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See below for the latest news from Caithness Astronomy Group........

02 October 2019Astronomical Alchemy

Join chemist and amateur astronomer Gordon Mackie, and well known and popular speaker at CAG events Mike Lunan, for this astronomy linked celebration of the International Year of the Periodic Table of Elements (IYPT 2019).
The first part of the evening will introduce the Periodic Table of Elements, and with some audience interaction, illustrate how the elements form an often overlooked part of our everyday lives. There will then be a short break for some night sky observing (weather permitting) and refreshments.
The second half of the presentation will outline the astronomical processes that generate the chemical elements, before finishing by highlighting the significance of a small selection of the elements from an astronomy perspective.
Children are very welcome if accompanied by a parent or guardian.



26 August 2019“An Astronomer’s Guide to the Periodic Table”

"An Astronomer’s Guide to the Periodic Table" - 2019 marks the International Year of the Periodic Table - the famous diagram used to display the chemical elements that make up our universe.  Over the past century astronomers have learned a great deal about where these elements come from – including remarkable new discoveries about the cosmic origins of precious metals like gold and silver.  What is less well known, however, is the crucial importance of many rare elements underpinning the cutting-edge technology astronomers use to study the universe.  In this talk join Professor Martin Hendry MBE as he takes a whistle-stop tour of the periodic table, and how its elements have helped us reveal the mysteries of the cosmos.


24 August 2019Dark Skies Event: Family day at Forsinard

24 August 2019“From Standing Stones to Blasting Rockets – Scotland is Off to Space!”​

“From Standing Stones to Blasting Rockets – Scotland is Off to Space!”​ (RSPB Field Centre, Forsinard, Fri 13th Sept - 7.30pm start) - Global Space Industry is in a time of a radical transformation and is no longer the exclusive business of global superpowers or multi-national corporations. In this talk by Matjaz Vidmar from the Royal Observatory Edinburgh, we will link the rich History of Astronomy and Space Science in Scotland to examine exciting new developments in our ambition to follow these trends and expand our Space Sector; looking in particular at how we join together entrepreneurs, engineers and scientists, with some help from long-established institutions and new ventures. However, building a Space Industry ecosystem is not trivial – after all, who said it was not rocket science? (http://www.theflowcountry.org.uk/calendar/)



24 August 2019“Charles Piazzi Smyth: The Man Who Was Proven Right”

“Charles Piazzi Smyth: The Man Who Was Proven Right” (200th anniv of his birth) ​- Amongst other achievements credited to 2nd Astronomer Royal for Scotland, Charles Piazzi Smyth (1819-1901), are two innovations: on one hand significant improvements of a distributed time service in the city Edinburgh, and on the other hand advancement of empirical Astronomy through setting up mountaintop observatories. But it was not all plain stargazing – in this talk by Matjaz Vidmar from the Royal Observatory Edinburgh, we examine the persistent critical tension between the astronomer’s work on their “civic” and “academic” duties and the reason why it took nearly 100 years before Charles Piazzi Smyth’s idea of mountaintop observatories took off.

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