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!




Help and Presence of our Members appreciated

Dr Fiona Wilson, curator of the Dumfries Museum, has been in touch to ask if any of our members can come to lend a hand at an event on Saturday 24th March, which is entitled “Earth Hour”.  The aim will be to do some observing led by Elizabeth Tindall, Freelance Ranger so please bring a telescope if you have one.

Please contact Fiona if you’re able to go.  I’ve posted the details below:


Saturday 24 March 2018,
8.15 – 10pm
Earth Hour
Join us for the global Earth
Hour party, highlighting the
need for action on climate
As the lights are turned
off, we will be stargazing
and moon watching with
freelance ranger, Elizabeth
Tindal, followed by hot
drinks, fun star trails and
making activities inside the
museum. Wrap up for all
weathers. If it is raining there
will be alternative indoor
activities. Suitable for all
No booking required.

Fiona Wilson
Museums Officer, Access
Communities Directorate
Dumfries and Galloway Council

Contact details:
Dumfries Museum
The Observatory
Rotchell Road
Phone 01387 253374 (ex 65044)

How Big is the Universe?- Our Night at the Movies.

How big is the Universe?  This is what we’ll be trying to get our heads round on the evening of Tuesday 13th March, Georgetown Community Centre, 7pm.

After an intro by yours truly, Mark Toner has been looking at some of the scientific presentations online which deal with this biggest of all subjects and will be showing some of them to us.

Volunteers to bring round the ice creams during the interval?!!



Feb 13th -“What happens next? The Future of Gravitational-Wave Astronomy”

Not sure if our own members have detected any gravitational waves recently, but this will be the title of our February talk by Professor Martin Hendry.  Martin, who is a frequent speaker at our club, is the Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics at the University of Glasgow.

I hope we’ll get an excellent turnout for such a keynote speaker.

Meeting at Georgetown Community Centre at 7pm



Happy New Year to all our members

Breaking news – Our calculations of the size of the Universe have now been put on hold until our March meeting! – Are you still working on this to the nearest decimal point, Mark?  This is because we have a speaker from another astronomy club in January.

Tuesday 9th January 2018 Meeting a Georgetown Community Centre 7pm.  David Ramshaw, from the Carlisle Astronomy Club has kindly offered to share with us some of the things they are doing over the border.  Thanks to Neil for facilitating this.  This will be a good opportunity as we embark on another calendar year to offer suggestions about what we might look to in our own programme.

All welcome!

Tuesday 13th February 2018 Georgetown Community Centre 7pm Professor Martin Hendry, Professor of Astrophysics and Cosmology will be our speaker.  Not to be missed!





Observing Night Tuesday 12 December at Carsethorn

Mark Hennessy, one of our members, has kindly invited us to use the grounds of his home, where he has a small observatory, to do some observing of the December night sky.  His home, called The Barracks,is right at the end of the road past the pub.

We’ll aim to make a start if the weather is kind to us at around 7pm.  Either go to Mark’s house from around 6.45pm or assemble on the car park opposite the pub.

Please reply to this thread to say if you are planning to come so Mark has an idea of numbers.  We can also share transport from Dumfries.

Plan B if the weather is adverse is to catch up on Astronomy and/or share some social time together at The Steamboat Inn.




November – The Eclipse Megamovie

Reminder to all members and present non members interested in attending:

On Tuesday 14th November 7pm at Georgetown Community Centre our guest speaker is Hugh Hudson from The Physics and Astronomy Department of Glasgow University.

Hugh’s talk will be on the Eclipse which took part this summer, which reached totality in many parts of the USA.

One of our members was also in the USA to observe this and this promises to be a meeting that is not to be missed.