eskimo Nebula

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