Astronomy - Review of the Year 2015

News


Jodrell Bank Radio Telescope 70 year Anniversary December 14th
Founded by Sir Bernard Lovell December 14th 1945 70 years ago using ex army radar equipment he was given two weeks permission to use the site at Jodrell Bank. After getting government funding the largest radio telescope dish in the world was completed in 1957, now Grade-1 listed the Lovell Telescope played a leading role in the development of the new science of Radio Astronomy receiving Heritage Lottery Funding.
Used to track the first Russian rocket to the moon following requests from USA and Russia as neither had equipment to track the rocket to prove that it had landed.

 

Early Days at Jodrell Bank

                                    

 

 


Former Apache helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake first British Astronaut to join the crew of the International Space Station for a six months period on the 15th December making him the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years. Tim is one of six astronauts who have been selected from among 8,000 hopefuls After more than three years of training with the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Astronaut Program. He will carry out a comprehensive science program and take part in a European education outreach programme in the build up to and during his mission.
For the first time in 30 years, the UK Government is now showing its support for manned space flight by funding International Space Station operations.
The turnaround came at a European Space Agency ministerial council meeting in 2012, where the UK Space Agency agreed to make a contribution of £16 million.

 

A paper entitled National Strategy: Space Environments and Human Spaceflight, published by the UK Space Agency in July this year, formally confirmed the new policy.

 

Major Tim Peake

 

 

Neil reviewed some recent newspaper articles covering changes to the Earth's magnetic field and the possible effects.

 

Review of 2014-2015

 

Topics covered

 

Origins of the Universe,
Earth/Sun Atmosphere and Magnetic Fields,
The Solar System,
Galaxies
Planets, Exoplanets,
Satellites/Telescopes,
Asteroids/Meteorites/Comets,
Space Missions,
Dark matter, Dark Energy,
Constellations,
Black Holes, Nebulae, Gases.

 

Visits

 

Jodrell Bank Radio Telescope 28th March 2014,  2nd September 2015
Discovery Centre
Arboretum

 

National Space Leicester Centre 6th May 2015


Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium largest in the UK.
The iconic 42 metre high semi-transparent  Rocket Tower, which is clad in high-tech ETFE “pillows is home to Blue Streak which was used as the  first stage of Europe’s first satellite launcher program, Europa. It was launched for the first time in Australia in 1964, and Thor Able rockets.

 

Space Guard Centre Knighton, 2nd October 2013, 3rd September 2014
The National Near Earth Objects Information Centre

 

Drax Project
The aim of the DRAX project is to install and operate a 24 inch Schmidt Camera (from Cambridge) at the Spaceguard Centre to conduct a wide field sky survey to detect Near Earth Objects. This instrument was built in 1950 by Grubb-Parsons of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

 


The group had a lively discussion around some of the above areas.