SPECIAL EVENT - Extreme Stellar Environments - Saturday 13th November 2021

Four online talks from respected astronomy professionals focussing on their specific interests from supernovae, neutron stars, zombie stars to black holes. Guiding us through this journey of cataclysm and atom wrenching adventure is Dr Robert Massey, Deputy Executive Director of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Organised jointly by Bath Astronomers, Bristol Astronomical Society, and Cardiff Astronomical Society, this free Zoom event runs from 1:30pm to 5:30pm and is open to all. It just requires you to register your place in advance to avoid the disappointment. Simply visit Eventbrite to secure your spot.

The talks are as follows:

Supernovae by Dr Philip Wiseman, Southampton University

Supernovae are the explosive ends to stars' lives and are some of the most powerful and energetic events in the Universe. Despite having been observed by humans at least as long ago as the 11th Century, it is only in the last few decades that we have begun to discover the true diversity of stellar deaths that pervade the night sky. In this talk I will outline the different routes to forming a supernova and how those differences change their appearance. I'll describe the process of observing supernovae on a mass scale, and will highlight how this has led to some of the strangest and unexplained phenomena still puzzling astronomers today.

Stellar Black holes by Dr Vivien Raymond, Cardiff University

Black holes are some of the strangest, most puzzling objects in the Universe. They deform space and time to extremes, and for the longest time could only be observed indirectly via their effect on their environment. However, we are now capable of listening to the very space-time deformation they produce. In this talk I will present how we study those invisible objects with gravitational-wave observatories, and what we can learn from them.

How we study neutron stars by Dr Diego Alamarino, Southampton University

Neutron Stars are the most compact objects in the Universe where we can still see a surface. They are tiny 30km diameter spheres lost in the immense sky. So how is it that astronomers are able to study them? In this talk I will summarize some of the techniques used to study those Neutron Stars that interact with their nearby environments

The extreme physics of zombie stars by Professor Nils Andersson, Southampton University

A neutron star is born when a massive star runs out of nuclear fuel and dies in a supernova explosion. The object that emerges when the dust settles - effectively a zombie star - involves physics at the extremes of our understanding (and beyond). In this talk, I will explain how we are using astrophysical observations (both electromagnetic and through gravitational waves) to explore this physics and make progress on a range of challenging questions.

PART 1: LATEST NEWS

Next Talk

Please note that all talks will be held on the Zoom video conferencing platform for the foreseeable future. Invitations to Zoom talks are sent to CAS members shortly in advance. Members planning to watch a talk should try to enter the Society's Zoom "Waiting Room" before 7.30 p.m., as late entry may be distracting for everyone.
The resumption of talks within a lecture theatre environment will be clearly announced.

Thursday 28th October 2021 at 7.30 p.m. "Black Holes & Gravitational Waves" presented by Prof Malcolm MacCallum, Queen Mary University, London

Professor MacCallum will be discussing his interest in Black holes and gravitational waves.

Our speaker:

Professor MacCallum taught & researched at Queen Mary College, University of London from 1976-
2009. MacCallum was Professor of Applied Mathematics from 1986-2009, Head of the (then)
Department of Computer Science 1999-2002, Vice-Principal for Science and Engineering 2002-5, and
held various other roles in the School and (as it then was) College. Professor MacCallum was Director
of the Heilbronn Institute for Mathematical Research in Bristol 2009-2012, and Secretary (1995-
2010) and President (2010-2013) of the International Society on General Relativity and Gravitation.
Professor MacCallum continues to research, edit and write in his fields of interest and interact with
members of the Geometry and Analysis group in the School and the Cosmology group in the School
of Physics and Astronomy at Queen Mary, University of London.

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The Society's activities during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

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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:

  • for the time being the fortnightly talks in the 2021/22 season will continue to be held using the Zoom video conferencing platform (see the guidance below); 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.

GUIDANCE ON ZOOM: See this short video on how to join a Zoom meeting and this specific CAS guidance

CAS Social on Tuesday Evenings via Zoom (Members Only): Next one 7pm 12th October

Alternate Tuesday evenings (in the same week as a Society Talk) from 19:00 to around 21:00 we hold a social get together on zoom where we chat about both astronomical and non-astronomical subjects, have a quiz and have presentations by members. These presentations are usually on either member's hobbies or their travels but can be on anything they think others will find interesting.
Why not come along one week to see what you think. You do not need to stay for the whole session and people often arrive late or leave early because of other commitments. It is very informal!
To register your interest email Zoom@cardiff-astronomical-society.co.uk please include your Membership Number and you will be sent a link to the next session.

Other Non CAS Upcoming events

  • October 25th, 7pm. Online astronomy: in pursuit of darkness. The elements that affect astronomical viewing and their impact on the selection of sites to build modern telescopes. Online. Free to attend. Click here to book
  • Enrol on one of the free talks being run by The Geological Society of London about the Geology of Space. For more details see here
  • Watch the talks run by Palomar Observatory See here. The times given are Pacific Time but you can view the talks at any point afterwards on YouTube.

The night sky this month

(Courtesy of BBC Sky at Night Magazine)

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

- text and photos

PART 2: THE SOCIETY'S UPCOMING EVENTS

Next Star Party

DUE TO CORONAVIRUS NO STAR PARTIES ARE PLANNED UNTIL WE GET CONFIRMATION FROM DYFFRYN GARDENS THAT THEY ARE ABLE TO RESUME

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Next Observing Session

DUE TO CORONAVIRUS NO OBSERVING SESSIONS ARE PLANNED UNTIL WE GET CONFIRMATION FROM DYFFRYN GARDENS THAT THEY ARE ABLE TO RESUME

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PART 3: 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

JOIN OR SUPPORT CAS

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!

Support CAS when shopping online with easyfundraising

Support CAS when shopping online with Amazon

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 4: OTHER NEWS

Black Lives Matter in Astronomy

See this update from the Royal Astronomical Society

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