The main item for the 14 June meeting will be a presentation by Donna Burton entitled “Spotty Stars”, discussing how the study of spots on other stars helps with understanding the evolution of the
Sun and its effects on the Earth. Donna is a PHD student at USQ and has a great deal of experience at Siding Spring and other observatories. The meeting will as usual be at UQ in the Parnell Building Room 222. There will be the usual supper after the meeting and maybe this month we will crack a clear sky for some observing for the Brisbane Field Night (BFN) after supper at the local park. Bring a telescope if it looks like being clear.
The main item at the August Ordinary General Meeting (OGM) will be Tony and Wendy Dutton sharing their secrets on time lapse photography. We saw some of their excellent work as part of the astrophotography competition last year and then again as part of last year’s presentation on aurorae. This year the astrophotography competition will be the main item for the September OGM so it is time to start sorting through your images to select your favourites to enter. Rick Stevenson will host this year’s competition.
I have received many complementary comments on the talk by David Malin at the last OGM. Over 90 people were in attendance. It was good to be able to welcome members of other Astronomy clubs and other amateur astronomers including those from the Ice In Space online community. It was a good opportunity for others to experience what we do at AAQ.
At the June OGM it was my pleasure to announce that the AAQ Council has awarded a grant from the Edward Corbould Research Fund to David Moriarty to the value of $6,312.17 for acquisition of equipment to continue his study into southern eclipsing binary stars. Thanks to our Research Committee for their valuable assistance to Council in undertaking the review of proposals submitted and recommending awards. AAQ is fortunate in having access to these funds. Council is keen to encourage members who wish to undertake research in any area of astronomy and to submit proposals to apply for funding support. In the June newsletter Roy Axelsen in the Variable Star section report described several types of projects that can be undertaken in this interesting area much of which can be started without requiring any additional equipment. This provides members and other amateur astronomers with a great opportunity to contribute to real science, enjoy support from other experienced members and achieve recognition for their work.
The last Deep Sky Observing (DSO) was to be held at John Salini's farm on 28 June. Unfortunately the weather intervened again with showers and storms predicted for the Saturday afternoon and evening. John has had the benefit of generally clear skies recently and while the weather delivered some much needed rain for the farm, it was unfortunately on the DSO night. Given the poor forecast only a few members made the drive out.
Queensland Astrofest will take the place of the July DSO. Qld Astrofest is jointly organised by the astronomy clubs in South East Queensland and is a great opportunity for some extended observing or imaging under dark skies with like-minded people. It runs for nine nights over two weekends from 18 to 27 July. If not already registered go to the astrofest website to book your stay and pick your accommodation type. Check the website for the great lineup of talks and workshops. Don’t forget to enter your images in the Astro photo competition and bring along your prized creations to enter in to the Amateur Telescope Making awards. And represent AAQ in the astro quiz on the second Saturday. There is more information in Member's June newsletter or check out the astrofest website.
Look forward to seeing you at the 12 July OGM.
Terry Cuttle - AAQ President