Earlier in the year we told you the sad news of the loss of Stuart Grainger.
Stuart's commitment and dedication to the society is beyond compare (you can read more about Stuart here) and those of us who are regulars attendees at the observatory on Thursday night are sure that as well as us missing him, "astro-dog" Smudge still misses him and his laser pen.
We recently put up a picture of Stuart so we can see his friendly face every time we go out of the door and onto the patio to gaze at the night sky.
Stuart - your one more year of being involved at the observatory has been extended for just a bit longer....
It is with great sadness that NEAS announces the loss of our good friend and Observatory Director, Stuart Grainger, at the age of 81.
Stuart had been a member for some 17 years, and served on the committee for much of that, being instrumental in helping to shape the society into the organisation it is today. Every year for the past 5–6 years he had announced he would retire from his role, only to decide to carry on for "just one more year". His passion and commitment to the society were second to none. Anyone who has attended one of our public lectures, stargazing nights at Great Notley, or school or scout group outreach events is likely to have met Stuart, who continued to attend virtually every one of these up until very recently when ill health prevented him (reluctantly, we might add!) from doing so.
Stuart worked tirelessly to keep our observatory running smoothly, often carrying out maintenance and repairs himself, and was always...
UPDATE - Here's the footage:
On Wednesday afternoon we welcomed BBC presenter David Whiteley to the observatory in order to film some footage for the current affairs programme Inside Out. The programme will feature a story segment about the radio astronomy pioneers of Cambridge and is also tied in with Stargazing Live.
The show will be broadcast on Monday 16th January at 7:30pm on BBC1, so look out for us. (Unfortunately most of us will be taking part in Stargazing Live events on that night, so we'll have to check it out on iPlayer!)
Following on from Peter Meadows' talk about solar observing, here is the list of weblinks he showed at the end:
British Astronomical Association Solar Section
'The Astronomer' Magazine
The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SoHO)
Atmospheric phenomena (rainbows, ice halos, etc)
NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center
It is with great sadness that we have to report the passing of our Society president and good friend Les Sayer.
Les lived a varied and textured life. He served as a Telegraphist Air Gunner (TAG) of the Fleet Air Arm during the Second World War, flying in the Fairey Swordfish. TAGs were responsible for providing Morse code communications as well as protecting the aircraft with a machine gun.
While stationed on the aircraft carrier HMS Victorious in 1941, he took part in the final , vital attack on the German battleship Bismark. His squadron were part of the first wave which crippled the famous ship with torpedo bombing. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal (DSM) for the part he played. This and other memoirs were featured in the book "Tag On A Stringbag" which Les co-wrote. You can find out more about these remarkable aircraft at the Navy Wings charity.
Upon leaving the Navy, Les spent over thirty years in a...
1. Thou shalt have no white light before thee, behind thee, or to the side of thee whilst sharing the night sky with thy fellow stargazers.
2. Thou shalt not love thy telescope more than thy spouse or thy children; as much as, maybe, but not more.
3. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s telescope, unless it exceeds in aperture or electronics twice that of your own.
4. Thou shalt not read “Astronomy Now” or “Sky at Night” on company time, for thine employer makes it possible to continue thine astronomy hobby.
5. Thou shalt have at least two telescopes so as to keep thy spouse interested when the same accompanies thee under the night sky or on eclipse expeditions to strange lands where exotic wild animals doth roam freely.
6. Thou shalt not allow either thy sons or thy daughters to get married during the Holy Days of Astrofest.
7. Thou shalt not reveal to thy spouse the true cost of thy telescope collection; only...