Mid-Kent Astronomical Society
The James Irwin Observatory is
Confirmed CLOSED
It will remain closed until further notice.

EVENTS
DATEDETAILS
TODAY

Prof Ian Morison - dark matter,dark energy and ---
Virtual presentation by ZOOM

In this talk Ian provides information on the vast majority of the Universe which is unseen. So how do we know about it and why is it that so far we have found no direct way of observing it?

Hopefully Ian will also explain about gravitational lensing and micro lensing and how this is helping us study atmospheres around exoplanets.

12-Mar

Will Joyce - The outer planets
Virtual presentation by ZOOM

In this presentation Will summarises our current understanding of the outer planets in our Solar System and their most interesting natural satellites using recent imagery from telescopes and spacecraft. The atmospheres, interiors and local space environments of the gas and ice giant planets will be discussed along with their roles in the evolution of the Solar System. A major surprise of the early Space Age was the discovery that several outer planet moons are, or were, active worlds in their own right, and this talk will also explore some of these fascinating objects.


26-Mar

Dr Megan Argo - When galaxies collide
Virtual presentation via ZOOM

Once upon a time we thought the Universe was static and unchanging. These days of course, we know differently. The whole Universe is in motion and, from time to time, galaxies pass too close to each other and gravity takes over; the results are often spectacular. Join us for a tour of the universe as we look at what galaxies are made of, take a bird’s-eye view of our own Milky Way, then look at what happens when gravity becomes irresistible, and ending with a sneak preview of our own galaxy’s distant future

09-Apr

Damian Peach - High Resolution Astrophotography - imaging the planets with amateur telescopes
Bredhurst Village Hall

We are delighted and very fortunate to have one of the world's leading amateur lunar and planetary imagers with us to explain how to capture great pictures of the planets.

Even if you do not think you have the necessary equipment or skills you can still marvel at the exceptional images that Damian has captured over the years.

30-Apr

Annual General Meeting 7.45-10pm
Bredhurst Village Hall

This is your chance to discuss how the Society operates and to make suggestions about future activities, to appprove the annual accounts and to elect the Committee for the forthcoming year. Any Member can put themselves forward for election to the Committee. Indeed we would welcome some new blood so please do not be shy in volunteering.

Please download and review the following documents: [3 of 6 available]
» Agenda for the 2021 AGM
» Minutes of the 2019 AGM
» Minutes of the 2019 EGM
» Chairman's Report 2019-2021
» Treasurer's Report 2019-2021
» MKAS Accounts 2019-2020
» MKAS Accounts 2020-2021

» Committee Roles and Responsibilities

Please send any proposals for changes to the constitution or society business to secretary@midkentastro.org.uk by no later than 25 March 2021.
The Constitution can be viewed and downloaded from HERE.

The AGM is open to all MKAS Members and Visitors, however only Members are entitled to vote.

14-May
Nik Syzmanek - Meteorological photography
Bredhurst Village Hall

Renowned astrophotographer Nik Syzmanek returns for another exciting talk with wonderful inspiring images -but this time with a slight twist.

Don't worry if you feel you are not geared up to doing astrophotography yourself - you can always marvel at the pictures and who knows, maybe, following Nick's talk you you will find it easier than you orignally thought.

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'


28-May

Jane Green: Look Up, Live It, Love It
Bredhurst Village Hall

This is likely to be a hugely inspirational talk

A Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, Jane is a natural, eloquent and captivating speaker who possesses that rare ability to communicate the complexities of astronomy in a warm and easy to understand way. She makes the ‘ungraspable’ graspable so why not join her for a revelatory voyage into the Universe?

In this talk, with the aid of stunning audio visuals, Jane deconstructs the seemingly complex, de-mystifies meaningless phrases and reveals the darkest wonders of the cosmos to ultimately share what inspires her and her audiences most … perspective, majesty and beauty on the grandest scale of all. This powerful and insightful journey begins and ends with ‘nothing’. What could possibly fill the ‘space’ in between? Find out as Jane inspires you to look up, live it and love it.


Jane Green

An elected Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (FRAS), Jane is now a sought-after presenter, motivational speaker, successful author, science writer, broadcaster, STEM ambassador and registered school speaker.

Having also co-presented with the late Sir Patrick Moore CBE FRS, celebrities and media professionals, Jane was invited to be the Inaugural Speaker for the Sir Patrick Moore Memorial Lecture at Holmewood House School, the school where Sir Patrick himself taught for eight years.

