Upcoming Events

Tue 21

Viewing with the Great Equatorial Telescope

February 21 @ 7:15 pm - 9:00 pm
Sat 25

Romney Observing Evening: 25 February 2017

February 25 @ 8:30 pm - 11:00 pm

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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

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 […]

We will be running a special observing event to view Venus, Mars and Uranus at our usual location on Blackheath, on either Friday 24 February or Saturday 25 February, depending on weather conditions. The event will start at 6.30pm.

Martin and Jane have very kindly offered to run a viewing session from their observatory on Saturday 25 February (with a weather back-up date of Sunday 26 February). 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 […]

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 […]

NASA will hold a news conference at 1 p.m. EST Wednesday, Feb. 22, to present new findings on planets that orbit stars other than our sun, known as exoplanets. The event will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website. from NASA

Major experiments that will look into a range of scientific disciplines from human health to atmospheric conditions on Earth are on their way to the International Space Station following liftoff at 9:39 a.m. EST aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. from NASA

NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter, which has been in orbit around the gas giant since July 4, 2016, will remain in its current 53-day orbit for the remainder of the mission. from NASA

NASA Television will provide live coverage of the launch and docking of a Russian cargo spacecraft delivering almost three tons of food, fuel and supplies to the International Space Station beginning at 12:30 a.m. EST Wednesday, Feb. 22. from NASA

NASA has selected proposals for the creation of two multi-disciplinary, university-led research institutes that will focus on the development of technologies critical to extending human presence deeper into our solar system. from NASA

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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/ .

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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.

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

About the Chubbier Moon :)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Flamsteed Astronomy Society
Facebook IconOctober 20, 2016 at 9:45 am

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 of 7.30pm now we have darker skies.

As per last month the Summer Asterisms in the Milky Way will be visible. The most notable of these is the Summer Triangle comprising the bright stars of Vega, Deneb and Altair. 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. In this area of the triangle are also a number of nebula (the North American NGC7000, Pelican IC5070 and Gamma Cygni IC1318), however these are more imaging targets and not really visible unless at a dark sky location.

Early on in the evening Mars will 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.

The night will be moonless during our observing session and weather permitting, looks set to offer a great opportunity to see many different objects.

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 Saturday.

Blackheath is quite exposed and the forecast suggests a temperature range of 5-7 degrees so a good coat and hat is advisable.

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-21-october-or-saturday-22-october/

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 19, 2016 at 7:09 pm

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

Facebook Picture
ESA - European Space Agency

Press release on today's ExoMars arrival at the Red Planet.
Further updates in a livestreaming from ESA's control centre in Darmstadt, Germany, on 20 October at 10:00 CEST.

Flamsteed Astronomy Society
October 19, 2016 at 7:04 pm

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

Facebook Picture
ESA - European Space Agency

TGO IS IN MARS ORBIT: The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter is confirmed in orbit around Mars. This image shows the acquisition of signal. Flight Director Michel Denis says, "We have a good spacecraft in the right place."

The ground control team at ESA's space operations centre are going to work all night to analyse the data on the ExoMars Schiaparelli lander. More at the press conference tomorrow at 10:00 CEST.

Andy Sawers
October 12, 2016 at 10:22 pm

Interesting newly-digitised collection of material, much of it from Royal Observatory Greenwich, relating to the 1874 transit of Venus.
https://www.theguardian.com/science/the-h-word/2016/oct/10/astronomy-expedition-history-hawaii?CMP=share_btn_fb

Flamsteed Astronomy Society
Facebook IconSeptember 30, 2016 at 11:48 am

https://twitter.com/IamComet67P/status/781820270181027841

Comet 67P on Twitter

twitter.com

“Hi @ESA Slight problem up here Rosetta parked in my SHORT-STAY crater 🚀🅿 Not my LONG-TERM one So she could get TOWED 🚜〰〰🚀 #CometLanding”

Flamsteed Astronomy Society
Facebook IconSeptember 30, 2016 at 11:33 am
Flamsteed Astronomy Society
Facebook IconSeptember 30, 2016 at 11:26 am

https://twitter.com/chrislintott/status/781816757975715840

chrislintott on Twitter

twitter.com

“Can exclusively reveal @mggtTaylor's first words after landing: 'Bugger'. Tears and hugs here #GoodbyeRosetta”