Amateur Night - Wed 29th, 7:30pm

A night where amateur astronomers show the professionals how to observe! Starting at 7:30pm on Wed 29th June there will be a series of talks on various aspects of amateur astronomy, from observatories, polar aligning and imaging from your back garden. The talks will all be in Lecture Theatre B52 in the Business School South

So far we have the following talks:

Amateur Observatories

Roy Gretton

Roy Gretton from Nottingham Astronomical Society will be giving a talk on amateur observatories.


Suburban Astrophotography

Peter Jenkins

Amateur Astrophotographers, working from light polluted suburban skies and on limited budgets, can now produce surprising photographs. Many of the techniques developed by Professional Astronomers are being used by amateurs to achieve results which would have been impossible until recent times. See below for one of his recent images featured in the April edition of the BBC Sky at Night magazine.

IC1848 Soul Nebula by Peter Jenkins

IC 1848 Soul Nebula by Peter Jenkins

Pointing in the right direction

Matthew Foyle

In order to obtain deeper astronomical images, longer exposures are required by amateur imagers. The polar alignment of the mount is as important as guiding and amateurs are using advanced modern methods to accurately drift align their mounts. Matthew was short listed for the deep sky category of the Astronomy Picture of the year 2014 by the Royal Observatory. Shown below is a work in progress of his most recent image.

  Bode's Galaxy (M81/NGC 3031)

Bode's Galaxy (M81/NGC 3031) by Matthew Foyle

Hunting Variable Stars

David Conner

Many variable star observers will have acquired archives of images of various star-fields.  These images may contain hundreds or thousands of field stars, together with the particular star of interest.  Some of these will also be known variable stars, but what about the others?  This talk will describe how these other stars can be searched for signs of variability using a freeware software package.  This can lead to the discovery of previously unknown variable stars, such as this magnitude 9 eclipsing binary in the constellation of Cygnus discovered in February 2016, HD227877. 

 variable star

Hopefully we'll also have amateurs with telescopes and a clear night to put theory into practise too.