BAA Christmas Meeting

Forums General Discussion BAA Christmas Meeting

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    Alan Thomas

    I watched via YouTube from my home in Warrington. A very interesting meeting. Prof Heymans’ stimulating talk on the Multiverse was certainly thought-provoking. Thanks to all involved in setting up and live-streaming this event.


    Alan P Buckman

    I also watched online. I have never made a London meeting and to watch online was a real bonus. The talks were first rate and kept me watching all afternoon. Benefit of YouTube was the pause button which you cannot do live! The format offered need to be continued as it allows for much wider participation. David Arditti in his discussion of the role of President did an excellent job of ‘presiding’ over the meeting. Well done all.

    Daryl Dobbs

    I too very much enjoyed watching on YouTube, all the presenters were excellent and long may the meeting continue to be streamed. Very much appreciated everyone who was involved in streaming the meeting.

    David Arditti

    I am glad the effort (and expense) we went to in order to live-stream the meeting is appreciated.

    This feedback makes me more determined that all future London meetings will be streamed. Those held in other locations may or may not be practical to live-stream, and I doubt we would do it with a multi-day event like Winchester.

    The Christmas meeting can now be watched on the BAA YouTube channel.

    David (President)


    It was nice to get back to a face to face BAA meeting. Going to London for just one meeting is a big undertaking so we paired it with a trip to the RAS Library on the Friday and a quick look around the Science Museum on Saturday morning.

    The talks were very good. I’m not convinced I understood all of the multiverse talk or was convinced by the concept, though it was delivered excellently. The Winchcombe story is fascinating and although I’ve heard this talk given by an astronomer, it was great to hear it given by a meteor scientist, a subtly different slant. 

    Nick James’ Sky Notes were excellent; entertaining and informative. A future BAA President for sure.

    As said above, David Arditti’s discussion about the role of the president was spot on, and I applaud his efforts to open up the BAA, its resources and its expertise to wider audiences. Looking forward to seeing what comes from presidency. 

    Well done to everyone who made it all possible. Thank you.

    Peter Mulligan

    Really enjoyed the meeting which I watched on YouTube last night.  The two Ladies who gave the talks on the Multiverse and the Winchcombe meteorite were excellent.  I had to agree with Nick James on his sky notes wouldn’t it be great if the Hubble space telescope could be upgraded with new state of the art instruments, or would the cost be a bit prohibitive what with all the other upgrades it would need.  I think I will hide under the stairs when launch day comes for JWST!


    Steve Knight

    I was there and really enjoyed myself.  Excellent talks and Nick James’s Sky Notes up to his already high standard.  It was great to see everyone again.  Maybe somewhere else in the Multiverse the “two ladies” are referred to as Prof Heymans and Prof Russell.

    Nick James

    Thanks all for the positive Sky Notes comments. I do appreciate having the opportunity to show some of the excellent work that our members do.

    Oddly enough I am seldom referred to as a gentleman…

    Daryl Dobbs

    Hopefully Nick can be referred to as future president as I think he would be ideal 

    David C Rayment

    I would also like to add my thanks to the team who put together the streaming of the Christmas Lecture.  Having missed the last few due to rail engineering works and then SARs-Cov 2, it was a pleasure to have been able to watch this event live on-line.

    As a supporting member of the Natural History Museum (BM) I feel privileged to have twice had the opportunity to join a small group visiting the behind-the-scenes work area at the NHM where the meteorite collection is kept.  On both occasions we were shown specimens by Dr Caroline Smith who was excellent in her explanations of these different types of visitors from outer space.

    Professor Sara Russell’s mention of the analysis of meteorites through the electron scanning microscope and the x-ray by-product from firing the electrons reminded me of another visit to the NHM where the group on that occasion was able to handle one of the solar panels from Hubble which was brought back to earth by the space shuttle.  These panels, which are basically as thin as crisp or peanut wrappers, have small impact holes. The scientist fire the electrons at the impact holes which reveal the structure of those holes and from the x-ray by-product the scientist are able to tell if the impact material was natural or man-made.  If the impact material was man-made it was likely to be rocket fuel and through the spectral analysis they could determine if it came from an American or Russian rocket due to the different chemical compositions of the fuel used.  I forget the exact ratio of man-made material to natural material but, if memory serves me correct, it was around forty five percent to fifty five percent.  My understanding is that rocket fuel is less of a problem nowadays due to most satellites being placed in geostationary orbits.

    The talk by Professor Heymans was excellent and interesting Sky Notes as always.

    Many thanks,

    David C Rayment.

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