Upcoming Events

Tue 28

Viewing with the Great Equatorial Telescope

February 28 @ 7:15 pm - 9:00 pm
Mar 06

Let’s Set a Date by Dr Radmila Topalović

March 6 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Mar 16

Deep Sky Imaging Part 1

March 16 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Subscribe to Flamsteed via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this website and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 192 other subscribers

To join the Flamsteed Astronomy Society, click on this link.

The Flamsteed is an amateur astronomy society at the Royal Observatory and National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London SE10. It has around 350 members who represent the full range of interests and experience in astronomy. Many are beginners. It is named after the first Astronomer Royal, John Flamsteed.

The Society was founded in 1999, and is part of the membership organisation of Royal Museums Greenwich.

Our lecture meetings are held once a month between September/October and May/June, usually on a Monday evening, in the lecture theatre of the National Maritime Museum, or in the Peter Harrison Planetarium at the Royal Observatory Greenwich (ROG). The Society regularly holds observing evenings using members’ own telescopes.  In addition the Society stages viewing sessions with the ROG’s Great Equatorial Telescope, the largest of its kind in the UK, and seventh largest in the world.

We are an affiliated society of the British Astronomical Association and members of The Federation of Astronomical Societies.The Federation of Astronomical SocietiesBritish Astronomical Association

For the third time in a row, our Flamsteed observation sessions on the Great Equatorial Telescope were blessed with clear skies and, once again, one of our ROG Astronomers maximised the opportunity to making it a night to remember for our Flamsteed members. This time around, it was ROG’s own ‘rock star’ astronomer, Tom Kerss whom […]

A workshop meeting of the Radio Astronomy special interest group took place at Mycenae House on the 7th December 2016. Owing to the usual pre-Christmas commitments, a number of the regular attendees were absent, but this didn’t prevent some useful discussions taking place. The workshop started with a discussion on the data collected by the […]

As you may know, we are at the mercy of the clouds when we desire a peep into the universe from the Great Equatorial Telescope. Sometimes, the weather just doesn’t play ball and, when that happens, ROG’s astronomers will still delight us with a variety of backup astronomy related programs to compensate. However, on this […]

An excellent session started off rather dubiously as a not so familiar obstacle threatened our stargazing night. It wasn’t the clouds this time but a funfair, just several yards away from us! Admittedly, a rush of childhood nostalgia swept over me and I was tempted to go in, head for the bumper cars and demonstrate […]

Astrobiology, said Professor Lewis Dartnell, is “the science of hunting for aliens”! That may conjure up images of Martian death rays, wielded by tripods come to invade the earth. But if our next door neighbour planet ever did have an environment that was suitable for the origin of microbial life on the surface, the environment […]

Flamsteed viewing session with the Great Equatorial Telescope at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. Bookings are restricted to members only. Depending on numbers, we may be able to accommodate guests but we won’t know until much nearer the date. These Flamsteed sessions are free to members but places are limited and advance booking is essential. If […]

Humans have been devising methods of timekeeping for about 10 000 years, these calendars are intrinsically linked to the motions of the Earth, Moon and Sun. In this talk we explore how people around the world kept track of time and how we eventually arrived at the calendar that we all use today, along with […]

A Flamsteed Astronomy Society workshop on Deep Sky Imaging at Mycenae House, Blackheath. Presented by Rupert Smith. Booking is required. March 16th will see us offer our first Deep Sky Imaging class. The class will be in two parts, the first part will cover the equipment needed for long exposure deep sky imaging and its […]

We will be running a Blackheath Observing session on Friday 17 March (or Saturday 18 March, if the weather is poor on Friday evening) from 7.30pm until around 11pm. We look forward to seeing you there. Please bring a telescope if you can, the more the merrier! If not there should be at least three […]

March 20th, Monday 8.00pm Flamsteed Pub Evening at the British Oak, 109 Old Dover Road, Blackheath SE3 8SU.  All are welcome.

