Friday 22nd May 2015

The ASG's public events have now finished for this session and will resume on Thursday 17th September 2015 with a lecture by Steve Owens.  The lecture programme for the 2015-16 session is as follows:

Thursday 17th September 2015 TBC
Mr. Steve Owens (Freelance Science Writer)
Thursday 15th October 2015 The William Herschel Telescope
Mr. Bob Bower (Secretary, The Society for the History of Astronomy)
Thursday 19th November 2015 CubeSats
Clyde Space Ltd.
Thursday 17th December 2015 Rosetta, Dawn and New Horizons
Dr. John Davies, UK Astronomy Technology Centre, Royal Observatory Edinburgh
Thursday 21st January 2016 TBC
The Tannahill Lecture
Professor Carole Mundell, Professor of Extra-Galactic Astronomy, Astrophysics Research Institute, Liverpool John Moore's University
Thursday 18th February 2016 Members' Night Talks
Thursday 17th March 2016 The Geology of Mars
Dr. Simon Cuthbert, Lecturer in Earth Sciences, University of the West of Scotland
Thursday 21st April 2016 The Sun - Earth Environment
The Leon Davies Lecture
Prof Jim Wild, Space Plasma Environment and Radio Science Group, Lancaster University
Thursday 19th May 2016 Noctilucent Clouds
Mr. Ken Kennedy, BAA
followed by the Society AGM


Tuesday 14th July 2015 - NASA's "New Horizons" Pluto flyby. 

Launched in January 2006 and still travelling at over 800km per minute, New Horizons will make its closest approach at 11:49:57 UTC.  More information available on the mission website.

At closest approach, the spacecraft comes about 7,750 miles (12,500 kilometers) from Pluto and about 17,900 miles (28,800 kilometers) from Charon.  On the way in, the spacecraft will look for ultraviolet emissions from Pluto's atmosphere and make the best global maps of Pluto and Charon in green, blue, red, and a special wavelength that is sensitive to methane frost on the surface. It will also take spectral maps in the near-infrared, telling the science team about Pluto's and Charon's surface compositions and locations and temperatures of these materials.

During the half-hour when the spacecraft is closest to Pluto or its largest moon, it will take close-up pictures in both visible and near-infrared wavelengths. The best pictures of Pluto will depict surface features as small as 200 feet (about 60 meters) across.

Even after the spacecraft passes Pluto and its moons, its work is far from done. Looking back at the mostly dark night-time side of Pluto or Charon is the best way to spot haze in the atmosphere, to look for rings, and to figure out whether their surfaces are smooth or rough. Also, the spacecraft will fly through the shadows cast by Pluto and Charon. It can look back at the Sun and Earth, and watch the light from the Sun or the radio waves from transmitters on Earth. The best time to measure the atmosphere happens as the spacecraft watches the Sun and Earth set behind Pluto and Charon.


Thursday 17th September 2015

Lecture title to be announced
Mr. Steve Owens (Freelance Science Writer)

Location : Room 6.41 Royal College, Strathclyde University.  Access is via the Montrose Street entrance, take the lift to Floor 3, exit the lift and take the 2nd set of steps on your left, go through the double glass doors.  Room 6.41 is on your left approximately half way along the corridor.