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Our Picks

Top content from across the community, hand-picked by us.

EP37 - Sunday, 14th February 2021 7:30pm GMT - Late Winter / Early Spring Observing Challenges by Dave Eagle
It is a great pleasure to welcome back (again!) to SGL Dave Eagle of https://www.star-gazing.co.uk/ to set us some more observing challenges for Late Winter / Early Spring and a look forward to Comet Leonard.

Dave is an amateur Astronomer, Planetarium Operator, Presenter, Author and Tutor, you may have read some of his books or come across one of his talks before.

Dave is going to treat us to an overview of interesting upcoming observing targets and challenges 

Meeting details below:

Topic: EP37 - Sunday, 14th February 2021 7:30pm GMT - Late Winter / Early Spring Observing Challenges by Dave Eagle
Time: Feb 14, 2021 07:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/96563848128?pwd=QjhYYS9ZZk90eGwyYWJOYkQxTFE2UT09

Meeting ID: 965 6384 8128
Passcode: 871804
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EP36 - Sunday, 7th February 2021 7:30pm GMT - Charles Messier - Marathon Man by Keith Townsend
Our guest speaker this week is Keith Townsend from http://www.astronomymatters.co.uk/ to give us his talk Charles Messier - Marathon Man by Keith Townsend.

Keith's childhood interest in astronomy developed into telescope ownership some 25 years ago and imaging became a large part of this around the turn of the century. Hee never made it off the slippery slope and continue to suffer the consequences to this day!

Keith was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 2016 and have been delivering talks to a wide range of groups for almost 10 years.

One of his passions is to try to unlock the fascination many people have for the night sky, but don’t realise it.

This weeks talk is 'Charles Messier - Marathon Man by Keith Townsend'. Messier is a name that must be known to pretty much every northern hemisphere astronomer, if not the world over, but how much do we know about the man himself?

Part one of this talk looks at the historical aspects of his life and achievements; what influenced and drove him to seek out and catalogue the celestial objects he did.

Working with relatively crude equipment by todays standard, he set about establishing a list that has obsessed many visual astronomers for decades.

Part two considers the 'Messier Marathon’ itself, with regard to the best time in 2021 to attempt it - the schedule for the night in question and the pitfalls that await us.

I'm very much looking forward to this talk - it sounds very interesting 🙂

See you all Sunday!

Meeting details below:

Topic: EP36 - Sunday, 7th February 2021 7:30pm GMT - Charles Messier - Marathon Man by Keith Townsend
Time: Feb 7, 2021 07:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/92006758598?pwd=VWt2a3FrNHFrVnNnOWhtZ01KaXZnQT09

Meeting ID: 920 0675 8598
Passcode: 012211
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EP35 - Sunday, 31st January 2021 7:30pm GMT - The HOYS Citizen Science Project by Dr Dirk Froebrich
Our guest speaker this week is Dr Dirk Froebrich from https://hoys.space/ to talk to us about the HOYS citizen science project. HOYS – Hunting Outbursting Young Stars, is a citizen science project run by Dr Dirk Froebrich of the University of Kent and co-lead Dr Aleks Scholz from the University of St Andrews.

After completing his degree in Physics at the Universität Leipzig in Germany, Dr Dirk Froebrich went on to study for his PhD at the Universität Jena. From Germany, he moved to a researcher position at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies and was appointed Lecturer in Astronomy/Astrophysics at the University of Kent in 2009.

His main research areas are young protostars and their outflows, structure and properties of molecular clouds and the formation and evolution of star clusters.

The talk will give a brief overview of how stars and planets are forming and how this relates to the science goals of HOYS. Dirk will show some recent results from the project and explain how you can participate - in an extended Q&A session.

This should be an interesting talk for us amateur astronomers to learn about a project we can get involved in and help 🙂

See you all Sunday!

Meeting details below:

Topic: EP35 - Sunday, 31st January 2021 7:30pm GMT - The HOYS-CAPS Citizen Science Project by Dr Dirk Froebrich
Time: Jan 31, 2021 07:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/97160184346?pwd=ODZrM1BrTFl0WWJvb2JqZjRsdFdRQT09

Meeting ID: 971 6018 4346
Passcode: 532566
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EP34 - Sunday, 24th January 2021 7:30pm GMT - The Green Flash by Mike Frost
This week we are joined by our guest speaker Mike Frost (http://www.mikefrost.info/) to give us his talk 'The Green Flash'.

Mike is the director of the BAA Historical Section, his day job is in system engineering but astronomy has always been a major part of his live. He is a past-chairman of Coventry and Warwickshire Astronomical Society, a member of the B.A.A. since 1995, a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and a founder member of the Society for the History of Astronomy. Mike's major interest is the history of astronomy including the history and mythology of sky phenomena, eclipses and transits, especially transits of Venus.

