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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

Tony Sizer

We were a month late for Halloween but Tony Sizer nevertheless gave us a good scare with “Ghosts, poltergeists, and the Law of Gravity”. A cynic might say astronomers are easily deceived. It seems the case that some are a bit quick to see things they want to see, especially working at the edge of […]

Herschel's Garnet Star

Weather forecasting skills are almost as important as knowledge of the night sky when trying to practise astronomy in the UK. So it proved on Friday evening with our scheduled monthly observing evening on Blackheath. Despite Met Office claims that the skies would remain cloudy all evening, a study of the satellite data showed that […]

Louise Devoy explains the Airy Water Telescope

With the help of Bernard Bryant (Store Manager) and Louise Devoy (Curator of the ROG) we were able to take two dozen FAS members to see behind the scenes at Kidbrooke, a secure storage site not normally open to the public. Bernard greeted the group with a short history of the site (it began life […]

Setting up the telescopes on Blackheath

Well, you’ve got to love astronomy in the UK… don’t you?!… don’t you?!?!?!? A very frustrating couple of hours on Blackheath on Saturday evening. Nick and I had been discussing the weather for most of the day (in the absence of anything productive to do) and decided at 3pm that we would go ahead with […]

Ian Ridpath

Ian Ridpath gave a lecture to the Flamsteed Astronomy Society on 13 October 2014. Andy Sawers summarises his fascinating talk. Making pictures and patterns out of the stars is the ultimate game of ‘Connect the dots’ – but where did the constellations we know today come from? This was the theme of the talk to […]

Blackheath Stargazing

We will be holding a Blackheath observing session on Friday 19th December from 7.30pm. The location for this event will be Blackheath. For those arriving early Uranus will be just past the meridian and it should be possible to discern its faint green tint if conditions allow. Also just past the meridian, high up in the darkest […]

Astrofun. Mike taking in the sights over Romney Marsh

Martin and Jane have very kindly offered to run a viewing session from their observatory on Saturday 20 December (with a “weather back-up” night of Sunday 21 December). For the benefit of newer members, Martin’s observatory (a shed, but not as most of us know sheds) is very well equipped including a permanently mounted 14-inch SCT and […]

Professor Giovanna Tinetti

Professor Giovanna Tinetti is professor of Physics and Astronomy at University College London. Planetary science beyond the boundaries of our Solar System is today in its infancy. Until a couple of decades ago, the detailed investigation of the planetary properties was restricted to objects orbiting inside the Kuiper Belt. Today, we cannot ignore that the […]

Astrofun. Mike taking in the sights over Romney Marsh

Martin and Jane have very kindly offered to run a viewing session from their observatory on Friday 16 January 2015 (with a “weather back-up” night of Saturday 17 January). For the benefit of newer members, Martin’s observatory (a shed, but not as most of us know sheds) is very well equipped including a permanently mounted 14-inch SCT […]

Looking at Cassiopeia with Flamsteed AS, from the 28 inch dome at the ROG, Greenwich

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 you […]

NASA and an international team of planetary scientists have found evidence in meteorites on Earth that indicates Mars has a distinct and global reservoir of water or ice near its surface. from NASA

After traveling more than 3,600 miles above Earth and 600 miles over sea, NASA’s Orion spacecraft completed the final leg of its journey by land Thursday, arriving home at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Media representatives are invited to attend an event at 10:30 a.m. EDT Friday, Dec. 19, marking the arrival. from […]

NASA and SpaceX announced today the launch of SpaceX’s fifth commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station now will occur no earlier than Tuesday, Jan. 6. from NASA

NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft makes a comeback with the discovery of the first exoplanet found using its new mission — K2. from NASA

NASA will host a media teleconference at 4 p.m. EST today during which agency officials will discuss and answer questions on the selection of an Asteroid Redirect Mission concept. from NASA

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Flamsteed Astronomy Society
Facebook IconDecember 18, 2014 at 9:13 pm

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European Comet Lander May Wake Up from Space Slumber

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It's now approaching summer in the presumed location of Europe's Philae lander on a comet, so the washing-machine-size probecould soon access enough energy to open its eyes and start working again, Rosetta mission scientists said.

Flamsteed Astronomy Society
Facebook IconDecember 18, 2014 at 8:06 am

The weather gods seem to be in the festive spirit so it looks like we will be holding our planned observing session this Friday on Blackheath. If Scrooge takes an interest and the weather interrupts we will try for Saturday. The location for this event will be our usual spot on Blackheath, starting at 7.30pm. The Moon will be absent so more of the deep sky should reveal itself.

For those arriving early Uranus will be just past the meridian and it should be possible to discern its faint green tint if conditions allow. Also just past the meridian, high up in the darkest part of the sky will be M31, the Andromeda Galaxy, possibly our best opportunity to see it as anything other than a smudge from central London. Moving on through the night we will have a collection of clusters to admire including M45, The Pleiades, M38, The Starfish, M36, The Pinwheel, M44, The Beehive and the festive NGC2264 Christmas Tree Cluster. Not to be missed will be M42 the Orion Nebula and rising into view before we pack up will be Jupiter.

So we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible. Bring a scope if you can, if not just turn up for a look. There will be other scopes available.

Blackheath is quite exposed, so please remember to wrap up warm.
The plan is to meet on Blackheath, just north of Talbot Place at 7.30pm. Talbot Place is a right turn off Goffers Road as you head towards Shooters Hill Road or the first left after the Tea Hut. Talbot Place is a cul-de-sac, where free parking is available from 7.30pm. A map of the site can be found on the Flamsteed website - http://flamsteed.info/observing/stargazing-events/blackheath-stargazing/ .