NASA statement on SpaceX’s announcement Monday about a private space mission around the moon. from NASA

Supersonic passenger airplanes are another step closer to reality as NASA and Lockheed Martin begin the first high-speed wind tunnel tests for the Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST) X-plane preliminary design at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. from NASA

NASA will discuss plans for an ongoing study to assess the feasibility of adding a crew to Exploration Mission-1, the first integrated flight of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft, during a media teleconference at 1 p.m. EST today, Friday, Feb. 24. The call will stream live on NASA’s website. from NASA

NASA is inviting media to attend a test of the Orion spacecraft’s parachutes on Wednesday, March 8, at the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. Orion is scheduled for its second airdrop test, in a series of eight, to qualify the parachute system for crewed flights. from NASA

NASA celebrates National Engineer Week and Girl’s Day with a series of events. from NASA

Facebook Status

Flamsteed Astronomy Society
Facebook IconFebruary 24, 2017 at 12:32 pm

Blackheath observing has been CANCELLED for this evening, due to poor weather. Our next scheduled Blackheath event will be 17 or 18 March. http://flamsteed.info/event/blackheath-observing-friday-17-march-or-saturday-18-march/

Facebook Picture
Blackheath Observing – Friday 17 March or Saturday 18 March

flamsteed.info

Flamsteed Astronomy Society
February 22, 2017 at 9:42 pm

Flamsteed Astronomy Society shared The Royal Society's post.

Facebook Picture
The Royal Society

Well, this is pretty exciting.

Seven newly identified planets orbiting a nearby star offer a realistic chance to seek signs of life beyond the solar system.

Flamsteed Astronomy Society
February 22, 2017 at 6:39 pm

Flamsteed Astronomy Society shared ESO Astronomy's photo.

Facebook Picture
ESO Astronomy

Comparison of the sizes of the #TRAPPIST1 planets with Solar System bodies. View larger image: http://socsi.in/7g9Ap Image credit: ESO Astronomy /O. Furtak Read more about the 7 Earth-sized planets recently discovered around #TRAPPIST1 star, using the TRAPPIST–South telescope at our La Silla Observatory and the Very Large Telescope (VLT) at Paranal, among other telescopes. http://socsi.in/qiObm

Flamsteed Astronomy Society
Facebook IconFebruary 22, 2017 at 6:39 pm

Flamsteed Astronomy Society shared a link.

Facebook Picture
This discovery is a lottery win for astronomers looking for life beyond Earth

theguardian.com

The seven planets discovered around the dwarf star Trappist-1 confirm that the coming decade will belong to the study of exoplanets

Flamsteed Astronomy Society
February 22, 2017 at 6:38 pm

Flamsteed Astronomy Society shared ESO Astronomy's post.

Facebook Picture
ESO Astronomy

Grab your #VirtualReality hardware and check out the view from the surface of TRAPPIST-1b, the closest planet in the system to the central ultra cool dwarf star, #TRAPPIST1. The video material can be explored also directly from our website in 2D. Video credit: ESO Astronomy /L. Calçada/spaceengine.org

Flamsteed Astronomy Society
February 22, 2017 at 6:38 pm

Flamsteed Astronomy Society shared Space.com's video.

Facebook Picture
Space.com

NASA just made its big announcement and this is the crux of it: The dwarf star TRAPPIST-1, which is located about 39 light-years from Earth, is orbited by 7 (yes SEVEN!) Earth-sized planets, three of which could harbor oceans of water, making them possible homes for life. Exciting news, right? Read our full report: https://goo.gl/5BiRCM

Annabel Burn
February 21, 2017 at 10:00 pm

Fantastic evening at the Great Equatorial Telescope. A 40 minute illustrates lecture in the planetarium on the current night sky followed by another lecture with the telescope about the potential for future observing at Greenwich with an opportunity to review the astrophotography winners in between. Fabulous thank you. Hardly noticed that it was a cloudy night!

Flamsteed Astronomy Society
Facebook IconFebruary 17, 2017 at 4:05 pm

Blackheath Observing session is CONFIRMED ON for tonight (Friday 17 February). Meet from 7.30pm. See http://flamsteed.info/event/blackheath-observing-friday-17-february-or-saturday-18-february/ for a map.

