Open Dome Event 23rd November ’17 Dr Phil Sutton

default-1464385066-1420-eying-exomoons-in-the-search-for-e-tThe next open dome event will take place next Thursday the 23rd November 2017 at the usual start time of 7pm. This month our guest speaker is Dr Phil Sutton of Lincoln University with a talk entitled ” How to find Exomoons and Exorings and their importance to understanding the universe”. Dr Sutton will briefly look at how we can find exomoons and exorings then some interesting things about why we should be looking for them. Exomoons is a part of Dr Sutton’s research and personal interest.


After the talk there will be an opportunity to do some observing if the weather permits, a chance to tour the observatory for any new visitors who so wish and a very brief talk by myself on topical matters relating to astronomy if the weather is poor.


Refreshments are available from 6:30pm onwards. A recommended donation of £2 towards costs is suggested. Under 16’s must be accompanied by an adult please. Approx finish time will be no later than 9:00pm


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October Open Dome Event 18th October 2017

crop_37The Inferno World with Titanium Skies. – Ryan McDonald – Cambridge University.

In September, 2017, the European Southern Observatory announced the discovery of a truly alien exoplanet atmosphere. Heated to over 2000C, the inferno world WASP-19b is the first exoplanet with titanium oxide detected in its atmosphere. But what is this world really like? What secrets could it still hold?

In this talk, Cambridge University astronomer Ryan MacDonald, part of the team who identified the titanium skies of WASP-19b, will guide you on an 815 light year journey to a world at the edge of the known.

Doors open 6:30pm. The talk will start approx. 7pm with refreshments available from 6:30pm. Entry is open to all, under 16’s should be accompanied by an adult please. Suggested donation towards costs £2 per person. Booking not required.

If the weather allows there will be opportunity after the talk for observing and tours of the observatory.

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Adult Learning Courses Starting in November.

In November two adult learning courses are starting with Royal Astronomical Society Fellow Mike Perkins. In the setting of the Malcolm Parry Observatory at the Long Eaton School courses are aimed at all abilities. No prior subject knowledge is required but an interest in the night sky would be an advantage.

An Introduction to Astronomy.

A ten session course starting 1st November exploring the Cosmos.

The course will start with an introduction to terms before starting at the very beginning of the Universe. Taking in the history of Astronomy as well as explaining many of the processes at work we look at some of the key discoveries along the way. You will learn what we can find out about stars by looking at them, how Galaxies are formed, how stars are born and die through to how to build a planet and more.

If the weather is favourable there will be hands on observing using one of the many telescopes available at the school in our purpose built observatory.

Course fee £40 total.


Practical Astronomy. Limited places left!

Starting 8th November, A six session course looking at how to observe the night sky.

In this course you will learn about the different types of binoculars and telescopes. Which equipment is most suited for different circumstances. How to get the best out of your equipment and maintain it. How to navigate around the night sky using constellations and much more. The structure of this course will be very flexible as the emphasis will be on hands-on astronomy if the weather allows.

Course fee £24 total.

In both courses there will be some reference to mathematics but no complicated maths will be required to enjoy either course. It is intended as an interest course and as such yields no qualification, however a certificate of attendance / completion will be awarded on completion of the sessions.

The course fees will cover all materials required (attendees should bring pen, pencil and paper for notes). All profits will go towards the upkeep of the observatory. Sessions will run alternate Wednesday evenings 7:30pm – 9:30pm. Booking essential, course fee payable on the first evening of your course.

Due to the time of year and nature of the courses you are advised to come appropriately dress in case of cold weather as some of the course is likely to be outside.

For more information, syllabus or to book your place, please contact

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Latest Solar Image 26.09.2017

Our local star the Sun has been void of much activity over the last week or two but we now see the return of the sunspot groups from a couple of weeks ago. Captured here in white light using our 80mm refractor equipped with Herschel wedge. The image was taken approx. Noon local time. False colour has been used to help the detail show.260917

Warning! Never look directly at the Sun without suitable, certified safe equipment. Sunglasses are not suitable.

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Community Open Dome Event 28th Sept – Galaxies in 3D

Thursday 28th September – 7pm

The Long Eaton Astronomical Society meetings are now known as “Community Open Dome Events” and the first of this academic year is nearly here. We are joined by Professor Alfonso Aragón-Salamanca, Head of the Astronomy group at the University of Nottingham. He was an undergraduate at the University of Madrid, and got his PhD from Durham University in 1991. He worked in Durham and Cambridge for a number of years, and moved to Nottingham in 1999. His research addresses how galaxies form and evolve in different environments over cosmic time.  The topic is “Galaxies in 3D”.


“In order to understand how galaxies form and evolve we need to get very detailed information with as much spatial and spectral resolution as we possibly can. A new exciting observational technique has been developed in the last few years called “Integral Field Spectroscopy” which allows us to dissect the light emitted by different regions of galaxies simultaneously, thus obtaining three-dimensional images for them. In this talk Prof. Aragón-Salamanca will describe this new technique, its applications, and some of the most interesting results that he is obtaining within the MaNGA project, part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. This work is answering key questions on the formation history of the different regions and components of thousands of galaxies.”

After the talk there will be opportunity to look around the observatory and if clear do some observing using one of the telescopes housed within. Admission is via a suggested donation of £2 towards costs and includes refreshments. Talk starts at 7pm with refreshments available from 6:30pm. The event will close approx. 9pm. Under 16’s must be accompanied by an adult please.

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Meeting Cancelled 20th July

Due to unforeseen circumstances the next meeting of the Long Eaton Astronomical Society has been cancelled of the 20th July 2017. Therefore the next meeting is on September 28th when our guest speaker is Professor Alfonso Aragon-Salamanca of Nottingham University.

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Space Seraph – an update

On June 28th TLES launched the high altitude balloon mission “Space Seraph”. The launch was a great success with many local primary school students gathered to watch the launch prior to the annual “Eco day”.

All appeared to be going well and a predicted landing area just outside Matlock was identified. The recovery team headed off to wait near Matlock bath to await contact with the tracking devices. The landing was estimated for 11:38am, this time came and went and still no contact was made.

More accurate simulations have since been made and the average of 400 has been taken. The target area is outlined below. Search teams have since covered just under 3.5km² of the target area concentrating in an area known to be in a communication dead zone. Unfortunately nothing has yet turned up so the search continues……



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