Mid-Kent Astronomical Society
The James Irwin Observatory is
Currently Closed
and Due to Reopen

on 3rd March 2017

Check here after 19:30 on the day to get final confirmation before travelling in case clouds prevent us opening.
See EVENTS page for details

EVENTS
DATEDETAILS
03-Mar

Public Observing Open Evening
James Irwin Observatory, Canterbury

These take place on Fridays when we do not hold a meeting at Bredhurst (except at Christmas).
Check this page or home page after 19:30 on the day to get final confirmation before travelling, in case clouds prevent us opening.
DETAILS
10-Mar

Naz Rajan: Behind the scenes at a Shuttle Launch
Bredhurst Village Hall

You have seen a Space Shuttle launch many times on TV, and maybe even seen one from Florida, But there is a lot more happening in the background that you probably don't know about, from the emergency teams, to the booster recovery, and the mad camera guy.

In this talk, Naz who has witnessed three Shuttle launches at Kennedy Space Center, will show photos and videos of what really goes on leading up to and at a Space Shuttle launch.

As a full multimedia experience, it'll be the next best thing to being there yourself.

Naz Rajan

Naz has been a member of MKAS since 1979, and is currently a Life member and Chairman.

He has a passion for Spaceflight, and witnessed three Shuttle launches from Cape Canaveral, including the first and last launches of the Shuttle, all from close by viewing sites amongst other astronauts and their families.



17-Mar
DETAILS
Public Observing Open Evening
James Irwin Observatory, Canterbury
24-Mar
DETAILS
Public Observing Open Evening
James Irwin Observatory, Canterbury
31-Mar

Mike Foulkes: Herschel's Planet
Bredhurst Village Hall

This talk will provide a description of the Uranus system including the planet itself, its satellites and rings, both from amateur and professional observations. This description will be set in part in the context of Herschel's discovery of the planet and his subsequent observations.

Mike Foulkes

Mike is the director of the British Astronomical Association’s (BAA) Saturn, Uranus and Neptune Section. He is also on the committee of the BAA's Jupiter Section.

He has been interested in astronomy since a young age. He is an active observer; particularly of the Moon and planets. He also has been to a number of Total Eclipses of the Sun.

For many years, he has given various talks to amateur astronomical societies and also participates in the BAA Back to Basics courses, which are aimed at beginners in amateur astronomy.

He works in the spacecraft industry.


07-Apr
DETAILS
Public Observing Open Evening
James Irwin Observatory, Canterbury
14-Apr

Annual General Meeting
Bredhurst Village Hall

Please download and review the following documents: (Not yet available)
» Agenda for the 2017 AGM
» Minutes of the 2016 AGM
» Treasurer's Report 2016-2017
» MKAS Accounts 2016-2017
» Membership Report 2016-2017

The AGM is open to all MKAS Members and Visitors, however only Members are entitled to vote.
Please make every effort to attend.

21-Apr
DETAILS
Public Observing Open Evening
James Irwin Observatory, Canterbury
28-Apr

Family Space Night
Bredhurst Village Hall

Looking for something to keep the kids interested, look no further than space!

An exciting evening of space displays and activities, space video and telescopes.
Suitable for kids and adults, come and learn about Space, Astronomy, and Rockets.

• Astronomical hands-on displays about space and our Solar System
• Make a Planisphere to use for spotting the stars and constellations
• Make a crater or an entire Galaxy
• View an interesting and entertaining video on Space
• Latest news on Gravitational Waves and how to detect them at home
• Telescopes for StarGazing, if weather permits
• Raffle, Tea, Coffee and Biscuits
• Telescope Workshop

Everyone is welcome, £1 on the door

Doors open at 7:45pm for 8pm.

05-May
DETAILS
Public Observing Open Evening
James Irwin Observatory, Canterbury
12-May

Paul Armitage: Asteroid Mining - Will it happen? Why and how?
Bredhurst Village Hall

Currently, terrestrial mining is the only means of acquiring natural resources for materials and energy. While this includes exciting new projects to mine the ocean floor, there is growing interest in the exploitation of resources in solar system objects. Space resource companies are already in existence and are funded by serious private investment.

