Fordingbridge Astronomers


Previous Talks Programmes


September Tue 20th 19:30 Seven Weird and Wonderful Moons of the Solar System by Bob Mizon

Bob is a well-known local astronomer, who is noteworthy (to the extent that he was awarded an MBE) for his work in combating light pollution. In this talk he takes us out into the reaches of the Solar System: There is an enormous variety of properties in the natural satellites of the planets and Bob will lead us through some of them.
October Tue 18th 19:30 Hershel & Planck, Europe's cosmic explorers by Dr Chris North

The Universe looks very different in infra red and microwave wavelengths, revealing properties that are not apparent in visible light. Chris is a research associate and Community Engagement Officer in the Physics and Astronomy department of Cardiff University. He is best known for his appearances on television (Sky at Night)
November Tue 15th 19:30 AGM
Short Talks and Current Topics in Astronomy by Various Members

An opportunity for members to share things that interest them. We hope to have a miscellany of astronomy-related wisdom and trivia.
December Thu 15th 19:30 Members' Pre-Solstice Social Evening Dinner and Quiz (Astronomy & general knowledge — much more inclusive than last year!)
Pre-booking essential
NB: 3rd Thursday, NOT Tuesday!
January Tue 17th 19:30 Astrophotography for Beginners by Mary McIntyre (née Spicer)

Mary runs courses on Astrophotography and has agreed to condense some of it into this talk to us. She is an accomplished astrophotographer, columnist for Sky at Night magazine, co-host of Astronomy FM's 'Comet Watch' show, and one of the leading lights of the UK Women in Astronomy Network.
February Tue 21st 19:30 Any Astronomical Questions? Your questions on astronomy answered by a panel of members.

For such a small club, we have a surprising amount of knowledge and wisdom within the membership. If there are things that have baffled, confused or bewildered you about astronomy and cosmology, see if we can help to put things straight.
March Tue 21st 19:30 The Armchair Messier Marathon by Dr Lilian Hobbs

The Messier Marathon is the feat of observing all the objects in Charles Messier's catalogue on one night between dusk and dawn; it is only possible for a few weeks spanning the end of March and beginning of April, ideally from a latitude of about 25°N. Lilian is a very engaging speaker and we are delighted that she has agreed to return to give us this talk.
April Tue 18th 19:30 Pseudoastronomy #2 - The Beginnings: Charlatans and Frauds by Steve Tonkin

Steve tackles "fake news" from the Chevalier d'Angos, Frédéric Petit, Georg Waltemuth, Leo Brenner (aka Spiridon Gopčević) & Rudolf Steiner, some of which still affects us today.
May Tue 16th 19:30 Have Telescope, Will Travel by Mark Radice

As well as observing under the dark skies of Salisbury Plain, Mark likes to travel far and wide to indulge his passion for astronomy. He will share some of his best experiences with us.
June Tue 20th 19:30 Variable Stars - What makes them Tick? by James Fradgley

Variable stars are remarkably common and can teach us a lot about how stars work, but do you know your Mira from your Cepheid, your eclipsing variable from your T-Tauri, or your BLV from your RR Lyrae? James will elucidate on this and more.
July Tue 18th 19:30 Exhibition Meeting & Equipment Clinic

Need help setting up your mount? Collimation problems? Want to know which instrument is best for which purpose? Want to see what equipment members use? This is for you.
August Summer Break: No meetings


September Tue 15th 19:30 Fourteen Pioneers of Astronomy by Bob Mizon MBE FRAS
October Tue 20th 19:30 The Hunt for the Higgs Boson by Chris Street
November Tue 17th 19:30 AGM
Current Topics in Astronomy by Various Members
December Tue 15th 19:30 Pre-Solstice Social Evening Dinner and Quiz (much easier than last year!)
January Tue 19th 19:30 Any Astronomical Questions? Your questions on astronomy answered by a panel of members.
February Tue 16th 19:30 Astrophotography with the DSLR by Neill Mitchell
March Tue 15th 19:30 The Story of Apollo 13 by Mike Rogers
April Tue 26th
NB: 4th Tuesday!
19:30 Astronomy and Space in the Media by Dr David Whitehouse FRAS(former BBC Science Correspondent)
May Tue 17th 19:30 Astrocrud: Complementary and Alternative Astronomy by Steve Tonkin FRAS
June Tue 21st 19:30 Eight Great Astronomers by Bob Mizon MBE FRAS
July Tue 19th 19:30 Exhibition Meeting & Equipment Clinic Need help setting up your mount? Collimation problems? Want to know which instrument is best for which purpose? Want to see what equipment members use? This is for you.


