PART 1: LATEST NEWS

Update on the Societies activities during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

We sent an email on this to all CAS members on 1st June - a copy can be read here

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During the coronavirus crisis the Society wishes to ensure that the risks to CAS members and the wider public are minimised. Accordingly, please note that:

  • all of the fortnightly talks at Cardiff University until the end of this 2019/20 season have been CANCELLED (but arrangements are being made to present a number of talks online using the Zoom video conferencing platform); and
  • no CAS Star Parties at our Observatory at Dyffryn Gardens are currently planned and the Observatory is closed until further notice.

We will keep members updated on future developments via this website and other suitable means. We hope everyone stays well during the crisis - PLEASE LOOK AFTER YOURSELVES AND OTHERS

Possible things to do during the lockdown or in self-isolation

  • NEW (posted on 5 June) Watch the The Cassini spacecraft mission at Saturn webinar
  • NEW (posted on 27 May) Short video of the week - 26 New Space Discoveries
  • Watch a video of a talk given to the Society for Popular Astronomy - the latest available talk, provided with the kind permission of the SPA, is by Prof Serena Viti and entitled A Journey into the Formation and Evolution of Stars and Planets
  • NASA at home provide a range of activities - details here
  • Astronomy Citizen Science Projects - see here
  • BAA live webinars at 7 p.m. every Wednesday - see here NEXT ONE ON 3RD JUNE - A Journey through the Comet Section archives by Nick James, BAA Comet Section Director
  • NEW (posted on 27 May) Join the astronomy chat sessions on Zoom (see below) that have been set up by Society member Marc Delaney (some of whose astronomical images are in the Astrophotography section of this website). The sessions are held on Tuesday evenings at 7.00 p.m. (there are currently two groups meeting on alternate weeks) and are informal but the aim is to include fun events like quizzes, opportunities for participants to show photos, demonstrate something, make short presentations etc. If you are interested, please contact Marc directly at marc.a77del@ntlworld.com

-----------------------------See this short video on how to join a Zoom meeting and this more detailed Dummies Guide

  • Stargazing sessions (most nights) on Twitter with experienced astronomer, Mark Thompson - see here and also his NEW hour-long video on imaging using robotic telescopes
  • "Telescope Live" Remote Imaging - see here
  • The Sky at Night - and watch old and not-so-old episodes on the BBC iPlayer including the 800th episode shown on BBC4 on 10th May 2020!
  • Astrophotography with only a DSLR camera or a smartphone - see here and also here
  • Podcasts - for instance, the BBC Sounds podcast includes The Life Scientific series which features a number of astronomy-related sessions including an interesting interview with Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell who, scandalously, was not awarded a Nobel Prize after her discovery of radio pulsars
  • Fine-tune and clean your astronomy equipment - guidance is available on the internet including in the BBC's online Sky at Night magazine

Free Public Online Astronomy Lecture on Wednesday, 17th June at 7:30 p.m.

The lecture, made available by Go Space Watch, is "The Far Side of the Moon: Is it Just Aliens?" and will be presented by Dr Julian Onions of the University of Nottingham.

The Moon is a shy body which always shows only one side of itself to the Earth. Before the space age, no-one knew what was on the far side of the Moon. This has led to a number of conspiracy theories that it is a haven for aliens. The talk will chart the progress of how humans got to see what was on the far side of the Moon, and what was found there. Tin foil hats are optional!

Julian Onions works with computer simulations of large fractions of the universe to understand trends in galaxy formation and evolution. Investigating the tools that help us form and analyse those simulations such as halo finders, tree builders and semi-analytic models. He also does a number of outreach activities, giving talks to astronomy societies and other interested groups such as rotary and U3A, as well as working with schools and scouts/guide groups. He also helps with the teaching of undergraduates in some of the astronomy courses. Julian was scheduled to give a talk to the Society on 14th May, but this had to be cancelled because of the pandemic. He also gave us a talk in February 2019 on Galaxies and their Formation.

