Fordingbridge Astronomers


Monthly Meetings

The regular monthly meetings will normally include a talk and discussion on an astronomical topic, an open forum for members to share their observations or other astronomical items of current interest, and a guide to the highlights in the night sky for the coming month. Although these meetings are structured, we aim to keep them as informal as possible and to make the topics accessible to newcomers to amateur astronomy. The emphasis is on enjoyment of astronomy.

Unless otherwise stated, Monthly Meetings take place in the St Ives Club, School Lane, St Ives, Ringwood, Hants, BH24 2PF. (Map) at 19:30 on (normally) the 3rd Tuesday of the month.

Visitors are welcome to attend all except the winter social evening. There is no need to book; just turn up. Admission is free on your first visit, £2 thereafter. If you like us, we hope you'll join.

2018/19 Programme
September Tue 18th 19:30 Reflection, Refraction & Excitation: The Hunt For Atmospheric Optical Effects by Mary MacIntyre FRAS

This talk is all about halos, arcs, sundogs (parhelia), noctilucent clouds, and aurora, and how they form. Mary is a regular speaker at the club, and we are delighted that she has agreed to come and give us this talk which, she tells us, is one of her favourites.
October Tue 16th 19:30 Dark Future?: the Prospects for Britain’s Dark Skies by Bob Mizon FRAS

Bob is the Director of the BAA's Commission for Dark Skies and has received an MBE for his efforts in this regard. This talk has special reference to our local area of Cranborne Chase, and other areas where action is being taken to save the stars. Lots about the lost opportunity of LEDs.
November Tue 20th 19:30 AGM
Short Talks and Current Topics in Astronomy by Various Members


Any Astronomical Questions? Your questions on astronomy answered by a panel of members.

An opportunity for members to share things that interest them. We hope to have a miscellany of astronomy-related wisdom and trivia.
December Tue 18th 19:30 Members' Pre-Solstice Social Evening Dinner and Quiz (Astronomy & general knowledge)
January Tue 15th 19:30 Binocular Observation of the Deep Sky by Steve Tonkin FRAS

The "humble" binocular is an easy and accessible instrument for taking the first steps into observing the Deep Sky. But, more than that, it can also be an excellent "serious" instrument for the same purpose. Steve, who writes BBC Sky at Night magazine's monthly 'Binocular Tour', will show us why.
February Tue 19th 19:30 The Formation of Stars and their Planetary Systems by Dr Claire Davies

Claire is a Research Fellow in the Exeter Protoplanetary Disc and Planet Formation Imaging Group, where she researches near-infrared interferometric observations of protoplanetary disks using worldwide astronomical facilities such as the Center for High Angular Resolution Astronomy (CHARA) and the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI). She is therefore ideally placed to keep us up to date on how our solar system, and others, came to be here.
March Tue 19th 19:30 Understanding Nothing by Prof Nick Evans

Nick is Professor of Theoretical High Energy Physics at the University of Southampton, and has the knack of making his subject very accessible. He will introduce us to the science of the vacuum from classical times, through the discoveries of Newton, Relativity, Quantum Theory and the discoveries of the Higgs particle and gravity waves. We'll end with a big modern mystery: Quantum Gravity.
April Tue 16th 19:30 Astronomical events that have affected Human History by Graham Bryant FRAS

Graham is a life-long amateur astronomer, a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, and is on the committees of both FAS and SAGAS. He teaches on the astronomy courses at the Hampshire Astronomical Group's Clanfield observatory, where he also mentors BSc mathematics students who are doing an astronomy project at Clanfield. He is also a part time presenter at the South Downs Planetarium in Chichester.
May Tue 21st 19:30 Variable stars - Why are amateur observations important? by John Mallett

Variable stars are those that vary in brightness. This can be for a number of reasons, each of which teaches us more about how stars work or interact with each other. The work of amateur astronomers in monitoring them has always been valued by the wider astronomical community. John will show us why this is and how we can contribute if we so wish.
June Tue 18th 19:30 Deep Sky Imaging Using Remote Telescopes by Pete Williamson FRAS

Do you get fed up with light pollution and/or the great British weather? One solution is to use a telescope somewhere else, from the comfort of your own desk. Pete is the Deep Sky imaging consultant with the Faulkes Telescope Educational Project that has 2 metre, 1 metre and 0.4 metre class telescopes across the globe in both northern and southern hemisphere locations.
July Tue 16th 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