Excellent introduction to astronomy

Openstax.org is an initiative of Rice University that provides free educational materials to students world-wide.  In January 2020 Openstax published a web version of their textbook – Astronomy. This text provides an excellent introduction to many aspects of astronomy, from the fundamental science to galaxies, quasar, black holes and beyond.  This is an excellent resource for anyone interested in learning more about astronomy. Get web access to the book here.

BAS Observing Nights Recommence

2020 Observing Nights Get Started - Again

Saturday July 18th, 2020, a memorable night.

COVID-19 has delivered us a very disrupted year.  BAS hopes all of its members, and their families, have escaped the worst aspects of the disruption and everyone is safe and well. However, we have all been starved of telescope and astro-camera time under the stars in recent months. But last Saturday night delivered at least one form of antidote to our frustrations.

Our members conducted members-only observing evenings at our Maleny Golf Club and Harding’s Paddock sites. The sky was exceptionally clear and steady – exactly what we needed. Both sites were well supported by members and the planets put on a show for everyone.

Maleny plans to conduct another members-only night on Saturday, July 25th.  So, start packing your gear. You might just get to glimpse a comet too.

BAS member – achievement award

BAS Member's - Achievement Award

Congratulations to Dr Ken Wishaw for being recognised by the Queensland amateur astronomy community for research into human eye dark adaptation and the effects of red/amber light on adaptation speed and effectiveness. During 2018 Ken conduced research with volunteer astronomers at the Queensland Astrofest and Sunshine Coast BAS astronomy evenings, held at the Maleny Golf Club. His research found that the common red-wavelength light astronomers have been using for decades to protect night vision and speed dark adaptation, may not be the most efficient wavelength for in-door and at-the-scope lighting. Ken found that a more amber/orange wavelength may in fact be a better option.  Read more on the details of Ken’s research HERE.

Ken was recognised for this research at the 2019 Queensland Combined Astronomy Societies meeting held on December 6th at the University of Queensland. Well done Ken.

Ken also delivered an excellent talk at the meeting outlining the formation, objectives and recent achievements of the Australasian Dark Sky AllianceKen is one of the founding members of this initiative to help protect the night skies of Australia from the ravages of light pollution. Again, well done Ken.

Meritorious achievement award

Tony and Anne-Louise meritorious achievement award

The South-East Queensland Combined Astronomy Societies annual meeting was held on Friday December 6th at the University of Queensland. BAS is very proud to announce that two of our most hard working members – Tony and Anne-Louise Surma-Hawes – were recognised by the Queensland amateur astronomy community for their many years of commitment and effort invested into the planning, delivery and management of the annual Queensland Astrofest event. For many years, Tony and Anne-Louise have been the BAS representatives on the organising committee for this multi-society event. Tony and Anne-Louise put in countless hours each year, that BAS members never see, to make the Queensland Astrofest one of the most highly regarded astronomy festivals on the planet. So, a very big thank you to Tony and Anne-Louise.  May the Astofest-force continue to be with you for many more years to come.

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Gilmour Space Technologies speaks to BAS

Gilmour Space Technologies speaks to BAS

A very big thank you to Peter Kinne, head of sales for Gilmnour Space Technologies, for speaking at our October 2019 monthly meeting. It’s not often you get the chance to handle a chunk of rocket fuel – thank you Peter for bringing it along for show & tell. Now we all have a much better understanding of hybrid rocket technology and why this is likely to be Australia’s next pathway to space. BAS looks forward with huge anticipation to the next GST rocket launch.

2019 BAS Astro-Quiz

2019 BAS Astro-Quiz

At our July monthly meeting we held the annual BAS Astro Quiz for 2019. While surreptitious use of Google and Wikpedia were not endorsed at the meeting you are now free to give the quiz a try at home with every astro-resource available to you. No answers provided here, you will just have to do your own research. A PDF version of the quiz slides is available for download: Click Here