The Journal of the British Astronomical Association
Volume 108, No.4: 1998 August
List of Contents
On this page: Notes and News / Articles / Letters / Reviews / Meetings Observers' Forum / BAA Update
Notes and News
Iridium satellites light up the sky / Aurora Section / From the President / Rings within rings / Solar Section
Elizabeth Brown (1830-1899), solar astronomer ... Mary Creese
Were it not for the fact that she was a woman, Elizabeth Brown might well be thought of as a fairly typical nineteenth-century British amateur astronomer. She has a place, although a relatively modest one, in the distinguished group of people who, with their own fortunes, carried out much of the astronomical research being done in the country at a time before extensive government support was forthcoming for the work. Her career in fact follows a pattern common to several of the nineteenth-century men astronomers in that her full productive period came only after she was freed from her primary responsibilities; she did not have to amass the necessary financial resources as did many of the men, but she had the time-consuming responsibility, not unusual for a Victorian woman, of caring for a parent through a lengthy old age. Only after her father died at the age of ninety-one, did Elizabeth, then in her early fifties, begin her sixteen years of remarkable public activity in astronomy.
Probably the only British woman of her time to have her own observatory, Elizabeth became a well-known figure among British astronomers. As director of the Solar Section of the Liverpool Astronomical Society from 1883 until 1890, and then for almost nine years director of the Solar Section of the newly founded British Astronomical Association, she made notable contributions to solar astronomy. (5pp)
Further studies of the Herigonius sinuous rille terrain based on the NSSDC Orbiter IV microfilm frame ... Keith W. Abineri
More detailed work has been completed on the microfilm frame IV HR137/2A covering small selected areas with photomicrography and visual microscopy. In addition some of the Clementine 1994 mission CD-ROM data was processed with great skill and the active co-operation of J. M. H. Hill, I. L. Clarke and A. K. L. Dymoke-Bradshaw, to produce a photo-mosaic with constant scale for a large part of the area. This photo-mosaic is restricted to the use of the UV/Visible light camera in the spacecraft, employing Filter B, i.e. 750nm. (6 pp)
Experiments in digital meteor astrometry ... S. J. Evans
This paper describes some experiments conducted in the astrometry of digitised meteor images. The positions derived with the aid of a PC commercial astrometry package are probably more precise than those obtained by conventional methods applied directly to photographic negatives. This is allowing direct measurement of meteor atmospheric deceleration on photographs obtained with short focal length lenses. (4 pp)
The Sun, interplanetary weather and mankind's technologies ... R. J. Livesey
The Sun that generates the aurora and magnetic storms may also damage the complex electrical and electronic systems of mankind's technologies. (3 pp)
Visual observations of the Perseid meteor shower in 1996 ... N. M. Bone
The 1996 Perseid return again saw the appearance of a short-lived additional activity peak, ahead of the established August 12 maximum. Activity from this extra peak was, however, much diminished compared with its levels in 1993 and 1994. (3pp)
A swing-back hut for a telescope ... R. M. Steele
The construction and use of a simple but effective housing for a small Newtonian reflector is described. (3pp)
Venus: the enigma of phase-locked cloud structure and the UV syndrome ... Richard Baum
Percival Lowell, astronomer, mathematician, businessman and diplomat, the scion of a gifted New England family, died on 1916 November 12. He is remembered for the planetary research centre he established at Flagstaff, Arizona, his controversial studies of Mars, and the laborious mathematical search for Planet X which culminated in 1930 with the discovery of the ninth planet Pluto. He also left behind a mystery, less well known perhaps than his Mars fantasy, but no less contentious, namely the nature of the exotic markings he first saw on Venus in 1896: long fingerlike streaks running in from the terminator and limb of the planet. (4pp)
(Copies of any of these articles may be ordered from the BAA office.)
- The 1799 Leonids ... Neil Bone
- Brown dwarfs in Praesepe and the Pleiades ... Karen Holland
- Finding Venus and Jupiter in daylight with binoculars ... P. W. Parish
- Professional measurements of sunspot areas ... Peter Norman
Read the letters here
The Year-Round Messier Marathon Field Guide by Harvard Pennington Willmann-Bell Inc, 1998. ISBN 0-943396-54-9. Pp x + 196, $19.95 (hbk.) reviewed by Owen Brazell
- The Babylonian Theory of the Planets by N. M. Swerdlow. Princeton University Press, 1998. ISBN 0-691-01196-6. Pp xv + 246, £27.50 (hbk).
reviewed by John Rogers
Comets, Popular Culture and the Birth of Modern Cosmology by Sara Schechner Genuth. Princeton University Press, 1997. ISBN 0-691-01150-8. Pp xvi + 365, $49.50 (hbk.) reviewed by W. M. Napier
- Uranus, The Planet, Rings and Satellites by Ellis D. Miner (2nd edition). Wiley/Praxis, 1998. ISBN 0-471-97398-X. Pp xx + 361, £45.00 (hbk).
reviewed by Richard Miles
- Astronomy on the Personal Computer (3rd Edition) by Oliver Montenbruck & Thomas Pfleger (Translated by Storm Dunlop). Springer-Verlag, 1998. ISBN 3-540-63521-1. Pp xiii + 312 + 3.5-inch PC disk, £37.50 (hbk.)
reviewed by Nick James
- Telescope Control by Mark Trueblood & Russell Merle Genet. Willmann-Bell, Inc. 1997. ISBN 0-943396-53-0. Pp xviii + 561, $29.95 (hbk).
reviewed by Ron Arbour
- Pluto and Charon by S. A. Stern and D. J. Tholen (Eds.) Arizona University Press, 1997. ISBN 0-8165-1840-8. Pp xxi + 728, $90.00 (hbk).
reviewed by Andrew J. Hollis
- Ordinary Meeting and Special General Meeting, 1998 March 25
- Ordinary Meeting, 1998 April 25
- Obituary: Herbert J. T. Carpenter, 1931-1998
- Civic reception held to honour George Alcock
- The 32nd BAA Winchester Weekend, 1998 April 3-5
A copy of this or any other recent issue of the Journal may be ordered from the BAA office.
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