At the start of our session Uranus, Mars and Venus should still be visible in the SSW portion of the Sky (note, we will be running an extra even next weekend with an early start to allow us to view these planets as they will be very close in the sky). By 8.00pm, the Constellation of Orion will be at its highest offering views of M42 and and the jewel like double of Sigma Orionis that is placed between the Orion and Horsehead Nebula. As we move on through the night the easy sight for us on Blackheath is the pretty Beehive Cluster, M44 an open cluster containing a mixture of gold and blue stars which will be in the SE and climbing. A similar sight in the SW is the Hyades, Caldwell 41, a distinctive V shape mix of colourful stars dominated by Aldebaran which marks the eye of the Bull in the Constellation Taurus. These are just a few of the sights available to us from Blackheath and well worth viewing.

Blackheath is quite exposed so please wrap up warm.

Facebook Picture
Blackheath Observing – Friday 17 February – CONFIRMED ON

flamsteed.info

THIS EVENT IS CONFIRMED ON We will be running a Blackheath Observing session on Friday 17 February from 7.30pm until around 11pm. At the start of our session Uranus, Mars and Venus should still be visible in the SSW portion of the Sky (note, we will be running an extra even next weekend with an earl...

Flamsteed Astronomy Society
February 14, 2017 at 8:26 am

Flamsteed Astronomy Society shared Spaceweather.com's post.

Facebook Picture
Spaceweather.com

ROUND OBJECT CROSSES THE MOON: As observers around the planet were capturing images of Friday's penumbral eclipse, one photographer saw something unusual: a round object crossing in front of the Moon. "I was using a 125mm telescope to capture the eclipse when the small black disk appeared," says Luis G. Verdiales from Loiza, Puerto Rico. "It was moving too slow to be a satellite, so slow that I was able to capture it with my camera four times. It got my attention because it was round!"

Verdiales contacted the Caribbean Island's largest astronomy organization to find out what it was.

Eddie Irizarry of the Sociedad de Astronomía del Caribe explains what happened next: "After analysing magnified images, we suspected it might be a stratosphere balloon from Google Loon, a project that is testing internet coverage from the stratosphere," says Irizarry. "We checked FlightRadar24.com and indeed found a balloon at 64,400 ft identified as HBAL176. Further analysis showed the balloon was right between the observer and the Moon."

Flamsteed Astronomy Society
January 31, 2017 at 9:14 pm

Flamsteed Astronomy Society shared ESO Astronomy's photo.

Facebook Picture
ESO Astronomy

Discover the immersive #Paranal world in this Facebook 360 photo. Paranal is home of the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory, ESO's Very Large Telescope.
Credit: Yuri Beletsky Nightscapes / ESO Astronomy

Flamsteed Astronomy Society
January 27, 2017 at 1:22 pm

Blackheath observing has been CANCELLED this month due to poor weather conditions. Our next event is scheduled for 17/18 February.

http://flamsteed.info/event/blackheath-observing-friday-17-february-or-saturday-18-february/

Sarah Weinstein
Facebook IconJanuary 21, 2017 at 6:27 pm

Hi all, I am part of a team of computer scientists working on a weather app for aspiring or amateur astronomers. If you have a few minutes to help us out by filling out a survey we would really appreciate it! There are 10 questions, no contact details are collected, and responses will be used only for research purposes. Thank you so much!

Facebook Picture
Stargazer Survey

docs.google.com

We are a team of computer scientists working on a weather app for aspiring or amateur astronomers! There are 10 questions, no contact details are collected and responses will be used only for research purposes.

Flamsteed Astronomy Society
December 17, 2016 at 1:57 pm

Please note that our Blackheath Observing session, scheduled for this evening (Saturday 17 December 2016) has been CANCELLED due to poor weather.

Flamsteed Astronomy Society
Facebook IconDecember 7, 2016 at 3:38 pm

Those are some funky hexagon-shaped jet streams!

Facebook Picture
Cassini Beams Back First Images from New Orbit

saturn.jpl.nasa.gov

Cassini is one of the most ambitious effort in planetary space exploration ever mounted. A joint endeavour of NASA, ESA and the Italian space agency, Cassini is a sophisticated spacecraft exploring the Saturnian system since 2004.

