Journal of the British
No.1: 2012 February
Detailed contents: Notes and News / Articles / Observers' Forum /
Reviews / Letters / Meetings
the cover: The Christmas Comet
Image by Lester Barnes of comet Lovejoy, C/2011 W3, in bright dawn
twilight on 2011 December 23, taken from Port Lincoln, South Australia.
1 minute exposure at ISO 800 with Canon 20Da camera and Canon 50mm lens
See the article below for full details and more images.
A spectacular Christmas comet in southern skies (Denis Buczynski & Nick James)
/ From the President (Bill
/ Venus in 2011/'12 - second interim report
(Richard McKim) / Solar Section (Lyn Smith) / Communicating
astronomy - a special event at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (Newbury Astronomical Society)
Comet Lovejoy rising at dawn, 2011 Dec 22, 03:35 AWST
from Mandurah Estuary, W. Australia. Colin Legg.
Choosing and using Binoculars for
the travelling astronomer ...
'Observing basics' is a new series of articles by BAA
Section Directors and other experts, designed to help you get started
in observing, whether you are a newcomer to astronomy or an ‘old hand’
thinking of taking up a new area of interest. Look out for further
articles in the series in future issues of the Journal!
Moore’s Yearbook of Astronomy 2012 by
Patrick Moore & John Mason,
PanMacmillan, 2011. ISBN 978-0-230-75984-8. Pp xii + 474, £20.00
by Martin Mobberley
Transit of Venus: 1631 to the present by
New South Publishing, 2011. ISBN 9-7811742-232690. Pp 228, £47.95
by Mike Frost
The casual sky observer’s guide by
Rony de Laet
Springer, 2011. ISBN 978-1-4614-0594-8. Pp xiv + 292,
£35.99 (A5 format, pbk).
by Geoffrey Johnstone
The chemical cosmos - a guided tour by
Springer, 2011. ISBN 978-1-4419-8443-2. Pp xii + 236,
by Roger O’Brien
to read scores
more authoritative book reviews from the BAA Journal
revisited ... John Wall
- The Hyperstar
optical corrector ... Peter
Brook: third Director of the BAA Variable Star Section ...
Lewis Brook, MA, FRAS, FRMetS (1855-1939) served as Director of the
BAA Variable Star Section from 1910 to 1921. During this time he was
not merely interested in collecting the observations of the members (to
which he also contributed), but he also spent considerable amounts of
time analysing the data and preparing numerous publications on the
findings. This paper discusses Brook’s life and work, with a particular
focus on his contribution to variable star astronomy.
The grazing occultation of Jupiter on 2012
July 15 ... Jean Meeus
2012–2013 there will be a
series of occultations of
Jupiter by the Moon that will contain 10 events. The first occultation,
on 2012 June 17, will be visible in northern Canada. The tenth and last
occultation of the series will take place on 2013 February 18 and be
visible in southern Australia.
Of these 10 occultations of Jupiter, only one will be visible in
Europe: that of 2012 July 15, the second event of the series. As this
occultation will be a grazing event in England, taking place before
sunrise, though at rather low altitude, it is worth providing a
detailed description of this event.
Building a model astrolabe ... Dominic Ford
This paper presents
a hands-on introduction to the mediaeval astrolabe, based around a
working model which can be constructed from photocopies of the supplied
figures. As well as describing how to assemble the model, I also
provide a brief explanation of how each of its various parts might be
used. The printed version of this paper includes only the parts needed
to build a single model prepared for use at latitudes around 52°N,
but an accompanying electronic file archive includes equivalent images
which can be used to build models prepared for use at any other
latitude. The vector graphics scripts used to generate the models are
also available for download, allowing customised astrolabes to be made.
‘honeycombed Moon’: O’Neill’s Bridge
and other lunar arches and tunnels ... Bill Leatherbarrow
and post-outburst rebrightening episodes in the AM CVn star SDSS
J012940.05+384210.4 ... Jeremy Shears et al.
We report unfiltered
photometry of the first confirmed outburst of the AM CVn system SDSS
J012940.05+384210.4 during 2009 December. At its brightest the star was
magnitude 14.5, 5.4 magnitudes above mean quiescence. Although the
first part of the outburst was not observed, six remarkable
rebrightening events were observed during the course of the outburst.
Forty-one days after the outburst was detected, the star was still 1.7
magnitudes above quiescence. Superhumps were observed during the
outburst with a peak-to-peak amplitude of 0.06 mag and Psh = 37.9(2)
min. We also used archival data to show that another AM CVn system,
SDSS J124058.03-015919.2, has also undergone at least one outburst,
with an amplitude of ~4.6 magnitudes.
Click here to
obtain a PDF file of
any of these articles
- 'Working together:
collaboration between amateur & professional astronomers' - Out of London meeting held in Norwich on
2011 May 7
at a BAA meeting near
you? Meetings are open
to all and you will be made very welcome. Click here for
the latest Meetings Diary
Comet C/2009P1 Garradd: the long view
... Denis Buczynski & Nick James
Two open clusters in Cancer (M44
& M67) ... Stewart L.
The lunar eclipse of 2011 December
... Images by Martin Griffiths and
Comet Garradd imaged on 2011 July 30.9 by Martin
Mobberley. 355mm SCT +ST9XME CCD, 30x60s, at Cockfield Observatory,
notes for 2012 February & March by Callum Potter
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