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Highlands Astronomical Society

January Club News

Added on 11 January 2020

January Club News presented to Members & Visitors at our last Monthly Club Meeting on Tuesday 7th January 2020.

A most enjoyable first meeting of 2020 with new members joining and several first-time visitors who we very much hope to see again.


Chairman’s Chat

Eric opened the meeting by welcoming members, visitors from SIGMA and, first-time visitors to our Club.


  • The Evening's Timings
    • 1930 Welcome & Notices (Eric)
    • 1935 Presentation (Stephen Mackintosh)
    • 2030 Raffle (Pat E)
    • 2040 Tea/Coffee
    • 2050 Club News (Dave)
    • 2100 Break-Out Groups
      • Discussion Group (Arthur)
      • Practical Group(s) – suitable for first-time visitors & new members (Eric & Dave)

NOTE don’t feel obliged to stay to the end of these groups.  They are intended that people can leave whenever they want.  If you want to stay just 10 minutes or the full hour, it’s up to you

  • 2200 Close


  • Sad News
    • We were notified by the BAA that Dr Dave Gavine died on the 2nd January
    • Dave was formerly a Director of the Aurora Section of the BAA and many of us here will remember him talking at our Club Meetings


  • Observatory
    • The weather has again been very unkind to us last month and wrecked our observing session programme
    • we planned in many extra sessions over the Festive period but only one of these had perfect viewing conditions – and no visitors or members turned up ..… just the observing team.  It was the weekend before Christmas so we’ve probably been a wee bit ambitious hoping folk would find the time to turn up.  It was a great evening though!
    • we have had several enquiries about our observing sessions via Facebook and our website …. unfortunately, we have been unable to follow through and deliver sessions for these people due to having to cancel due to the poor weather.  We continue to keep in touch however!
    • Here’s hoping for better things throughout the next few weeks, although the current weather & forecast is not good


  • Observing & Outreach
    • Eric is giving a talk on Astrophotography to Inverness Camera Club tomorrow evening, and will be inviting their members up to the Observatory over the next few weeks
    • Dave will give you details of this month’s Observing sessions and, just a reminder of our request for our need for a Host role at our Observing Sessions which takes the form of meet & greet and chaperone/guide as opposed to a technical observing role.
    • You don’t need to be an experienced astronomer to help us out with this role and we would love to have a few of you volunteer for this.
    • Contact Dave if you want to learn more about this and think you could help out


  • Our Next Meeting is being held on Tue 4th Feb when our very own Pauline Macrae will be giving us an insight into “Weird Stars”.  No …. I can’t work out what that’s about either and I am really looking forward to it!


  • Feedback Sheets & Pencils are on your tables
    • Please comment on the good/bad points of this meeting, the Club in general, and we would especially like to receive feedback on the types of talks you would like to hear!
    • We are in the process of planning next year’s programme and want to ensure we get the type & level of talk just as you want it!
    • We received lots of constructive feedback last month and are finding it very useful in reshaping what we do and how we deliver it.  Nothing major, just wee touches here and there.


Dave's Monthly Club News report is attached as a PowerPoint presentation 

The presentation contains news, updates, and photos of the following

  • Observatory News
  • Constellation of the Month
  • Members' News & Photos
  • Upcoming Observing Sessions


Clear skies


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