The Journal of the British Astronomical Association

Volume 110, No.1: 2000 February

List of Contents

On the cover of the February Journal: Leonid storm from the Sinai desert, by Nigel Evans.

On this page: Notes and News / Articles / Letters / Reviews / Meetings / BAA Update / Observers' Forum

Notes and News

The 1999 Leonids - first impressions / The 1999 Leonids observed from the Sinai desert / From the President / Phoenix arises / A second bright nova in Aquila (V1494 Aql: Nova 1999 Aql no.2) / The Presqu'île impact crater in Québec: the 1999 UCL expedition / Aurora Section / The Sun in hydrogen alpha


Comet Kohoutek 1973f ... Michael J. Hendrie

On 1973 March 18, L. Kohoutek at the Hamburg Bergedorf Observatory discovered a 16th magnitude comet in Hydra on plates taken on March 7 and 9. He described it as diffuse with central condensation. Preliminary elements by B. G. Marsden and S. W. Milbourn showed a small perihelion distance of about 0.14 AU, suggesting the comet would become a bright object towards the end of the year. This paper analyses observations of the comet in the BAA Comet Section archives and addresses in particular the question of the brightness finally achieved by this controversial object. (11 pp)

The use of modern catalogue data for variable star comparisons: a practical investigation ... J. Greaves

Visual and photometric V band light curves are compared. The visual data are recalibrated using the Johnson V magnitudes contained in the Tycho Catalogue and the effect of this substitution assessed. The exercise emphasises the fact that modern catalogue data is too contextual in its nature to be plucked from its source and forced into service on an arbitrary basis. (5 pp)

Astronomy and the camera obscura ... Mike Feist

The camera obscura (from Latin meaning darkened chamber) is a simple optical device with a long history. In the form considered here, it can be traced back to 1550. It had its heyday during the Victorian era when it was to be found at the seaside as a tourist attraction or sideshow. This paper describes the application of the camera obscura to astronomy. (4 pp)

The Association's awards and medals... R. A. Marriott

The Association's first award was inaugurated and funded by Walter Goodacre in 1929. Since then, four other awards have been introduced to honour the names of prominent figures in the Association, and to acknowledge those whose work and achievements have benefited the Association or astronomy in general. (9 pp)

Samuel Taylor Coleridge and the Boston tradition ... Richard Baum

In The Road to Xanadu, (1927), the classic, indispensable study of the sources of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan, John Livingstone Lowes cites a tradition 'that in November, 1668, a Star appear'd below the Body of the Moon, within the horns of it.' This is Cotton Mather in a communication to Mr Waller of the Royal Society, dated at Boston, 1712 November 24, printed under the heading 'An Extract of several letters from Cotton Mather...' in the twenty-ninth volume of the Philosophical Transactions (1714-1716). Possible explanations for this effect are investigated.(3 pp)

(Copies of any of these articles may be ordered from the BAA office.)


The Star of Bethlehem: an astronomer's view by Mark Kidger. Princeton University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-691-05823-7. Pp. xi + 300. 14.50/$22.95 (pbk).
reviewed by Jacqueline Mitton

Cometography: A Catalogue of Comets. Vol. I: Ancient to 1799 by Gary W. Kronk. Cambridge University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-521-58504-X. Pp xvi + 563, 60.00.
reviewed by Jonathan Shanklin

BAA Update

'CCD at the RAL where ACE beams to NOAA' (A CCD symposium organised by the Instruments and Imaging Section, 1999 September 11)

The Scottish Astronomy Weekend, 1999 September 10-12


Read the letters here

Meeting reports

Observers' Forum

The discovery of supernovae 1999eg and 1999eh by Mark Armstrong

A copy of this or any other recent issue of the Journal may be ordered from the BAA office.

Back to top of page

Go to the BAA Journal home page