he universe is a dangerous place. In this talk Alan Plummer will demonstrate that the observation of variable stars is an exciting endeavour which goes right to the heart of the most extreme star systems in the universe: Violently unstable supergiants, binary systems that regularly explode, X-ray binaries powered by accretion – a process vastly more energetic than hydrogen fusion, aged red giants slowly shaking themselves apart, and more. Amateur and professional astronomers routinely collaborate in the study of these systems. In fact, there has never been more for the amateur to do than today. Only the most basic equipment is required, no PhD, and a dark sky, though desirable, is not essential. Only commitment.
A musician by trade, with a lifelong interest in astronomy, Alan joined the Sydney City Skywatchers - then the BAA NSW branch – in 2001. The words of Dr Wayne Orchiston, ‘you’ll get more from your hobby if you undertake a commitment’, proved pivotal. 16 years and 55,000 variable star observations later Alan is a contributing editor to Australian Sky and Telescope, published in Astronomy and Astrophysics,Astronomical Journal, and elsewhere.
There is a charge to cover the cost of a light supper – $2 for members; $5 for non-members. Bookings are not required.
Disabled Access: Please see Sydney Observatory website because there is a telescope and dome designed to cater for all accessibility requirements. Unfortunately, the Discovery Room where we meet has stairs.
Location: Sydney Observatory, 1002 Upper Fort Street Millers Point, Sydney
04 September 2017
Time: 6:30pm until 8:30pm