 

This week Mike will be talking about 'The Green Flash'.

The Green Flash or Green Ray is a fleeting and beautiful phenomenon which can be seen at sunrise and sunset when some part of the Sun suddenly changes colour - at sunset, from red / orange to green / blue. 

This has inspired the imagination of story-tellers from ancient Egypt to the present day. Meet the nerdish Aristobulos, hero of Jules Verne's "Le Rayon Vert", and David Abden, roguish hero of Winston Graham's "The Green Flash", as they try to explain the mysteries of the setting sun.

We very much look forward to welcoming Mike to give us a talk and look forward to seeing you all Sunday.

Meeting details below:

Topic: EP34 - Sunday, 24th January 2021 7:30pm GMT - The Green Flash by Mike Frost
Time: Jan 24, 2021 07:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/96114713041?pwd=ZjNyWExYL2tocTlDcmljbEJiMm1nZz09

Meeting ID: 961 1471 3041
Passcode: 141170
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EP33 - Sunday, 17th January 2021 7:30pm GMT - Gravitational Wave Astronomy: A Descriptive, Non-Mathematical Talk by George Jones
This week another member @George Jones has kindly offer us to give us his talk 'Gravitational Wave Astronomy: A Descriptive, Non-Mathematical Talk'.

George is a physics Senior Lab Instructor at the University of Northern British Columbia in Canada, where he often gives public outreach talks and demonstrations. A childhood interest in space and astronomy led to his career in physics.

Gravitational waves, first observed in 2015, are produced when compact objects such as black holes and neutron stars merge. Just as useful astronomical information can be extracted from light wave signals, useful information about black holes, neutron stars, and cosmology can be extracted from gravitational wave signals.

Thank you George for offering to give us this talk, our first trans-continental talk! We look forwards to seeing you all there Sunday night.

Meeting details below:

Topic: EP33 - Sunday, 17th January 2021 7:30pm GMT - Gravitational Wave Astronomy: A Descriptive, Non-Mathematical Talk by George Jones
Time: Jan 15, 2021 07:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/95805364889?pwd=cGx3VG9KMVhHeTNaL3h0TDk4cTNZZz09

Meeting ID: 958 0536 4889
Passcode: 401233
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EP32 - Sunday, 10th January 2021 7:30pm GMT - Astrophotography Then and Now by Steve Clifton (tomato)
Welcome back! Kicking off our first StarGaZine of 2021 we are welcoming Steve Clifton / @tomato a longstanding member of SGL who is going to give us his talk 'Astrophotography Then and Now' - A not too technical look at the AP process in the pre-digital age and contrasting that to what can now be achieved with modern amateur equipment.

Steve has had a lifelong interest in astronomy and was an enthusiastic Astro photographer back in the 80’s and 90’s He took up the hobby again in 2014 after a 25 year hiatus, the talk has been sparked by my experiences both then and now and the tremendous advances that have taken place over that time.

It sounds like a really interesting talk and a great way to kick off our programme of talks for 2021 - I'm looking forward to this! Thank you Steve for offering to give us a talk.

Meeting details below:

Topic: EP32 - Sunday, 10th January 2021 7:30pm GMT - Astrophotography Then and Now by Steve Clifton (tomato)
Time: Jan 10, 2021 07:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/95148317888?pwd=dGc3aEl5VzIzWkgzU25adTIvRmdWZz09

Meeting ID: 951 4831 7888
Passcode: 942068
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EP31 - Sunday, 13th December 2020 7:30pm GMT - Night Time Landscape Photography by Martin Bradley (MartinB)
Long-time SGL member and moderator Martin Bradley (MartinB) has kindly offered to give us a talk he had prepared for this years cancelled SGL star party 'Night Time Landscape Photography'.

Many of you will already know MartinB and have seen the amazing images he posts on the forum and on his 'AstralPeaks' Facebook page. Martin has been photographing deep space objects for several years and more recently have been increasingly attracted to the stunning beauty of rural landscapes at night.

The talk aims to be a guide for taking widefield, nightime images which combine a landscape and the night sky.  Areas covered will include planning, composition, workflow, equipment and, if time permits, a quick Milkyway process in Lightroom.  

Attached is some notes that Martin has kindly put together which will act as a companion to his talk.

