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Talk - Lewes Astronomers

On August 29, 1975, if you had been gazing at the firmament in the direction of the constellation of Cygnus at precisely the right time, you would have witnessed what looked like the birth of a new star. It’s one of the few documented times that a nova has exploded to such a magnitude that it could be seen with the naked eye. In his talk to The Lewes Astronomers tonight, Dr Robert Smith from Sussex University, will be explaining the phenomenon of novae in a lecture called ‘Stars That Go Bang In The Night’. "Witnessing a novae explosion is a once in a lifetime event," explains Robert, "so I shall be focusing on dwarf novae which explode more frequently although not so violently. They can rise in hours and often only stay at their brightest for just 24 hours." So, when an explosion is spotted in actual space, cyberspace ignites, and within hours, amateurs around the world swing their telescopes into action and watch the show. The lecture will last for about an hour and cover the best ways to observe such a celestial event as well the physics behind the explosions (gravity, apparently, and Dr Smith warns that the science will be pretty detailed). The evening will end - cloud cover permitting - outside with a look at the current empyrean treats.

We’d love to see some new people come along,’ says Alice Smol from The Lewes Astronomers who organises these monthly lectures. ‘Southover Grange is a beautiful building and there’s tea and coffee for everyone.’ Intellectual stimulation, gorgeous surroundings and a caffeine high - all for £2.50. JM

Reassuringly explosive: stellar damage, late at night
Southover Grange
When? 8pm
How Much? £2.50/£1 members
Lewes Astro
(t) (01273) 477441
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