The 2013 BAA Winchester weekend

The 2013 Winchester Weekend was held once again at Sparsholt Agricultural College, Sparsholt, Hampshire. The event got off to a good start on Friday evening with Dr Chris North telling us about results from Europe’s Cosmic Explorers. The Saturday morning talks were by Dr Johanna Jarvis on Exoplanets and Dr Brooke Simmons on Citizen Science, and after lunch there was a meeting of the Historical Section. Mike Frost, the Director, introduced presentations by Bob Marriott, Lee Macdonald and Paul Haley.

The highlight of the weekend was, as ever, the Alfred Curtis Memorial Lecture which this year was given by Dr Simon Green from the Open University on the subject of ‘Near-Earth Asteroids – A matter of life and death?’ The speakers on Sunday were Dr David Arditti telling us about the latest developments in planetary imaging, Bob Mizon on the Campaign for Dark Skies and Dr John Bridges updating us on Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory.

Overall the weekend provided an interesting mix of talks by amateur and professional astronomers. We were fortunate on Saturday evening to have clear skies and many people resisted the temptations of the bar to observe and image Comet PanSTARRS, which at that time was conveniently close to M31.

The programme for Winchester 2014 is now complete with what I hope will be an equally interesting line-up of speakers and topics. See the details on the back cover of this Journal. On Saturday afternoon there will be a meeting of the Asteroids & Remote Planets Section. Astronomia will be in attendance again with tempting items for sale, and the BAA Sales stand will have some new publications.

Societies are encouraged to bring their display boards. And finally, if you have had any interesting experiences (of an astronomical nature!) or obtained new results during the past year, remember to come prepared to tell us about them during the members’ session on Sunday afternoon.

A booking form is included in this issue of the Journal. If the 2014 weekend is as popular as this year’s event, early booking is strongly advised.

Ann Davies, Joint Course Organiser


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