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© Croydon Astronomical Society 2012 Croydon, Surrey, England. Charity Registered in England and Wales No. 251560


Croydon Astronomical Society
est. 1956

Meetings, past year of 2017.  Current year 2018

Meetings are held at the Royal Russell School, Coombe Lane, Croydon, Surrey CR9 5BX, start at 7:45 pm, and finish at 10 pm.

Our society is a registered charity. We do not charge a mandatory admission or membership fee, instead relying on voluntary donations by the following methods:

We try to structure the meetings to appeal to our members and guests of all levels, from beginner to expert. They normally consist of an introductory talk by one of our members, society news, or an observers section; then a refreshment break followed by the main lecture where the speaker presents a more in-depth talk. A small nominal charge is made for refreshments.


7th July 2017

Dr Peter Grimley will speak to us on: Discs and Rings. These structures can be seen in many places and situations and offer valuable information for the structure and processes throughout the universe.

The earlier shorter talk will be by Tony Roberts.


23rd June 2017

Pauline Gorman will speak to us on: The Antikythera Mechanism.

The earlier shorter talk will be by Dave Burfoot who will update us on the Kenley Observatory.


9th June 2017

Konrad Malin-Smith will speak to us on: In the Beginning. From even before the Big Bang to significant events very soon afterwards (3 seconds) that shaped the Universe we see and know today, the Beginning was a very crucial time that nearly never made us.


26th May 2017

Jennifer Chan will speak to us on: Techniques to study large-scale magnetic fields. These involve using the polarisation of light and the epoch of reionisation.


12th May 2017

The Annual General Meeting of the society takes place this year on Friday the 12th May. The agenda, appendices and minutes of the AGM last year will be as handouts at the meeting. After the AGM we will include some astronomy, either in the form of news, photographs, short films or answering questions etc. if you would like to share anything, even if just a mention, please do so. There will be further information with other details soon.

As always the AGM portion of this Friday meeting can only be participated by members, whereas guests are welcome as usual during the rest of the meeting.


28th April 2017

Prof. Alan Aylward will speak to us on: From Daedalus to Dan Dare: The Feasibility of Interstellar travel. Having now shown mankind is capable of reaching all the major bodies in the solar system we might start casting our eyes towards the stars. However we have a different order of magnitude problem here in terms of distance - even the nearest stars are 5,000 times further than we have reached out with our probes so far. So can it be done?  In the 1970s the Daedalus technical study suggested that even with the technology foreseeable then there was no reason to doubt they could be reached. 40 years later are we any nearer beng able to confirm or deny their conclusions?


There are no meetings from mid-July to early September.

Details of our meetings are also available on the CAS Web Calendar found on the home page. Using this calendar you can set up email or SMS text alerts to remind you of the lecture times.


7th Apr 2017

Neil Phillipson will talk on: The Atacama Large Millimetre/Submillimetre Array. He will talk about ALMA (The Atacama Large Millimetre/Submillimetre Array) - the history and development, plus the science it will produce. He touches on the James Webb Space Telescope and why we need both.


24th Mar 2017

Mark Craig, director/producer of the Gene Cernan Biographic film The Last Man on the Moon, will feature stories about the making of the film and about the late Gene Cernan, the last astronaut to step off the Moon on the final Apollo 17 mission. Nine years in the making, Mark worked closely with Gene to ensure his story was faithfully recorded on film.


10th Mar 2017

Roy Easto will speak to us on: The Cassini Mission - a Celebration. Regarded by many as possibly the most successful space mission of all. We look back at more than 12 years of the probe orbiting Saturn and examine the hugely diverse range of objects it has recorded. Those delicate rings in all their splendour, Titan as seen on the surface, Iapetus, Enceladus and Mimas that vary so much in appearance and finally to the planet itself. Finally we take a look at the demise of Cassini as it dives into the planet later this year for a fiery end.