This is the second-part of our double bill on Sunday, this is at the usual 7:30pm time. We look forward to seeing lots of you there

Meeting details below:

Topic: EP31 - Sunday, 13th December 2020 7:30pm GMT - Night Time Landscape Photography by Martin Bradley (MartinB)
Time: Dec 13, 2020 07:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/97021146528?pwd=bHkvVFhZaTZWeDJNcG9JZUJZVUZtUT09

Meeting ID: 970 2114 6528
Passcode: 483065

 

Nightime landscape photography notes.pdf
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**EARLY TIME** EP30 - Sunday, 13th December 2020 2:30pm GMT - Spectroscopy Live by Jack Martin
SGL member Jack Martin has kindly offered to do a talk for us this Sunday afternoon 'Spectroscopy Live' (unless raining!).

Jack has been a keen amateur astronomer for over 50 years. Active in Spectroscopy since 1997. He studied Astronomy and Planetary Science at The Open University 2010. Co-authored Practical Amateur Spectroscopy 2004 and author of A Spectroscopic Atlas of bright Stars 2009 for Springer. Also, written articles for The BAA Journal, Astronomy Now, The Webb Deep-Sky Society, The Society for Popular Astronomy. Running The Huggins Spectroscopic Observatory UK since 2013. Doing long term collaboration studies with an international group of Small Telescope Spectroscopists monitoring h alpha lines etc of Be and Syombitic stars using a Shelyak Lhires III spectrograph.

Jack is going to give us a tour of his observatory and explain how he acquires Spectra.

Due to the earlier time, we will record this and make it available for later watching but hopefully some of you can make it to this early slot. We will also be having an additional member talk in the evening at the usual time slot, details to be announced shortly.

Hopefully see lots of you twice on Sunday 🙂

Meeting details below:

Topic: EP30 - Sunday, 13th December 2020 2:30pm GMT - Spectroscopy Live by Jack Martin
Time: Dec 13, 2020 02:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/92020202953?pwd=Z1gxQktaZWFFWGVsUWEzVFAvTVQ4Zz09

Meeting ID: 920 2020 2953
Passcode: 968416
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EP29 - Sunday, 6th December 2020 7:30pm GMT - The Science of Armageddon by Jay Tate
This week we are joined by Jonathan Tate (Jay) Director of the Spaceguard Centre and the National Near Earth Objects Information Centre to give us his talk 'The Science of Armageddon'.

For 26 years Jonathan Tate was a serving Army Officer, specialising in surface to air missile systems.  In June 1996 Tate submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Defence and the British National Space Centre proposing the establishment of a British National Spaceguard Centre to study the NEO hazard. Scientists worldwide lent their support. The Ministry of Defence dismissed the proposal.  Later the Department of Trade and Industry established a Task Force to investigate the threat.  The subsequent report validated the hazard, and made significant recommendations for action.  Implementation of these recommendations did not happen.

In January 1997 Tate established Spaceguard UK, which became the largest independent Spaceguard organisation in the world. Thanks to the efforts of the members the subject of Spaceguard has been publicly debated in both Houses of Parliament, and Tate has been a regular contributor on television and radio, also in professional and popular journals Tate is a member of the Board of Directors of the international Spaceguard Foundation, a consultant to the International Astronomical Union Working Group on Near Earth Objects, an associate of COSPAR, the vice-president of the Space Development Council and a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.  He is the Director of the Spaceguard Centre in mid-Wales and took over the role of National Near Earth Objects Information Centre in October 2013.

In 2013 Tate was awarded the Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement in Planetary Science. In recognition of his work Asteroid 15116, discovered by the Spacewatch programme in 2000. has been named “Jaytate”.

The Science of Armageddon

The Earth has a long and violent history of collisions with extra-terrestrial objects such as asteroids and comets, causing mass extinctions and severe changes to global climate and geography.  Many smaller impacts, such as the Chelyabinsk event as recently as 2013, have caused considerable damage.

In his talk Tate will analyse the nature and extent of the Near Earth Object (NEO) hazard, how it can be dealt with, and give an up to date account of what is currently being done to address the most significant long term natural threat to the Earth’s ecosystem

We look forward to welcoming Jay on Sunday and hope to see lots of you there 🙂

Meeting details below:

Topic: EP29 - Sunday, 6th December 2020 7:30pm GMT - The Science of Armageddon by Jay Tate
Time: Dec 6, 2020 07:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/94996303334?pwd=UHJiNStjbnVRMkNGZE13enplTm1odz09

Meeting ID: 949 9630 3334
Passcode: 659378
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EP28 - Sunday, 29th November 2020 7:30pm GMT - Myth to Moon by Peter Williamson
This Sunday at 7:30 we are joined by Peter Williamson FRAS of http://www.peterwilliamson.co.uk/, http://www.solarsphere.events/ and http://www.astroradio.earth/. Peter is an astronomer, broadcaster and musician who created the Astro Radio station, organises the Solarsphere astronomical and music festival as well as delivering talks / workshops across the country. He is also a Deep Sky imaging consultant for the Faulkes telescope as well as many other things related to astronomy and astronomy outreach - we are very honoured to welcome him.

