C. R. d'Esterre and the mysteries of UV and UW Per ... M. P. Mobberley, P. M. Barber & G. M. Hurst
A dwarf nova in Perseus shows no evidence for the nebulous surround observed in 1912. A nearby suspected U Gem star has never been seen in outburst in modern times; the recent discovery of the original outburst plate confirms it has been mis-identified. The evidence for these objects and the story of their enigmatic discoverer are discussed in detail. (7 pages)
A possible new impact feature in the Okavango Delta ... Colin Henshaw (11 Kb)
A brief note on a crater-like formation in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, about 35km north of the popular safari centre Maun. (3 pp)
Astronomy in nineteenth-century Lancaster ... Peter Wade
Lancashire's county town produced several eminent scientists in the last century, one of them, the philosopher of science William Whewell, even coining the word 'scientist' itself. Some of the others also proved good at devising names: the palaeontologist Sir Richard Owen invented the word 'dinosaur' and the chemist Sir Edward Frankland named helium following its detection in the solar spectrum by Norman Lockyer.
Observations of the suspected variable NSV 1702 ... C. Lloyd, J. Watson & D. McAdam
While Lancaster's nineteenth-century scientific pantheon contained no well-known astronomers, a healthy appetite for the subject had grown along with the town itself, culminating in the opening of the Greg Observatory in 1892. This growth can be traced through the activities of Lancaster's learned societies, popular expositions of the subject by visiting speakers and reports of astronomical topics in the local press.
Visual and photoelectric observations of the suspected variable NSV 1702 suggest no periodic variability with an amplitude above ~0.01 mag. Personal bias is found to be a significant cause of scatter in the visual light curve but may easily be corrected to improve the value of the observations. It is also found that in large combined data sets the personal biases of different observers can conspire to produce apparent variations. (3pp)
Ken Beames: Australian telescope-maker extraordinaire ... Wayne Orchiston
The New South Wales amateur astronomer, Kenneth Beames, was one of Australia's most accomplished telescope-makers during the 1930s, 40s and 50s, and is well known for his 610mm reflector at the Linden Observatory near Sydney. Beames was also active in BAA NSW Branch affairs during this period. Since his death in 1989, the trustees of the Linden Observatory have been trying to turn his dream into reality and convert the Observatory into an astronomical education centre. (5pp)
POSS - the ultimate deep-sky resource? ... Owen Brazell
An example of output from RealSky: the area of the M81 galaxy.
The purpose of this paper is to look at the ways in which the POSS survey has become available to amateurs, enabling them to use it for object checking and verification techniques previously only available to the professional. (4pp)
A better formula for telescopic limiting magnitudes? ... Gerald North
A proposal, intended to provoke discussion, for the replacement of the old standard formulae for predicting a telescope's limiting magnitude with a formula derived from the results of a practical survey conducted in the USA. (1p)
Astronomy-friendly security lighting ... Chris Trayner
In some parts of Britain, housebreaking is a sufficient problem that astronomers must recognise it or be regarded as unworldly. Many houses are fitted with security lights which react to humans (or other animals) and turn on an outside lamp. The detectors in these lamps normally use PIR (passive infra-red) sensors which detect the radiation from warm objects such as mammals. At least two criticisms are levelled at these lamps: (1) they pollute the night sky with light; (2) no-one takes any notice of them turning on, so they merely save burglars the cost of torches. Both of these criticisms can be addressed, at least partially, by the following technique. (3pp)
(Copies of any of these articles may be ordered from the BAA office.)