Autumn Messier Challenge

Calling all NLO members – come along to the Observer Group Messier Challenge!

We will attempt to find the 96 Messier objects that should be visible in one night between dusk and dawn at this time of year

Plans are for the night of Saturday 29 October  – Dave Alexander is coordinating so please contact him if you are interested. He will give full details at NLO members meeting on Friday 27th

The Sound of Music

This Month’s talk – 9th May at 19:30.

While the Ancient Greeks gave the mathematical basis of perfect intervals in music over two and a half thousand years ago, there are still many considerations (not all understood) that influence and affect how we experience music today. These include culture, memory, familiarity, setting, acoustics, physics, mathematics and psychology – to name but a few. In this introductory talk (with many audio examples), I’ll look at just one aspect – the physics and mathematics of sound. From this, can we scientifically explain concepts like dissonance/consonance in music? How is this related to the Western 12-tone scale? What has this to do with MP3 compression? Or maybe music just transcends any crude scientific reductionism?

Restored 19th Century Orrery

NLO members, John Bardsley, Bill Hitchings & Pete Youd have spent the last year restoring this wonderful 19th century Orrery to full working order. It was donated by Howard Anderson, a member of the British Sundial Society.

On arrival it consisted of a painted wooden base, the Sun and Mercury and the clockwork mechanism but no other planets. Pete restored and french polished the base. John who is a master watchmaker/repairer, worked on the mechanism,repaired the gears and made new arms. Bill restored the Earth and the Cambridge Design Partnership 3D printed Saturn and the remaining planets (this orrery also includes asteroids, Ceres, Pallas, Vesta).

It is believed to have been made in Germany circa 1895, but we would be grateful for further information about this remarkable model of the solar system.