Do we really need more raw materials than Earth can provide? How will targets in space be selected? What are the big ideas behind space transportation, resource estimation, ore extraction and processing? This talk will outline the theories, plans, evolving technology, and potential pitfalls. Some ores will be shown to those present as examples of the metals we need.

Dr Paul Armitage

Dr Paul Armitage is a consultant geologist who explores for metals that make the things we use every day. After graduating with Bachelor's and Master's degrees in geology from the University of Tromsø in Norway, he completed a PhD at the University of Greenwich in Medway, and settled here. The focus of his PhD was platinum metals, a hot topic in asteroid exploration. He worked as a geologist and geotechnical engineer on tunnel projects, including the HS1 link beneath London, then took up mineral exploration in Greenland, Scandinavia, and Africa. He currently heads a project in Norway that aims to mine copper and zinc. He continues to participate in academic research on rocks formed and deformed by ancient geological events, as far back as the Late Heavy Bombardment nearly 4 billion years ago.

Paul is an active league cricketer, rugby and tennis fan, keen birdwatcher, and fluent Norwegian speaker. He joined MKAS in 2013



19-May
DETAILS
Public Observing Open Evening
James Irwin Observatory, Canterbury
26-May

Dr Robin Catchpole: Are We Star Dust or Nuclear Waste?
Bredhurst Village Hall

Every thing around us, apart from hydrogen and helium, was made inside stars. The Earth and Sun contain elements made in generations of stars that were born and died before the birth of our Sun and planets. The story of the birth and death of stars is the story of the battle of matter against the force of gravity.
In this talk Robin will tell this story and show how gravity always wins, as stars die with either a whimper or a bang.

Dr Robin Catchpole

Currently works at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge University.
Retired as Senior Astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich in September 2003.
Joined the Royal Greenwich Observatory (RGO) in 1962. After obtaining a BSc at University College London, he was posted to the Royal Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope, S Africa (now the South African Astronomical Observatory) and spent the next 24 years, working first in Pretoria and then Cape Town.
Obtained his doctorate at the University of Cape Town. In 1991 he returned to the RGO in Cambridge, until it closed in 1998, when he moved to Greenwich as Senior Astronomer.
Has authored and co-authored over 120 research papers and articles and used a number of telescopes around the world including the Hubble Space Telescope. Research interests include, the composition of stars, exploding stars, the structure of our Galaxy and galaxies with black holes at their centres.
Has given numerous popular lectures and radio and TV interviews.
Originated the design of the 33 ton bronze truncated cone at the new Astronomy Centre in Greenwich, completed and opened by the Queen, in 2007.
Is currently part of the team intending to build the Solar Pyramid, which will be the largest sundial in the world.
In 1981 Robin married the sculptor Gill Wiles (1940-2014)


02-Jun
DETAILS
Public Observing Open Evening
James Irwin Observatory, Canterbury
09-Jun

Nik Szymanek: A Tale of Two Observatories
Bredhurst Village Hall

Nik is well known for his amazing astro-photographs of the night sky.
But Nik recently moved house... and consequently moved his Observatory. Not a simple task.
He will talk about the trials and tribulations of such a mammoth task especially the dismantling and reassembly of the dome, showing photos of the journey and the amazing results.

The talk is suitable for all and will of course feature lots of new pretty pictures.

Nik Szymanek

Nik Szymanek is an amateur astronomer based in Essex. He is a keen astrophotographer and regularly travels to dark sky observatory locations abroad, such as La Palma, Hawaii, Spain and Tenerife. These sites are perfect for deep sky astrophotography and Nik has also liaised with observatory staff to produce public-relations pictures taken with the professional telescopes at those locations. Back in the UK, Nik is a regular monthly columnist for Astronomy Now magazine and has appeared on the BBC's 'The Sky at Night', 'Inside Out' and 'The Final Frontier' television programmes.

Other interests include lecturing to astronomical, photographic and science societies. Nik is a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Hertfordshire's Centre for Astrophysics Research and a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. In July 2004 he was invited to Berkeley, California, to receive the prestigious Astronomical Society of the Pacific's Amateur Achievement Award for 2004.

Recent projects include the installation of a remote robotic telescope in the mountains of southern Spain. Nik is the author of 'Shooting Stars' a book designed to help people get started in astrophotography. He has also written a book including many great images called 'Infinity Rising'


16-Jun
DETAILS
Public Observing Open Evening
James Irwin Observatory, Canterbury
23-Jun
DETAILS
Public Observing Open Evening
James Irwin Observatory, Canterbury
30-Jun

Rolf Williams: Never mind the Shuttle, look at the wildlife
Bredhurst Village Hall

Did you know that there were people who went to see a Shuttle launch, but looked in a different direction at liftoff? Why? They went to see the wildlife and what happens to the them during a launch.

Kennedy Space Center is filled with a great variety of wildlife species and Rolf will share what effect they have on the Space programme.

Rolf Williams




07-Jul
DETAILS
Public Observing Open Evening
James Irwin Observatory, Canterbury
14-Jul
Bredhurst Village Hall



21-Jul
DETAILS
Public Observing Open Evening
James Irwin Observatory, Canterbury
28-Jul

Summer Social
Bredhurst Village Hall



04-Aug
DETAILS
Public Observing Open Evening
James Irwin Observatory, Canterbury
11-Aug
DETAILS
Public Observing Open Evening
James Irwin Observatory, Canterbury
18-Aug
DETAILS
Public Observing Open Evening
James Irwin Observatory, Canterbury
25-Aug
DETAILS
Public Observing Open Evening
James Irwin Observatory, Canterbury
01-Sep
Herstmonceux Astronomy Festival: 1-3 Sep
Observatory Science Centre, Herstmonceux

For details, see:
http://www.the-observatory.org/astronomy_festival_2017


01-Sep
DETAILS
Public Observing Open Evening
James Irwin Observatory, Canterbury
08-Sep

MKAS at the USA Total Solar Eclipse
Bredhurst Village Hall

Some photos and stories from our MKAS members who went to the USA to see the Total Solar Eclipse

09-Sep

Will Adams Festival
Gillingham Park, Canterbury St, Gillingham ME7 5LA

MKAS will be supporting this event with a display stand and solar telescope

  
MEETING VENUES

PUBLIC MEETINGS:
Bredhurst Village Hall

Hurstwood Road,
Bredhurst, Gillingham,
Kent ME7 3JZ
(Close to J4 off the M2)
There is a car park on site.
Starts 7:45pm for 8pm.

OBSERVING EVENINGS:
James Irwin Observatory

Meet in the Conservatory at:
Victoria Hotel
59 London Road,
Canterbury, Kent
CT2 8JY
You will then be escorted to the observatory at 8:30pm (Oct-Mar) / 9pm (Apr-Sep)
BREDHURST MEETINGS VISITOR INFORMATION
Following the presentation there will be a tea break giving a chance to talk with other MKAS members and then an observing session in the field behind the hall (weather permitting) and a telescope workshop in the hall, so if you are having problems with your telescope (or just want to show it off) bring it along.

The meeting is open to non-members who are welcome to attend for free on their first visit.
Everyone of all ages and levels of expertise is welcome, including complete beginners.

There is a small entrance fee for each meeting to cover costs for tea and coffee.

Please dress appropriately for the weather, and be ready for observing, if it is clear. Remember that it can get very cold, especially in winter, so bring several layers or your warmest winter coat, as you feel appropriate.

All of our public meetings are held on the second and last Friday of each month, except August and at Christmas, when there are no meetings.
All Public meetings are held at Bredhurst Village Hall unless otherwise stated.
Meetings normally start at 7.45pm for 8pm.
Bredhurst Village Hall : Hurstwood Road, Bredhurst, Gillingham, Kent ME7 3JZ
Bredhurst is close to J4 off the M2. There is a car park on site.

See our website EVENTS page for details of our forthcoming public meetings.


All persons under 18yrs must be accompanied by a parent/guardian or responsible adult.

www.midkentastro.org.uk