Register for the event through Eventbrite using this link

More information about Go Space Watch and CAPCOM Magazine can be found here

The night sky this month

- video produced by Auriga Astronomy

Day-by-day guide to this month's night sky

- text and photos

Catch the very latest astronomy news from Space.com

PART 2: THE SOCIETY'S UPCOMING EVENTS

Next Talk

NO FURTHER TALKS ARE PLANNED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

Our talks - which finish no later than 9.30 p.m. - are usually held in Room T2.09 (the Trevithick Lecture Theatre) at the School of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University, The Queen's Buildings, The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AA - please click here

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Next Star Party

NO FURTHER STAR PARTIES ARE PLANNED FOR THE FORSEEABLE FUTURE

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Next Observing Session

NO FURTHER OBSERVING SESSIONS ARE PLANNED FOR THE FORSEEABLE FUTURE

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PART 3: OTHER NEWS

Initiative for Interstellar Studies

The i4is is a UK-based international membership organisation which promotes technical research into, and education about, interstellar exploration. More details (including in relation to taking out a subscription to their free Principium magazine) are available here.

The Initiative for Interstellar Studies (i4is.org) is keen to make available details of the Limitless Space Institute Student Contest "Why human exploration of the outer solar system and the stars?". See more information here and by clicking on the button.

PART 4: THE CARDIFF ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY

Introduction to CAS

The Cardiff Astronomical Society (CAS) is a thriving society located in South East Wales. It has been in existence for over 40 years and is one of the largest amateur astronomical societies in the UK. CAS provides a range of facilities for both Society members and the public at large including a varied programme of talks on Thursday evenings (except in August) at the Physics and Astronomy Department of Cardiff University. In addition, regular night sky (and occasional solar) Observing Sessions are held at the Society's own Observatory at Dyffryn Gardens.

Our members come from all walks of life and their knowledge of astronomy ranges from complete beginner to advanced. You don't need any specialist knowledge to join us and neither do you need to own a telescope or binoculars. It's also possible to try us out before joining!

More details about the Society and what it does are available here

We are keen to get more Society members on board to assist with the running of CAS events - please see here how you can Help Us

Society help for schools etc

SADLY, THIS ACTIVITY WAS SUSPENDED IN JANUARY 2020 BECAUSE OF A LACK OF RESOURCES WITHIN CAS. IT CAN BE RESUMED ONLY IF MORE VOLUNTEERS COME FORWARD TO PROVIDE HELP

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As shown here, Cardiff Astronomical Society welcomes all invitations from organisations such as colleges, schools and guide/scout/brownie groups located in Cardiff and surrounding areas for an outreach stargazing/astronomical event for all ages and levels of knowledge. Society members very much enjoy bringing our passion for the subject to a wider audience and helping everyone to get started in this fascinating subject. We do not charge a fee for our expertise and participation; the enjoyment is enough reward and we will do our very best to ensure a worthwhile and enthralling evening. We would, however, be grateful for reimbursement of travelling expenses and petrol costs to venues outside of Cardiff and its environs. Otherwise the cost would fall on individuals and the non-profit-making Society. It should be noted that CAS has a formal Policy on Child Protection and the Protection of Vulnerable Adults

PART 5: JOIN OR SUPPORT CAS

Join the Society

Come and join some of the Society's 275 members at one of our talks or observing events. We promise a warm and friendly welcome for all. Only £15.00 per annum also means you can make use of our Library

Gift Aid

CAS is registered for Gift Aid. This means that, if you are a UK taxpayer, we can claim back the standard rate tax on subscriptions (and on any donations) giving an effective 25% boost to the amount the Society has received. However, in order to reclaim these monies from HMRC, we need all members who pay tax to complete and return a Charity Gift Aid Declaration form. Please note that if you have paid your subscriptions by PayPal, you will have already been asked if you would consent to those subscriptions being Gift Aided - but we still need a completed Charity Gift Aid Declaration form in order for us to reclaim the tax paid as Gift Aid.

If you are eligible, please take a form (using the button opposite) and then complete it and pass it to us at one of the fortnightly talks or send it to CAS by post or email (see the bottom of the form). Thank you for your help!

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