The BAA has issued this statement.
“The UK has a thriving amateur astronomy community who regularly observe the night sky in the evenings.
Many of these amateurs share their knowledge at organised public outreach events across the whole country every year. These evening events are attended by people of all ages and backgrounds. For many youngsters it will be their first experience of science outside the classroom and for some it will be a pleasurable and formative experience that may encourage them into a science-based education and career, something the government is keen to promote.
By delaying the time at which it becomes dark enough to observe the night sky, the proposals in the Daylight Saving Bill will have a detrimental effect on these outreach activities and reduce their benefit to society.
We encourage those deciding on the proposed Daylight Saving Bill to take this into account.”
Members may wish to write to their MP to make their own representations.
This is the introduction from the full paper, available for download here as a pdf:
Cataclysmic Variables: An introduction to the evolution, variability and science of nature’s most dynamic stars
by Philip Hall
This paper is dedicated with respect and appreciation to the many amateur astronomers around the world whose patient and diligent observations have done so much to further our understanding of variable stars. The author also wishes to thank the BAA Variable Star Section for its generous support in providing a public forum to disseminate this discussion of cataclysmic variables.
Philip Hall is a British-born amateur astronomer based in Tokyo whose principle observing interest is deep sky objects. He is currently about 90% of the way through the Herschel 400 list. This review of cataclysmic variable stars was originally submitted as a project paper for one unit of the Swinburne Astronomy Online MSc degree programme, and he hopes it will be of background interest to amateur astronomers generally as well as a useful introduction to the subject for intending and current variable star observers.
The BAA’s Variable Star Section was formed in 1890, the year the BAA was founded, with the aim of collecting and analysing observations of variable stars. The Section is run by a small group of Officers who deal with various aspects separately but meet at intervals to discuss and decide future plans and policy. Feedback to members is through the VSS Circulars published four times a year and through the BAA Journal.
The website of the BAA VSS contains a wealth of information for you to explore, including their “Variable Star of the Year” section, an abundance of light curves produced by BAA members, and a 2011 summary of predictions of Mira Variable Stars.
You can also follow the Variable Star Section via their new Facebook page.
A new active region AR11162 has emerged adding to the possibility of further flare events. Observations should be sent as soon as possible to the Solar Section Director with details of date, time (UT) of start, peak and end of flare event, location and intensity.
Big Bear Solar Observatory activity warning is reproduced below:
Solar activity is high.
A new region now numbered 11162 has erupted north of 11161.
It has produced two M-class flares overnight. The region is
magnetically complex and rapidly growing. M-class flares are
expected and an X-class flare is possible.
Region 11158 has simplified somewhat but remains capable of an M-class event.
NOAA 11158, S19 W63 (X= 820,Y=-264). Beta-gamma-delta region.
C-class flares expected, M-class flare possible.
NOAA 11162, N20 W06 (X= 96,Y= 441). Beta-gamma-delta region.
M-class flares expected, X-class flare possible.
Positions as of February 18, 2011 at 19:00 UT.
This weeks Picture of the Week is the faint globular cluster Pal 2a in Taurus, imaged by Paul Brierley from Cheshire, on 2011 Jan 28.
“Here is my first image from my Palomar globular cluster project.
Pal 2 Taurus M+13.4
This is a very tricky object, that really requires a better sky then I had last night and a longer exposure. The local seeing was terrible and it was, for a time. Windy.
The image which you see here is, I’m afraid only 45 minutes long. It is comprised of 9×5 minute exposures and imaged between 7:30 and 9pm last night.
I have tried to give you a realistic view, with out over processing. And I think my image is possibly similar to a view through a 20″ or larger Dobson.”
Equipment: Orion Optics SPX200-800 f4 “AG”, a William Optics ZS66SD for guiding and wide field observing. Losmandy G11 with Gemini L4. Atik 16-IC with a filter wheel and Baader MPCC coma corrector. QHY5 for guiding.
Nick James made this image of SN 2011B in NGC 2655 on February 3rd at 00:23:54 UT, using a Celestron C11 with ST9XE CCD camera. 10×30s unfiltered exposures.
At 13th magnitude this supernova is within reach of visual observers, and NGC 2655 is well placed for observing in Camelopardalis.
Martin Mobberley also shot this supernova earlier that night: