making astronomy accessible to all
EVENTS www.midkentastro.org.uk/events

 
All meetings are open to members and visitors. Click here for further details
Print Public Meetings (Bredhurst) Outreach Events
DATEDETAILS
TOMORROW

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
28-Jul
DETAILS

Prof David Rees: The ESA Aeolus Mission
Bredhurst Village Hall

Aeolus is an Earth observation satellite built by Airbus Defence and Space that is due for launch this year. Aeolus will be the first space-based Lidar System capable of performing global wind profile observations. It will provide much-needed information to improve global weather forecasting.

David has been working on this mission since 1985 and will tell us the full picture of the scientific, technical and political challenges this mission has had all through its lifetime, and how this mission is important to everyone on Earth.

Prof David Rees

Prof David Rees designs and builds prototype instruments for NASA, ESA, JAXA and other space organisations around the world. He designed and built one instrument that is part of the Bepi-Colombo payload that ESA/JAXA plan to send to Mercury in 2016.

David is Emeritus Professor of Astrophysics at Utah State University, USA. He has a network of contacts that include some of the biggest names in astrophysics and therefore he is up to date on all the latest theories and research.

David is also conducting leading edge research on our atmosphere using his sophisticated LIDAR system. He uses LiDAR systems from his back garden in Sussex to undertake cutting-edge research into the Earth's atmosphere and the wind, also atmospheric particulates like dust from the Sahara.

David is an active member of MKAS and regularly observes from his back garden in Sussex, under some of the darkest skies in the UK.

He is a keen cricketer and plays regularly for the Kent Seniors team.



04-Aug
DETAILS
Public Observing Open Evening
James Irwin Observatory, Canterbury
05-Aug

AstroCamp
Ashdown Forest

The 2017 AstroCamp will be held on Saturday 5 to Sunday 13 August.

A perfect opportunity to relax in the very picturesque Ashdown Forest, read, go on country walks, visit the local quaint shops, visit nearby Pooh Bridge and other Pooh-related places, socialise with other like-minded amateur astronomers, and do some astronomy in the darker skies of mid-Sussex.

The popular barbecue will be held on Saturday 12th, with many more people visiting just on this evening, sometimes as many as 100 people in attendance. Bring your own food and drink (alcohol permitted).

All members of MKAS are invited, along with their guests.

For details, speak to Naz Rajan.

11-Aug

Solarsphere Astronomy & Music Festival
Builth Wells, Powys, Wales LD2 3RD

Click here for details of this exciting entertaining event
http://www.solarsphere.events

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 BN27 1RN

Click here for details of this exciting entertaining event
http://www.the-observatory.org/astronomy_festival_2017

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

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 (11am-4.30pm)

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

15-Sep
DETAILS
Public Observing Open Evening
James Irwin Observatory, Canterbury
22-Sep
DETAILS
Public Observing Open Evening
James Irwin Observatory, Canterbury
29-Sep
DETAILS

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




06-Oct
DETAILS
Public Observing Open Evening
James Irwin Observatory, Canterbury
13-Oct
DETAILS

Peter Meadows: Robotic Telescope Observing
Bredhurst Village Hall

Robotic Telescopes allow an amateur to use a semi-professional telescope located in a very clear sky area of a remote country, without having to leave the comfort of their own homes.
Peter, the former director of the BAA's Robotic Telescope Observing section, will tell us how we can do this and what to expect.

