WADHURST ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY

NEWSLETTER ISSUE 5 2003

INDEX: MEETINGS, OTHER NEWS, CONTACTS

MEETINGS

LAST MEETING

Ian King introduced a friend of his, Peter Simmons who gave a very interesting show including slides and music.
Peter opened his show by displaying a number of astronomy images taken in La Palma. It was particularly noticeable, as Peter explained, how by taking the pictures at a height of eight thousand feet, stars of about magnitude 19 could be resolved, due principally to the fact that the disturbing effect of the lower atmosphere was avoided.
There then followed a delightful series of images, both astronomical and Palma landscapes accompanied by some very interesting music. It was an experience that
I am sure was enjoyed by all present, but one difficult to do full justice to in a written report such as this. You had to be there to fully appreciate it.
Speaking to Peter after the meeting I discovered that he composed the music.
The second part of the meeting was another talk by our Chairman Murray Barber on some of his recent researches into the history of the World War II VI and VII rockets.
Slides were shown of two German men who had worked at the rocket sites near the Hook of Holland. Herr Wunderlich and Herr Schneider were the two gentlemen who have been aiding Murray in his researches, though Murray admitted that sometimes evidence from various sources were conflicting; not an unusual thing in any historical research.
For an astronomical society one of the slides was particularly interesting. A picture of Murray with Herr Schneider in front of a monument built in memory of Keppler, who determined the three laws of planetary motion.
Another German gentleman Murray had met was a Professor Helmuth Franck, who still had in his possession a gyroscope of the type used in the V1 rockets. Professor Franck wished to find a suitable home for this gyroscope, but as no German museum would guarantee it would be displayed, he had ultimately given it to Murray who hopes to find a home for it in the Imperial War Museum. Murray concluded his talk by demonstrating the gyroscope which is still in good working order.
Bob Wharton

NEXT MEETING

The next meeting of the society will be on Wednesday June 18 2003. As usual, the doors open at 7.15 and the meeting starts at 7.30 prompt. In a change to the previously published speaker, we will (hopefully I've got this right! Ed) have the pleasure of Alan Drummond, who will be giving a talk on eclipses.

OBSERVING SESSION

The next observing session is to be held on Friday 27 June. The venue as usual is the Crow & Gate at Crowborough for the slightly later time of 8:00 pm. Please contact Sean (or any other committee member) the night before the event if you will be attending. This is useful so that:
a) We know how many members to expect, we don't want to leave the pub if you are definitely coming!
b) So that you won't be the only person present!

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OTHER NEWS

TREASURERS REPORT

There are still a handful of members who are teasing the treasurer by holding back on their subscriptions with less than a month away from the end of their membership and all the privileges that go with it! If you think you may be one of the few who has not yet paid then please contact the Treasurer before the 30 June.
Ian is rapidly approaching his 3/4 century and is giving plenty of notice that he would like to hand on the post of Treasurer of the society to one of our younger members at the end of October. We may also need someone to take on the office of membership secretary that seems to have been merged with the Treasurer's role over the years. Would any volunteers please contact the Chairman, Secretary or Treasurer, before the present holder of these offices considers that resignation is his only way forward.

SPELDHURST FETE

Just a quick reminder about Speldhurst Fete on 28th June, it is hoped that the society will be able to run a raffle at the event, but we need your help!
The society therefore needs prizes, (non-alcoholic please) to attract the public to our stand. If any member has any unwanted item that would be suitable please bring it along to the June meeting. All donations will be gratefully received by our Treasurer.

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CONTACTS

Chairman: Murray R. Barber 01892 654618 murray.barber@virgin.net

Secretary: Ian King 01892 836288

Treasurer: Ian Reeves 01892 784255

Editor: Peter Bamblett 01732 368656 pbamblett@hotmail.com

Publicity & Web Site: Michael Harte 01892 783292 michael@greenman.demon.co.uk

Dir. of Obs.: Sean Tampsett 01892 667092 sean_tampsett@hotmail.com

Librarian: Joan Grace 01892 783721

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COPY FOR THE NEXT EDITION OF THE NEWSLETTER TO REACH THE EDITOR BY 4 JULY 2003