Bulletin – May 2018

Society News

Most of the activity by society members over the last month has been focused on searching for a new site to which we can move the observatory. We have also issued a press release and individuals have been interviewed on radio and local TV in which we appealed for help in finding a new site. So far, no-one has offered help as a result of these appeals but we do have two potential sites that have been visited on at least two occasions and are under seriously consideration. We also have two more as possible fall-back options.

There are two dates for your diary that relate to the upcoming relocation. The first is an observatory clear-out on Sunday 6th May. The second is an Extraordinary General Meeting on Friday 18th May. Members are earnestly requested to attend, particularly the EGM. See below for more details.

Last month’s Society Events – April

April 6th

Priory Street meeting. Martin Whipp gave the second part of his interesting and well-illustrated talk, “Reverse Through the Universe”. He began at the edge of the solar system and took us out to the edge of the known universe. On the way, we saw nebulae, star clusters, galaxies, galactic groups and even gravitationally linked galactic super groups. Quite fascinating stuff.

April 19th

Public star party on the Knavesmire. A successful evening attended by a number of members of the public. The crescent moon was well seen along with Venus.
This was the last Knavesmire meet of the season. From now onwards, it doesn’t get dark early enough. We will recommence in September.

April 20th

Priory Street meeting at which Rod Hine from Bradford AS gave a most interesting talk on “The Life and Works of Edward Emerson Barnard”. Rod is an excellent speaker and took us through Barnard’s life, from his poverty-stricken and unschooled youth, to his astronomy professorship at Chicago University and his use of what still is the largest refractor in the world – the 40-inch Yerkes. He is of course most famously known as the man who spotted the star with the fastest proper motion, Barnard’s Star. Many other astronomical objects have since been named after him, and I recommend you follow this Wikipedia link to read more about him.

Coming Up in May

May 4th – Friday

Priory Street meeting. Brian Jones from Bradford AS will give a talk entitled “The Astronomical Scrapbook”. Brian has been an astronomy enthusiast, collector and author for many years. He currently compiles and edits the Yearbook of Astronomy. In his talk he will be presenting a number of astronomical oddities, such as the pronunciation of “Halley” and “Uranus”, and also how some of the more unusual asteroids got their names.

The meeting starts at 8 pm. Click here for directions.

May 6th – Sunday

Observatory clear-out day at Rufforth, from 10 am. We need to gather together items we want to keep, and throw out or sell what we want to discard. If you have something of yours at the observatory, please come and do what you want with it else it may go! If you could bring boxes or bags that could be used to collect stuff, that would be useful. If you have a trailer that could be used to take scrap metal to Clancey’s (YO19 5UF) to sell, that would be excellent. (Clancey’s are closed on Sundays.)

May 18th – Friday

Priory Street meeting. This is an EGM at which members will be informed about the sites to which we may move the observatory. The pros and cons of each site will be described and there may then be a recommendation from the committee as to which one is preferred. There will then be an opportunity to discuss the matter. Whether there is a recommendation or not, members present will be asked to vote for their preferred site, and this vote will be the decider. Please recognise that this decision is a very important matter that could affect the society for years to come, so you are urged to attend, participate in the discussion, and vote. (If time permits following the vote, there will be a quiz.)

Click here for SEASKY Astronomy events

Click here for BAA Bi Monthly Sky Notes