MPAS Meeting December 2020

Society monthly meeting held at The Briars Mount Martha observatory on 20201216 and held according to prevailing COVID-19 venue restrictions in place.

Meeting introduction and rundown of past month and coming month events, including video footage of the loss of the giant Arecibo telescope in Peurto Rico, was given by the President, Dr. Peter Skilton.

The talk then followed by member, Ross Berner, who is also the section director of the astrophysics and cosmology group of the Astronomical Society of Victoria. The topic was “Supernovae”.

Vice President, Mark Stephens, then presented “Sky for the Month” in the lead up to the grand conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn this month. Then Dr. Sky Murphy presented online about “12”.

Short educational videos were then shown by Peter Skilton as follows:

Return of the Japanese Hyabusa spacecraft asteroid sample in Woomera. Footage is credited to JAXA, ABC News Breakfast/Nate Byrne & Prof. Masaki Fujimoto, and to

The first flight of Elon Musk’s SpaceX SN8 Starship. Coverage is credited to CNET.

Footage during COVID-19 lockdown of the total solar eclipse this week over Chile and Argentina. Courtesy of CNET,, ESO and astrophysicist, Dr. Gianluca Masi.

Explanation of “Why is Glass Transparent?” by Prof. Phil Moriarty, Physicist at Nottingham University.

A musical closure then followed, courtesy of musical director, Diana Clark, and the Cadence Choir of Black Rock, delivering “Dust from a Million Stars” sung a cappella. This piece was written by Community Choir Leaders Victoria, and the video with it is of the “Chronology of the Universe” credited to OpenMind BBVA organisation.