The first Journal of the Double Star Group edited by the Group Advisor Dr. John McCue can be downloaded here: BAADeepSkySectionBinary 1.pdf
The Deep Sky Section of the British Astronomical Association was formed in 1981 by its first director, Ron Arbour, to cater for the growing interest of the BAA’s membership in the field. Deep Sky studies in amateur circles had been becoming increasingly popular from the 1960s onwards, with the availability of good atlases, textbooks, larger aperture reflectors, faster colour emulsions, and magazine coverage. Recreational Deep Sky astronomy is now one of the most popular pastimes of the amateur astronomers worldwide.
The Aims of the Deep Sky Section are:
* to represent the Deep Sky interests of the membership of the BAA ;
* to advise both newcomers and experienced observers of methods, activities, resources etc ;
* to coordinate the projects of the section, in co-operation with other sections (when appropriate);
* promote Deep Sky observing in general.
Any member of the BAA or member of an affiliated society can join the section, and will receive the occasional Newsletter as it is published. The frequency of issues depend on the need to communicate information, and upon material received, but two isues per year are planned. Anyone interested in joining the section should contact the Director, but BAA members who do not wish to join the section are still very welcome to submit observations and other written material. There is currently no joining fee.
The Deep Sky Section holds an annual meeting usually in March.
* Ron Arbour 1981-1983
* John Lewis 1983-1985
* Martin Ratcliffe 1988-1990
* Bernard Abrams 1990-1992
* Nick Hewitt 1992-2004
* Stewart Moore 2004-Present
BAA Back to Basics Meeting: 0930-1800, 16 October 2010
The BAA has designed a programme of talks and practical sessions to help you learn basic techniques and develop your interest to its full potential. Experienced people will be on hand to answer your questions.
Bookings need to be made to the BAA Office by 1st October 2010
Prices: £12.50 to BAA members, £16.00 to non-members (includes a buffet lunch).
More information and booking form can be downloaded:
Venue: Cardiff School of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University, Queens Building, The Parade, Cardiff, CF24 2AA
Organisers: Hazel Collett (BAA) and Cardiff Astronomical Society.
This week’s BAA Picture of the Week is Neptune, taken by Damian Peach.
Currently observing from Barbados, Damian had some excellent conditoins on September 25th and was able to capture this fine image of Neptune, with Triton nearby.
“These are false coloured images taken through a long pass red light filter. I deliberately kept the sharpening fairly light to minimise artefacts as much as possible. Neptune shows some vague details. The brighter spot near the top of the disk immediately pops out even with light sharpening.”
The next BAA meeting will be The Observers Workshop on Saturday September 25th 2010 in Burlington House, Piccadilly, London
Subjects being covered are Comets, Meteors and Asteroids. Registration is at 10.30 followed by a short introduction and update from the sections then after lunch there will be individual in-depth workshops, finishing at 17.30.
Space is restricted so please book via the BAA office soonest to ensure a place. There will be a small charge of £4 for BAA members and £5 for non-members to cover tea & coffee. Lunch is not includes as there are numerous eating places close to the venue.
11.00 Intro from Comet Section
11:40 Intro from Asteroid Section
12:25 Intro from Meteor Section
Within the space of less than an hour on September 5, the Mount Lemmon Survey discovered two objects which will both pass by the Earth on September 8 at a distance closer than the Moon! This unprecedented coincidence provides an exciting observing challenge for amateurs although those observing from the UK will not have the best views.
The intrinsically smaller object, 2010 RF12, will be the more favourable observing target in that it passes closest at about 0.21 lunar-distance, i.e. about 80,000 km. Tonight from the UK (Sep 6/7) this object will be 17th magnitude but by tomorrow (Sep 7/8) it will be brightening rapidly from 16th to 15th magnitude and be accelerating from an apparent speed of about 30 “/min to 50 “/min. It passes closest around 2100 UT on the 8th but by then it will be difficult from any location on the Earth.
The larger object, 2010 RX30, only approaches to within about 0.66 lunar-distances of the Earth but will be more favourably placed for UK observers and should be able to be followed to within about 6 hours of closest approach which takes place around 1000 UT on the 8th. It will be visible all night on Sep 7/8 being 16th magnitude at first but then brightening to 15th mag. The problem however is its apparent speed in that it will be racing across the sky at between 2-5 ARCSEC/SEC. Observers with access to telescopes located in other parts of the world especially in the southern hemisphere could witness 2010 RF12 reach 13th magnitude around 1600-1700 UT on the 8th. As seen visually in a large telescope (30-cm aperture or more), its motion across the sky would be very apparent in real time. Details of the position of the objects can be found here
Instructions for using this webpage are as follows:
First, enter “2010 RF12″ or ‘2010 RX30″ in the main box as required.
Then enter the date/time in ‘Ephemeris start date’ box, e.g. “2010 09 07 1200″ for 12:00 UT on September 7th.
Then choose the ‘Ephemeris units’: I suggest a time interval of “5″ ‘minutes’ would be appropriate.
In the ‘Observatory Code’ box select an IAU observatory code of the observatory location of the telescope you will be using (or one that is relatively nearby it). N.B. DO NOT use a lower case letter in the observatory code or else it defaults to the (unwanted) geocentric position.
Finally click on ‘Get ephemerides/HTML page’ and you will see a list of data from which you can select the positions (RA and Dec) corresponding to the times for your observing session.
Director, Asteroids and Remote Planets Section
This blog post is part of our regular “From the BAA Journal” series. This series features a selection of articles, news, reviews and letters from the Journal of the British Astronomical Association, published six times a year.
The partial solar eclipse of 2011 January 4
From a letter to the BAA Journal, from Mr Peter Macdonald
The eclipse of 2011 January 4 is visible from Europe (except the extreme north), northern Africa and western Asia, the greatest magnitude (0.86%) being attained at sunrise in northern Sweden around longitude 21°E, latitude 65°N. The eclipse occurs at the Moon’s ascending node and belongs to a series which began in 1776 and becomes annular in 2101.
In the British Isles the eclipse occurs at sunrise, the magnitude ranging from 0.25 in Lewis to 0.77 along the north Norfolk coast. The table below gives some local circumstances. The Sun’s azimuth at rising is measured from the north point of the horizon through east. The angles P and V at last contact are reckoned from the north point of the solar disk through east and anticlockwise from the Sun’s vertex, respectively.
The penumbra over the British Isles is illustrated in Figure 1 from which it is possible to obtain the circumstances of the eclipse for any location. Solid lines give the Universal Time at sunrise and broken lines the eclipse magnitude. To the east of the line marked ‘Maximum eclipse at sunrise’, the calculation of which includes a correction for refraction, greatest eclipse is visible with the Sun (just) above the horizon. For example at Greenwich the eclipse reaches maximum at 08h 12m with a magnitude of 0.75%. To the west of this line greatest eclipse is invisible as the Sun is still below the horizon, so at sunrise the obscuration is already decreasing, thus at Edinburgh the Sun rises at 08h 43m, the magnitude being 0.59%.
Figure 2 illustrates the appearance of the eclipse at various locations in the British Isles.