Pete gave us a super talk earlier in the summer 'Hershel to Hawkwind' so we are delighted to welcome him back.

This talk will be Myth to Moon, a story of the moon from ancient Myths to the Apollo 11 Landings with stories from the family and astronauts Pete has interviewed over the years.

Hope to see you there 🙂

Meeting details below:

Topic: EP28 - Sunday, 29th November 2020 7:30pm GMT - Myth to Moon by Peter Williamson
Time: Nov 29, 2020 07:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/99770766109?pwd=eDZ6L2x1SkkwNUhlK3gyZTRPZE0zdz09

Meeting ID: 997 7076 6109
Passcode: 795566
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EP27 - Sunday, 22nd November 2020 7:30pm GMT - The Chelyabinsk Meteor by Ezzy Pearson
We have the pleasure of being joined this week by Ezzy Pearson (https://twitter.com/EzzyP) to give us a talk on 'The Chelyabinsk Meteor'.

Ezzy Pearson is a science writer and author of Robots in Space: The Secret Lives of Our Planetary Explorers. She is the News Editor of BBC Sky at Night Magazine.

Ezzy describes this talk as: On 15 February 2013 a meteor detonated over the industrial town of Chelyabinsk in Sibera. It showered space rocks down onto the surrounding landscape, drawing thousands of people to go hunting them. I was one of them, shooting a documentary for Channel 4 called Meteor Strike – Fireball from Space. This talk tells the story of both the meteor and my trip to see it.

I hope to see many of you join us Sunday to find out more about this meteorite and Ezzy's journey to see it 🙂

Meeting details below:

Topic: EP27 - Sunday, 22nd November 2020 7:30pm GMT - The Chelyabinsk Meteor by Ezzy Pearson
Time: Nov 22, 2020 07:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/92346028829?pwd=dStvbjZWVFN6VWo5WG5xQkVjbjFNZz09

Meeting ID: 923 4602 8829
Passcode: 694773
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EP26 - Sunday, 15th November 2020 7:30pm GMT - What Future for Britain’s Dark Skies? by Bob Mizon
This week we are delighted to be joined by Bob Mizon, MBE, FRAS from the commission for dark skies (CfDS) https://britastro.org/dark-skies/index.php to give us his talk titled: What Future for Britain’s Dark Skies? Britain’s dark places and the threat to their existence and biodiversity.

Bob  is the co-ordinator of the BAA's CfDS as well as a planetarium operator and astronomy lecturer. The CfDS aims to turn back the tide of light pollution which has seriously affected our view of the stars over the last 50 years.

His talk will also mention the new All-Party Parliamentary Dark Skies Group of MPs and how we can support their work in persuading Government that dark skies policies and legislation will make a difference not just to our view of the stars, but also to expenditure on energy, the biodiversity collapse and a more comfortable nighttime environment.

This is a topic surely important to us all so we look forward to hearing from Bob and hopefully seeing how we can help this important campaign.

I look forward to seeing you there 🙂

 

Meeting details below:

Topic: EP26 - Sunday, 15th November 2020 7:30pm GMT - What Future for Britain’s Dark Skies? by Bob Mizon
Time: Nov 15, 2020 07:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/91049427583?pwd=MUhSR2ZoUGFaUzE5Y0htbk5HcHVXUT09

Meeting ID: 910 4942 7583
Passcode: 132428
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EP25 - Sunday, 1st November 2020 7:30pm GMT - Images of the Universe by Paul Money
This week we are joined by Paul Money of http://www.astrospace.co.uk/. Paul is very well known for his extensive talks and as review editor for BBC Sky at Night magazine. He also publishes his yearly 'NightScenes' sky guide - an extremely useful book!

Paul is going to join us and take a look through 10 astronomical images that have been inspiring him through the years and look at the stories of and sometimes behind the images.

If you've not seen one of Pauls talks before you are in for a treat, there are few more passionate and energetic astronomy speakers out there and it's always a pleasure to attend one of his talks. This should be very interesting and entertaining, hope to see you there! 🙂

Meeting details below:

Topic: EP25 - Sunday, 1st November 2020 7:30pm GMT - Images of the Universe by Paul Money
Time: Nov 1, 2020 07:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/92069436395?pwd=Q2hqRTBhMUxNdWNKNVhXTGtPTmdjZz09

Meeting ID: 920 6943 6395
Passcode: 903667
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EP24 - Sunday, 25th October 2020 7:30pm BST - A tour round Affinity Photo by Dave Eagle
It feels like only yesterday we last had him on but, It is a great pleasure to welcome back to SGL Dave Eagle of https://www.star-gazing.co.uk/ this time to give us a talk about Affinity Photo and how to do astrophotography image processing using the Affinity Photo software.

