Tonight we met on what was yet again a cloudy night. Our guest speaker for the evening was Julian Onions from Nottingham University. The title of tonight’s presentation was “Astrophysics for beginners”. Julian took us on a journey through the life of a star, right from how the first particles in the Universe were formed all the way through to the death of our star the Sun and how it differs from the end of other stars.
Our star is quite an ordinary star and unsurprisingly the measure we use for all other stars. Julian explained how the Sun is a third generation star called a “Population 1 star”. Our star will eventually swell to become a red giant before shedding it’s outer shell in a spectacular planetary nebula, but don’t get too excited, we as a race will no doubt be long gone by then. Julian then fielded some excellent questions from our members which now include some of our ex GCSE Astronomy students.
After the presentation there was time for another drink and a chat with Julian before Mr Perkins brought us the news and current affairs relating to Astronomy. This included a quick tour of some of the things to look out for in the night sky in the coming months. There was a short video from NASA on the upcoming test flight of their new Orion Spacecraft which will hopefully lift off in December this year. Mr Perkins ended by issuing a challenge to members to observe the Moon and either sketch or photograph it for next months meeting at which any entries will be judged for the chance to win a Moon related prize (not cheese!).
Our next meeting is on November the 27th at the usual time of 6:30pm. Our guest speaker (and picture judge) will be Phil from the East Midlands Stargazers talking to us on the subject of Vintage Refracting Telescopes.
If you would like to enter the competition you entries should be submitted in person on the night or in advance via email to: MPerkins@longeaton.derbyshire.sch.uk (with your name please)