Society for Popular Astronomy

Foredown Tower Astronomers relocation
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Author:  mike a feist [ Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:01 am ]
Post subject:  Foredown Tower Astronomers relocation

The old FTAG - Foredown Tower Astronomy Group- that became the FTA- Foredown Tower Astronomers- when they left the Foredown Tower when the building was threated with closure in about 2008, has since then been located at Emmaus in Portslade Old Village. However, from March 2019 the meetings will again be based at the Foredown Tower Camera Obscura in Portslade, thanks to an arrangement with PACA - Portslade Aldridge Community Academy - Adult Education. They will continue to use the FTA name, logo and committee system as recently. Four members of the astronomy group also work as volunteers at the Camera Obscura and this move is looked on as a very positive step, a return to "its spiritual home", making observing easier and having a proper base where the astronomers & skywatchers can be reached between the monthly meetings. Regards maf

Author:  David Frydman [ Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Foredown Tower Astronomers relocation

That is good news, Mike.


Author:  Cliff [ Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Foredown Tower Astronomers relocation

I've only just noticed your FTA post.
Like David says, it sounds good news.
By the way I think the SPA membership, which I think was more than 3,000 only a few years back is possibly dwindling a bit now unfortunately. Not long ago I made a very rough guestimate that there are about 13,000 amateur stargazers in the UK. As it happens one of my interests is watercolour painting. I have never got involved with any art organisations myself, but I get one or another artist monthly magazine occasionally. One such recent mag mentioned the existence of a (presumably countrywide) Amateur Artists Society with a membership of 43,000, I think it said.
Best wishes from Cliff

Author:  mike a feist [ Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Foredown Tower Astronomers relocation

Cliff and all: there are now lots of astro- mags on the newstands, everything can be looked-up on the Internet, the subject itself has been divided up into lots of sub-subjects, and not many members actually seem to do any observing. Those that take it seriously mostly seem to be imagers (nothing wrong with that, I suppose) rather than eye to the eyepiece skywatchers like me. The weather itself seems to have collapsed recently too, and the chance of seeing the sky on any particular night very low indeed. On top of all that most people probably live in a town with lighting on all night, and lots of it. I could go on and on, but will not. But would add that my feeling for skywatching is more akin to that of the 1960s rather than the modern whizz-bang wonders of spacetravel, and goto scopes etc. Each to their own, of course, but personally, skywatching is a refuge from the mad rush of crazy humanity into oblivion. Of course it could be that I am just a grumpy old man now! Regards maf.

Author:  Cliff [ Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Foredown Tower Astronomers relocation

Although we probably have somewhat different approaches to star gazing (particular now I really only observe the Sun) I think I have many similar feelings as yourself. I won't witter on (again!) about some relatively recent "security lighting" up grades very near our house. Since I'm not up to night sky observing now. But if the lights had been introduced half a century earlier I would never have become an enthusiastic amateur astronomer.
I also probably suffer from "Grumpy Old Man" syndrome because I've been thinking now for quite a while that "Modern Astronomy" is more like Sci-fi than Astronomy years ago.
I recall as recently as 1987 I got a 200mm scope with the ambition of seeing Pluto myself. Now Pluto doesn't even qualify as a "proper planet". People are glued to their computers finding yet another exoplanet. If anybody ever gets to visit one of them They might get a surprise or two - getting back home might be an even bigger surprise !
Best of luck from Cliff

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