A lot of people have shown interest in this subject and Dave literally wrote the book on it so this should be a really interesting talk.

Dave is an amateur Astronomer, Planetarium Operator, Presenter, Author and Tutor, you may have read some of his books or come across one of his talks before.

Hope to see you there 🙂

Meeting details below:

Topic: EP24 - Sunday, 25th October 2020 7:30pm BST - A tour round Affinity Photo by Dave Eagle
Time: Oct 25, 2020 07:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/97464900210?pwd=eVh0QUc3TzBUcndQcmwxV0phS2N0QT09

Meeting ID: 974 6490 0210
Passcode: 322525
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EP23 - Sunday, 11th October 2020 7:30pm BST - Two Eyes are Better Than One: Choosing and Using Binoculars for Deep Sky Observing by Steve Tonkin
This Sunday at 7:30 we are delighted to welcome back Steve Tonkin ( @BinocularSky )  of http://binocularsky.com/ and https://astunit.com/. Steve has been using binoculars for astronomy since the mid 1960s and, as his main observing instrument, since 2002. He is also the author of the book Binocular Astronomy.

This time, we've asked him to talk about binoculars for us 🙂

Two Eyes are Better Than One: Choosing and Using Binoculars for Deep Sky Observing

The binocular is not limited to being a beginner's instrument and a subordinate adjunct to a telescope, but is an exceptionally valuable astronomical instrument in its own right. Find out how to choose and use binoculars for deep sky observing: discover what makes a good (or bad!) binocular, distinguish between valuable information and advertising hype, and learn how to optimise your observing experience.

Very much looking forwards to this one!

Meeting details below:

Topic: EP23 - Sunday, 11th October 2020 7:30pm BST - Two Eyes are Better Than One: Choosing and Using Binoculars for Deep Sky Observing by Steve Tonkin
Time: Oct 11, 2020 07:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/93018939349?pwd=NUY5SEdScTJ5Rm55VTI2a2Zma05ZZz09

Meeting ID: 930 1893 9349
Passcode: 502748
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EP22 - Sunday, 4th October 2020 7:30pm BST - From the Big Bang to the Periodic Table by Richard Miller
@old_eyes / Richard Miller has kindly offered to give us his talk: From the Big Bang to the Periodic Table

Richard Miller trained as a Chemist, and after a long career in industrial R&D has now settled down as a consultant on innovation, sustainability and the future of cities. Took up astronomy 12 years ago and has now progressed to being a moderately incompetent astrophotographer (his words not mine!!!).

From the Big Bang to the Periodic Table

The Periodic Table of the Elements is the book from which we build our world. And yet we started after the Big Bang with just hydrogen, helium and a touch of lithium. How did we get from there to the 118 elements we know about today? The answer is in the stars.

The Periodic Table has a fascinating history over several thousand years of discovering the elements and searching for an underlying logic that made sense of it. But that did not tell us where all the unique elements came from. For that we needed a modern understanding of cosmology and stellar processes, from the Big Bang through nuclear fusion in the heart of stars to the immense energies of supernovae.

I'm very much looking forward to what promises to be a fascinating talk! 

Meeting details below:

Topic: EP22 - Sunday, 4th October 2020 7:30pm BST - From the Big Bang to the Periodic Table by Richard Miller
Time: Oct 4, 2020 07:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/98355327288?pwd=VHhGOHNSUVJHTElTOGw4MmpHMkhldz09

Meeting ID: 983 5532 7288
Passcode: 393820
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EP20 - Sunday, 20th September 2020 7:30pm BST - A look around Pixinsight by Gary Palmer
It is a great pleasure to welcome back to SGL Gary Palmer of http://www.solarsystemimaging.co.uk/ to give us his talk: A look around Pixinsight.

Gary is a highly regarded solar and deep sky imager and one of the leading solar imagers in the world with images widely published in books, magazines and online. He is the author of many articles and reviews in various astronomy magazines and tv programmes and works closely, alongside many manufacturers to develop and test upcoming astronomy equipment. Gary also offers many workshops across the UK for groups and 1-to-1 via http://www.astrocourses.co.uk/ which some of you may have attended before.

We've already had some talks that touch upon Pixinsight but Gary is going to start more from the beginning and run through ways to keep it simple and look at some of the issues people might have using the software. He will be looking at the weighted batch pre-processor as well as a run through using some CMOS data from the new 2400MC camera from ZWO and some Crescent Nebula data from our latest release from the IKO observatory project.