20-Oct
DETAILS
Public Observing Open Evening
James Irwin Observatory, Canterbury
27-Oct
DETAILS

Paul Armitage: A closer look at asteroid mining
Bredhurst Village Hall

Details to follow

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



02-Nov
DETAILS
Public Observing Open Evening
James Irwin Observatory, Canterbury
03-Nov
DETAILS
Public Observing Open Evening
James Irwin Observatory, Canterbury
10-Nov
DETAILS

Prof Alan Aylward: Colouring the Sky - Nature’s Cathode Ray tube
Bredhurst Village Hall

For many years those living in high-latitude parts of the globe would wonder at the sight of the northern lights or aurorae borealis and speculate what caused them.
With the dawn of the space age we now have a pretty good idea - in fact we can fly through them on occasion and look at them from above as well as below. They turn out to be very complex and predicting them is as difficult as weather forecasting.
Our interest has been further piqued by discovering aurorae on other planets: though they look the same as on earth, what causes them is not necessarily the same, and research on them has expanded with space probes and the Hubble space telescope giving details of the morphology on planets like Jupiter. We can even conjecture on what we might find further afield.

Prof Alan Aylward

Having read Natural Sciences at Cambridge I came to UCL in 1971 to do a Diploma in Space Science, then worked for a year in British Aircraft Corporation working on a zero-g propellant tank, came back to UCL to do research and then spent some time as a technical consultant in the computer time-sharing industry. An opportunity then came up to combine computing and science by working as a programmer helping to develop the software on the EISCAT (European Incoherent SCATter) radar installation in northern Scandinavia. After a stint as head programmer Alan came back to the UK and worked as a consultant on EISCAT to the universities with the UK research council at Rutherford Appleton Lab, and eventually took up a position at University College London in the Atmospheric Physics Laboratory, which he was head of from 1994 until I retired recently. Alan currently has an Emeritus post there (running a couple of research projects) and part-own a Tea-Shop!
While at APL their programme started as research into the earth’s ionosphere and thermosphere - the aurorae and Space Weather - both by observation using ground-based instruments and by modelling. They then developed from there into modelling and observations of the other planets - aurorae on Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus for example, plus a model of the Martian upper atmosphere. Then in the late ’90s when the first exoplanet, 51 PegB, was discovered they joined the controversy as to whether it could be stable by modelling it using a modified version of their Jupiter model (and showing there was indeed a good reason why it could be stable for billions of years).
That led to more modelling of exoplanets and then observations, and designing a satellite-based exoplanet observatory (which unfortunately ESA did not select, though they continue to develop the ideas).
Alan still works on Space Weather effects, partly with his own consultancy, and retains an interest in all the areas APL/UCL are involved in.


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

Colin Stuart: Royal Institute on Astronomy
Bredhurst Village Hall



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

Christmas Social
Bredhurst Village Hall



 


Public Meetings

Public meetings are held on the second and last Friday of each month, except August and at Christmas, when there are no meetings. Meetings normally start at 7:45pm for 8pm.

All Public meetings are held at Bredhurst Village Hall unless otherwise stated.
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.

These meetings are 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.

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.

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.
 


Observing Open Evenings

The James Irwin Observatory is
Currently Closed
and Due to Reopen

TOMORROW

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

On the Fridays when we do not hold our public meetings at Bredhurst, and depending on the weather, we open our James Irwin Observatory in Canterbury for those who wish to do some observing.

We first meet at the Victoria Hotel from 8pm (Oct-Mar) / 8.30pm (Apr-Sep). Thirty minutes later, you will be escorted to the Observatory. Venue details are found on the left of this page.
 


Outreach Events

MKAS often get asked to hold Astronomy events for various schools, councils, scout groups and other groups. The committee and other supportive members are very actively organising and holding events from small shows or talks to Spectacular Events where several thousand members of the public typically attend.
 


Member Events

We organise various astronomy-related events and trips for our members. These are often subsidised.
 


Other Events

Members may also be interested in other astronomy-related events, run by other groups and societies, that our members are welcome to attend.



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

If you wish further information on MKAS or any of the meetings, events and activities of the Society, please contact us, using the details on the CONTACT page.


Use this link or QR code for quick access to this page on your phone:


www.midkentastro.org.uk/mobile




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The James Irwin Observatory is
Currently Closed
and Due to Reopen

TOMORROW

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


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)





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