Historical VS obs

Jeremy Shears

This is excellent work, Alex. Thank you to you and the team, including Roger Pickard, Tracie Heywood, Terry Miles, John Fairweather and Bob Dryden, for working hard to get Melvyn’s and other observers’ obs into the VSS database. Brilliant news about King’s observations!

Only this week we were contacted by Prof Edward Guinan and his student for BAA VSS data on Betelgeuse from the 1890’s. Edward is at Villanova University and has published on the recent fade of Betelgeuse and these data will help his research.

As you say, there is likely other data out there, in observing books and elsewhere that could be very valuable. One potential source I have thought about is the English Mechanic. In the 19th century it was quite common for people to write letters to the newspaper with their VS observations. However, in many cases some details are missing. It would be quite an arduous task to go through all the editions, even though the scanned EM is available on disc. Another project for the future….