Castle Point Astronomy Club
Castle Point Astronomy Club Diary
November 2017 by Dave Stratton
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PageID DiaryEntry 201711 "

Wednesday 1st November 2017

Andrew said that next week we have a quiz with himself and Martine running the show.

Peter said there was going to be the Geminid Meteor shower on 14th Dec. The peak would be at 02.00 on 15th and the ZHR could be 130. He was planning a group event to our Dark Site and would put notes out nearer the time.

Andrew chose Ed as our first participant in the Stikfest.

We saw a nice sketch of Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy. It showed the comet in two locations as it moved in time and said that it was theoretically possible to compute the orbit from its changing position.

We also saw his sketch of Comet 2014 E2 Jaques showing its positional change in an hour.

He also showed us some pics from the last village fair including several of our worthy members including Paul and his lady wife.

We also saw a star chart showing the retro section of the orbits of both Uranus and Neptune. They are in the same area of sky. He pointed out their locations and said he actually managed to see them both. He used 200 times power and saw a tiny disc.

Jim had a star trail image that was actually showing Comet 2017 01 ASSASSN – he explained that it was a stacked image. We also saw the Little Dumbbell and NGC1501. Also Saturn from 26th March 2007 when it was well placed and Jupiter in April when it was near opposition.

Cosmin was next with some images achieved with a hand held DSLR whilst visiting his parents in Bulgaria. He said the area had splendid skies with no light pollution so his image of the nearly full moon was stunning. We also saw some shots showing the Milky Way where he had illuminated foreground buildings in one case and some forest trees in another creating an excellent scene. The shots included M31 and the Double Cluster. He included a pic of himself and his fiancée with a large heart shape that he engineered with his mobile screen.

Andy Duffield had a super image of Mellotte 15 which needed 30 hours of exposure. Another image showed Venus, Mars and Mercury. He also showed us some eclipse images from his recent trip to see the one in America. He stayed in Madras, Oregon he showed us the location on his map depicting the track. We saw a series of images from first contact with some wonderful shots of the Diamond Ring effect and of the total eclipse with a super corona – he finished with a superb panorama showing the images in sequence. He also had several moon images showing earthshine plus the California Nebula which took 20 hours of exposure.

Dave Smith had some superb sunset images taken from his garden in Maldon.

Wednesday 8th November 2017

Andrew said that we still need ideas for our programme. Ron said he would do a brief guide to our kit. Concern was raised over photos that are marketed as if by Patrick Moore, but it appears to be a con so beware.

Gord said that as we were discussing cons we should not be tricked into buying a star.

Andrew said that this evening´s entertainment was to be provided by Martine and himself with a quiz:

CPAC Astronomy Quiz

We were split into four teams with Mike adjusting the membership to make it fairer.

Round 1 - Solar System

  1. How Many degrees is the Earth´s axis tilted by? 23.54 (will accept 23)
  2. Which part of the Earth´s surface is spinning fastest? The equator
  3. What is a superior planet? A planet whos orbit is outside the Earth´s (e.g. Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune)
  4. What is a transit? When one planet passes in front of another. (e.g. Mercury or Venus across the Sun´s disc)
  5. What is an Occultation? When a transit blocks out the light from another body. Normally used to describe the Moon obscuring a planet or a star. An eclipse can be described as an occultation.
  6. Which planet does Triton orbit? Neptune
  7. Which planet´s moons are named after Shakespearean characters and characters from Alexander Pope? Uranus
  8. Which is the least dense of the gas planets? Saturn
  9. How many officially named dwarf planets are there in our solar system? 5
  10. Which planet exhibits extreme global warming due to its thick atmosphere of carbon dioxide? Venus

Round 2 - Constellations. What do the following represent:

  1. Taurus? The Bull
  2. Cygnus? The Swan
  3. Cassiopeia? The Queen of Ethiopia, Andromeda´s mother.
  4. Cetus? The sea monster/whale
  5. Hydrus? The water snake
  6. Vulpecula? The fox
  7. Delphinus? The dolphin
  8. Monoceros? The unicorn
  9. Camelopardis? The giraffe
  10. Norma? The carpenter´s square

Round 3 - Cosmology

  1. How old is the universe by current estimates? 13.8 billion (accept +or – 0.1)
  2. What is z a measurement of? Redshift
  3. What is an Einstein-Rosen bridge commonly known as? A wormhole.
  4. What is big G? The gravitational constant? 6.67408 x 10 -11 meters cubed/kg-1/s-2
  5. What does the Hubble constant describe? The expansion rate of the universe.
  6. What is quasar short for? Quasi-stellar object
  7. What do telescopes located in salt mines detect? Neutrinos
  8. What caused the CMBR? The Big Bang
  9. What are Top, Bottom, Up, Down, Strange, Charm descriptions of? Quarks – sub-atomic particles (Fermions)
  10. What do cosmologists believe is responsible for most of the matter in the Universe? Dark matter

Round 4 - Spaceflight

  1. How many people have visited the Moon´s surface? 12
  2. If you were launching a rocket from the equator, in which direction would you launch for the greatest thrust? Due East
  3. Which planet is entirely populated by robots? Mars
  4. Which Apollo crew went furthest from the earth? Apollo 13 crew
  5. What was the name of the first probe to go through the asteroid belt? Pioneer 10 15th July 1972
  6. Which was the first space probe to record sound on a solar system body other than the Earth? Huygens
  7. What does SOHO stand for? Solar and Heliospheric Observatory
  8. What is the name of the probe currently orbiting Jupiter? Juno
  9. Which company launched the Falcon 9 rocket? Space x
  10. What is the fastest probe ever? Helios 2 probe heading for Sun at 70.22 km/sec

Round 5 This was an evil one as we were told that the answers had to be exactly correct or we would lose all points for the round – nasty. Pot Luck Round

  1. The ecliptic runs through 13 constellations in a band, which were named by the ancient Greeks, 12 of these are known today as what? Zodiacal band
  2. What is the missing 13th constellation called? Ophiuchus
  3. What are Amor, Aten and Apollo examples of? Near Earth asteroids
  4. Rosetta carried a landing probe, what was it called? Philae
  5. A Russian town was hit by an airburst meteorite in February 2013. What was the name of the town? Chelyabinsk
  6. Who created the Caldwell catalogue? Patrick Caldwell Moore (will accept Patrick Moore)
  7. Who first proposed the heliocentric model in the 16th century? Nicolas Copernicus
  8. Which wavelength of light is the longest? Red or blue? Red
  9. Which definition of twilight occurs immediately after sunset? Civil
  10. State Newton´s third law. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Results - The scores were 28, 37, 49 and 51. I´m proud to say that our team got the 49 and we had our youngest and newest member Ella (12) with Michelle and Chris her parents on the team.

Great stuff


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