Tuesday, February 04, 2014

An evening of comets

Last night for a complete change we headed over to Kendal Museum for a meeting of the Eddington Astronomical Society, which Dave is quite keen on joining.  He'd been to one of their events, an 'open telescope/star gazing' evening, a couple of years ago, but work commitments and general 'life' have got in the way of taking it any further.

The Society hold regular meetings on the first Monday of the month, at the Museum, with a range of talks, guest speakers and presentations.  Last night it was the turn of Nick Howes, an amateur astronomer specialising in comets, who spoke about his work, recent discoveries in the field, and his drive to popularise astronomy amongst school children.

The talk wasn't one of the best.  Mr Howes seemed to find it difficult to divorce himself from his subject matter and every time we heard something fascinating about a new comet discovery, or a new discovery about an old comet, he tended to veer off and tell us how he made the discovery, how this furthered his career, and which important people he spoke to in the process.  As an exercise in name-dropping it was brilliant, but as a serious talk about comets it left something to be desired.  However, it was still a fun evening out, with a free cuppa, a chance for Dave in particular to chat to some like-minded people, and a chance to look round some of the Museum's wide range of exhibits at 'half time'.  Dave will definitely be going again.  I'm not quite so sure.

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