The big news this week has been the fly-by of Mercury by NASA's MESSENGER Probe. The timing of the flyby provided us with our first look at the side of Mercury that was in darkness when Mariner 10 imaged the planet of 30 years ago. Emily Lakdawala has all the the latest analysis and images at the Planetary Society.
There has also been plenty of coverage at Bad Astronomy, Space Spin, Cumbrian Sky and Astroprof's Page to name but a few. More images at our January meeting.
Universe Today reports that Burt Rutan's X Prize winning company, Scaled Composites, has been found at fault for the explosion that killed three of it's workers working on the successor to Spaceship One.
Discovery of the 271st extrasolar planet TW Hydrae b was announced earlier this month. Meanwhile Centauri Dreams considers when we may be with respect to extra solar planets by 2020.
Also check out this week's Carnival of Space.
Nothing new to report this week. Full moon on 22nd January, so not the best time for deep sky observing even if the sky was clear. If you get chance check out Mars close to the moon tonight, and Saturn 3 degrees north of the moon on 25th January.
January meeting 29th January. I'll be covering the latest space and astronomy news and giving a short talk on the subject of Asteroids.
I'll also be asking for ideas for activities this year and asking you whether you can help out the society by joining the Committee. We are always in need of people to help out, and several of the committee members are struggling with other commitments at the moment. Being on the committee does not mean you have to stand up and talk, or know lots about astronomy. It's about using the skills and experience you have to help the society. You could help by; posting to CAS News, organising and storing society equipment, taking minutes at meetings, arranging guest speakers, looking after the society's accounts, writing articles for local press. I'm sure there are other things you can think of. . .
Look forward to seeing you on the 29th.