Free Guide to Observing Meteors

Free Guide to Observing Meteors

Stories about spectacular meteor showers often appear in the news. We know that editors like to exaggerate a bit to entertain their readers, so what will you see in reality? In this free guide, we explain what a meteor is and how you can easily go about observing them. Meteor watching is fun for all the family and best of all it doesn't require any specialised equipment. So why not head over to our Free Astronomy Resources page and download your copy today?...
Read More

Voyager

NEAS member Terry Regan is the Chief Spacecraft Model Builder for the Institute of Interstellar Studies. He has built many incredible models which he often brings to our events at Abberton It's truly amazing the amount of detail these models have and it's safe to say that these photos don't do them justice - you have to see them in real life to fully appreciate them. Following on from his models of the Magellan, Cassini-Huygens and Galileo spacecraft, Terry Regan went on a grand tour of the Solar System and guides us through his scratchbuilt scale model of the famous Voyager spacecraft. Voyager 1 & 2 - The Grand Tour THE MISSION The planetary grand tour was an ambitious plan to send  two unmanned  probes to the outer planets of the Solar System. The idea was conceived at NASA & JPL in the 1960s when it found that all four gas giant planets could be visited using gravity assists while needing a minimal amount of propellant and...
Read More
Star Gazing at Great Notley 9th December 2017

Star Gazing at Great Notley 9th December 2017

The Star Gazing event at Great Notley will be going ahead tonight (9th December) from 6:00pm until 9:00pm. Hope to see you there but wrap up warmly as it will be cold (three pairs of socks weather). Full details of how to get there and other useful/important information are available here: https://www.northessexastro.co.uk/great-notley-information/ https://www.northessexastro.co.uk/events/star-gazing-at-great-notley-dec17/...
Read More

Magellan

NEAS member Terry Regan is the Chief Spacecraft Model Builder for the Institute of Interstellar Studies. He has built many incredible models which he often brings to our events at Abberton It's truly amazing the amount of detail these models have and it's safe to say that these photos don't do them justice - you have to see them in real life to fully appreciate them. Continuing on from his models of the Cassini-Huygens and Galileo spacecraft, Terry Regan this time moves on to the planet Venus and talks us through his scratch-built scale model of the Magellan spacecraft. The Spacecraft The Magellan spacecraft was the first interplanetary spacecraft to be launched by the Space Shuttle when it was carried on board the shuttle Atlantis in 1989. Atlantis released Magellan into low Earth orbit, where a solid fuel motor was then fired sending Magellan on a fifteen month cruise to Venus – arriving in August 1990. The main objectives for Magellan was to map the surface of Venus...
Read More

Galileo

NEAS member Terry Regan is the Chief Spacecraft Model Builder for the Institute of Interstellar Studies. He has built many incredible models which he often brings to our events at Abberton It's truly amazing the amount of detail these models have and it's safe to say that these photos don't do them justice - you have to see them in real life to fully appreciate them. The Spacecraft The Galileo spacecraft was launched on 18th October 1989 aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis and, after a six year journey, arrived at Jupiter in December of 1995 to begin its orbital tour of the planet and its moons. Galileo spent over 14 years in service at Jupiter, providing us with high resolution data about the planet. Via a detachable probe that descended into Jupiter's atmosphere, the planet's composition was directly measured for the first time. The structure of Jupiter's magnetosphere was also mapped. Galileo discovered that Jupiter's faint ring system consists of dust from impacts on the four Jovian...
Read More
Cassini-Huygens

Cassini-Huygens

NEAS member Terry Regan is the Chief Spacecraft Model Builder for the Institute of Interstellar Studies. He has built many incredible models which he often brings to our events at Abberton It's truly amazing the amount of detail these models have and it's safe to say that these photos don't do them justice - you have to see them in real life to fully appreciate them. The spacecraft Cassini-Huygens was a joint mission by NASA, ESA and ASI to study Saturn, its rings and moons. It was launched on 15th October 1997 onboard a Titan 1VB Centaur Rocket and, after a journey of 6 years and 9 months, it entered into orbit around Saturn on July 1st 2004. The attached Huygens probe was released from Cassini on Christmas Day 2004 and landed on Titan two weeks later. The mission has had two extensions since then, in 2008 and 2010, meaning the spacecraft will stay in service around Saturn until 2017. At 22 feet high and 13 feet...
Read More
Free Guide to Choosing a Telescope

Free Guide to Choosing a Telescope

To celebrate our brand new web site and just in time for Christmas shopping, we've produced a short guide to choosing your first telescope. We often  get asked which telescope to choose. The simple fact is that there isn’t one ‘best’ telescope for the beginner, or anyone else for that matter. It all depends on your needs and circumstances. Our short guide explains telescope basics, asks you to answer a few simple questions to narrow down the choices and then presents a list of possibilities. There’s something for everyone and for every budget. So why not head over to our Free Astronomy Resources page and download your copy today?...
Read More
Adventures in Kelling, Autumn 2017

Adventures in Kelling, Autumn 2017

Kelling Heath Holiday Park in North Norfolk has stunning night skies due to the very low levels of light pollution. As a result, they hold twice yearly star parties which are attended by hundreds of astronomers from all over the country. The event held during September each year is thought to be the largest star party in Europe. North Essex Astronomical Society members view it as a highlight of the year and a must-do! Here are some pictures from the 2017. (Editors note: We asked for words but apparently what happens in Kelling stays in Kelling!)   ...
Read More
Pride of Place for Stuart Grainger

Pride of Place for Stuart Grainger

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....
Read More

Stuart Grainger, 1935–2017

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...
Read More
12