24th Feb 2017

Greg Smye-Rumsby will speak to us on: History of Longitude at Greenwich. A journey through the intricacies of finding a solution to longitude. There were a number of attempts at resolving this difficult task and many astronomers and scientist including self-made horologists that eventually opened the trade routes around the World.


10th Feb 2017

Peter Bull will speak to us on Cosmology: A Window through the Universe. A concise look at the history of the Universe, from the Big Bang to it's likely end, focussing on the four components of the Cosmos: Space, Time, Matter, and Energy, and how they interact.


27th Jan 2017

We welcome Dr E. Norman Walker, a retired professional astronomer, who will present a talk entitled: Recent Astronomical News and Discoveries. With ever increasing technology the pace of new discoveries, along with results produced after much observation and research, is ever increasing, and Norman will in addition give his own insight and interpretation using his career as a professional astronomer. This will also be a good opportunity to ask questions that will be answered from his many years of expertise and experience (so a good time to think of questions for the evening).

Norman will have plenty of material to occupy both sections before and after the refreshment break.


13th Jan 2017

The first meeting to start the New Year is by our own committee astronomer, John Berman, talking on the Detection of Meteors using Radio. Once again new technology today has made possible amazing results, and easily affordable in the 'pocket money range'. He will explain the equipment (set up at his home and now also at Kenley) the technique, and what can be achieved. Now meteors can be detected at any time of the day regardless of the weather; a true 24 x 7.

Before the refreshment break there will be a guide on what to look out for in 2017 by Graham Cluer.


15th Dec 2017

This will be our regular Christmas meeting. There will be no main talk but members Carl Rich and Pauline Gorman will talk on: Eclipses and Space Toys, and there will be a short video and quiz after an extended break.


24th Nov 2017

We welcome Prof. Steve Miller who will speak to us on the Cassini/Huygens mission.


10th Nov 2017

John Timmins will speak to us on: Optical quality and a comparison of optical systems.

John has over 50 years of observing experience, using most brands and types of telescope available to the amateur astronomer. The talk starts with a brief reminder of key telescope developments over the past 400 years.

Critical measurement of optical performance is discussed, directly related to the functionality of modern commercial amateur and professional telescopes.

Based on this analysis, recommendations follow for all types of optical systems with the aim of improving the performance of the amateur's telescope.


27th Oct 2017

We welcome our own established speaker Konrad Malin-Smith, who will be talking on White Dwarfs, the future of ordinary stars like our Sun. Come and learn what will be its fate and learn many interesting things along the way.

This talk will be preceeded earlier in the meeting by an Extraordinary General Meeting, called because the accounts could not be audited in time for the AGM of 12th May. The agenda is: To approve the 2016/17 accounts.


13th Oct 2017

We welcome Damian Peach who will present to us a talk on High Resolution Astrophotography.

This talk by the world renowned amateur astronomer will focus on high resolution imaging of the planets using amateur telescopes. From advice for beginners to advanced observers it will show you how to get the most from the equipment you own, and his own examples have been shown on television and many magazines.


22nd Sept 2017

Dr Tim Rickard will present to us the bright star Vega.

Fifth brightest star in the night sky, described as the second most studied star after the Sun. First star after the Sun to be photographed and heavily studied in early work on spectroscopy and the determination of astronomical distances. Recently used in setting benchmarks for stellar brightness. Work in the last few years revealed more surprising features about Vega. This talk will outline some of the discoveries, both old and new, and how they helped us understand a little more about the universe in general.


8th Sept 2017

For this first meeting of the 2017-2018 season we start with Ellis Owen on: The birth of stars throughout the Universe.

Molecular clouds are the factories of new stars in our own galaxy and others. In this talk he will discuss their evolution, from initial collapse to the ignition of stars. He will outline their structure, and talk about the magnetic fields which permeate them. He will introduce some of the physical concepts involved in understanding how molecular clouds are supported, and the factors which can affect their evolution - from ultra-high-energy particles to cooling processes. He will discuss how our understanding of star formation and molecular clouds in the nearby Universe can help us to start to understand the formation of stars in the furthest reaches of the cosmos.

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