She has been featured in, and writes for, various astronomy publications, including the UK's BBC Sky at Night magazine and the USA's Sky & Telescope publication, and has scripted a live television/theatre interview with the second man on the moon, US astronaut Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin.

Her book, the Haynes Astronomy Manual, is an international bestseller and has been translated into several languages. A new edition has recently been released.
She weaves her special magic for select clients at corporate team-building events or before theatre audiences numbering 2000+. All have been enraptured.​

Her passion is making astronomy your passion. Her love for life will change your life.

"Jane has taken up the challenge of doing for a new
generation what Sir Patrick did for us all those years ago."
(DR BRIAN MAY)


11-Jun
Prof David Rees - The Artemis project and water on the Moon and Mars
Bredhurst Village Hall

In this talk David will update us on the NASA Artemis project designed to land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024, using innovative technologies to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before.

David will explain the role of ESA and the exciting opportunities for the UK Space Industry and he will also update us on the 2020 discovery of water on the Moon and Mars.

Prof David Rees

Prof David Rees has designed and built instruments for NASA, ESA, JAXA and other space organisations around the world. He designed and largely built the MSASI instrument that is part of the Bepi-Colombo payload that ESA/JAXA launched successfully toward Mercury in October 2018.

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 Salehurst 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 currently working on the Aeolus Calibration / Validation Programme for the Aeolus wind-measuring Lidar Satellite launched by ESA in August 2018.

David is an active member of MKAS and regularly observes using a 16” ODK from his back garden in Salehurst, under some of the darkest skies in the UK.

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


25-Jun
David Southwood CBE - Magnetic Saturn
Bredhurst Village Hall?

Few will disagree that Saturn is one of the most spectacular planets in our solar system. Nearly everyone remarks "Wow" when they see it for the first time through a telescope and even seasoned observers still find it a majestic sight.

As well as its spectacular ring system it also displays magnificent aurorae although these are only observable from a satellite above the poles.In this talk David will tell us about the magnetic nature of Saturn. The unseen feature and the source of the aurorae and provide other mysteries.

Magnetic fields may be invisible but they are extremely important in ordering the environment of planets (and stars, indeed very many astronomical objects). The exploration of the solar system by spacecraft has routinely showed up surprises about planetary magnetic fields. Saturn was no exception. Its field is generated by a dynamo in the interior of the planet. However, the field has a property that was thought impossible before its discovery, the internal planetary magnetic field is symmetric about the planet’s rotation axis. A dynamo field should not be axisymmetric. Einstein once said the dynamo problem was one of the hardest in physics; it is probable he was right. However, the exterior magnetic surroundings of Saturn also generated lots of surprises. Geysers on the small moon, Enceladus, just outside the rings were discovered initially by the magnetic effect of the material being injected into space continuously from the interior of the moon. It turns out the material liberated by the geysers populates much of the enormous planetary magnetosphere around Saturn.

Moreover, although the magnetic field itself may be invisible, yet that field controls some very visible phenomena like the aurora. The aurorae at Saturn are generated by dynamic interactions between the magnetosphere and the fast rotating planetary atmosphere. We’ll go over some of the great discoveries about Saturn magnetism by the Cassini space mission, some of what we now understand and some of the puzzles that remain.

Prof David Southwood CBE

David was formerly the Director of Science and Robotic Exploration at the European Space Agency (2001-2011) and President of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) 2012-2014. He received a CBE in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Before going to ESA, he was a space scientist at Imperial College, London. At ESA, he oversaw building and launching spacecraft to Venus, Mars and the Moon as well as the Rosetta probe with lander Philae to comet Churymuov-Gerasimenko, in addition to several major space telescopes. He led the team that landed a European probe on Saturn’s largest moon Titan in 2005. An instrument he built at Imperial operated in orbit around the planet Saturn aboard the NASA Cassini spacecraft from 2004-2017. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal and won the 2011 Sir Arthur C. Clarke award for space achievement. He was chairman of the Steering Board of the UK Space Agency 2016-2019. He is currently a senior research investigator at Imperial College.



  
MEETING VENUES

REGULAR 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.

OBSERVATORY 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
[default]
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 regular meetings are held on the second and last Friday of each month, except August and at Christmas, when there are no meetings.
All regular 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 meetings.


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

www.midkentastro.org.uk




[default-copy]
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 regular meetings are held on the second and last Friday of each month, except August and at Christmas, when there are no meetings.
All regular 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 meetings.


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

www.midkentastro.org.uk




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