The Journal of the British Astronomical Association

Volume 120, No.5: 2010 October

Summary contents page

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

On the cover

Two of the best amateur images of Jupiter recorded in 2009, taken by Damian Peach from Barbados on 2009 Sept. 10 and 11. See the article by John Rogers on page 267.
Top: The Great Red Spot region, and disturbance all through the North Equatorial Belt including the source of the NEBn outbreak.
Bottom: Oval BA, with Io and its shadow in transit. Io’s dark red polar caps are well resolved, and the shadow appears elongated because of the phase angle.

Notes and News

From the President (David Boyd) / New fireball impacts seen on Jupiter (John H. Rogers) / Tethys and Titan from Cassini (NASA/JPL) / This autumn's meteor activity (John W. Mason) / Rapa Nui 2010: A magical solar eclipse (Francisco Diego) / Jupiter in 2009-2010: an interim report (John H. Rogers) / More supernova discoveries for Tom Boles (Stewart L. Moore) / Project PLUTO 2009 (Richard Miles) / Solar Section (Lyn Smith) / The publication archives of the BAA (Richard Chambers) / Nice one, Annabel! (Annabel Forshaw)

The 2009 Presidential Address

Variable stars and stellar evolution: Part 2 ... Roger Pickard

In Part One I described the evolution of Sun-type stars of around 0.8 to no more than 2 solar masses, describing how they contract from vast interstellar molecular clouds to the point where they become hot enough and dense enough in their core to commence thermonuclear burning. After spending most of their lives on the Main Sequence - in the case of the Sun, the best part of some 10 billion years - they expand to become Mira stars or long period variables, and finally leave behind a planetary nebula and a white dwarf star.

In this second part I shall concentrate on more massive stars, typically those from 2 to 8 solar masses. (More massive stars are certainly known but are extremely rare). I shall then look at the evolution of double stars to see how the close proximity of such stars affects them during the course of their evolution.

Refereed  paper

The great perihelic opposition of Mars, 2003: Part 1
... Richard McKim

The 2003 great perihelic opposition - marginally the closest for tens of thousands of years - fortuitously coincided with revolutionary new techniques of imaging and image processing. In Part I we show how several albedo changes resulting from the 2001 global storm persisted, notably the fading of Mare Tyrrhenum north of Trinacria, and the darkening of Phasis, whilst Solis Lacus returned to its pre-storm shape. Significant dust storms commenced in Isidis Regio/Hellas, Chryse Planitia and Chryse/Valles Marineris, the last attaining large Regional status, commencing seasonally very late. Several small dust events were seen upon and adjacent to the recessing S. polar cap. In Part II of this report we analyse white clouds and polar regions. Over 14,000 observations from 248 contributors covered the period 2002 October to 2004 June.

Report of the Council and Accounts for the session 2009-2010


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  • The life of stars by Giora Shaviv
    Springer, 2009. ISBN 978-3-642-02087-2. pp 504, £89.99 (hbk).
    Reviewed by Roger Pickard
  • The Big Questions: The Universe by Stuart Clark
    Quercus Books, 2010. ISBN 978-1-84916-238-8. pp 208, £12.99 (hbk).
    Reviewed by Steve Owens

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    Observers' Forum

  • Unusual shadow bands observed at the 2010 July 11 total solar eclipse  ... Nick James
  • NGC 7293 – the Helix nebula ... Stewart Moore
  • Radio Astronomy Group: The solar outburst of 2010 August 1 ... Paul Hyde

  • Sky notes for 2010 October & November by Callum Potter

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