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Our first History of Astronomy group meeting of the Flamsteed season proved to be a great success. We had about 35 Flamsteed members in attendance to hear Rory McEvoy, the Curator of Horology at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, giving a talk entitled “Just a Second..”. In his talk, Rory looked at the development of our […]

The Science Museum’s Cosmos & Culture was a ‘temporary’ exhibition opened in 2009 with the International Year of Astronomy to commemorate 400 years of telescopic astronomy. It has proved so popular that it’s still running in 2016 although scheduled to close before the end of the year. Curator Alison Boyle, who is Keeper of Science […]

Bruno Pontecorvo was the father of neutrino astronomy and a brilliant nuclear physicist who disappeared through the Iron Curtain at the height of the Cold War. He was first with an idea on how to find the ghostly neutrino, he proposed experiments that led to discovery of solar neutrinos, he realised that there is more […]

The impact of a small asteroid in Russia in 2013 reminded everyone of the potential dangers from space. Producing a fireball brighter than the Sun, over a thousand people were injured by the resulting shockwave. Larger asteroids can be much more deadly. In this talk, Professor Alan Fitzsimmons addressed what we know – and what […]

The Flamsteed Radio Astronomy Group was relaunched with a workshop on Tuesday 17th November 2015 at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. In the 90 minute workshop, Clive explained how to set up simple radio systems for meteor detection and solar flare monitoring. These systems use relatively small radio aerials and cheap equipment, and do not require much technical […]

It has been more than a hundred years since Einstein produced his general theory of relativity and it is still our current theory of gravity. One of the most exotic objects predicted by General Relativity is the black hole, once thought to be theoretical quirks we now know they really exist, formed by the collapse […]

Imagine being at a gathering where the guest list includes Galileo, Copernicus, Isaac Newton, Edmond Halley, Caroline Herschel and John Flamsteed. That’s pretty much what it felt like as 16 members of the Flamsteed attended our third visit to the remarkable Royal Astronomical Society library at Burlington House in Piccadilly. RAS librarian Dr Sian Prosser […]

The world is uniting in order to build one of the largest and most ambitious scientific facilities that has ever existed. Consisting of two telescopes in Australia and South Africa, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will answer fundamental questions related to the nature of the Universe and our place within it. From spinning neutron stars […]

On the 10th October 2015, around 20 members of the society enjoyed a tour of the Mullard Radio Observatory at Lord’s Bridge, near Barton, a short distance to the west of Cambridge. Our guide for the tour was Peter Doherty, a member of observatory staff. Peter began by outlining the fascinating and at times secretive […]

Thermonuclear supernovae signal the sudden and explosive destruction of a white-dwarf star. They are key to calibrating the expansion and acceleration of the cosmos; yet they occur rarely amongst the galaxies of our immediate cosmic neighbourhood. Serendipitously, in January 2014 one such supernova, the closest in a generation, was discovered in the nearby galaxy Messier […]