Special General Meeting and BAA Meeting – Cancelled

Wednesday 25th Mar 202017:00

This meeting has now been cancelled


Doors open at 17:00 with refreshments outside the lecture theatre.

The meeting will start at 17:30 in the lecture theatre and will be finished by 20:00.


17:30  BAA President – Welcome and SGM and OM, notices etc

17:45 Grant Privett – ‘Monitoring Variable Nebulae’

Bio: Grant Privett, a London born amateur astronomer, spent much of his youth observing from a location that had 25 street lights within a 100m radius – so he learnt early the patience that is an essential component of observing. Later, moving to Shropshire, he finally got to see the Milky-Way clearly and took up imaging during the mid-90s writing software for a homebrew CCD system and seeing how far you can push a 10” scope and Polaris mount under decent skies – mag 21.4 and Z=5 in case you wondered.

Along the way he studied astrophysics, but unexpectedly went from there to, variously, work on the interactions of nitrocellulose with nitroglycerine, model reactor cores, galaxy profiling, reconnaissance imaging and, most recently, the surveillance of space. Somewhere along the way he contributed to a paper on oncology and so is convinced that planned careers happen to other people. Currently, he works for DSTL at Porton Down and, really, really, hopes they won’t move site again…

18:30 Dr Andreu Font Ribera – ‘Studying the expansion of the Universe across time’

Andreu Font-Ribera is a lecturer in cosmology at University College London, where he holds a STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellowship. He has led studies of the expansion of the Universe using quasar spectra in multiple international collaborations, like the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) or the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI). These studies have led to a 2% measurement of the expansion rate of the Universe at redshift z=2, i.e., 11 billion years ago.

Abstract: Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is only one of the billions of galaxies in the Universe. A hundred years ago, Edwin Hubble discovered that most of our neighboring galaxies are receding from us, and suggested for the first time that our Universe could be expanding. This hypothesis was soon confirmed with the observations of more and more distant galaxies, and the theory of the Big Bang was suggested to explain the observed expansion. In this talk I will give an overview of what we know about the expansion of the Universe, and how we can use maps of the distribution of galaxies to measure the expansion and learn about the different components of our Universe. 

19:15 Section updates

19:30   Sky Notes – Richard McKim

Bio: Dr Richard McKim is a scientist by training and has directed the Mars section since 1991. He is a specialist in Martian dust storms, having discovered many examples of them in historic archives, and is currently a co-author on a paper submitted to the journal of Geophysical Research on the subject of storm prediction. Richard observes from Northamptonshire with a 41 cm Dall Kirkham telescope. He has written many papers about other planets, and recently retired as Director of the Mercury and Venus Section. He is a past President and past secretary of the BAA and is also serving as a trustee and as the Archivist. He enjoys travel, sketching and playing woodwind instruments in a local orchestra.

20:00   Close

Meetings Organiaser – Hazel Collett


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