Radio astronomy and the BAA (pp. 29-32) ... Gordon Brown
This paper outlines the history of radio astronomy in general and the part played by members of the BAA.
Sir John Herschel and the Leeds Astronomical Society (pp. 33-34) ... Michael J. Crowe
The October 1996 issue (p. 252) of the Journal of the British Astronomical Association contained an interesting 'Historical Note' by Allan Chapman titled 'Sir John Herschel and the Leeds Astronomical Society.' Dr Chapman tells of uncovering evidence of the existence in the 1860s of a Leeds Astronomical Society and of the successful efforts of that Society to persuade the distinguished English astronomer John Herschel to prepare a lecture for the Society. As Chapman notes, HerschelÕs health prevented him from delivering the lecture in person, but not from sending it.
Can I see noctilucent clouds? (pp. 35-38) ... M. Gadsden
This question was recently asked by an observer in Inverness (latitude 57.5 deg N) which is one of the best places from which to see noctilucent clouds (NLC). The study of NLC is at the present time exciting a lot of interest among upper atmosphere physicists because the physics of occurrence of the clouds is not well-known. In addition, it may be that 'global warming' is showing clearly in the frequency at which NLC are seen. The Association's Aurora Section is currently the custodian and generator of the longest series of visual observations that is available for research. Whether a noctilucent cloud is seen depends on several factors: the observer's position, the season of the year, the time in twilight, refraction, and absorption of light from the setting Sun. These are discussed in this paper.
What colour is the night sky? (pp. 39-42) ... R. J. Neville
Light pollution has become a major threat to our enjoyment and appreciation of the sky at night. However, understanding its detailed nature, and in particular the way the colour of the night sky is affected through the back-scattering of light emitted by terrestrial sources, can be helpful towards avoiding its worst effects.
The Observing Astronomical Society - birth of a legend (pp. 42-43) ... Richard Baum
The British Astronomical Association was founded in October 1890 with the intention of arranging the owners of small telescopes into sections or departments under experienced directors, a practice successfully pioneered by the Liverpool Astronomical Society from its inception in 1881 and subsequently adopted by astronomical societies worldwide. By implication therefore the Liverpool Society is acknowledged as the immediate forerunner of the Association in the hierarchial development of organised popular astronomy in the British Isles. So much is well known. Not so widely appreciated however, is the fact that twelve years before the formation of the Liverpool group there existed what was known as the 'Observing Astronomical Society' (OAS).
Index to volume 107 (4 pp.) ... prepared by R. A. Marriott
(Copies of any of these articles may be requested from the BAA office.)