The Journal of the British Astronomical Association

Volume 121, No.1: 2011 February

Summary contents page

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

On the cover

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the eruption of a huge filament above the Sun on 2010 December 6 at around 15:35 UT. The filament occupied a full solar radius, measuring more than 700,000km from the centre of the disk to the southeastern (lower left) limb.

Notes and News

From the President (David Boyd) / A possible collision involving the large main-belt asteroid (596) Schiela (Richard Miles) / A bright storm on Saturn: an interim report of the 2010/2011 opposition (Mike Foulkes) / A new Director for the Aurora Section (Dave Gavine) / Brilliant storm cloud initiates the revival of Jupiter’s belt (John H. Rogers) / Solar Section (Lyn Smith) / CfDS award for sugar processing plant (Bob Mizon) / What’s observable tonight? (Graham Relf) / Two more supernova discoveries for Tom Boles(Stewart L. Moore)

Refereed  papers

  The Hampstead Observatory 1910-2010: a century of service to the public
... Douglas G. Daniels & Julia V. Daniels

     The Hampstead Scientific Society celebrated its centenary in 1999, and in 2010 it celebrated the centenary of its Observatory and Meteorological Station. This establishment has been in continuous use since it opened in April 1910, the Observatory providing regular public open nights and the Met. station providing continuous daily observations from the same site spanning a century.

Jupiter’s high-latitude storms: a Little Red Spot tracked through a Jovian year
... John H. Rogers et al.

As well as the Great Red Spot, Jupiter sometimes presents one or more Little Red Spots (LRSs) in various latitudes. A LRS is often seen in the North North Temperate Zone (NNTZ), but the frequency and properties of these ovals have never been studied in detail. Here we review all our records of the red, white, and methane-bright anticyclonic ovals in the NNTZ.

Where have all the aurorae gone? ... R. J. Livesey

Nocturnal occultations of Venus
... Jean Meeus & Joe Rao

During the early evening hours of 2008 December 1, an occultation of Venus by the Moon was visible across much of western and central Europe, as well as a part of northern Algeria and Tunisia. As viewed from Greenwich, the planet’s immersion (disappearance) took place near the time of sunset, while the emersion (reappearance) occurred more than one hour later in a dark sky. The event was seen in northwestern England and in Northern Ireland, but the weather was patchy. What is the mean frequency of such events for a given location?

VSX J003909.7+611233: a new Slowly Pulsating B (SPB) star in Cassiopeia? ... David Boyd et al.

We report the discovery of a new 13th magnitude variable star in Cassiopeia close to the variable KP Cas. Analysis of 6 days of intensive photometry shows a regular, near sinusoidal modulation with an amplitude of 0.024 mag and a period of 0.43815(31)d. Although its colour indicates a spectral type around F0 the star probably suffers up to 2-2.5 magnitudes of extinction so could be an A- or B-type star. Given the period, the low amplitude, the shape of the light curve and the probable spectral type we consider it most likely to be a slowly pulsating B-type (SPB) star. The variable has been registered in the International Variable Star Index with the identifier VSX J003909.7+611233.

Superoutbursts of the SU UMa-type dwarf nova CP Draconis ... Jeremy Shears et al.

Analysis of observations of the SU UMa-type dwarf nova, CP Dra, between February 2001 and April 2009 has revealed 15 outbursts, at least eight of which were superoutbursts. The supercycle length is 230+/-56 d. We report photometry of the 2001 and 2009 superoutbursts which shows that they were remarkably similar to each other in terms of the profile of the outburst light curve and the evolution of the superhumps.

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Index to Volume 120 (2010) ... R. A. Marriott


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  • Cometography: a catalog of comets. Vol.5: 1690-1982 by Gary W. Kronk & Maik Meyer
    Cambridge University Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0521-872263. pp xi + 820, 130.00 (hbk).
    Reviewed by Jonathan Shanklin
  • Europa by R. T. Pappalardo et al.
    University of Arizona Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-816-528448. pp 720, 65.00 (hbk).
    Reviewed by John Rogers
  • CLICK HERE to read scores more authoritative book reviews from the BAA Journal

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    BAA Update

  • BAA Council, 20092010 ... Photo by Mike Maunder
  • The BAA Awards and Medals, 2011 ... Ron Johnson

  • Obituary: Cmdr Henry R. Hatfield, 1921-2010 ... Patrick Moore
  • Obituary: Brian Geoffrey Marsden, 1937-2010 ... Guy M. Hurst

  • Observers' Forum

  • Two challenging galaxies in Leo ... Stewart Moore
  • Total eclipse of the Moon, 2010 December 21 ... Bill Leatherbarrow
  • Join the CfDS and the CPRE in Orion Star Count Week

  • The UK daylight fireball of 2009 December 19 ... Len Entwisle
  • Deep Sky Section Meeting, 2011 ... Stewart L. Moore
  • Lunar eclipse of 2010 Dec 21 imaged by Damian Peach, Selsey, UK.

    Sky notes for 2011 February & March by Callum Potter

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