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Airdrie Astronomical Association was formed on 1st May 2009 by local space enthusiasts. We meet from September to May. Additionally, we are the curators of Airdrie Observatory.
We hope you find our website of interest and invite you to join us at one of our regular Friday meetings or come along to one of our events in the observatory. There is always something happening in our unique Observatory - from class visits, telescope tutorials and guest speakers, to open evenings, kids' activities and special events.
Our Friday night meetings are a great opportunity to meet like minded people with an interest in astronomy and spaceflight.
Enjoy the weekly space news and a range of guest speakers who are experts in their subjects. We also have video nights and offer the opportunity for members to give presentations on subjects that interest them. New members are always very welcome so come along and join in the fun. Children are welcome if accompanied by an adult over 18.
We meet at New Wellwynd Parish Church, Wellwynd, Airdrie ML6 0AG.
FRIDAY EVENING AGENDA:
7:30 - 8:00pm - Space News
8:00pm - 8:30pm - Tea Break
8:30pm - 9:30pm - Main Talk
“Incredibly proud that we have this in our town – Brilliant.”
Curators of Airdrie Observatory
In 2009 AAA took over the curatorship of Airdrie observatory. Our curators William Tennant and Jack Frederick will be delighted to show you our unique observatory.
We have a 6" refracting telescope, which is ideal for viewing the planets and stars in our solar system as well as solar observing. Weather permitting we go to the observatory every Friday following our weekly meetings as well as numerous special viewing evenings and open days throughout the year.
“Fantastic welcome, thank you!”
Alastair Bruce from the Royal Observatory
Becoming a member
“Great resource on your doorstep – great facility”
Becoming a member is easy, simply pick up a membership form at any of our meetings.
Benefits of becoming a member include
borrowing books and equipment
exclusive access to outings not advertised on the website or on Facebook
opportunity to participate in observing the night sky
access to Airdrie observatory outside library opening hours
and much more!
Fees are as follows:
Full Member (Waged / Working) : £15 per annum
Full Member (Unwaged / retired) : £10 per annum
Junior Members (Under 18) : £5 per annum
Family Membership : £25 per annum (Up to 2 Adults and all children under the age of 18)
We ask for a donation towards the room hire of £1.00 from members, £2.00 for visitors, children under 18 are free.
We supply tea, coffee, soft drinks and biscuits for the tea break.
What happens on a Friday night?
Club member Brian Anderton has been recording our meetings so you never have to miss out again!
Join us on Facebook for updates on what's been happening at our meetings!
Friday 9th December 2016
The last club night of 2016 saw the AAA’s year out with a lot of fun and jovial rivalry as we finished off with a quiz.
Our MC for the evening was Isabel, who told us that one of the two the cakes had been brought in by Joyce and Jack and was for Jack’s ‘unbirthday’ - - - actually he’ll be 16 next week, so happy birthday Jack when it comes, and PS Joyce and Jack, the cake was delicious!
We had another lottery win!!! Albeit for the princely sum of £15.10 – better than a poke in the eye and as someone said, double the last win, so going in the right direction.
A second cake and biscuits, (always welcome), were also given by another young member, along with a very nice Christmas card and message. Very much appreciated. Many thanks for these - - - they were delicious! - we hope that you and your family have a wonderful Christmas time too!
Isabel is looking for willing member volunteers to chip in to give a collective of short 10 to 12 minute presentations on subjects, (astronomically linked), which interest them. It might be something that we’ve been meaning to look up / research out of curiosity and which we could share. Names and chosen topics to Isabel on 13 th January 2017 club night. Any offers of longer presentations to Aileen as always.
Isabel reminded us that our annual subs were due early in January, (details on club website www.airdrieobservatory.co.uk and Facebook page).
Lastly, other than next Friday’s prearranged and booked Christmas meal at the Tudor, for those who gave their names and deposits, the club will resume on 13th January 2017.
Space News Our presenter for the evening was Aileen.
First up was the sad news about the passing of John Glenn, who had been the last surviving original member of the Mercury mission crew. In 1962 he was the 1st American to orbit the Earth as pilot of the Mercury-Atlas 6 "Friendship 7" spacecraft and the oldest person to go into space. Born in 1921 he was 95 years of age and leaves a widow Annie Glenn who is 96.
I had wondered, but Aileen – who knows her stuff, explained why so many had posted the words, “God Speed John Glenn”. This is in memory of that fateful day when John left Earth, for the orbiting mission which made him an international hero, as mission control performed its final system checks, test conductor Tom O’Malley initiated the launch sequence, adding a personal prayer, “May the good Lord ride all the way,” to which Carpenter, the backup astronaut for the mission, added, “Godspeed, John Glenn.”http://www.history.com/…/7-things-you-may-notknow-about-joh… . Amongst his many awarded medals, John received the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1978, was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1990. https://www.nasa.gov/content/profile-of-john-glenn
John married his wife, nee Annie Castor in 1943, who herself was awarded a medal by the American Speech and Hearing Association in recognition of her battle against a debilitating stammer and in doing so, for being a profound public inspiration to so many with her campaigning and raising awareness. The actor James Earl Jones was one who benefited from this raised awareness, having bourn a marked stammer as a young boy.
Thanks to Aileen for this short but such moving and encompassing a eulogy and in sharing your detailed knowledge with us.
Next, Aileen took us on a brief trip down AAA memory lane, starting with a photo taken 4 years ago, when membership was smaller than it is today, averaging 20.7 people each week to up to 45 in a single week currently, (Jack has taken over the role of stats man from Gavin).
In 2016, the 120th anniversary year of the observatory – we had regular annual events like Focus On Families and for Culture NL Aileen and the committee nominated and were very fortunate to get astronomy author and guest speaker Will Gator, another successful event was the Hospice Charity event.
An incredible line up of guest speakers, (thanks to Aileen), amongs't which were Pippa Goldschmidt who returned with a creative writing workshop. The 120th anniversary itself was launched by Matt Craig’s film about Gene Cernan and his role as “Last Man On The Moon”, also Will Gator, and no less than three presenters from Glasgow University. All of our speakers, club members and guest have added something very special to our club year.
We had a new curator, the first female curator in the history of Airdrie Observatory, Hannah Malone. We have new club librarians – Jack and Joyce. Brian has slipped, or is that slithered into a new volunteer role of ‘Club Reporter’.
We had the transit of Mercury, kicked off by Robert Law and Hannah - in her new role as Curator.
Visits on open nights from Cubs, church and school parties, Brownies and Scouts all of whom were warmly received and had a great time, thanks to the club committee and those who volunteered to help out.
Aileen also paid tribute individually to all of the club members who had volunteered to give presentations, all of which have been well received and appreciated by their audiences.
With Stuart Winning as quiz master (and provided the tech equipment), the quiz was closely contested with all teams within only one or two points of one another. However, someone has to win and others to lose - - - it was Sandra’s team who won, with James’s team coming second and Ian’s team coming in bronze position, Well done Sandra and team!
Isabel closed this club session and wished everyone a very happy Christmas and a great New Year to come.