Meeting details below:

Topic: EP20 - Sunday, 20th September 2020 7:30pm BST - A look around Pixinsight by Gary Palmer
Time: Sep 20, 2020 07:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/95544815757?pwd=MU9rd2JwOXRDWGU5dy9rcytwelNSZz09

Meeting ID: 955 4481 5757
Passcode: 630765
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EP19 - Sunday, 13th September 2020 7:30pm BST - Big Bangs and Big Rips: Cosmology in the 20th Century by Dr Matthew Bothwell
It is a great pleasure to welcome back to SGL Dr Matthew Bothwell to give us his talk: Big Bangs and Big Rips: Cosmology in the 20th Century.

Matt came to the 2018 SGL SP and gave us our keynote talk "Monsters in the Dark"  - searching for the Universe’s most massive galaxies’ so it's fantastic to have him back again to deliver another talk. Matt is one of my favourite astronomy speakers so I am particularly looking forwards to this one.

Matt is an outreach astronomer at the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge University.  He was an undergraduate at the University of Southampton, and studied for his Master’s at the Harvard Center of Astrophysics. He received his PhD in 2011 from the University of Cambridge, working with Prof. Rob Kennicutt and Dr. Scott Chapman on the thesis “Galaxy evolution, near and far”. Before taking up his current outreach position, He was a postdoctoral researcher at Steward Observatory, University of Arizona (2011-2012), and the Astrophysics group at the University of Cambridge (2012-2017).

His research interests are centred around understanding galaxy evolution across cosmic time. At high redshift, He studies some of the most luminous and extreme galaxies in the Universe. These extreme galaxies are a great laboratory for testing our knowledge of gas physics, star formation laws, and galaxy evolution, while providing an important challenge for our understanding of the growth of structure in the Universe.

In the local Universe he uses large surveys for gas, metals, and stars, to shed light on the physical processes governing the evolution of galaxies across all cosmic epochs.

Big Bangs and Big Rips: Cosmology in the 20th Century

In the early decades of the 20th century, our understanding of the Universe was completely revolutionised. As amazing as it may seem to us now, just a century ago the prevailing wisdom was that we lived in a tiny and eternal Universe. I will discuss the debates and evidence that allowed us to finally understand the Universe around us.

Meeting details below:

Topic: EP19 - Sunday, 13th September 2020 7:30pm BST - Big Bangs and Big Rips: Cosmology in the 20th Century by Dr Matthew Bothwell
Time: Sep 13, 2020 07:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/96859041375?pwd=VzlDZnNwWWllWGc1UjJSUlRCZXJ2dz09

Meeting ID: 968 5904 1375
Passcode: 082133
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EP18 - Sunday, 6th September 2020 7:30pm BST - Dark Art or Magic Bullet? by Steve Richards
We are very, very pleased to welcome back our very own Steve Richards @steppenwolf of http://www.nightskyimages.co.uk/  to StarGaZine to continue from his first talk with his new talk 'Dark Art or Magic Bullet?'.

This is a follow-on to the ‘Finish’ section from his original ‘Making Every Photon Count’ talk and is aimed at beginners to the dark art of image processing. The aim will be to show a complete processing workflow to produce an LRGB image of the Whirlpool Galaxy, M51. The following topics will be discussed:-

Data Preparation


Bias/Dark/Flat Frame Calibration


Image Alignment


Image Stacking


Initial Stretching


Combining Red, Green and Blue Data


Removing Light Pollution


Levels Adjustment


Curves Adjustment


Saturation Adjustment


Adding Luminance Data


Increasing Colour Saturation (PhotoShop Action available to download)


Final Colour Balance Adjustment


Sharpening (PhotoShop Action available to download)


Demonstrating the contribution of the Luminance Data



Links to Software Downloads:

FITS Liberator Version 2.3

Deep Sky Stacker (DSS)

Stargazine Actions.atn

Meeting details below:

Topic: EP18 - Sunday, 6th September 2020 7:30pm BST - Dark Art or Magic Bullet? by Steve Richards
Time: Sep 6, 2020 07:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/93254088501?pwd=K0lDa2w5NktnMTc3ZVkvUUpTSEg3QT09

 Meeting ID: 932 5408 8501
Passcode: 939401
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EP17 - Sunday, 30th August 2020 7:30pm BST - An overview of N.I.N.A. - Nighttime Imaging 'N' Astronomy by Stefan Berg
This week we are joined by Stefan Berg the creator and maintainer of N.I.N.A - Nighttime Imaging 'N' Astronomy - a free, open source, astrophotography imaging suite that's been getting a lot of attention and interest recently.

It is a software designed for all deep sky object imagers. Whether you're new to the world of DSO imaging or an experienced veteran, this project's goal is to make your image capture easier, faster, and more convenient.

