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The Journal of the British Astronomical Association, 2017 August

Volume 127, Number 4

A bumper issue with five fine observational papers presenting the work of BAA members worldwide; Damian Peach shows how to capture the galaxy’s most remote and obscure globular clusters, and Mike Kretlow from IOTA-ES describes a stellar occultation by Triton in October, observable from the UK, Europe and the eastern USA.

Log in or join the BAA today to view this journal online. A full list of contents is also available.

Selected highlights from this Journal:

Refereed Papers

Observing Uranus and its satellites, 2006−2016
For amateur astronomers the distant planet Uranus is a considerable observing challenge. With its angular size of about 3.6 arcseconds it is not easy to detect details in its atmosphere, and imaging of its faint satellites requires relatively long exposure times. Nevertheless, with the development of new digital cameras with increased sensitivity the planet and its satellites have become interesting objects of study. In this report covering the period 2006-2016, progress in imaging Uranus by the author is demonstrated. In particular this shows that the detection of features in the atmosphere of Uranus has become a promising field for future investigation.
John Sussenbach
Thomas Hughes Buffham – Uranus pioneer
An outline of the life and work of amateur astronomer and microscopist Thomas Hughes Buffham, with reference to his observations of Uranus in 1870-’72 and an assessment of the validity of two observations of white spots on the surface of Uranus made by him in 1870 January.
Kevin Bailey
The elongations of Mercury 2007−2016, and the 2016 solar transit
In this paper we review telescopic observational data of Mercury from 2007 November to 2016 October inclusive, and describe the results of the 2016 solar transit. A gradual improvement in imaging technique has enabled observers to record albedo features upon Mercury’s surface as well as many bright patches corresponding to the ejecta regions of bright craters. An albedo chart and a Messenger map are presented for comparison. At the solar transit, observers obtained images in white light as well as in the wavelengths of H-alpha and Calcium K, timed the various contacts, and re-observed certain optical effects, comparing the results with those obtained at previous events.
Richard McKim
Video meteor spectroscopic and orbital observations, 2015 April to 2016 April
This paper reviews the combined video meteor spectroscopic observations of the Kilwinning Spectroscopic Survey for Meteors (KiSSMe) and the related mutual capture, multi-video station orbital observations from the Network for Meteor Triangulation and Orbit Determination group (NEMETODE) in the period between 2015 April and 2016 April. A total of eleven mutual events were captured. A brief comment is made about the main lines in each spectrum and orbital elements are presented for eight of the meteors.
Bill Ward
Noctilucent cloud over Britain and Western Europe, 2015–2016
This paper looks at NLC frequency and distribution of observations during the first two years of solar cycle 24’s decline from maximum.
Ken Kennedy
Determining the magnitudes & spectral types of the components of the binary Mira star X Ophiuchi
Analysis of new photometry and spectroscopy of the binary Mira-type variable star X Ophiuchi between 2016 May and 2016 Dec indicates that the V magnitude of the constant star is 9.0 and its spectral type K1III. The spectral type of the Mira changed from M6III at maximum to M7III as it faded and passed through minimum. The Mira’s V magnitude varied between 6.47 at maximum and 9.83 at minimum, a range of 3.36 mags.
David Boyd