PART 1: LATEST NEWS

Is there life on Venus?!

- see here

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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:

  • we expect that all of the fortnightly talks in the 2020/21 season - which started on 30th July - will need 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

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

  • NEW (posted on 23rd August) Watch the 10-part sci-fi TV drama Away in which an international crew of astronauts go on a perilous three-year mission to Mars. The first episode was screened on Netflix on 4th September - see the official trailer
  • NEW (posted on 19th August) Watch BAA live webinars Next one is at 7 p.m. on 16th September on Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE with Nick James, Director of the BAA Comet Section - see here
  • NEW (posted on 16th August) Watch the eighth series of How the Universe Works on the Discovery Channel - first episode at 10 p.m. on 22nd August
  • Watch a video of a talk given to the Society for Popular Astronomy - this 77 minutes talk, being shown with the kind permission of the SPA, is by Dr Rene Breton and is entitled Einstein's Relativity: Tested to the Limit with Pulsars
  • Video Capriconus, the Constellation courtesy of Auriga Astronomy
  • Video A Day in the Life of an Astrophysicist - in Lockdown
  • Join the Virtual Astronomy Club
  • NASA At Home provide a range of activities - details here. Or watch NASA TV
  • Astronomy Citizen Science Projects - see here
  • 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
  • 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

Black Lives Matter in Astronomy

Royal Astronomical Society's Dr Robert Massey talk: The Moon

See this update from the Royal Astronomical Society

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On Wednesday, 23rd September 2020 (7.30 p.m. - 9.30 p.m.) in Bristol. CANCELLED

More details here

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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

Catch the very latest astronomy news from Space.com

Everyone's off to Mars!

PART 2: THE SOCIETY'S UPCOMING EVENTS

Next Talk

Please note that all talks until the end of 2020 will be held on the Zoom video conferencing platform. Invitations to the talks will be sent to CAS members shortly in advance. Members planning to watch a Zoom talk should try to enter the Society's Zoom "Waiting Room" before 7.30 p.m., as late entry may be distracting for everyone.

Thursday, 1st October 2020 at 7.30 p.m. Planetary Nebulae to be given by Callum Potter, British Astronomical Society President and Director of BAA's Deep Sky Section.

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

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.

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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