G.A.S Juniors meets on the third Wednesday of every month from 7-8.30pm. The meetings are lots of fun and give young people a head start in their astronomy journey.

As well as introducing proper meeting etiquette (agendas, role call, governance structures etc), the meetings include presentations, speeches, videos, star gazing and cookies & snacks afterwards. All the G.A.S Junior members also have the option to borrow the group telescope.

Whilst the Observatory is out of action the meetings are conducted in members homes. Either contact John Drummond for more information or fill in this form to join G.A.S Juionors and be added to our email list for updates and meeting locations.

We encourage new members and we’d love to see you at our next meeting.

G.A.S JUNIORS COMMITTEE

 

President: Zoe Stallmach

Vice President: Forester King

Astronomy Adviser: Angus Bodle

Secretary: Pearl Ruston

Treasurer: Niamh Stratton

IT Managers: Zoe Stallmach & Ronan Thompson

Belt Grading System 

G.A.S Juniors has recently introduced a grading system. Here are the requirements for passing each grade:

White Belt

  • Point out Sirius or Achernar (depending on the time of the year)
  • Point out the Southern Cross and Pointers
  • State the various phases of the Moon
  • Point out one planet
  • Point out Orion or Scorpius (depending on the time of the year)
  • State where north, south, east, west are
  • Pass the White Belt academic test (get at least 70%)

 

Yellow Belt

  • Show how to use a planisphere
  • Point out Canopus
  • Point out Antares or Betelgeuse (depending on the time of the year)
  • Point out the Diamond Cross and the False Cross or the Great Square of Pegasus (depending on time of year)
  • Point out Canis Major or Sagittarius (depending on the time of the year)
  • State what the magnitude system is and point out stars of magnitudes 0 to 5
  • Pass the Yellow Belt academic test (get at least 70%)

 

Orange Belt

  • Point out Rigel or Acrux (depending on the time of the year)
  • Point out Aldebaran or Altair (depending on the time of the year)
  • Point out Taurus or Ophiuchus (depending on the time of the year)
  • Point out one star cluster in the sky (your choice)
  • State what the Right Ascension (RA) and Declination (Dec) system is
  • Find a given target on a star chart by being given its RA and Dec and then point it out in the sky
  • Pass the Orange Belt academic test (get at least 70%)

 

Green Belt 

  • Point out Castor and Pollux or Vega (depending on the time of the year)
  • Point out Regulus or Fomalhaut (depending on the time of the year)
  • Point out the Gemini or Aquila (depending on the time of the year)
  • Point out three different star clusters in the sky (your choice)
  • Find a given nebula on a star chart by being given its RA and Dec and then point it out in the sky
  • Find a given variable star on a star chart by being given its RA and Dec and then point it out in the sky
  • Pass the Green Belt academic test (get at least 70%)

 

Blue Belt 

  • Find five new constellations during this three month period and learn them off by heart
  • Find ten new stars during this three month period and learn them off by heart
  • Make a sketch of a comet – and try to work out its magnitude (using naked eye, binoculars or a telescope)
  • Take a photo of a constellation and then show it to us at the next GAS Junior’s meeting
  • Take a star trail’s photo and show it to us at the next GAS Junior’s meeting – explaining what’s happening
  • Monitor a given variable star for three months (using RA and Dec, locating, then monitoring its magnitude)
  • Pass the Blue Belt academic test (get at least 70%)

 

Brown Belt 

  • Be able to point out most constellations that you are asked to
  • Be able to point out/or name any star brighter than magnitude 1 (one) that you are asked to
  • Do one meteor shower observation (for one hour) from home or a place that’s okay with your parents
  • Help do an occultation as an asteroid passes in front of a star – hopefully observe and time it
  • Find 10 NGC / IC objects on a star chart by being given their RA and Dec and then pointing them out in the sky
  • Monitor 5 variable stars for 3 months (using RA and Dec, locating, then monitoring their mags on a graph)
  • Pass the Brown Belt academic test (get at least 70%)

 

Black Belt 

  • Be able to point out any constellation that you are asked to
  • Be able to point out/or name any star brighter than magnitude 2 (two) that you are asked to
  • Find >6 Messier objects on a star chart by being given their RA and Dec and then pointing them out in the sky
  • Find 20 NGC / IC objects on a star chart by being given their RA and Dec and then pointing them out in the sky
  • Monitor 10 variable stars for 3 months (using RA and Dec, locating, then monitoring their mags on a graph)
  • Be able to use any telescope told to – change eyepieces, focus, slew/move to a target, and then centre target
  • Pass the Black Belt academic test (get at least 70%)