2014 Award Winners

The winners of this years awards were announced at the May meeting of the Society.

Christine Beale was awarded the Robin Townley award for contribution to the work of the Society, and Peter Burgess won the Dan Turton trophy for his image of the Veil Nebula.

Congratulations to Christine and Peter.

Christine Beale receiving the Robin Townley award
Christine Beale receiving the Robin Townley award
Peter Burgess receiving the Dan Turton award
Peter Burgess receiving the Dan Turton award
Peter Burgess’ Veil Nebula image

Showcase 2014 Gallery

2013 winner Bill Beere
2013 winner Bill Beere

There is now a gallery showing the submissions for this years Dan Turton trophy competition for the best astro-image considering the equipment available for use.

You can view all the images here.

If you want to submit an image email Peter Cadogan & copy Callum Potter for the gallery.

If you yourself will not be attending the AGM, please check the web site before the 12th April and email Peter Cadogan your vote, so that it may be included in the count.

Supernova in M82

SN 2014J in M82 - Rik McRae
SN 2014J in M82 – Rik McRae

Society member Rik McRae managed to capture the new supernova (now designated as 2014J) recently discovered in M82, through gaps in the cloud last night.

The supernova is quite bright, around magnitude 11.7 at discovery and may be brightening, before it will inevitably dim from view.
But it should be easy to see for at least the next couple of weeks – though a small telescope will probably be needed (6″ or more).

To find M82, you can use this useful finder chart from Astronomy Now, and read more about it here.

Messier 82 forms a great observing sight with M81, lying to the upper right (north-west) of the familiar ‘Plough’ or ‘Big Dipper’ asterism, formed from the seven brightest stars in Ursa Major, the Great Bear. – Astronomy Now

John Dobson

John Dobson
John Dobson

It’s with sadness to report that John Dobson passed away yesterday at the age of 98.

He invented the telescope design that became to be known as the Dobsonian – and was a leading light promoting observational astronomy to the general public with his Sidewalk Astronomy.

Always a keen visual observer, having said “I like to look at those photons with my own eyes, not on a picture or screen”.

Some of our longer term members might remember when John came to the society to give our 20th anniversary talk in 2002. You can read the Mercury following that visit by clicking on the cover pic below.


Comets ISON and Lovejoy

Comet 2012 S1 ISON – image by Alan Mason
Comet 2013 R1 Lovejoy – image by Alan Mason

Cotswold AS member Alan Mason managed to capture both Comet 2012 S1 ISON and 2013 R2 Lovejoy this month.

Lovejoy has been a relatively accessible object, being fairly high in the morning sky.

Comet ISON has been a bit trickier, being fairly low. If there are any clear mornings this week, it may be worth trying to observe for ISON in the early morning, 30 minutes before dawn. It will be at perihelion on November 28 (and un-observable for the couple of days around this), and will probably become visible in the morning again from December 1. What will we see then ? Well we just don;t know – it could be spectacular – it could be a damp squib.The only way to be sure will be to get up early and have a look!

Award Winners 2013

Sally_award_2013 Bill_award_2013Congratulations to Sally Bywater and Bill Beere, winners of the Society awards which were presented at the July meeting of the Society.

Sally was presented with the Robin Townley trophy (for contribution to the work of the Society), and Bill with the Dan Turton trophy for best astro-photograph (considering the equipment available for use).

Splendid Noctilucent Cloud Display Seen From Gloucestershire

Last night (or this morning to be precise) a splendid display of noctilucent clouds was observed from Gloucestershire.

Cotswold AS member James Weightman captured this image from Cirencester. The bright star visible is Capella.

Noctilucent clouds on 2013 June 3 (pre-dawn)
Noctilucent clouds on 2013 June 3 (pre-dawn)

Lat 51.7N Long 1.9W
Time: 2013/06/03 2:00UT
Az 14 Alt 9 (by ref to Capella at this time)
Photo Canon EOS 7D + 85mm lens @ f/1.2; 0.3secs ISO 640; 2 adjacent photos merged using Photoshop.