The Journal of the British Astronomical Association

Volume 118, No.4: 2008 August

Summary contents page

Detailed contents: Notes and News / Articles / Observers' Forum / Reviews / Letters / Meetings / BAA Update

Cover image

The Old Greenwich Observatory. A two-day old New Moon over the onion dome of the Old Royal Observatory, Greenwich. A 6-second exposure at f/3.0 taken by Chris Mann with a Panasonic DMC-FZ30 digital camera on 2007 December 7.

Notes and News

The opposition of Mars, 2007 - 2nd interim report (Richard McKim ) / From the President (Roger Pickard ) / Another good year for the Perseids (Neil Bone) / End of a modern Odyssey (Roger O'Brien) / OJ287 - the final word (for now...) (Gary Poyner) / Solar Section (Lyn Smith) / An image of a 'Moreton Wave' (Nick Howes) / 'Sky-friendly' street lighting in Newport (Bob Mizon) / 100-up for Peter's asteroid discoveries (Roger Dymock)

The 2007 Presidential Address

Asteroids: past, present and future ... Richard Miles

For many years, our traditional view of asteroids has been limited to those objects orbiting between the paths of Mars and Jupiter now known as the Main Belt. But within just the last 15 years or so, our perspective has radically changed with the discovery of many bodies occupying the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt and other so-called Scattered Disk objects, the orbits of which extend well beyond the conventional confines of the solar system previously delineated by the planets Neptune and Pluto. How did this come to pass? In this paper, I shall describe the evolution of our knowledge of this system of minor planets, not only to provide you with some answers to this question but also to illustrate how our understanding of these mysterious objects has developed and how it might expand in the future. In so doing I shall also trace those activities which involved the BAA and more particularly the Asteroids and Remote Planets Section.

[Right: False-colour image of asteroid 243 Ida and companion Dactyl as imaged by the Galileo spacecraft. NASA]

Refereed papers

Superhump periods in the UGSU-type dwarf nova SDSSp J082409.73+493124.4 ... David Boyd, Jeremy Shears & Robert Koff

We present observations and analysis of the first reported superoutburst of the dwarf nova SDSSp J082409.73+493124.4 during 2007 February/March. From a maximum observed magnitude of 15.4C it declined at 0.09 mag/d for seven days, flattened out around magnitude 16 for a further five days and then returned rapidly to quiescence at magnitude 19.4. The flattening of the lightcurve late in the outburst was not associated with a re-growth of superhumps. For the first five days we observed common superhumps with period 0.06954(5)d, thus confirming the object's classification as a UGSU-type dwarf nova. This was followed by a phase transition to late superhumps with period 0.06921(6)d. We found a small but persistent signal at 0.0687(6)d which we interpret as the orbital period.

Jupiter in 2001/2002, Part II: Local features and drifts ... John H. Rogers, Hans-Jörg Mettig, Michael Foulkes, Damian Peach & Antonio Cidadão

This paper forms a continuation from Part I (J. Brit. Astron. Assoc., 118(2), 75-86 (2008 April). The numbering of figures, tables and references is continuous from Part I where Figures 1-9, and Tables 1-3, may be found.

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  • Setting up a small observatory: from concept to construction by David Arditti
    Springer?Verlag, 2008. ISBN 978-0-387-34521-5. Pp xv + 235, £19 (pbk).
    Reviewed by Maurice Gavin
  • The history of astronomy by Heather Couper & Nigel Henbest
    Cassell Illustrated, 2007. ISBN 978-1-84403-570-0. Pp 288 (247 x 297mm), £30 (hbk).
    Reviewed by Carole Stott

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  • Annual General Meeting and Ordinary Meeting, 2007 October 31 ... Dominic Ford
  • [Right: Members observing Comet 17P/Holmes with binoculars and the unaided eye from Piccadilly, Central London, after the BAA meeting. (Photo: Martin Crow)]

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  • A proposed BAA Double Star group ... John McCue
  • Sporadic sightings of Saturn's E-ring? ... Paul Abel
  • Astronomical weddings for astronomers ... John Armitage

  • Observers' Forum

  • Observing DW UMa - a very active variable star ... David Boyd
  • Dark nebulae in Cygnus ... Stewart L. Moore

  • Robotic telescopes and the BAA: a remote observing proposal ... Richard Miles & Roger Dymock

  • Two spring novae in Ophiuchus ... Maurice Gavin

  • Erratum: Isle of Wight Star Party
  • [Right: An image of M41, 'Aristotle's Cluster', obtained remotely by Roger Dymock using SLOOH at Mt Teide, Canary Islands (28°17'N, 16°30'W).]

    Attendees at the 2008 BAA Winchester Weekend. Photo by David Briggs

    BAA Update

  • The BAA Winchester Weekend, 2008 April 04-06 ... Ann Davies
  • Obituary: Peter W. Foley (1930-2008) ... Martin Mobberley

  • New Honorary Members

  • Sky notes for 2008 August & September by Neil Bone

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