Last night's meeting was a great success. We had a good turn out for the first meeting and it was nice to see some new faces coming along to find out what we are all about.
Our new format seemed to work well, and stimulated plenty of discussion, even to the extent that we ended up squeezing the time available for our main topic. The news round up concentrated on the launch of the COROT space telescope and the recently announced 3D map of dark matter in the universe.
We introduced observing targets for the first time. Over the next month our targets are in the area of the constellation Leo. We are looking for people to observe and photograph if possible; M65 & M66 in Leo, Saturn & Titan, and M44 The Beehive Cluster in nearby Cancer. More on how to find those objects in a later post. At out February meeting we'll discuss how people got on with those objects, and set some more targets for the next month.
After some impressive photographs from CAS Members, and a short refreshment break, we finally arrived at our main topic for the night . . .
Bill gave us an excellent talk and demonstration of astronomy software. Ranging from simple text based ephemeris software, through planetarium software, to realistic solar system simulation software, there really was something for everyone. Best of all Bill applied his usual selection criteria . . all the software is free!
We also launched our new membership scheme at the meeting, and it was great to see so many people signing up for full membership. That kind of commitment will allow us to improve both our programme (with more guest speakers) and our equipment available for members to borrow.
All in all an enjoyable meeting.