You can find our more information and download N.I.N.A from here: https://nighttime-imaging.eu/

Stefan will be giving us an introduction and overview of the software 🙂

Meeting details below:

Topic: EP17 - Sunday, 30th August 2020 7:30pm BST - An overview of N.I.N.A. - Nighttime Imaging 'N' Astronomy by Stefan Berg
Time: Aug 30, 2020 07:30 PM London

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https://zoom.us/j/94026841093?pwd=allHblhuY25DUU1sWVBobm1yNUZEZz09

Meeting ID: 940 2684 1093
Passcode: 979003
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EP16 - Sunday, 23rd August 2020 7:30pm BST - ARIEL and ExoClock by Anastasia Kokori
This week we are joined by Anastasia Kokori the co-ordinator of the ARIEL ExoClock project and the project manager for the ExoWorlds Spies project. Anastasia will be giving us a talk titled:  ARIEL and ExoClock: the future of exoplanets and how the public can get involved

Anastasia is also the Astrographic Officer at Greenwich Royal Observatory and also a planetary scientist in training at Birkbeck University of London. She is a graduate of the Space Studies Program (SSP) 2018, organised by the International Space University (ISU), and also holds an MSc in Science Communication from Dublin City University (DCU), and a Primary Education Degree from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She has a long experience in observing with small ground-based telescopes and also organising projects and events that involve the public and school students.

Talk Synopsis:

ARIEL is a space mission led by the European Space Agency, planned to launch in 2028. It will be the first dedicated mission to measure the chemical composition of many exoplanets. The main objective of ARIEL is to study in detail a large diverse sample of exoplanets orbiting different types of stars. The key science questions ARIEL will address are: 

•   What are exoplanets made of? 


•   How do planets and planetary systems form? 


•   How do planets and their atmospheres evolve over time? 


Understanding worlds beyond the Earth is a key issue for humanity and it concerns everyone, not only the scientific communities. We strongly believe that research and science is an effort that everyone can take part in. 

ARIEL will observe around 1000 transiting exoplanets and for this survey to be as efficient as possible, we need to have a good knowledge of the expected transit time of the planets observed. This is where small and medium-scale telescopes can contribute significantly. To better organise this effort, we have created the project ExoClock that is open to everyone, professional and amateur astronomers as well as members of the public can get involved and contribute to the mission. In this presentation we will outline the current status on exoplanets, followed by the key points of the ARIEL mission and how the ExoClock project is contributing.

Meeting details below:

Topic: EP16 - Sunday, 23rd August 2020 7:30pm BST - ARIEL and ExoClock by Anastasia Kokori
Time: Aug 23, 2020 07:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/93663661099?pwd=aU9qR0lRNEJhdzJYZW55V29OOHM4UT09

Meeting ID: 936 6366 1099
Passcode: 032530
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EP15 - Sunday, 16th August 2020 7:30pm BST - Ikarus Observatory Public Data Pixinsight Workshop by David Wills - Pixel Skies
This week is something a little bit different - to coincide with the first public release of data from the Ikarus Observatory project we are pleased to be joined by David Wills of Pixel Skies which is where the Ikarus Observatory is remotely hosted.

Dave is an expert astrophotographer, you can see some of his work here and has had several of his images published in magazines such as Astronomy now and BBC’s Sky at Night and various AAPOD’s. He will be taking us through a full work-flow in Pixinsight using around 100 hours of Narrowband (Ha, OII and SII) data taken of M16 from the Ikarus Observatory setup. This will start from the raw data that is being released which will already have been stacked and calibrated ready for processing.

This won't be a full Pixinsight workshop as that's too much to cover in one session but, it will give you a tour of what Pixinsight can do and how you can put a workflow together. As the data will also be provided afterwards you will be able to follow along on YouTube yourself and have a go at following Dave's process or tweaking it to see what results you can achieve. We will also be announcing an image processing competition whereby we will be picking a winner of our favourite processed version 🙂

I will also be giving an update on progress with the Ikarus Observatory project and an overview of what it's all about and how SGL members can get involved.

