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Highlands Astronomical Society

June Club Meeting & News

Added on 10 July 2020

Note - HAS Members & Associated Astronomy Clubs have been e-mailed the YouTube link to view the recorded June Meeting

(if you want to be notified of our Club Activities and be able to access our recorded Club Meetings then please consider joining HAS or one of the associated clubs/groups)


1st Intro


  • Firstly, thanks to you all for joining us on Zoom Webinar this evening.  Most of you will know me but, for those that don’t, I’m Eric Walker – Chairman of Highlands Astronomical Society


  • I want to thank Paul Jenkins for coordinating a small steering group and successfully getting us to this stage where we are able to hold our Monthly Club Meetings again


  • And also, thanks to Pete Sherman – Chairman of Moray Astronomy Group (SIGMA) who has held our hands while he walked us newbies through the technical & operating journey of using Zoom Webinar


  • Pete is going continue with that help by giving you a short brief on how to get the best out of your Zoom experience tonight so I’ll hand over to Pete right now and he’ll explain the various bits & pieces


Chairman’s Chat


  • Welcome to HAS members and also to visitors from our north of Scotland sister astronomy clubs – Aberdeen Astronomical Society, Caithness Astronomy Group, Moray’s Astronomy Club SIGMA, and North Ronaldsay Astronomy Group.  I’m not sure if there are any visitors here who are not affiliated to any of these clubs but if you are here then you’re most welcome!
  • Tonight’s Timings
    • 1930 Welcome & Notices (Eric)
    • 1935 Main Talk (Neville Browne) followed by Q&As (moderated by Paul)
    • 2030 Club News, Astropics, and Targets for the Month (Pauline)
    • 2045 Club Member Q&As takes us to Meeting Close

NOTE there won’t be any breaks during the meeting so if you need a cup of tea or “comfort break” just get up and go and keep yourself connected to the meeting so you don’t have to go through the palaver of re-connecting when you re-join!

  • AGM
    • We were unable to hold our AGM “in the flesh” this year however, OSCR (Scottish Charities Regulator) encouraged organisations to be creative and formally demonstrate that they comply with Charity Law and that they report on their Annual Accounts
      • We are pleased that we have achieved both key requirements and wish to thank all the Club Members who acknowledged the AGM email sent out by Rhona, contributed to, and approved our Club’s Annual Report and Accounts which will be submitted to OSCR in due course
      • Our existing Office Bearer’s will remain in position and I am now the “official” Chairman of Highlands Astronomical Society
      • Our Treasurer Andy Brough compiled a robust Operating Plan and we are in an acceptable financial position – provided members are willing to pay their annual subscriptions, which our Membership Secretary, Gael Hillyard, has, and will be, chasing up over the next month.


  • Keeping in Touch
    • We hope our members have been enjoying the emailed, Facebook, and Instagram links to various astronomy-related articles and events over the past couple of months
    • Pauline has been very diligent in emailing these, along with some astropics, and also great astronomy-crossword just last week
    • We are also considering running a ClubHub which could be something as simple as a wee get-together every so often for like-minded Club Members to “chew the fat, shoot-the-breeze” using Zoom Meeting – many of yourselves, children & grand-children will already be doing this regularly and keeping in touch with all their friends.


  • Observatory
    • We have been unable to use our Observatory since the lockdown however, there is a small group of us working on ways to use Zoom to have live observing sessions & teaching or tutorial sessions from our own home observatories which members can participate in – watch this space!


  • For Your Diaries
    • Our Next Meeting is on Tue 7th July and will also be hosted via Zoom Webinar. 
    • We are pleased to let you know that our next three speakers have all confirmed they are happy to talk using Zoom Webinar so that will take us through to September when, hopefully, circumstances may have changed!
  • That’s enough from me, I’m now going to introduce our main speaker for tonight, Neville Browne


Main Talk – Speaker:  Neville Browne


Neville Browne is retired …. meaning he can now do all the things that HE wants to do ….. having had a dual career – first as an Engineering Manager with a major oil company, and secondly at Robert Gordon University.

Neville has been a keen astronomer for many years, interested in both practical observing and also learning about the subject & science of astronomy itself.

He is a Committee Member at Aberdeen Astronomical Society and organises & promotes their Astronomy Outreach Education Programme.

Neville himself gives talks to schools and various organisations such as scouts, guides, walking troupes, and, of course, other Astronomy Clubs.

His lecture topics cover subjects such as Distances in Space, Age of Stars, What to See in the Night Sky, A Simple Guide to Astro Equipment & How to Use It, and various aspects of the History of Astronomy.

It is with great pleasure that I welcome Neville tonight and here he is to talk about -

“The Rise of Astrophysics 1890–1930: A Story of Four Remarkable Women”


…. Over to you Neville


Vote of Thanks

I would just like to take this opportunity to thank Neville for a very interesting & inspiring talk.  Normally, Neville would be receiving a token of our appreciation and a thankyou card designed & printed by Pauline.  Well, Neville ….. you will still receive these things except that they will be sent by email now.  Thanks very much, once again, Neville.


Introduction to Club News (Pauline)

And now, to one of my favourite bits of our monthly meetings – the Club News, Astropics, and Targets for the Month – ably presented by our very own Pauline Macrae

….. Over to you Pauline


HAS Members Q&A Session

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