West Midlands Federation of Astronomical Societies

Birmingham Astronomical SocietyHeart of England Astronomical SocietyWalsall Astronomical SocietyMidlands Spaceflight SocietyWolverhampton Astronomical Society

Welcome to the West Midlands branch of the Federation of Astronomical Societies. WeMFAS is made up of the the astronomical societies listed below. Follow the link provided to visit the web site of the participating Society.

For further information about WeMFAS telephone the Secretary Andy Salmon on 0121 565 4845. For comments and suggestions concerning this web service please contact the WebMaster. Affiliated to the Federation of Astronomical Societies.

Member Societies:

Adventure The Gamut of Surprises of Universe

Discovering space is truly interesting and fascinating. In the early 1990s, a certain belief persisted, related to the expansion of the entire Universe. The Universe is occupied with matter and the strong gravitational force attracts and holds all matter together. In 1998, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observations revealed that the Universe was expanding at a slower pace than it is happening today. So it can be noted that the Universal expansion has not been reducing as we expected. Instead, it goes on accelerating even with the gravitational pull. Many theorists came up with various explanations and novel ideas. Einstein's theory of gravity contained a version named ‘cosmological constant.’ It explains the existence of a strange energy-fluid that filled the entire space. Einstein's theory of gravity could be wrong somewhere. A new theory has yet to come across to explain the cosmic acceleration. Theorists are still pondering on the matter and now they have concluded with an entity called dark energy. When it comes to astronomy, it deals with the positional measurements of celestial objects. The exact knowledge of the positions of the Sun, planets, moon and stars is necessary in the making of calendar. Amateur astronomers have also contributed to a certain extent in this field. They can even discover comets and associated celestial bodies and conduct observations of moving stars.

Latest Communication Satellites (SATCOM)

Connect CommunicationsThe WGS constellation applications include providing wideband communications to soldiers, airmen, marines etc. It also help to avail point-to-point connection anytime and anywhere around the world. One of the unique characteristics of WGS is that it can simultaneously support X and Ka (frequencies) band communications and can provide seamless connectivity across these bands. The communication system is also deployed for military operations. Delta 4 rocket has launched from United Launch Alliance, which carried the seventh satellite to be the part of the Air Force Wideband constellation.

Recent Spaceflight news

A robot landed on a comet in deep space. This is made possible by the European Space Agency. Rosetta pushed the comet lander, named Philae away. The robot was put into the correct path to reach the comet. It took several hours to descent to the comet’s surface. An image of Rosetta was received from Philae and the data regarding the measurement around the comet. Since the comet was far about, five hundred million km away from earth, on the very same day, it was pretty difficult to establish the communication between Rosetta and controllers. It took half-an-hour for the communication. After say, a few hours, it landed again on the comet. Then before bouncing a second time finally came to rest. The data from Philae's instruments and photos from Rosetta can be used to determine the exact position where it landed. The orbiter ‘Rosetta’ still continues its revolution around the comet and it will continue to evaluate 67P using its science instruments, at least till December 2015. Scientists can easily monitor how the comet changes from the data collected by the orbiter.

Astronomy and Spaceflight Message Forum