With the new committee taking up the reigns, the future of AstroSoc looks bright with lots of exciting activities and events for people to get involved with. During the past year we have had many memorable usual Thursday events and also a few events that have stood out in my mind.
Just before Christmas we had Professor Alberto Vecchio give us an enthralling talk about the workings and origins of the cosmos at our public Patrick Moore Christmas Lecture Series. Other exciting events within the Society have been our annual pub crawl space race through Selly Oak dressed up as aliens and also our yearly trip to Ming Moon in the city centre, where everyone managed to consume just a bit too much food.
As always with our weekly meetings, if the weather permits, we go observing either in Chancellors Court or on the roof of the Poynting Building. Allowing our members access to the night sky through our multiple telescopes and solar scopes has been a great experience. From the Moon to the Andromeda Galaxy many cosmic gems have been observed over the past few months.
One of the major events coming up is the partial (almost total) solar eclipse on the Friday 20 March. To celebrate this AstroSoc will be making handmade eclipse viewers at the meeting the evening before. On the day itself (an early start with the spectacle beginning at 9:40am) we will be in Selly Park with our specialised solarscope. This event also coincides with the launch of the Gemini weather balloon project led by Graham Kirkby which will also occur at Selly Park. This promises to be a fantastic opportunity to see a rare event and would encourage those who are interested to venture down to the park that morning.
Another important part of AstroSoc has been involvement with the School of Physics and Astronomy to lead monthly public evenings of Astronomy in the City which continues to grow. Each month sees both regulars and new members of the public coming along to learn about the night sky and observe with us. The next of these events is on the Wednesday 25March. To find out more visit our website:
It has been an honour to be on the AstroSoc committee and chair the Society over the last year. Congratulations to the new team taking the helm: Alice Perry (Events Officer), Alex Thomas (Treasurer), Bethany Cook (Equipment & Observations Officer), Sophie Meredith (Chair), Nathan Adams (Outreach), James Delaney (Secretary) and Manisha Bali (Publicity Officer).
I am sure that in the near future we will continue to see a host of great activities that get our members enthused about the Universe and allow them to undertake astronomy with a great group of friends.
If this sounds like something you would like to get involved in the meetings are on Thursdays at 7:30pm in Nuffield G13. Alternatively, find us on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best Regards and Clear Skies,
Chair of the University of Birmingham Astronomical Society 2014/15