Meeting details below:

Topic: EP15 - Sunday, 16th August 2020 7:30pm BST - Ikarus Observatory Public Data Pixinsight Workshop by David Wills - Pixel Skies
Time: Aug 16, 2020 07:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/95946328998?pwd=a2E4bU1OWWEyL0JNTTRKYVVORDM3Zz09

Meeting ID: 959 4632 8998
Passcode: 908939
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  • 13 replies

EP14 - Sunday, 9th August 2020 7:30pm BST - The Short Long History of Citizen Science in Astronomy by Chris Lintott
This Sunday we have the absolute pleasure of being joined by Chris Lintott! We are very excited about this and Chris wants to give a talk a bit different to the norm which should be a great fit for us: 'The short long history of citizen science in astronomy'. I think you will agree, there is no one more qualified to talk about citizen science and astronomy 🙂

Chris is a professor of astrophysics at the University of Oxford, where he is also a research fellow at New College, working on topics from galaxy evolution, transient detection and machine learning. As Principal Investigator of the Zooniverse, he leads a team who run the world’s most successful citizen science projects, allowing more than a million people to discover planets, transcribe ancient papyri or explore the Serengeti. A passionate advocate of the public understanding of science, he is best known as co-presenter of the BBC’s long running Sky at Night program. His book, ‘The Crowd and the Cosmos’, is now available from Oxford University Press.

‘Citizen Science’, through projects like Galaxy Zoo and Planet Hunters which ask volunteers to sort through data, is more popular and productive than ever before. But amateur astronomers have been making contributions to science for centuries. In this talk, which will include stories of a p**ed-off Welshman, a stoical Prussian and at least one story about penguins, Galaxy Zoo founder Chris Lintott (BBC Sky at Night) will talk about the historical foundations of citizen science, what can be done now - and what opportunities will exist in the future.

Meeting details below:

Topic: EP14 - Sunday, 9th August 2020 7:30pm BST - The Short Long History of Citizen Science in Astronomy by Chris Lintott
Time: Aug 5, 2020 07:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/93821926723?pwd=V0hBTytNaWRncFliM0k4VCtYRE1mUT09

Meeting ID: 938 2192 6723
Passcode: 825115
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EP12 - Sunday, 26th July 2020 7:30pm BST - Introduction to Astro Pixel Processor by Mabula Haverkamp
This Sunday at 7:30 we are joined by Mabula Haverkamp the lead developer and founder of Astro Pixel Processor (APP)  https://www.astropixelprocessor.com/. APP was launched in 2017 and is in continuous development, it provides a complete deep sky image processing application with a number of new and innovative features.

APP is being developed primarily by Mabula who has a doctorandus and Master of Science degree in Astrophysics from the University of Utrecht, 2004.

Mabula uses current scientific insights to develop APP besides developing and creating new innovative features and algorithms like it’s unique debayer algorithm Adaptive Airy Disc, Local Normalisation Correction and fully automatic N-View mosaics.

Mabula is going to give us an overview of APP, how it works and what it can do plus a live demo and will also give us a sneak peak at upcoming features due to be introduced soon.

There will also be an opportunity for Q&A at the end.

Meeting details below:

Topic: EP12 - Sunday, 26th July 2020 7:30pm BST - Introduction to Astro Pixel Processor by Mabula Haverkamp
Time: Jul 26, 2020 07:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/96005272477?pwd=dEExcFFGYTUvUkxwOE8zNU5CRGNUUT09

Meeting ID: 960 0527 2477
Passcode: 341269
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EP11 - Sunday, 19th July 2020 7:30pm BST - An Introduction to Variable Star Observing by Gary Poyner
This Sunday at 7:30 we are joined by Gary Poyner of http://www.variablestars.co.uk/ giving us his talk 'An Introduction to Variable Star Observing'.  Gary is one of the most prolific variable star observers on the planet, clocking up more than 300,000 visual observations! Astounding especially when you consider he observers from the heart of Birmingham.

Gary has been observing variable stars for over 40 years! During that time he has been Director of the BAA Variable Star Section, Editor of 'The Astronomer' magazine Variable Star pages, BAAVSS CV & Eruptive Stars Secretary, VSS Circulars editor and Web Master and Chairman of the Heart of England AS.

His main interests are Cataclysmic and Eruptive Variables, which he observes at every opportunity with his 51cm and 22cm reflectors from his observatory in North Birmingham. He also uses AAVSOnet remote telescopes in New Mexico and Arizona for CCD observations of Variables. Over the past few years he have mentored a number of observers in the UK and abroad in the art of variable star observing, and gives talks to Societies around the country. Mentoring and talking to clubs about different aspects of Variable Stars is clearly a passion. 

Gary will give us a brief account of the science behind a selection of Variable Stars, explain how to observe them and discuss the reasons why we observe them. He will also touch on how and why they vary.

This should be an extremely informative talk from somebody who is an expert in the area of variable stars.

Meeting details below:

Topic: EP11 - Sunday, 19th July 2020 7:30pm BST - An Introduction to Variable Star Observing by Gary Poyner
Time: Jul 19, 2020 07:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/98776512803?pwd=U1ExNXJlTkJDL0dmcXQwbnNseGF3dz09

Meeting ID: 987 7651 2803
Password: 543320
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  • 11 replies

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