University of Birmingham Astronomical Society

ASTROSOC - Meeting Every Thursday!

Category: AstroSoc (page 8 of 11)

Themed Observing: Meteor Showers

Starting with a talk on meteor showers by Callum Bellhouse, we’ll then be going out looking to the skies to try observe meteors, with both the end of the Taurids and the start of the Leonids expected to be visible. Or, if the weather is unfavourable we’ll have a contingency plan. Finishing in Joe’s.

Thursday 14th November, Nuffield G13, 7.30pm.

Vale Fireworks

Come along with AstroSoc to the annual Vale Fireworks! We’re meeting outside the Nuffield building at 7.30pm for people who live close to campus, or on the Vale at roughly 8.00pm, outside where Mason Hall meets Edgbaston Park Road. Thursday 7th November, 2013.

Talk: Recreating the Big Bang by Professor David Evans

Recreating the Big Bang with the World’s Largest Machine – the LHC at CERN.

The 27km Large Hadron Collider (LHC), situated 150 metres under the Swiss-French boarder at CERN near Geneva, is the World’s most powerful particle accelerator.

Protons (hydrogen nuclei) are smashed together at 0.999999991 times the speed of light recreating, for a tiny instant, the violent particle collisions which would have existed less than a billionth of a second after the Big Bang. At the end of each year, lead nuclei are accelerated and collided in the LHC producing the highest temperatures and densities ever made in an experiment and recreating the exotic primordial soup which existed at the birth of our Universe.

Professor David Evans, from the University of Birmingham, will explain the physics behind the LHC, what we expect to learn and summarise the latest results. His talk will include some audience participation and demonstrations with niquid nitrogen and is aimed at all age groups.

7.30pm, Thursday 31st October 2013, Arts 120 Large Lecture Theatre. Hot drinks provided, followed by observing, weather permitting, and finishing in Joe’s. All are welcome.

Film Night: Moon

Sci-fi drama Moon is our chosen film for the evening, centring on Sam Bell, an astronaut working on the moon who faces some unusual problems.

Do come along to see what’s guaranteed to be a great film, followed by observing, weather permitting, and finishing in Joe’s. Thursday 24th October, 7.00pm, Nuffield G13.

Undergraduate Talk: Living on Mars

by James Delaney

Join us as we explore the possibilities of life on another planet! Just a month after 200,000 people applied to spend the rest of their lives on the red planet, we discuss just how possible such a venture would be, and what problems would be colonists would face.

Thursday 17th October, Nuffield G13, 7.30pm. Followed by observing, weather permitting, and finishing in Joe’s.

Starting Astronomy

Astronomy 101: everything you need to know to get you started observing the night sky. Thursday 10th October, 7.30pm, Nuffield G13.

A History of Observing by Paul Carter,
How a Telescope Works by Hayley Floyd.

Followed by observing, weather permitting, and finishing in Joe’s.

Welcome Meeting

Come along to meet out society and committee and see our telescopes, with refreshments and an astronomy news quiz! Thursday 3rd October, in Nuffield G13 (opposite the Poynting Physics building).

Followed by observing, weather permitting, or a chance for a drink and a chat in Joe’s bar if cloudy.

Weather Balloon Launch

After reasonable success with our weather balloon launch in June, achieving cloud level and taking some excellent pictures of the campus, but failing to come close to out target height of 30km, AstroSoc will be making another attempt at sending our (new) balloon and camera into the stratosphere to photograph the curvature of the earth.

Come along to watch the launch in what should be a great end to Fresher’s Week, with high hopes of some spectacular images, and a chance for those new to the university to be introduced to our society.

Launch will now be on the 5th or the 6th, but this is weather dependant. The wind speed needs to be low, not gusting, and in the right direction. Final confirmation of launch will be via the mailing list, our website, Facebook and Twitter.

Annual Dinner

Our Annual Dinner will be on Tuesday 11th June at the Edgbaston Golf Club with guest speaker Prof Paul Newman, head of the Birmingham Particle Physics group. For £35, we’ll be having a formal 3 course meal with wine on the table; to reserve a ticket please email

-Homemade Seasonal Soup with Rustic Bread (v)

-Roast breast of free range chicken, crushed potatoes, baby gem and herbed chicken jus
-Tomato and courgette tart, aubergine tapenade, chive cream sauce (v)

-Glazed chocolate tart with mango sorbet and hazelnut tuile
-Seasonal fruit platter with sorbet (v)

(v) – Suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans

Kielder Trip

On the 7th-9th of June, AstroSoc is planning a trip to Kielder, near the Scottish border. In a dark sky area, claimed to have the lowest level of light pollution in England, it should be great for observing, and a pleasant relax a week after exams are over, in a lovely area dominated by the Kielder Water, the UK’s largest artificial lake, and surrounded by Kielder Forest, in the Northumberland National Park.

We will be going on the Friday afternoon and coming back on the Sunday, with observing on a night and the beautiful scenery to enjoy during the daytime. We will be camping at the Bellingham Camping and Caravanning club site- tents will be provided, but please remember to bring your own camping equipment! If anyone has any particular requests for sleeping arrangements (e.g. a non-mixed gender tent) please contact a member of the committee as soon as possible.

The cost of the trip will be £44 per person, which includes accommodation and minibus hire, but please remember to bring plenty of money with you for your own food and drinks; particularly for local pubs.

To sign up please email before Thursday 23rd May at 10:00pm with your name, mobile number, name and contact details of your next of kin and any medical conditions if applicable. Arrangements for payment will be confirmed closer to the time.

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