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Louise Devoy

Looking around the galleries at the Royal Observatory Greenwich today, you’d be forgiven for not knowing about the work of the Magnetic and Meteorological departments in Greenwich. Understandably, the focus of the galleries is on the determination of time and the contribution of the Royal Observatory to positional astronomy in order to assist navigation. The […]

Moon with Earthshine above Blackheath

Our Blackheath observing session started early this month in order to catch the conjunction of Mars and Venus. Despite having to cancel on Friday we benefitted from mostly clear skies on Saturday. The conjunction did not disappoint and was clearly visible as was the distinctive orange colour of Mars. Above the two planets was the […]

Eddie Yeadon

We have come to expect Eddie’s talks to be well-researched, thorough, and challenging. This talk didn’t disappoint. As Eddie said in his introduction, this was not a talk about astronomy, it was about optics, and Eddie was on home ground – much of his professional career was in the field of optics. And 2015 has […]

The Royal Astronomical Society Library

Brian Blake kindly arranged for us to visit the impressive Royal Astronomical Society Library where we were met by librarian Sian Prosser. Sian gave us a short introductory talk about the RAS and its activities. The RAS was founded in 1820, partly in response to the tyrannical rule of Sir Joseph Banks over the Royal […]

Comet 2014/Q2 Lovejoy by Rupert Smith

Saturday the 10th was the date for our inaugural observing and imaging event under Chris Mann’s personal piece of Kent darkness and did not disappoint. The plan was to view, and hopefully capture, Comet 2014/Q2 Lovejoy. The Comet was ideally placed in the sky at just over 40 degrees altitude and due to cross the […]

Blackheath Stargazing

Our scheduled observing session on the 19th coincided with a spell of clear skies that offered good seeing and a little bit of breeze to keep the dew away. Despite the best efforts of the Shard, which was lit up like the proverbial Christmas Tree. We were able to observe a selection of deep sky […]

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 […]

Heather Couper and Dr Nigel Henbest

“We have one hour to cover thousands of years of astronomy,” said Heather Couper. She and Nigel Henbest did not fall short in that challenge. Report by Andy Sawers Nigel opened the talk with a much-loved if apocryphal 19th century anecdote about a lecture given by the Astronomer Royal of that day in which he […]

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 […]

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