Castle Point Astronomy Club
1969-2019 - 50th Anniversary Year
Castle Point Astronomy Club Diary
May 2019 by Dave Stratton
Castle Point Astronomy Club


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Wednesday 1st May 2019

Tonight we had a May Day Astronomy Quiz. It was hosted by Andy T with Chairman Mike as score keeper and referee.

After four rounds of various astronomy questions, one team emerged victorious, much to their surprise.

Wednesday 7th May 2019

Mike said that our Open Day would be 2nd June.

Andrew said that next week we had an outside speaker - Chris Jones with Things that go Bang! In the Night.

Andrew said he was looking after us this evening with: Warp Drive - a Discussion

He began by saying that with our current technology our most distant probe was Voyager which had managed a meagre 1 light day in 40 years.

He explained very eloquently that he thought we should have a kind of thought experiment where we could travel anywhere at all with infinite speed and so be there instantly. So he wanted to know where we would go and why.

One of the things we should remember is that if say you went to an object that was 1 million light years away then when you arrived it would of course be ‘now’ and it may not be there anymore! However if you looked back at the solar system it would appear as it was 1 million years ago – before ‘us’!

Perhaps we should play safe and go to Titan – at least we could expect it still to be there.

Gord said he wanted to go to the far side of the Moon where it would be great for astronomy and very quite even from Earth’s radio emissions.

Andy wanted to go to a globular cluster and see what the Milky Way looks like from there, he surmised that if you went far enough you could see the solar system forming.

Mike imagined seeing Betelgeuse explode and being able to watch it do so repeatedly and if you got good enough at controlling your means of transport you could watch it in slow motion!

Cynthia wanted to land on a comet - although this has been done it was just a robot that experienced it.

Peter wanted to go to the edge of the Milky Way specifically to see how distance affected the way we see the star patterns.

Len wanted to have a look at an Exoplanet of similar size to the Earth.

Mike wondered how we might gauge life – years ago we used SETI now we can analyze a planet’s atmosphere using spectroscopy. We need to remember that Earth is the only safe place to live.

Trevor wanted to go to Mars and see what really happened to Beagle.

Mike fancied going to Cygnus X1 and having a good look at a black hole. We need to remember that communication with Earth would be impossible.

Paul wanted to go to the edge of the Universe and see if it looked the same.

Allan wanted to go to the furthest galaxy in the Hubble Deep Field and look from there.

Ken said he wanted to go somewhere where there were intelligent people who spoke English – this is of course a pipedream - we don’t even have that here.

Dave H said he wanted to go to a multiple star system to see what it looked like with lots of suns.

Mike wanted to get up-close to Omega Centauri – WOW! Also to swing by Stephan’s Quintet.

Andrew really wanted a good look at M51.

It is likely that objects such as the Ring Nebula would be too diffuse up close.

Cynthia wanted to get up close to Saturn particularly the ring system.

Gord said we should be very careful if we got to the edge of the Universe and there was nowhere else to go…………………………………………………

Scary but wonderful!


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