I am writing to you on behalf of the Highlands Astronomical Society about our concerns involving a new development of 16 houses just 400 m from Culloden battlefield where we have our observatory. Although planning permission was rejected by the Highland Council, this has since been overruled by the Scottish Government.
The battle of Culloden in 1746 was a pivotal moment in Scottish history resulting in the destruction of a whole way of life and the depopulation of the Highlands, known as the Highland Clearances. The bleak moorland upon which the battlefield stands has been kept as close as possible to the way it would have looked hundreds of years ago and now engenders an atmosphere of sorrow and despair for the thousands of men who fell in combat. This includes keeping all lighting to a minimum to ensure the night sky appears as it did during the night march that proved so costly to the Jacobites.
Although the new houses will be replacing barns, it still means the disturbance of the area and of the many bodies which probably still lie where they fell. Although there are only 16 houses, if given planning permission, this may set a precedent and an avalanche of buildings may follow along with lights to further ruin the night sky. Our observatory is on Culloden Battlefield land leased to us by the National Trust for Scotland; it is easily accessible from Inverness and, at the moment, the skies are dark enough to be able to see the Milky Way.
Dark skies are as much a part of our heritage as the Battlefield and as such should be protected.
We would therefore ask if you and your members would please sign the petition which you can reach through our website at: www.spacegazer.com or directly by following:
The Hunt for The Higgs-Boson
Dr Pauline Gagnon
Anderson High School have invited Dr Pauline Gagnon of CERN to visit Shetland. She will be giving a public lecture at Lerwick Town Hall on Saturday 30th November at 19:00 on The Hunt for the Higgs-Boson. Entrance will be free.
Hope to see some of you there.
We apologise to our users for the extended period of website downtime recently. This was due to a migration of the website to the macastrofix.info servers.
Our previous web hosting package was eating up a large portion of SAS funds. While searching for more affordable solutions Mike and Anna Breimann very kindly offered to host the site for us on their own web space. Shetland Astronomical Society would like to thank Anna and Mike for their generosity and kindness.
Please take time to visit Mike's site at www.macastrofix.info as its an excellent source of astronomical news, tools and information
Professor Martin Hendry, Head of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Glasgow University arrived in Shetland this weekend to undertake school visits and a public lecture at the invitation of Shetland Astronomical Society, funded by the Royal Astronomical Society.
Professor Hendry visited Anderson High School on Thursday 20 Jun and spoke to some 40 Standard and Higher Grade students. He visited Aith Junior High School in the morning of Friday 21 Jun and spoke to around 40 students, mainly Standard Grade, then went on to Brae High School where he spoke to around 20 Higher and Standard Grade pupils. Professor Hendry then moved on to Sandwick Junior High School and spoke to around 40 Standard Grade students in the afternoon.
Professor Hendry then gave a public lecture at the Shetland Museum and Archive on 22 June, which was attended by just over 60 members of the public including Shetland Astronomy Society members, Anderson High School, Mid-Yell, Sandwick Junior High School, and Brae High School students and teachers. There was an extended Q&A session after the lecture and a subsequent chance for attendees to engage in conversation with the Professor.
Students and public found the lectures both informative and entertaining, as Professor Hendry took his audience on a whistle-stop tour through thirteen billion years of cosmic history covering pulsing and exploding stars, dark matter, dark energy and the very latest theories of the Big Bang.There were a number of particularly insightful questions asked by students during the school visits, which gave both lecturer and student the opportunity to display the respective depths of their understanding.
The Shetland Astronomical Society Website will soon be in the hands of
a new Web Administrator - Andrew.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our visitors and
contributors for their loyalty and support over the last few years
and would like to wish Andrew all the best with the site for the
I`ll not be disappearing from the web , you can keep in touch
and see my new projects on my Youtube Channel austroastro
Of course you can also keep in touch on the Shetland Stargazer site
I hope to spend more time creating space models , building robots
and ( of course ) doing astronomy !
Following on from their letter in the Daily Telegraph signed by fifty top UK scientists, calling for an increase in research and development spending to at least 0.8% of GDP, "Science is Vital" are delighted to announce their accompanying Petition (see the link below). In the next few months, the Government will make key decisions about how to dispense funds for the next few years, the petition is to remind them that science is vital for the UK.
Solar Storms and Northern Lights
Dr Lyndsay Fletcher (Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Glasgow) visited Shetland on Saturday 2 March 2013
and gave a public lecture on the above topic .
The lecture was held at the Shetland Museum and Archives.
To find out more about Lyndsay please click here
A report from the lecture will be following soon !
Past Events in 2012 :
Shetland Rover Team Back from Glenelg (Earth)
For more info -
please click here
Prof.John Brown (Astronomer Royal for Scotland ) , 15 September 7.30pm at Shetland Museum and Archives
The title of John's lecture was 'The Magic of Gravity and the Structure of the Universe'
Professor Charles Cockell ( Astrobiologist ), 1 September 7.30pm at Shetland Museum and Archives
Charles spoke about 'The Search for Life Beyond the Earth'
You can find the report under SAS-Events or please click here
Please click on the speakers` names for more information .
Please contact Paul (firstname.lastname@example.org ) to register your interest and to keep informed .
For the latest information about Dr. Ken Rice`s talk
please visit the Images-Events-SAS Shop section .
Information can be found under SAS Events - SAS Event from 17.03.2012 with Dr. Ken Rice .
Thank you to everyone who visited our site to see the live stream !
There where so many of you that the site couldn`t cope at times ,
so sorry if you weren`t able to get through .
The Sky was cloudy at first , but we were able to see Venus quite well
a few times and managed to see the final stages and the exit in their entirity .
Special Thanks to our Pals in Cornwall
( Roseland Observatory ) , for their support !
We had the better weather this time , next time it`s your turn !
Also a special thanks to our two pioneers who braved the weather
and climbed stormy hills !
( Chris Brown who has sent us two beautiful pictures that you can see
in the Images section , and Chris McGinlay who fought strong winds
to keep his equipment on the ground !!
Please visit the G+ Shetland Stargazer site
for Chris`s report and images ! )
Thanks again to all....
The SAS Team
Many thanks to Paul Hughes from the Roseland Observatory in Cornwall for sending us this dramatic photo of the Orion Nebula !
Exposure time was more than one hour .
He used a combination of 18x3 min , 1x30 sec , 1x 15 sec , 1x2 sec exposures and used layering in PhotoShop to show the Trapezium due to the huge dynamic range of the nebula .
Please visit www.zenfolio.com/paulh101
Picture By Chris Brown .
In Trondra 20.00 - 21.30
To see a short film of the aurora please click here .
Send these in to a committee member, we'd love to find out what you see.
Here you will find some astronomy podcasts from my website at www.unpossible.info.
They are purposely brief, just giving you a few ideas on what to view over the following couple of weeks. More information and some links to items mentioned are to be found at www.unpossible.info. If you like the podcasts, please visit the page on www.unpossible.info and give it a +1.
This free event was held in Edinburgh
A set of three DVDs, covering the whole day's event is now available.
To order your copies or for more information,
please click here .
The attached file contains details of the day`s programme ! !
Russian Moon Rover
The very first remote controlled rover in space !! ( 1970 )
Please contact us if you need help or want to comment on this site , or if you would like to add anything astronomy - related to this webpage .
Links from this site are provided for your information only. We are not responsible for the contents or reliability of the linked websites and do not necessarily endorse the views expressed within them. We cannot guarantee that these links will work all of the time.