Rhessi and the Sun

This is the theme of the talk by our President, Dr Mark Toner, on Tuesday 8th January 7pm, at The Georgetown Community Centre.

The Rhessi spacecraft, which advanced our knowledge of the Sun, has now been retired and Mark offers his insights on this.  The Sun is an area of astronomy that Mark is especially qualified to speak on having completed his PhD at Glasgow University on the subject!

Happy New Year to all members.



“All you need to know about Meteors”

I’m not sure whether our guest speaker, Hayden Goodfellow, who works at the Kielder Observatory will be able to cover every aspect of this subject, but hopefully by the end of our meeting on Tuesday 11th December we will be a little more informed before the Geminid Meteor Shower peaks this week on 13th and 14th.

Georgetown Community Centre 7pm as usual.

Please give Hayden, who has been very supportive of our events since he was an astrophysics student at St Andrews University, a good turnout!

Is there life on other planets?

I’m not sure whether Dr Pete Edwards of Durham University who will be speaking to us on the evening of Tuesday 13th November will address this point, but the talk he is giving is on the subject of Extrasolar Planets.  It sounds fascinating and we are very grateful to Pete for coming all this way to our meeting.  Let’s hope for a good turnout!

(As usual- Georgetown Community Centre 7pm.)


Dates for Your Diary

I hope all our members have been enjoying a good summer and I’m glad now to post details of our meeting dates for the 2018-2019 season.

September – Please note no meeting on Tuesday 11th but an outing to The Edinburgh Observatory is planned for Saturday 29th for their Open Doors Weekend.  I suggest we go by train, leaving from Lockerbie Station just before 10.00am.  Book a place on our Facebook event if you intend to go.

October Tuesday 9th 7.00pm.  Member Mike Perry “What we know about the stars and how we know it – Looking into the astronomer’s toolbox”

November  Tuesday 13th 7.00pm. Dr Pete Edwards (University of Durham) “Extra-solar Planets”

December Tuesday 11th 7pm. Hayden Goodfellow (Astronomer Kielder Observatory) “Minor Bodies in the Solar System

January Tuesday 8th 7pm. Member Mark Toner “Reading the Sun”

February Tuesday 12th 7.00pm. Professor Sheila Rowan (University of Glasgow) (no title yet but Sheila is a leading international researcher in the field of Gravitational Waves)

March Tuesday 12th 7.00pm. The Big Astronomy Quiz

April Thursday 11th NB no Tuesday meeting on 9th –Yuri’s Night Dumfries Museum, speaker Science Writer Duncan Lunan “Incoming Asteroid” Time to be confirmed.

May Tuesday 14th 7.00pm. AGM.

In addition we hope to arrange a few viewing nights over the winter part of the season.  One of our members suggests publishing a date (which will inevitably rain) but secretly going for another one when it may not!!

Please support this year’s programme of events.

(All meetings at Georgetown Community Centre, apart from April 11th.)

Please also invite anyone you know who may be interested, to our meetings.

Steven (secretary)


Dumfries Astronomy Society AGM 2018

All members and officials of our Society are invited to attend our Annual General Meeting which takes place on Tuesday 8th May at The Georgetown Community Centre, 7pm.

Formal business will be kept to a minimum!

One of the main purposes of the meeting is to pool ideas for our future programme in a friendly, relaxed setting.  It would be good if anyone has ideas about events that have not been tried before, which might bring in new people.



Yuri’s Night, Thursday 12th April, 7pm, Dumfries Museum. “Runaway Rockets and Other Space Disasters”

This annual event celebrates Yuri Gagarin’s first space flight which took place on 12 April 1961. Join the Dumfries Astronomy Society for a talk by Dr John Davies, astronomer at the UK Astronomy Technology Centre. Refreshments will be served.

‘A look back at failures over 50 years of rocketry and space travel. We will see how chance, engineering error and unforeseen circumstances can turn success into failure in the blink of an eye and learn how human ingenuity has sometimes snatched missions, and astronauts, back from the brink of disaster. Featuring runaway rockets, crippled satellites, what really happened to Apollo 13, saving space stations and the ‘curse of Mars’.

An evening not to be missed!