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The Journal of the British Astronomical Association, 2015 June

Volume 125, Number 3

The total solar eclipse of 2015 March 20, John Brashear and the BAA, and four astronomical book reviews.

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Selected highlights from this Journal:

Also in this issue

John Brashear and the BAA
The British Astronomical Association was founded in 1890, officially on October 1, though it was not until the first General Meeting on October 24 that the name was finally established and the first Council elected. Among those who joined before the end of that year – the Original Members – was the instrument maker John A. Brashear, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
R. A. Marriott

Refereed Papers

Thomas G.E. Elger -- a Victorian populariser of selenography
A biographical sketch of the first Director of the Association’s Lunar Section, Thomas Gwyn Empy Elger (1836-1897). His diverse contributions to lunar studies are placed in context and reviewed against the backdrop of developments and advances in the subject during his lifetime. The methodology he consolidated and developed for amateur selenographical work during his Directorship is also discussed in relation to current studies.
Nigel Longshaw
A seldom-reported lighting phenomenon in the Cichus-Weiss region of the Moon
A brief note in relation to a strange lighting effect captured during sunrise over the Cichus-Weiss region of the Moon by Thomas Gwyn Empy Elger in 1888. A comparable observation made by the author in 2009 is discussed and assessed against recent CCD imagery. These comparisons confirm that the effect which led to Elger’s report is repeated under comparable conditions, and his original hypothesis in relation to the nature of the feature can now be clarified.
Nigel Longshaw
Early research on the effects of solar eclipses on radio propagation
Research prompted by a slide included in a recent presentation recalling some of the contents of the archives of the Radio Society of Great Britain. This mentioned the involvement of the radio astronomy community in a study of radio propagation conditions a few days either side of the 1927 total solar eclipse.
Paul J. Whiting
Changes in the spectrum of Z Ursae Majoris during its rise through a maximum in 2014 June
The semiregular variable Z UMa experienced a particularly deep minimum at the end of 2014 March, followed by a three-month rise to maximum.
David Boyd
In the footsteps of Ebenezer Porter Mason and his nebulae
In 1839, Ebenezer Porter Mason (1819-1840) produced detailed drawings of the Omega Nebula (M17), the Trifid Nebula (M20) and the eastern part of the Veil Nebula. This paper reviews his life and his observations, comparing his results with those of the modern amateur astronomer.
Jeremy Shears, Carl Knight, Martin Lewis, Lee Macdonald, Stewart Moore & Jeff Young