Programme for the 2021-2022 Season

We hope all members have had a good summer and it’s good now to be able to publish details of the new season.

September : No meeting on the 2nd Tuesday but an observing night is planned for an evening during the last week of the month depending on the weather. This will probably be at what is known as Castle Corner at the end of the Glencaple Road, Caerlaverock, but further details and information will follow. (The plan was originally to have a members’ meeting at Lochvale House but because of the high number of Covid cases in D and G presently, and the fact that members might be wary of planning an indoors meeting, we thought it best to go with an observing night this month instead.)

October 12th Lyn Smith (Director of the Solar Section of the British Astronomical Association) “The Red Sun”

November 9th Paul Money, “Wonders of the Solar System”

December 14th Jonathan Shanklin, “An Astronomer in Antarctica”

NB October, November and December talks all on Zoom!

January 11th, Professor Sheila Rowan (Glasgow University) “Gravitational Wave Detection – The Future”

February 8th David Ramshaw (Carlisle Club) “Measuring Distances in Space”

March 8th Professor Lyndsay Fletcher, “Solar Telescopes and their Science”

NB January, February and March are all planned as speaker visits to Lochvale House.

April Yuri’s Night (Still to be arranged)

If you know anyone interested in joining our Society please encourage them so that we can give them further details and information!

Steven (Secretary)

PS I indicated at the last AGM that after this year I will be taking a break as secretary so please consider if you may be prepared to take on this position for the 2022-2023 season.

Agenda for Annual General Meeting for 2020/2021 to be held online on Zoom on Tuesday 11th May 2021, at 7pm.

  1. Welcome by Chairperson

2. Minutes of the 2019/2020 Annual General Meeting and any Matters arising from the Minutes

3. Secretary’s Report

4. Treasurer’s Report

5. Election of Officials

6. Future Programme

8. Any other Competent Business

(Please do attend if you possibly can. The discussion about the programme of what we can offer in the new season after the Covid Pandemic has hopefully subsided will be especially important)

AGM 2021

The Ingenuity helicopter exploring Mars (NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS)

We’re having our AGM on 11th May at 7pm. We’re still meeting virtually and so this will be on our usual Zoom channel. If you don’t have our usual Zoom settings and you want to have a say, email us at the address in the contact box on the right of the page. Then we can put you on the email list for a reminder of how to take part.

There will be reviews of our last very strange year and some ideas for the year to come. If you’d like to offer help in getting our society’s activities to happen, let us know at the AGM and we’ll sign you up. All are welcome to contribute to the good running and improvement of our club.

See you on Tuesday 11th.

Ad Astra

This is the title of our talk on Tuesday 23rd March when Howard Parkin, of The Isle of Man Astronomy Club, will speak to us on Zoom. Ad Astra, “To The Stars” focuses on the several interstellar space craft that will leave or have left the solar system and are voyaging on to deep space, to be found possibly, at another time in a distant galaxy!

Our talk begins after introduction at 7pm.

This is the last meeting for the 2019-2020 season although we plan an AGM in May for the season that has just gone. Traditionally we hold this on the second Tuesday in May and the present plan is to hold this on Zoom.

The 2021-2022 season will allow us to get back to Lochvale House, Georgetown, hopefully.



Astrophotography – A Beginner’s Journey

This is the subject of our meeting this month, Tuesday 9th February at 7pm. Our new member, Alistair Scobie, has kindly agreed to offer this as his presentation.

Alistair will cover issues like:

*What equipment he’s used and his reasons for selecting it.

*An introduction to the technical issues in assembling an astrophotography set up.

*Illustration of the system’s capabilities using images he has taken.

*And finally…… where do I go from here?

Alistair sent a lovely photo capturing his subject in an email but it lies beyond my IT know how to get it from email to appear as an image on this site, unfortunately. I’m sure Alistair will share this at the beginning of his talk however!


(March meeting. Please note this will take place on Tuesday 23rd March, not the second Tuesday as usual. Our speaker will be Howard Parkin from the Isle of Man Astronomy Society whose subject is ‘Ad Astra’. His talk will look at the spacecraft launched from earth that are destined to leave the solar system and found by forms of intelligent life in distant galaxies just possibly!) This will again be hosted on Zoom.

The Star of Bethlehem



Brother Guy Consolmagno SJ is Director of the Vatican Observatory and the President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation. He is a native of Detroit, Michigan, received SB and SM degrees from MIT, and earned his PhD in Planetary Sciences from the University of Arizona. Along with more than 200 scientific publications mostly in the field of meteorites and asteroids, he is also a monthly columnist in The Tablet and the author of six popular astronomy books, most recently (with Fr. Paul Mueller) Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial? which includes a lengthy discussion of the topic covered in this talk. In 2014 he received the Carl Sagan Medal from the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences for excellence in public communication in planetary sciences.

Zoom Login Information:
Join us on Zoom by following the link below. We shall also be streaming to Facebook Live.
Meeting ID: 236 509 2814

View on Facebook live by typing Edinburgh Jesuit Centre into Facebook
For more information contact

Tuesday 15 December 7pm

Members should by now have received the Zoom log in details for tomorrow. The original intention was to offer a quiz followed by a short AGM but in view of the fact that two of our key office holders can’t now make it tomorrow evening, we shall have to go for the AGM on the evening of our January meeting instead.

Because the Zoom time is limited to 45 minutes (7.00-7.45) I am sending an invitation as well for a second meeting. I don’t want to ruin anyone’s Christmas by not having time to give the answers if we run over the 45 minutes!

Steven (Secretary)

December Programme

You know what they say about London buses – you wait ages for one to come and then 2 or 3 come at once! It’s a bit like that this month because we have 2 meetings scheduled on successive Tuesdays for all members who are able to join us online.

On Tuesday 8 December at 7pm we have a talk by Dr Pete Edwards of Durham University who spoke to us a couple of years ago on the subject of Exoplanets. His theme on this occasion is dark matter and dark energy, so appropriately his talk is entitled, “The Dark Side of the Universe”.

On Tuesday 15th, also at 7pm, we offer a short Astronomy Quiz followed by an AGM, which we hope we might get through fairly speedily given the fact that it has to be conducted online. We usually hold our AGM in May but of course that coincided with lockdown when our meetings had been suspended.

If AGM’s are not your scene please consider coming online on Tuesday 15th at 7pm anyway, as I hear that Santa may be putting in an appearance that evening!

Mark should have sent out the Zoom details for next Tuesday, but if anyone hasn’t received these, please send a message to our Facebook page.