The Journal of the British Astronomical Association
Volume 108, No.6: 1998 December
List of Contents
On this page: Notes and News / Articles / Letters / Reviews / Meetings / Observers' Forum / BAA Update
Notes and News
CCD images by British amateurs / Comet prospects for 1999 / From the President / Solar Section / Aurora Section / Jupiter in 1998: an interim report / The annular solar eclipse, 1998 August 22 / Bosscha Observatory, West Java
The comets of 1993 ... J. D. Shanklin
This report is the fourth in the present annual series which gives for each comet: the discovery details, orbital data and general information, magnitude parameters and BAA Comet Section observations. Further details of the analysis techniques used in this report are given in an earlier paper. Ephemerides for the comets predicted to return during the year can be found in the ICQ Handbook. Analysis of the observations of the degree of condensation (DC) suggests that observers need to study the figures in the Comet Section Handbook for Observing Comets. (12 pp)
Measurement and analysis of radio emission from the quiet Sun ... J. C. D. Marsh
A description is given of the measurement of solar radio emission at a wavelength of approximately 2m, together with a method of calculating radiated power at this wavelength and an estimate of the coronal temperature. Some results are given which agree reasonably well with the theoretical figures. (3 pp)
A report on the Mira variable R Aquilę ... John Greaves
Observations from 1908 to 1997 of the Mira-type variable R Aquilę are presented and analysed. (4 pp)
February with no Full Moon ... Peter Macdonald
As the Moon's synodic period is 291/2 days, it is possible for a lunation to straddle the month of February, even in a leap year. This paper examines cases involving the Full and the New Moon. (2 pp)
The practical application of transfer and Fabry lenses ... John Wall
Many amateur and commercially built telescopes do not cater for an extended focal plane, which excludes the use of CCD equipment, or a photographic facility. The use of transfer and Fabry lenses is proposed as a solution to this problem. (4pp)
The Norwich Astronomical Society's observatory: Re-build of telescope and upgrade to drive control ... Brian Mitchell & Frank Lawlor
In two earlier papers, Brian Mitchell has reported to the Association the main features of the six-metre dome that houses the Norwich Astronomical Society's 0.76 metre Newtonian reflecting telescope. The whole observatory complex has recently been relocated close to Seething Airfield, some 16 kilometres south of the city of Norwich where the sky is less light-polluted than in its previous position, near the University of East Anglia in Norwich itself. During the reconstruction of the 0.76m telescope, the drive mechanisms and controls were improved by Frank Lawlor, and the new setup provides a user-friendly facility for Society members and for visits by the general public. (5pp)
Centenaries for 1999 ... Barry Hetherington (2pp)
(Copies of any of these articles may be ordered from the BAA office.)
- Solar activity and the Apollo missions ... R. J. Livesey
- Observing Mercury and Venus in daylight with binoculars ... Peter Parish
- Another Victorian lady astronomer ... Anthony Kinder
- More sources of artificial light ... James Abbott
Read the letters here
- The Little Book of the Big Bang: A Cosmic Primer by Craig J. Hogan Copernicus, 1998. ISBN 0-387-98385-6. Pp xiv + 181, £15.50 (hbk.)
reviewed by Jon Reynolds
Zoo in the Sky by Jacqueline Mitton and Christina Balit. Frances Lincoln Ltd., 1998. ISBN 0-7112-1186-8. £10.99, hbk. reviewed by Laurence Anslow
- Spacewatching by by Robert Burnham et al. Harper Collins, 1998. ISBN 0-00-220128-3, Pp 288. £17.99 (hbk).
reviewed by Peter Hudson
- The Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage by J. Perdrix & W. Orchiston (eds.) Astral Press, PO Box 107, Wembley, WA6014, Australia. ISSN 1440-2807. 2 issues per year, £12.50 p.a.
reviewed by Anthony Kinder
- Nemesis by Bill Napier Hodder Headline, 1998. ISBN 0-7472-2181-2. Pp 377 (hbk), £12.99.
Bill Napier is best known as a scientist of the catastrophist school, which proposes that the Earth has been hit by solar system detritus many times since the dawn of civilisation, with significant consequences for the path of history. Here he turns his hand to fiction and has written a thriller against the backdrop of his special subject.
Set not far in the future (albeit one reminiscent of the recent past), with flashbacks to the sixteenth century, it follows the pattern of its genre. Typically fast paced it requires some suspension of belief in true James Bond fashion, but the story line holds the attention and it is difficult to put the book down. An excellent Christmas present to read on those cloudy winter nights; I can't wait for his next book. - JDS
- Stars and Planets by Ian Ridpath Dorling Kindersley, 1998. ISBN 0-7513-1062-X. Pp 224, £14.99, jacketed softback.
This is a really nice little rucksack-sized handbook for the binocular and naked-eye observer, packed full of basic information and bright illustrations. I especially liked the realistic views of the planets as seen with the naked eye, binoculars and a small telescope: how many newcomers to observing are disappointed when their 150mm instrument does not show the crisp detail seen in magazines? Each constellation has a good, clear chart, with a photograph of how it looks in the real sky, and a description of interesting objects to observe. There is also an excellent set of whole-sky maps for each month in each hemisphere. A first-class book for a beginner or for anyone preparing to travel to a different hemisphere: my only gripe, in fact, is the physical weight of the strong glossy paper, which makes it rather heavy to consider if packing for abroad. -HWM
A spectrum of a Wolf-Rayet star
- Some alternative spectrohelioscope designs by George Y. Haig
The image shows a low-resolution spectrum of the Wolf-Rayet star HD192163 in Cygnus, obtained by Maurice Gavin on 1998 August 17 at 00.28 UT at his Worcester Park Observatory in Surrey. The star is assumed to be associated with the adjacent emission nebula NGC 6888. 30sec exposure with spectroscope + 30cm SCT, MX5-16 CCD. Trace from original spectrum via PIXWIN software. M. V. Gavin.
- Exhibition Meeting, 1998 June 27
- Ordinary Meeting, 1998 June 27
- Obituaries: Edward Robert (Ted) Wood, 1914-1998
- Donald F. Trombino, 1940-1998
A copy of this or any other recent issue of the Journal may be ordered from the BAA office.
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