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Blackheath Stargazing

flamsteed.info

For details of our scheduled Blackheath Stargazing events, please click here. Further unscheduled events may take place throughout the year if there are particular astronomical events to view, or based on demand. Location details are shown below.

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Facebook IconDecember 18, 2014 at 5:22 am

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Geminid Fireball over Mount Balang

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This was a sky to remember.

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W5: Pillars of Star Formation

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How do stars form?

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The Potsdam Gravity Potato

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Why do some places on Earth have higher gravity than others?

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Molecular Cloud Barnard 68

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Where did all the stars go?

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The Infrared Visible Andromeda

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The Infrared Visible Andromeda

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Crystals on Mars

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Crystals on Mars

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Facebook IconDecember 12, 2014 at 7:51 am

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Moondog Night

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In this night scene from the early hours of November 14,

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Facebook IconDecember 11, 2014 at 7:48 am

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The Reddening of M71

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Now known to be a globular star cluster at the tender

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Facebook IconDecember 10, 2014 at 6:43 pm

Who is going to watch these?

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Don’t Miss the Geminids this Weekend, Best Meteor Shower of the Year

http://www.universetoday.com

Wouldn’t it be nice if a meteor shower peaked on a weekend instead of 3 a.m. on a Monday morning? Maybe even showed good activity in the evening hours, s

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The Flame Nebula in Visible and Infrared

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What lights up the Flame Nebula?

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Facebook IconDecember 9, 2014 at 11:10 am

Flamsteed Astronomy Society shared NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory (Little SDO)'s video: NASA - Radiation Belts & Plasmapause.

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NASA - Radiation Belts & Plasmapause

The near-Earth space enviroment is a complex interaction between Earth's magnetic field, cool plasma moving up from Earth's ionosphere, and hotter plasma coming in from the solar wind. This interactions combine to maintain the radiation belts around Earth.

Plasma interactions can generate sharply delineated regions in these belts. In addition to the inner and outer radiation belts, the cooler plasma of the plasmasphere interacts so that it keeps out the higher-energy electrons from outside its boundary (called the plasmapause).

In this visualization, the radiation belts (rainbow-color) and plasmapause (blue-green surface) surround Earth, its structure largely determined by Earth's dipole magnetic field (represented by cyan curved lines). The radiation belt is sliced open, simultaneously revealing representative confined charged particles spiraling around the magnetic field structure. Yellow particles represent negative-charged electrons, blue particles represent positive-charged ions. However, if realistically scaled for particle mass and energies, the spiral motion would not be visible at this distance so particle masses and size scales are adjusted to make them visible.

The inner blue-green plasmapause boundary is then sliced open to reveal more of the inner structure of the radiation belts, including the innermost belt.

Credit:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

Length: 0:20

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Wanderers

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How far out will humanity explore?

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Geminid Meteor Shower: Dust From an Asteroid

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The Geminids come from an asteroid, 3200 Phaethon, but scientists are still trying to figure out exactly how it sheds enough debris to produce the bright meteor shower.

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Facebook IconDecember 8, 2014 at 7:31 am

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Aurora Shimmer Meteor Flash

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Aurora Shimmer Meteor Flash

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Orion Launch

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Headed for two orbits of planet Earth and a splashdown in the Pacific,

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Milky Way over Moon Valley

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Milky Way over Moon Valley

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Facebook IconDecember 5, 2014 at 3:23 pm

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In case you missed it, here's the spectacular launch of the #Orion spaceship. It's an unmanned test mission but the ship's designed to eventually take humans to Mars. http://bbc.in/1I8jfNN

Length: 0:44

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Facebook IconDecember 5, 2014 at 7:18 am

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Plato and the Lunar Alps

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The dark-floored, 95 kilometer wide crater Plato and

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Facebook IconDecember 4, 2014 at 7:15 am

Flamsteed Astronomy Society shared NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration's album: Things to Look for in #Orion's Flight Test.

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Things to Look for in #Orion's Flight Test

Orion is launching December 4 on its first test flight. This launch involves more than just a rocket that goes WOOSH! Orion will reach a height of 3,600 miles—15 times higher than the International Space Station—and orbit the Earth twice during the 4.5 hour mission. Want a closer look at what will take place during flight? Here are the eight things you can expect to see on Orion’s first flight.

Learn more and download the graphics at: https://blogs.nasa.gov/orion/2014/11/04/8-things-to-look-for-during-orions-flight/

By: NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

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Sharpless 249 and the Jellyfish Nebula

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Normally faint and elusive, the Jellyfish Nebula is caught in

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Facebook IconDecember 4, 2014 at 7:12 am

Flamsteed Astronomy Society shared NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration's photo.

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Timeline Photos

Want to watch the 7:05am ET launch of #Orion? NASA TV coverage begins at 4:30am ET at http://1.usa.gov/AN75

By: NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

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Facebook IconDecember 4, 2014 at 7:11 am

Flamsteed Astronomy Society shared International Space Station's photo.

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Timeline Photos

Orion will orbit Earth twice on its first test flight, reaching an altitude of approximately 3,600 miles – about 15 times farther into space than the International Space Station orbits (about 250 miles). Orion will launch from Kennedy Space Center at 7:05 a.m. EST Thursday. Get the latest info here... http://www.nasa.gov/orion

By: International Space Station