The Journal of the British Astronomical Association

Volume 113, No.3: 2003 June

Contents

On this page: Notes and News / Articles / Observers' Forum / Letters / Reviews / Meetings / BAA Update


On the cover

Satellites and their shadows in transit across the face of Jupiter. These exceptionally high-quality images show some of the recent multiple satellite transits, and even resolve the dark reddish polar caps on Io. The satellites and shadows are projected on the equator, and are identified by labels below each image. South is up. See the article on page 128.

Top: 2003 January 18, 00.43 UT, CM1 = 98.9, CM2 = 226.7; Damian Peach (Tenerife). This was taken during the remarkable triple transit. Callisto (IV) is dark, Io (I) has a bright equatorial region, and Europa (II) is just discernible because of its dusky equatorial region.
Bottom:2003 January 28, 15.20 UT, CM1 = 54.7, CM2 = 101.5; Eric Ng (Hong Kong). Five nights before opposition, Io and Europa and their shadows are poised on opposite sides of the planet.


Notes and News

Moons over Jupiter: Transits and shadow transits (John Rogers & Damian Peach) / From the President: Gamma ray bursters - a solution? (Guy Hurst) / The great perihelic opposition of Mars has begun! (Richard McKim) / Solar Section (Geoff Elston) / Aurora Section (R. J. Livesey) /Moons over Jupiter: the occultations (John Rogers et al.) / The great Saturn cover-up (David Graham et al.)


Main articles

The 2002 Presidential Address: UK Nova/Supernova Patrol - the first 25 years... Guy Hurst

The challenge of this Presidential Address is to compress the events of the first 25 years of the UK Nova/Supernova Patrol into a talk lasting for about an hour. When the patrol began as a formal search programme all that time ago, I had no idea just how much would be achieved and I feel quite humble in presenting the results as the coordinator when the real work has been carried out by all those dedicated observers over the years, whether looking for novae with binoculars or those now employing the latest technology to detect extragalactic supernovae.
I will describe how and why the patrol started in 1976, including earlier events that persuaded key individuals that the time had come for a team approach to searching for novae. The aims of the patrol will be discussed and how these have changed over the years, which has necessitated some rethinking of the techniques employed. (12 pp)

Jupiter in 1999/2000. II: Infrared wavelengths ... John H. Rogers

Several observers are now producing valuable images in the near-infrared methane absorption band, at the wavelength of 890nm. These images record high-altitude clouds and hazes. This article discusses the relative selectivity of the filters used by different observers, the features shown by them in 1999/2000, and the aspects that will be of interest for routine monitoring by methane images. These include the polar hoods, the equatorial zone, possibly erupting plume heads, anticyclonic ovals, and large scale disturbances of the major belts. (5pp)

Radio emission from the active Sun ... J. C. D. Marsh

Observations are presented of radio emission at 150MHz from the active Sun over a period of more than three years, 1998 May to 2001 October, around the peak of the solar cycle. (4 pp) The Leonid meteor shower in 1999 ... N. M. Bone
Poor weather hampered observations of the 1999 Leonid maximum from the British Isles, but several Meteor Section contributors were fortunate enough to cover the keenly-awaited peak under clear skies in the Sinai Desert, the Mediterranean area and the Canary Islands. The expected storm, with Zenithal Hourly Rate (ZHR) in excess of 1000 for a 40-minute period centred on 1999 Nov 18d 02h UT was seen. Two peaks, separated by a brief dip in activity, were found: in the first, around Nov 18d 01h 50m UT (Solar longitude(2000.0) = 235.28), ZHR reached ca. 1700, while the second, stronger peak at Nov 18d 02h 05m UT (Solar longitude(2000.0) = 235.29) reached ZHR ca. 3000. The times of the observed peaks agree well with predicted encounters between Earth and debris filaments in the Leonid meteor stream as derived by McNaught and Asher. (7 pp)

(Copies of any of these articles may be ordered from the BAA office.)


Reviews

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  • Deep-sky Companions: The Caldwell Objects by Stephen James O'Meara Sky Publishing, 2003. ISBN 0-933346-97-2. Pp xv + 484, $39.95 (hbk).
    reviewed by Stewart Moore
  • Philip's Astrophotography: an introduction to film and digital imaging by H. J. P. Arnold. George Philip & Co., 2003. ISBN 0-540-08312-7. Pp 256, 9.99 (pbk).
    reviewed by R.J. Neville
  • Towards Mars! by Risto Pellinsen & Paul Raudsepp (Eds.) Oy Raud Publishing, [Albertinkatu 17, FIN-00120, Helsinki, Finland], 2000. ISBN 952-9689-11-X. Pp 410, 46.00 (hbk).
    reviewed by Richard McKim
  • Observing variable starsby Gerry A. Good. Springer(Verlag, 2003. ISBN 1-85233-498-3. Pp viii + 274, 24.50 (pbk).
    reviewed by Chris Jones
  • How to observe the Sun safely by Lee Macdonald. Springer(Verlag, 2003. ISBN 1-85233-527-0. Pp ix + 176, 19.50 (pbk).
    reviewed by Peter Meadows

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    Letters

  • 'Eclipsing dwarf novae' - corrections and an update ... W. J. Worraker
  • Earthshine on Venus and the 'Ashen Light' ... Brian Manning
  • Read the letters here


    Observers' Forum

  • Adventures with a small H-alpha filter ... Raymond Emery
  • Comet 2002y1 (Juels-Holvorcem) ... Martin Mobberley

  • Meeting reports

  • Annual General Meeting and Ordinary Meeting, 2002 October 30 ... Dominic Ford

  • BAA Update

  • Obituary: Edna Rosa Atwell, 1921-2002 ... David Tucker
  • Dr Harry Ford, MBE
  • Help the taxman help the BAA ... Roy Dowsett

  • Sky notes for 2003 June and July

      by Neil Bone

    Noctilucent cloud photographed on 1996 July 1-2 from Chichester on the south coast of England. June and July bring the NLC season, and it may be that 2003 proves a good year for these, given declining solar activity.


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