West Yorkshire Astronomical Society

WYAS - AimsThe society aims to promote the science of astronomy to its members and the public. We are keen to promote astronomy to all ages and particularly people with special needs and disabilities.The Rosse Observatory is open for visits and members will visit schools to give talks on astronomy. Open nights are held every month throughout the year between 7:30pm and 10:00pm.For further information, please contact the Secretary or any member of the committee. All observatory visits are booked through The Secretary. WYAS meetings are listed in the WYAS web site www.wyas.org.ukWYAS Our Vision for the Future Many people from around the UK have commented that WYAS has been well known in the past for having a vision of the future and a goal to aim for. The early vision resulted in the formation of the club, the building of the Rosse Observatory and the 18-inch reflector. Successive Committees have built on their success by building a large extension with wheelchair access that now incorporates a computer room as well as toilet and kitchen facilities. Equipment levels have also improved year on year following numerous grant applications.The Committees at WYAS have never stood still and we are now following our latest vision of the future. The current vision has a number of different levels. Although other clubs only open up once or twice per month we are still committed to opening our doors on every Tuesday evening apart from the Christmas period and during the August maintenance month. We also open on other nights depending on organised visits and clear skies.The average of four Tuesdays per month are filled with one open night, at least one visiting speaker and two nights where we are free to fill them with whatever we decide. The content of the latter weeks has changed over the years and in 2013 we will be concentrating on talks that take the knowledge of our members to new and better levels of understanding. The talks / discussions will concentrate on astrophysics, planetary science, space flight, and the history of astronomy, astrophotography and any other subject felt by the members to be of relevant interest.The purchase of research grade equipment gives us the opportunity to develop our skills in both CCD and DSLR imaging and photometry. This is a new area for WYAS and we hope that in the future the skills of our members will be developed to the point where research quality photometric results can be forwarded to the nearest archive facilities for use by professional astronomers. We also have ideas, when funds permit, to purchase spectroscopic equipment. As this note is being typed our engineers have worked on the automation of the dome to match the rotation of the 14-inch telescope, effectively making it robotic. This has now been completed and when connected to the computer room in the near future will make things much easier for people with disabilities to control the main telescope whilst carrying out their own projects. The introduction of high speed broadband makes connections to southern hemisphere and other robotic telescopes around the World a real possibility.We have also designed courses to fit the curriculums for the astronomy badges that many children’s groups run (Guides, Brownies, and Cubs etc). We also visit schools and present talks to match the National Curriculum. If you want to book a course for your group simply contact our Secretary to arrange it at [email protected] addition we have a very active astrophotography imaging section (see the gallery for sample images). Equipment varies from DSLR, CCD cameras to a high-end research grade camera. If you want to learn about this aspect of photography we can help you, just come down and meet us.In short we have created an observatory that will permit all aspects of astronomy to be pursued by people of all ages and abilities, irrespective or any physical disabilities. We intend to continue to maintain our unique facility that can be used by anyone interested in astronomy or wishing to acquire new skills.

Website: http://www.wyas.org.uk

Age Range: All Ages

Contact Name: Colin Daley

Position within Organisation: Publicity Liaison

Contact Email: [email protected]

Contact Number: 07850086681

Meeting Venue: West Yorkshire Astronomical SocietyThe Rosse ObservatoryCarleton RoadCarletonPontefractWF8 3RJ

Keywords: Astronomy, space, space science, telescopes,