Dr. Tom Clackson
It is with the greatest sadness that the Council of the Society must announce the death of our friend, long-standing member and Treasurer, Dr. Tom Clackson. Tom was cycling to the Botanic Gardens on Sunday 27th to help with our Sun over the Botanics outreach event when he collapsed. The best efforts of the Park Rangers, Scottish Ambulance Service and The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital could not revive him. We have lost a dear friend, enthusiastic and exceptionally valued Council member and an expert in so many things astronomical. Tom's funeral will be held at 10.30 am on Tuesday 13th October at Clydebank Crematorium, Mountblow Road, Clydebank G81 4SL. Our thoughts are with Tom's wife Anne at this difficult time.
Thursday 15th October - Lecture - "In Search of the Forty Foot"
Mr. Bob Bower (Secretary, The Society for the History of Astronomy) will talk about the search for the original location of William Herschel's magnum opus with details of all of his main telescopes and his mirror making activities based on Herschel's unpublished logbooks. It's interesting to compare Herschel's attempts to understand optics with current day knowledge.
Bio: Bob Bower, BSc MA(Cantab) CEng FRAS, Past president, Ayrshire Astronomical Society, Secretary of the Society for the History of Astronomy.
Amateur astronomer since the age of 8 in 1956, when I was given a copy of the book "Astronomy " by Patrick Moore as an Xmas present. Built my first telescope in 1963. My last telescope building project was a 12 inch Dobsonian, which is in current use. I used to be an active observer, but these days I spend more time on telescope construction and the history thereto. Next major telescope building project is a 16 inch Newtonian binocular, using two portholes from a German WW1 battlecruiser that was scuttled at Scapa Flow. My particular historical research interest is the development of the reflecting telescope, with emphasis on the making/testing of speculum metal mirrors. Gave a weekly astronomy programme on a local radio station from 2003 until 2008. After graduating from Cambridge University in electrical engineering, I spent 17 years as a Royal Air Force Officer. My speciality was electronic warfare. Subsequently, I worked in the UK aerospace industry as a manager/director on aircraft avionics, flight simulators and jet engine repair. I've been lucky enough to visit the USA on many occasions in connection with my work over the past 40 years, and I've gradually worked my way around most of the major US star parties. I'm now retired, in my dream location (apart from the weather) for all my main hobbies in the Rhins of Galloway. This has a dark sky, and is next to the sea for my other hobbies of amateur radio and sailing my boat.
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. The lecture starts at 7.30pm and will be preceded by either the observing section meeting or a social event.
Tuesday 20th October 2015 - Stars over the Botanics
Our 'Stars Over the Botanics' events are a chance for the public to come along and talk to some astronomers, and get the chance to have a look at some of the wonders in the heavens above. The numbers we can host are limited, and the event is not free, however it is great value for money. We'll have a number of telescopes available for you to look through, all operated by our Astronomers, so you can be sure there will be something interesting to see. Whether it's the Moon, the Planets, or some deep sky objects, if it's there, we'll find it for you.
On the off chance that the weather is cloudy (or even raining), we have a programme of lectures and talks available, all in the comfort and surroundings of the Botanic Gardens' Kibble Palace. Using planetarium software, we can take you on a tour of the universe, show you the moon in fantastic detail, or show you some of the many phenomenon of the sky and sun like noctilucent clouds, sun dogs and parhelion.
So no matter whether it's clear or cloudy, it's always a good night. The event is limited in numbers and entry is paid at the gate on the night. Arrive early to avoid disappointment as the evenings are always well attended, and are limited to the first 40 people to arrive. If you cannot come to this event we will have other "Stars over the Botanics" events on Tuesday 15th December, Tuesday 19th January 2016, Tuesday 16th February and Tuesday 22nd March.
Gate opens 7:15 pm for a 7:30 pm start. Tickets, £4 (adults) & £2 (children).
Public lectures for the 2015-16 session
The ASG's free public lectures for the 2015-16 session have started, the dates and titles are shown below. They are held in Room 6.41 Royal College, Strathclyde University. Access is via the Montrose Street entrance, take the lift to Level 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. The lectures start at 7:30pm and are preceded from 6:45pm by either a presentation on the month's skywatching highlights or by a social event giving you the opportunity to meet other members.
The complete lecture programme for the 2015-16 session is as follows:
|Thursday 17th September 2015||Reclaiming the Night
The Eric Tomney Lecture
Mr. Steve Owens (Freelance Science Writer)
|Thursday 15th October 2015||In search of the Forty Foot
Mr. Bob Bower (Secretary, The Society for the History of Astronomy) will discuss the William Herschel telescope
|Thursday 19th November 2015||Nanosatellites : Astronomical Potential
Mr. Alasdair Gow, Clyde Space Ltd.
|Thursday 17th December 2015||New Horizons in the Solar System
Dr. John Davies, UK Astronomy Technology Centre, Royal Observatory Edinburgh will discuss the Rosetta / Philae mission to Comet 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the Dawn mission and the New Horizons mission
|Thursday 21st January 2016||Big Bangs and Black Holes
The Tannahill Lecture
Professor Carole Mundell, Professor of Extragalactic Astronomy and Head of Astrophysics at the University of Bath
|Thursday 18th February 2016||Members' Night Talks|
|Thursday 17th March 2016||Noah, Amazonia and Olympus - Geology on Mars
Dr. Simon Cuthbert, Lecturer in Earth Sciences, University of the West of Scotland
|Thursday 21st April 2016||In Search of the Northern Lights
The Leon Davies Lecture
Prof Jim Wild, Space Plasma Environment and Radio Science Group, Lancaster University
|Thursday 19th May 2016||TBC
Dr. Lydia Hallis, School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow
followed by the Society AGM
Unless otherwise advised, lectures are held in 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.