9,000th member image uploaded

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    Dominic Ford

    Earlier today, the tally of member observations uploaded to community area of the BAA website passed the 9,000 mark – an impressive tally.

    In 2020 alone, we’ve received over 3,000 images from 194 observers. You can see a full histogram of uploads over time here: https://britastro.org/observations/histogram.php

    Keep up the good work, everyone. At this rate, it won’t be long before we receive our 10,000th image!

    Alan Thomas

    Thanks for this, Dominic.

    Interesting to play around with the histograms and to see the overall growth of imaging in the last few years – a reflection of a more general trend?


    Michael E. Marotta

    Very good news. Thanks to all.

    Andrew Read

    An unusual anniversary!

    Dr Paul Leyland

    Grant Privett

    Nope. Don’t understand yer banter, old boy!


    Dr Paul Leyland

    (incidentally, I tried to type it in directly using UTF-8 characters but the web server threw a wobbly.)

    The original to which I responded contained three characters, each of which were a sexadecimal digit. It read 2-30-2. For some reason I do not presently understand, two different representations of ‘2’ were used. Converting to decimal, 2*60*60 + 30 * 60 +2 = 9002, the number of images uploaded at the time of posting.

    My response was in Sumerian because I barely know Akkadian and so didn’t try to push my luck.

    The first character is niĝ which means “thing”. The second is “maḥ” which translates as “magnificent” or “great”. In Sumerian the adjective follows the noun. So, a colloquial translation would be “great work!” or perhaps just “great!”.

    The final characters form my signature in syllabic characters. PA UL LE LA AN. The terminal ‘D’ is omitted because Sumerian doesn’t have consonantal clusters and a scribe (DUB SAR) would not have transliterated it. It is moderately conventional to add DUB SAR (i.e. “written by”) to a text one has written but I decided not to on this occasion.

    Here endeth the first lesson.

    Definitely time I started learning Akkadian properly because almost all Babylonian astronomical texts are in that language.

    Lars Lindhard

    Don’t worry. Both languages will be in google translate in a few months time:-)

    Andrew Read

    Xilman shows me up in my ignorance.  Seeing 9,000 and with two minutes of lunchtime remaining, I was curious if 9000 was a round number in – for example – base 60.  Unable to do that in my head I lazily googled for a converter and found this one 


    Enter, 9000 in the middle box and hit ‘convirtir’

    Had I my wits about me I would have gone straight to Wolfram Alpha


    Anyway you learn something new every day.

    Dr Paul Leyland

    Ah, that may explain the final “2” character. It is presumably there to avoid confusion for modern readers.

    An ancient writer would have written 9000 as 2-30 (i.e. 2*60+30 = 150) with the final multiplication by 60 being implied. Their mathematicians did have a character for zero but it was only ever used in intermediate positions and never to set the scale. So 9000, 150, 5/2 and 1/24 would all be written 2-30.

    (Added in edit)

    Incidentally, those of us old enough to know how to use a guessing stick (“slipstick” on the other side of the pond) rarely had any problem with a lack of leading or trailing zeros. The Mesopotamian scribes very occasionally got it wrong, but I doubt that they did so more often than we did.

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