January Tue 20th 19:30 Our Nearest Neighbour A series of presentations on the subject of the Moon. Expect anything from its effect on animals to the mysterious phenomenon of TLPs.
February Tue 17th 19:30 How Old Is It? by Steve Tonkin FRAS
March Tue 17th 19:30 Astronomy and the iPad by Dr Lilian Hobbs
April Tue 21st 19:30 Planetary Nebulae by Paul Thomas
May Tue 19th 19:30 The Story of Radio Astronomy by James Fradgley FRAS
June Tue 16th 19:30 Our Nearest Star Various short presentations by members on the subject of The Sun.


January Tuesday 21st 19:30 Current Topics in Astronomy:
Hypervelocity Stars by Duncan Reavell
Exoplanets. The search for ET, or a new home for us to wreck? by Paul Thomas
Directional Dark Matter Detection by Steve Tonkin FRAS
February Tuesday 18th 19:30 A Tale of Two Comets by Nick Howes (Pro Am Programme Manager at the Faulkes Telescope Project)
March Tuesday 18th 19:30 Space Weather by Prof. Clive Dyer
April Tuesday 15th 19:30 Orbital Oddities - Strange goings-on with 3 or more bodies by James Fradgely FRAS
May Tuesday 20th 19:30 A to Z of the Solar System by Bob Mizon MBE FRAS (Director of the Campaign for Dark Skies)
June Tuesday 17th 19:30 Astronomical Equipment clinic members will demonstrate their own equipment and will show you get the best out of yours; bring it along!
July Tuesday 15th 19:30 Are We Alone? The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence by Steve Tonkin FRAS
September Tue 17th 19:30 Short talks: The Rosetta Mission by Duncan Reavell, Observing Equipment by Paul Thomas, How Astronomical Objects are Named by Steve Tonkin
October Tue 12th 19:30 An Introduction to Astro-imaging by John Gifford.
November Tue 20th 19:30 Short talks: Rosetta Update by Duncan Reavell, A Victorian Astronomy Magic Lantern by Howard Lawrence, Lake Tekapo and the Mount John Observatory by Mike Young.
December Tue 16th 19:30 Winter Solstice Club Social Evening Dinner and an Astronomical "Call My Bluff".


April Tuesday 19th 19:30 Reviews and Previews
A review of our first 7 months of existence, and a preview of both upcoming meetings and the night sky for 2013.
March Tuesday 19th 19:30 To Boldly Go Where No Machine Has Gone Before, talk and discussion on remote sensing, featuring a 'telescope' where you would least likely expect to find one and a year-long planet-mapping exercise by a very unusual satellite. Led by Peter Elbro
April Tuesday 16th 19:30 Ten Ways the Universe Tries to Kill You, from asteroid impacts to gamma-ray bursts, a light-hearted but scientifically sound talk and discussion on cataclysmic events. Led by Steve Tonkin
May Tuesday 21st 19:30 Astronomical Miscellany led by Duncan Reavell, Paul Thomas and Steve Tonkin
June Tuesday 18th 19:30 Short Talks by members
July Tuesday 16th 19:30 AGM + Equipment Clinic
September Tuesday 17th 19:30 The Sun: A Biography Talk by Dr David Whitehouse
October Tuesday 15th 19:30 A QI-Style Astronomy Quiz by Duncan Reavell
November Tuesday 19th 18:30 Binocular Astronomy by Steve Tonkin.
December Tuesday 17th 19:30 The Star of Bethlehem led by Steve Tonkin
The 12 Stars of Christmas led by Duncan Reavell


July Tuesday
19:30 Inaugural Meeting
August Sunday
21:00 Perseid Meteor Watch
September Tuesday 18th 19:30 Near-Miss Asteroids, discussion led by Paul Thomas
October Tuesday 16th 19:30 A Guide to the Moon, talk and discussion led by Duncan Reavell
November Tuesday 20th 19:30 Ten Objects for Light-Polluted Astronomers, talk and discussion, led by Bob Mizon
December Tuesday
19:30Social Evening and Quiz