Annual Meeting 2019

It was back to our more usual date of Saturday the 15th of June 2019 for this year's meeting at the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge.

Members can expect the usual meeting report in a future issue of the DSO, but we'd like to thank everyone who came along.

A Special AGM

We'd like to offer our thanks to Bob Argyle who stood down as the Webb Deep-Sky Society President at the AGM this year. Bob has served for many years and is the second President of the Society. Bob will remain as the Director of the Double Star Section.

The AGM elected Owen Brazell to assume the President's role, so we'd like to wish him the best of luck in the new post. He remains the Director of the Galaxies Section, and as the Editor of the DSO.


We hope you all enjoyed the talks and on behalf of the Webb Deep-Sky Society we would like to thank all of this year's speakers.

We welcomed back our Nebulae and Clusters Section Director, Wolfgang Steinicke, to talk about the work conducted at Birr Castle in Ireland during the 19th century in his talk Lord Rosse and Deep Sky Astronomy at Birr Castle. The scope and quantity of the observations produces with impressive, and they helped to set the foundations for modern astronomy and concepts in astrophysics.

Still recovering from his surprise at being given the Webb Deep-Sky Society Award at the AGM, Andrew Robertson told the story of his journey towards observing Double Stars for Fun. A tale of telescopes and variable seeing, he explained his thoughts on the optimum equipment for doubles and the source of his excitement in the pursuit. Naturally he was overrunning, but I didn't mind, it was an engaging talk echoing many of my thoughts on doubles... but now I need another telescope.

After lunch we were brought Update on Light Pollution by Bob Mizon in an extremely interesting and engaging presentation: Bob's a fun speaker who's animated about his subject. The topic was of obvious relevance to the assembled deep-sky observers, but not just for astronomical reasons. We can't afford to continue damaging the environment and our own health in this way, that much was clearly spelt out.

Dale Holt followed on to explain just how cheaply you can go very deep into the night sky with Video Astronomy. Going Deep on the Cheap. It's quite obvious how much Dale loves doing what he does: drawing from the screen rather than image capture. It's not traditional deep-sky observing, but for the cost of a single high end eyepiece it's amazing what you can uncover. Dale has some wonderful observations under his belt.

And on the topic of untraditional, George Sallit raised a few eyebrows with CMOS, So What! I think the imagers in the audience found something to think about regarding effect of these new sensors on typical workflow and tracking demands. I suspect there were a few die-hard visual dobsonian fans who's ears pricked up at the though of 1 second sub-frames...

Our professional keynote talk was given by Professor Gerry Gilmore from the Institute of Astronomy on Gaia, the 3D Galactic Census. Professor Gilmore's talks are lots of fun with plenty to think about and a health dose of humour thrown in too.

It seems that Gaia has reached the end of its primary mission! Fortunately its in much better condition than its builders anticipated and it probably going to give us another five years and three times the data expected: three billion stars!!

This talk covered a sample of the work that the data Gaia has produced to date has enabled: Professor Gilmore's highlights. When combined with data from the current array of instruments this work is astounding, as it the precision possible.

Trade Stands

Thank you to our stall holders for turning up with their wares.