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2011 Programme

Meetings are held at Birnie Village Hall near Elgin. Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Non-members are always welcome and refreshments are provided (for a small donation).

SIGMA regularly holds public observing sessions at its dark site outside Elgin. Visit our Upcoming Events page to see what we have planned.

7th Jan: Armageddon 1st July: Solar Barbecue
4th Feb: History & Evolution of Astrophotography 5th August: Programme Change
4th Mar: Development of Astronomical Instruments 2nd Sept: Big Telescopes
1st April: Proving Einstein Right 7th October: Equipment & Observing Night
6th May: Three Men in a War .... 4th November: Super-massive Black Holes
3rd June: - Annual General Meeting 2nd December: SIGMA Christmas Quiz

Fri 7th January: Armageddon - Ian Brantingham (SIGMA)return to top
SIGMA member Ian Brantingham continues his talk from 2008 and delves deeper into the lives of comets, asteroids and what can happen when things get in their way, including Earth!

Fri 4th Feb: History & Evolution of Astrophotography - Eric Walker (HAS)return to top
Highlands Astronomical Society member, Eric Walker, returns to show us how astrophotography has changed throughout history and how imaging has now become accessible to the amateur astronomer.

Friday 4th March: Development of Astronomical Instruments - Julia Kennedy (ROE)return to top
Julia Kennedy is studying for a PhD in Astronomy working on materials for instrumentation. During her talk Julia will give an overview of the development of astronomical instrument through the years including a demonstration of how and why these operate at low temperatures. The improvement of astronomical images by these instruments will be shown and more details of some of the current technologies being built at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh.

Fri 1st April: Proving Einstein Right - Ian Morison, Jodrell Bankreturn to top
The current Gresham Professor of Astronomy, Ian Morison will be giving us a gentle introduction to Einstein's theories and how astronomers have been testing his predictions. Observations partly made by the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank have provided two of the best tests ever undertaken.

Friday 6th May: Three Men in a War, and the One who Came After - Howie Firthreturn to top
A look at how modern Science was born in an apocalyptic war that devastated parts of central Europe, with the journeys of Descartes and Kepler through it and the battle fought by Galileo - and the way in which the work of all three was brought victoriously together by Newton.

Friday 3rd June: Annual General Meeting - SIGMA Membership return to top
A chance to recap up on what SIGMA has been doing in 2010/2011, Committee elections and a look forward to the rest of the year.

Friday 1st July: Solar Barbecue - SIGMA Membershipreturn to top
With summer in full swing (hopefully) the plan for tonight is Solar Observing while munching on burgers and hot dogs. There will be a range of telescopes at your disposal to observe our nearest star. (Weather permitting).
A bad weather backup of a presentation is planned in the event of poor observing conditions.

Friday5th August: Programme Change
Prof Robson has had to cancel his talk but hopes to reschedule it another time.  Bill Leslie and Alan Tough have agreed to step into the breach with talks, Pete will present an extended Moray's Night Sky and Stewart will present an enhanced Space News.

Friday 2nd September: Big Telescopes - Bill Ward (Glasgow University)return to top
Bill will be showing us some of the Big Scopes he's had the good fortune to work with throughout his professional career. These range from Siding Spring - Australia, Mauna Kea - Hawaii, to Las Palma in the Canary Islands.

Friday 7th October: Equipment and Observing Night - SIGMAreturn to top
A chance to see what equipment is available and to ask any questions you have. There will also be a chance for some Lunar observing of the 10 day old Moon.

Friday 4th November: Super-massive Black Holes - Prof Ian Robson (Edinburgh University)return to top
Ian will outline our place in the Universe, describe the discovery of active galaxies and give a simple overview of Black Hole - galaxy interaction.

Friday 2nd December - SIGMA Quiz, SIGMA members & families! return to top
Yet another night of fun and mince pies to finish off 2011.

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