Graham Finch: An idiot's guide to Messier and some of the most beautiful objects in the night sky
October 11, 2019 @ 7:45 pm - 10:00 pm BST
There can hardly be an astronomer that has not heard of Charles Messier or his catalogue of “Messier Objects”. But what of Charles Messier himself?
In the first part of his presentation Graham will provide an insight into the life of Charles Messier explaining how he came to be interested in astronomy and why he ended up becoming famous for observing and cataloguing these objects.
Graham will also explain why these objects are ideal for the amateur astronomer to observe and he will refer to easily accessible resources to assist.
Was Charles Messier lucky or unlucky in his personal and professional life? Well hopefully you will be able to decide.
In the second part of his talk, which will include photographs and short videos, Graham will discuss the astronomical significance of some of these beautiful objects and bring to the fore the contributions of other astronomers whose work was badly overlooked at the time.
Hopefully, following the talk, we will observe some Messier objects with a variety of equipment, if the weather permits!
Graham Finch is a longstanding member of MKAS and a Committee member. He has helped with many MKAS outreach events and often brings equipment along to enable people to view the night sky after our meetings. He also helped MKAS to raise a considerable sum of money for the GP20 project.
His interest in astronomy was first inspired by Eric Jones, a Maths teacher, at Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical School Rochester. Eric organised regular lunchtime lectures in astronomy and also allowed Graham to borrow the school’s 3 inch refractor. It was whilst working in the school library that Graham also came across some of the many astronomy books written by Sir Patrick Moore.
Graham is a keen amateur astronomer and is interested in all aspects of astronomy. He currently describes himself as a “frustrated astro-photographer!” He is also a member of the BAA, the SPA , the Webb Deep Sky Society and the Flamsteed Society.
He says he is an evenly balanced sort of guy – he has a chip on each shoulder!