Steve Broadbent

Friday 22nd April 2022

Steve is the Chairman of the Hants Astronomical Society and he began his talk by telling us about their Observatory.  They have quite a set up near Portsmouth, with 5 domes each housing a different size telescope from a 5″ refractor to a 24″ reflector.

They also have a club house where they hold talks once a month.  Students from the local University also use one of the telescopes to learn spectroscopy and the BBC has filmed there.

He showed us spectrographs of various objects in the night sky, both monochrome and colour.  Stars, nebulae, galaxies, our sun and even the planets in the solar system.  From these you can determine the elements in the objects.  It was fascinating stuff.  You can even work out the speed at which a body is moving.  Only the night before he had taken readings of Andromeda and worked out the speed at which it is moving towards us.  Using the speed of light, 186,000 miles per second and a formula to help with the calculation, he had come up with a quarter of a million miles an hour.  This equates to 68 miles per second!!!  We’re alright for a while yet, so there is no need to panic.

He answered our questions and thanked us for asking him to speak.  We wished him well with the work they do.