Galaxies of Brass Concert 2021

Report by Freda Rockliffe

On Saturday 23 October 2021, the York Astronomical Society (YAS) organised an exciting concert of music and astronomy inspired by the wonders of the night sky, in collaboration with the York Railway Institute Brass Band (YRIB).

The music ranged from extracts from the classics; Holst Planet Suite Mars and Jupiter to Bowie’s Life on Mars. Movie soundtracks included; Star Wars and ET themes. Dr David Lancaster composed a moving piece about the transit of Venus accompanied by breathtaking images of the transit. Traditional pieces included Moonlight Serenade and Fly me to the moon.  Continue reading

First In-Person Meeting after Lockdown

Report by Martin Dawson

On the evening of 3 September 2021, The York Astronomical Society (YAS) had its first public lecture after some 18 months.

We all know why and so I won’t go into it here. YAS member, David Armeson gave an excellent presentation on the latest (and I mean latest) results from the Mars rover ‘Perseverance’ and its little helicopter ‘Ingenuity’. Continue reading

Observatory Renovation

The year 2020 has not been a wasted year for the York Astronomical Society (YAS) despite the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions for any physical observing events.

However, a number of YAS Members have worked hard to improve the observatory and its facilities, situated at Beetle Bank Farm (BBF). We now have an operational multi-function room, remote cameras on telescopes on the roof and observing deck and image feeds down into the warmth and comfort of that room. Continue reading

The Great Conjunction! December 2020

There has been a lot of media coverage in recent weeks about The Great Conjunction when the planets Saturn and Jupiter were expected to come in alignment with the Earth within 0.1° on 21 December 2020. This type of conjunction happens once every 20 years, so it was a significant astronomical event and astronomers throughout the world have gone out to look for this event. Continue reading

Our first online meeting

We held our first online meeting on Friday 24 April using the Zoom software. As a trial run, members only were invited and over 20 joined. Invitees were asked to suggest something astronomical to to during the lockdown (see link to Powerpoint document below for details).

The meeting was deemed a great success, so we plan to do one a month during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Slides from the meeting (downloadable Powerpoint file).

Graham Moore gave a short talk on astrophotography using a DSLR camera. He has posted the talk on Facebook.

Modern meteor astronomy

A talk by Nick James Director of the comet section of BAA.

Report of the meeting written up by Rob Maclagan from notes taken by Michael Reakes.

Nick gave an interesting talk to the Society at a recent Priory Street event. He showed how, originally, meteors were recorded visually, then by film photography, and now using digital cameras, including standard CCTV. Modern cameras mean that video footage can be shot in real time at high quality. Although these are currently expensive, CCTV and other cameras are affordable to amateurs and astronomical societies. Using software, data can be uploaded to sites, contributing to the recording of meteors. It also possible to use radio equipment to ‘see’ meteors.

Continue reading