Monday, November 14, 2005

WOLAS Meeting

I attended a superb meeting of the West of London Astronomy Society (WOLAS) tonight. Proceedings kicked off at roughly 8pm at the St. John Ambulance Centre in North Harrow - a venue which the society has recently started using. It's a great location and the venue is very nice and spacious. Today we had Dr. John Murray, a research lecturer from the Open University, who is part of the Mars Express team, talking to us about his research on Mars. He is a Volcanologist and has been analysing the data returned from Mars Express and doing some very interesting work and analysis on surface structures, volcanism on Mars and the evidence of water on and below the Martian surface. He took us through many interesting slides showing comparative features on Mars and Earth and pointing out major differences or similarities between surface features on both planets. The evening finished off with the societies observing competition which had some really fine entries from JJ and others showing pictures of Mars taken on their telescopes.

I am looking forward to receiving my 5 meter USB2 cable through the post tomorrow. I should be able to use it to hook up to my telescope without having to sit outside in the cold. The length of the cable will allow me to perch myself on the dining room table and control the imaging device remotely from indoors. Ah, nice and warm.

I'm going to try and get a few nights in at the University of London observatory this week and next week. They have some really superb equipment there and whilst I'm still a student of Astronomy at UCL I hope to take good advantage of the facilities before my course ends next summer. They have a spread of telescopes to use from a 24" refractor to a 24" reflector, a Meade LX200, Celestron 14" reflector and a plethora of other great gadgets and 'scopes.

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