SIGMA Events Programme for 2008

Meetings are held on the first Friday of every month at Birnie Village Hall near Elgin.

Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start.

Non-members are always welcome and refreshments are provided (for a small donation).

SIGMA regularly holds public observing sessions at its dark site outside Elgin. Visit our Public Events page to see what we have planned.

Friday 4th January
Hubble Space Telescope
Chris Stradling, SIGMA
Chris will be guiding us through the trials of the Hubble Space Telescope, from drawing-board to successful repair, as well as sharing with us, some of the amazing images produced by the world’s best known telescope.

Friday 1st Feb
Hours, Minutes, Degrees & Setting Circles
Pete Sherman, SIGMA
Pete will explain how the stars move across the sky and how the celestial sphere is divided up. As well as this, he will explain how to setup an equatorial mount to find and track celestial objects.

Friday 7th March
Exploration & Discovery of the Moon
Ken McTaggart
Ken, well known Apollo mission historian, has become a favourite at science festivals throughout the north. In this talk, he will dig into the archives of the Apollo Missions to show us what went on behind the scenes. Click here for links and reading material about the moon provided by Ken MacTaggart.

Friday 4th April
Thomas Dick
Dave Gavine, Edinburgh
SIGMA favourite Dr Dave Gavine from Astronomical Society of Edinburgh returns to give us another of his amazing talks. Thomas Dick, a well known Scottish church minister and science teacher, advocated that every city should have public parks, public libraries and a public observatory. He greatly influenced John Mills who left the bequest which enabled Dundee to build its Mills Observatory.

Friday 2nd May
Pauline Macrae, Highlands Astronomical Society
Pauline Macrae from Highland Astronomical Society gives us another of her wonderful talks, this time focusing on the biggest of our neighbours, Jupiter.

Friday 6th June
Annual General Meeting
A chance to recap up on what SIGMA has been doing in 2007/2008, Committee elections and a look forward to the rest of the year. In the second half there will be a showing of a selection from some of SIGMA’s images over the year.

Friday 4th July
Extra Solar Planets
Prof Andrew Collier Cameron, St Andrew’s University
Professor Cameron, one of SIGMA’s earliest visitors, comes back to SIGMA to talk about his search for planets around other stars, as well as bringing us up to date on this ever changing field of astronomical research.

Friday 1st August
Equipment Night
Following the success of last year’s equipment night, once again you will be able to find out what is available to use to observe your favourite astronomical objects – from binoculars to telescopes and various other bits in between! There will also be a display from Strathspey Binoculars who are a highly respected local binocular retailer and back by popular demand!

Friday 5th September
Comets, A Strange Tail
Ian Brantingham, SIGMA
SIGMA member Ian Brantingham gives us some insight into these celestial wanderers.

Friday 3rd October
An Introduction to Image Processing
Alan Tough, SIGMA
SIGMA member Alan Tough is well known for his fantastic images and here he takes us through the processes of image processing and explains just how he creates such stunning images.

Friday 7th November
Video Astronomy, Andrew Elliot, Blackpool & District Astronomical Society
Andrew Elliott from Blackpool and District Astronomical Society will show us how he produces videos of asteroids and tiny moons passing in front of stars using his remotely operated telescope, proving to us that you don’t have to be outside and freezing cold to view the night sky!

Friday 5th December
Yet another night of fun and mince pies to finish off 2008.