Some members may have seen the recent press release on the recent activity in the blazar OJ287. Readers of Astronomy Now will probably read about it in the next issue. The graphic of OJ287 which accompanies the release is wrongly credited to me. It was in fact Martin Mobberley who produced it way back in 2007 when the last observing campaign of this amazing object was drawing to a close. I have of course contacted the relevant people, but I would just like members to know that Martin deserves the credit for the artwork.
The graphic in question was actually Figure 5.10a from my book ‘Cataclysmic Cosmic Events and How to Observe Them’, probably the world’s slowest selling book! Figure 5.11 was the BAA lightcurve produced by yourself. I just looked back at our 2007 e-mails and in fact there was another similar diagram in circulation at that time. We both asked OJ 287 expert Dr Mauri Valtonen if the image was his, and he said it was drawn by Sky & Telescope. I think we both asked S&T for permission to use it, but never received a reply! So, in the end, I drew the diagram in question myself, based on Mauri’s data…. The OJ 287 disc is actually a blurred image of mine, of M81, tinted blue!
Yes, the appearance of titles on illegal sites even BEFORE they are published is particularly worrying, assuming they can actually be downloaded, along with a bucketload of malware! I suspect security is non-existent in some of the dodgy places these books are actually typeset….. Depressing!