We meet in the Buckingham Room of The Chantry, Thornbury, on the first Monday of each month except August, when we take a break. The meetings start informally around 10am with coffee, biscuits and chat, and we sit down for the more formal proceedings at 10.30am. We finish around noon. Each member is expected to make a donation of £1 at each meeting to cover the costs of hiring the room and providing the refreshments.
(click on a thumbnail to see a larger image)
The membership varies widely in background and very few of us are telescope-owning observers. We are mainly a talks and discussions group and cover astronomy in the widest sense: observations, cosmology, space missions, history, and so on. We do not explore the subject systematically – every meeting is a stand-alone meeting with a main talk covering one particular topic. We are particularly keen on covering the latest findings in Astronomy as soon as possible after they are announced.
If you wish to know a little more about the group’s activities, you can consult our Astronomy pages on the Thornbury U3A website. In particular, a few days before each meeting a poster is placed on these pages advertising the meeting’s main talk. The "Past Meetings" page contains a collection of these posters and anyone interested in joining us can examine these to get some idea of what we cover. The group welcomes new members.
Contact the Group Leader, Peter Jackson, on 418050 or by email to Astronomy.
If you have any comments about the web site, please sent an email to Webmaster.
- Two telescopes have been offered for sale: a "Meade 8” LX10 Schmidt-Cassegrain reflector" and a small "Jessop’s refractor and tripod". Details are on the "For Sale" page (see the link on the right of this page).
- There was a small penumbral eclipse of the full moon at around 7pm on Friday night, 10/01/2020. It was shot by one of our members with a digital camera fitted with a 400mm lens and mounted on a fixed tripod, exposure 1/125 seconds at f8, ISO 200. The faint penumbral shadow is across the bottom right hand corner up to the crater Tycho.
- The Lyrids meteor shower is named after its radiant in the constellation Lyra. It will be visible in the South in the morning of April 22nd 2020. The radiant will be highest in the sky about 05:00. However, with sunrise at 03:43 earlier viewing would be better! Between 01:00 and 02:00, the radiant should be due East about 45 degrees above the horizon. There is a new moon at the time so this should not affect viewing conditions. The Lyrids are one of the oldest recorded meteor showers—according to some historical Chinese texts, the shower was seen over 2,500 years ago. The fireballs in the meteor shower are created by debris from comet Thatcher, which takes about 415 years to orbit around the Sun. The comet is expected to be visible from Earth again in 2276.
|Dates for your Diary|
|Mon Feb 3rd||Andrew Barnes will give a talk entitled "From the 12 days of Chrtistmas to the 20 discoveries of 2020".|
|Mon Mar 2nd||Details of the March 2020 meeting will be posted here as soon as they are available.|
|Mon Apr 6th||Details of the April 2020 meeting will be posted here as soon as they are available.|