SIGMA Events Programme for 2011

SIGMA Events Programme for 2011

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 7th January
Ian Brantingham, SIGMA
SIGMA member Ian Brantingham continues his talk from 2008 and delves deeper into the lives of comets, asteroids and what can happen when things get in their way, including Earth!

Friday 4th February
History & Evolution of Astrophotography
Eric Walker, HAS
Highlands Astronomical Society member, Eric Walker, returns to show us how astrophotography has changed throughout history and how imaging has now become accessible to the amateur astronomer.

Friday 4th March
Development of Astronomical Instruments
Julia Kennedy, ROE
Julia Kennedy is studying for a PhD in Astronomy working on materials for instrumentation. During her talk Julia will give an overview of the development of astronomical instrument through the years including a demonstration of how and why these operate at low temperatures. The improvement of astronomical images by these instruments will be shown and more details of some of the current technologies being built at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh.

Friday 1st April
Proving Einstein Right
Ian Morison, Jodrell Bank
The current Gresham Professor of Astronomy, Ian Morison will be giving us a gentle introduction to Einstein’s theories and how astronomers have been testing his predictions. Observations partly made by the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank have provided two of the best tests ever undertaken.

Friday 6th May
Three Men in a War, and the One who Came After
Howie Firth
A look at how modern Science was born in an apocalyptic war that devastated parts of central Europe, with the journeys of Descartes and Kepler through it and the battle fought by Galileo – and the way in which the work of all three was brought victoriously together by Newton.

Friday 3rd June
Annual General Meeting
A chance to recap up on what SIGMA has been doing in 2010/2011, Committee elections and a look forward to the rest of the year.

Friday 1st July
Solar Barbecue
With summer in full swing (hopefully) the plan for tonight is Solar Observing while munching on burgers and hot dogs. There will be a range of telescopes at your disposal to observe our nearest star. (Weather permitting).

A bad weather backup of a presentation is planned in the event of poor observing conditions.

Friday 5th August
Programme Change
Prof Robson has had to cancel his talk but hopes to reschedule it another time. Bill Leslie and Alan Tough have agreed to step into the breach with talks, Pete will present an extended Moray’s Night Sky and Stewart will present an enhanced Space News.

Friday 2nd September
Big Telescopes
Bill Ward, Glasgow University
Bill will be showing us some of the Big Scopes he’s had the good fortune to work with throughout his professional career. These range from Siding Spring – Australia, Mauna Kea – Hawaii, to Las Palma in the Canary Islands.

Friday 7th October
Equipment and Observing Night
A chance to see what equipment is available and to ask any questions you have. There will also be a chance for some Lunar observing of the 10 day old Moon.

Friday 4th November
This is the talk that was due to take place in August.
Super-massive Black Holes

Prof Ian Robson, Edinburgh University
Ian will outline our place in the Universe, describe the discovery of active galaxies and give a simple overview of Black Hole – galaxy interaction.

Friday 2nd December
Yet another night of fun and mince pies to finish off 2011