Apologies for the time it has taken to respond. I wanted to run my own tests before replying to be sure I was giving you accurate information.
The quick answer is the enlarge button will show a larger image if the image has been made smaller to fit webpage that shows the image and associated information. Also, large images are not recorded at the original resolution in the website.
The BAA website is built using Drupal. When images are uploaded Drupal will sometimes shrink images and may also reduce the image quality to make the image file smaller. We do not consider the member pages a formal image archive for storing images, rather a place to share observations and other interesting astronomical images. A formal image archive would not compress images, but would be a large project and probably not use Drupal.
I’ve run some tests by uploading a fairly large image of the Astronomical Clock at Exeter Cathedral.
I created both jpg and png versions of the image, though I have only left the jpg version on the website. The original image is 2008 x 2443 pixels, with the jpg version 1.28 MB and the png 5.66 MB.
After I had uploading both versions I clicked ‘expand image’ and downloaded the new image. Both jpg and png had been resized by Drupal to 1355 x 1648 pixels, with the jpg image being 246 KB and the png 2.61 MB. However, I uploaded the same jpg image twice during this process and the first time Drupal retained the original size of 2008 x 2443 pixels but reduced the image quality so it was only 530 KB.
Note, while I think this is mostly due to how Drupal works, it is possible that different browsers will give different results. I used Google Chrome on a Windows 10 computer for these tests.
Andy (member of the Website Operations Team)