Flamsteed Astronomy Society
Facebook IconDecember 7, 2016 at 3:37 pm

Flamsteed Astronomy Society shared a link.

Facebook Picture
Cassini's First Ring-Grazing Orbit A Success - Universe Today

universetoday.com

The Cassini mission has begun its final phase and has completed its first ring-grazing orbit around Saturn.

Flamsteed Astronomy Society
December 5, 2016 at 9:36 am

Flamsteed Astronomy Society shared Thomas Pesquet's photo.

Facebook Picture
Thomas Pesquet

Sunrises. We experience 16 sunrises every 24 hours on the International Space Station as it takes us 90 minutes to do a complete orbit of our planet flying at 28 800 km/h. Of course we don't notice most of the sunrises as we are working inside, but every now and again I can take a picture.

Des images de levers de soleil tels qu’on les vit depuis la Station spatiale. Sur 24 heures, on peut en voir 16 ! À 28 800 km/h, il nous faut en effet seulement 90 minutes pour effectuer une orbite complète autour de la Terre. Avec notre emploi du temps chargé, on n’a pas l’occasion de tous les admirer, mais j’ai quand même le plaisir de capturer un de ces levers du soleil en photo de temps en temps. Et jusque-là je ne m’en lasse pas !

https://flic.kr/p/PTooZ6

Flamsteed Astronomy Society
Facebook IconNovember 18, 2016 at 2:04 pm

Our Blackheath Observing event is CONFIRMED ON for tonight (Friday 18 November).

Meet from 7.30pm, at our usual location, north of Talbot Place on Blackheath.

All are welcome to attend. Please make sure you wrap up warm... it will be very cold this evening!

See http://flamsteed.info/event/blackheath-observing-friday-18-november-or-saturday-19-november/ for location details and a list of our proposed targets.

Facebook Picture
Blackheath Observing – Friday 18 November or Saturday 19 November

flamsteed.info

Our next scheduled observing event is proposed to take place Friday of this week, depending on the weather. Currently the forecast looks better for Friday so we will schedule this as the likely date for the observing session. PLEASE NOTE: The event starts at the earlier time of 7.30pm now we have da...

Flamsteed Astronomy Society
Facebook IconNovember 16, 2016 at 8:34 pm

Our next scheduled observing event is proposed to take place Friday of this week, depending on the weather. Currently the forecast looks better for Friday so we will schedule this as the likely date for the observing session.

PLEASE NOTE: The event starts at the earlier time of 7.30pm now we have darker skies.

As we get nearer the end of the year, more objects are becoming visible to us. During the early part of the evening the Summer Triangle comprising the bright stars of Vega, Deneb and Altair will still be in view. Amidst these three stars in the centre we will be able to see the colourful double star Albireo. To the right of this between the stars Sulafat and Sheliak is M57 the famous Ring Nebula. Heading up above Vega we can see the binary system known as the 'Double-Double' or more technically Epsilon 1 Lyrae and Epsilon 2 Lyrae. Moving left of this system between Deneb and Vega we can see Delta Cygni, a triple star system consisting of green-blue and yellow-white stars although you will only be able to see the extremely close binary pair.

Early on in the evening Mars will just be visible in the south but probably hidden by the trees. Stretching across the horizon from East to West will be Uranus and Neptune which will be followed by the M45, The Pleiades. On the Western horizon will be M13, The Hercules Cluster. To view this it is best to target it early before the lights of the city begin to drown it out.

From about 9.30pm we should be able to start observing the objects around the constellation Orion. The most visible of these will be the bright Nebula M42 and the double star Sigma Orionis. In addition to M42, many imaging targets exist around Orion, notably NGC 1909 the Witch Head Nebula to its right, the well known IC 434 Horsehead Nebula above and the dominantly H-Alpha NGC 2244 Rosette Nebula to the left.

The Moon will begin to appear during our observing session but should not brighten the sky too much until around 10pm in the evening at which time it will be another object to look at. As it will be 75% illuminated many features should be visible along the terminator.

Filming

Some students from the University of the Arts London are filming a short documentary about the Flamsteed and they will be on site at Blackheath. The film crew will not be using lights, just a hand held camera. They will be as unobtrusive as possible. If there is any reason why anyone attending does not wish to appear in the background of any shots, please speak to one of the Flamsteed Committee members on site.

We look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible. Please bring a telescope if you can. If not there should be at least three scopes available to take you on a tour of the sky.

As normal a go / no go announcement will be made at the earlier time of 4pm on Friday.

Blackheath is quite exposed and the forecast suggests a temperature range of only 2-4 degrees so wrap up warm!

We will meet at our usual spot just north of Talbot Place at 7.30pm. Talbot Place is the first left off Goffers Road after the Tea Hut. Parking is free after 6.30pm. A map of the site can be found here: http://flamsteed.info/event/blackheath-observing-friday-18-november-or-saturday-19-november/ .

Facebook Picture
Blackheath Observing – Friday 18 November or Saturday 19 November

flamsteed.info

Our next scheduled observing event is proposed to take place Friday of this week, depending on the weather. Currently the forecast looks better for Friday so we will schedule this as the likely date for the observing session. PLEASE NOTE: The event starts at the earlier time of 7.30pm now we have da...

Flamsteed Astronomy Society
Facebook IconNovember 14, 2016 at 3:04 pm

Flamsteed Astronomy Society added 2 new photos to the album: Astrophotography.

Facebook Picture
Astrophotography
Flamsteed Astronomy Society
Facebook IconNovember 14, 2016 at 9:03 am

About the Chubbier Moon :)

Facebook Picture
Behold November's Super-Duper Supermoon - Sky & Telescope

skyandtelescope.com

This coming week, we'll experience the closest full Moon that's lit the land since 1948. Here's what you'll need to know to enjoy it to the max.

Flamsteed Astronomy Society
October 27, 2016 at 5:35 pm

Flamsteed Astronomy Society shared ESA - European Space Agency's photo.

Facebook Picture
ESA - European Space Agency

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter - High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) imaged the ExoMars Schiaparelli module’s landing site on 25 October 2016, following the module’s arrival at Mars on 19 October. The zoomed insets provide close-up views of what are thought to be several different hardware components associated with the module’s descent to the martian surface. These are interpreted as the front heatshield, the parachute and the rear heatshield. Full details and hi-res version via http://www.esa.int/edm_hardware (pic: NASA/JPL/Caltech/Univ. Arizona)

Flamsteed Astronomy Society
October 22, 2016 at 10:17 pm

Excellent evening of observing on Blackheath tonight. Good attendance, good company and some lovely sights to see in the sky. Thanks to all who came along.

Flamsteed Astronomy Society
Facebook IconOctober 22, 2016 at 2:05 pm

Blackheath Observing session is CONFIRMED ON for tonight (Saturday 22 October). Meet from 7.30pm at our usual location on Blackheath.

See http://flamsteed.info/event/blackheath-observing-friday-21-october-or-saturday-22-october/ for details.

Facebook Picture
Blackheath Observing – Saturday 22 October

flamsteed.info

Our next scheduled observing event is proposed to take place either Friday or Saturday of this week, depending on the weather. Currently the forecast looks better for Saturday so we will schedule this as the likely date for the observing session. PLEASE NOTE: The event will start at the earlier time...

Flamsteed Astronomy Society
October 20, 2016 at 11:01 am

Flamsteed Astronomy Society shared ESA - European Space Agency's post.

Facebook Picture
ESA - European Space Agency

Essential data from the #ExoMars Schiaparelli lander sent to the TGO during the module’s descent to the Red Planet’s surface yesterday has been downlinked to Earth and is currently being analysed by experts. Early indications suggested the module had successfully completed most steps of its 6-minute descent through the martian atmosphere. This included the deceleration through the atmosphere, and the parachute and heat shield deployment, for example.

Flamsteed Astronomy Society
October 20, 2016 at 11:00 am

Flamsteed Astronomy Society shared ESA - European Space Agency's post.

Facebook Picture
ESA - European Space Agency

Watch the replay of the #ExoMars media briefing this morning, providing updates on the TGO spacecraft's arrival at the Red Planet and the status of #Schiaparelli, the entry, descent and landing demonstrator module.