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. Admission is free on your first visit. If you like us, we hope you'll join.

2016/17 Programme
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 - Conspiracies, Charlatans and Frauds by Steve Tonkin

Steve loves astronomy and it irks him when people "mess" with it, especially when they do so in order to deceive. In this talk, he tackles some of the weirder notions that people have tried (and, in some cases, are still trying) to pass off as reality.
May Tue 16th 19:30 Comets: Visitors to our Solar System by Guy Hurst

Guy is a WEA lecturer, co-ordinator of the UK Supernova patrol, and the editor of 'The Astronomer', a magazine for advanced amateurs. He says his aim is to "promote active observing of the night sky". All of us find comets fascinating; after this talk, you will find them even more so.
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