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The Journal of the British Astronomical Association, 2020 June

Volume 130, Number 3

Exciting results from NASA's Juno mission, a new technique to study Martian dust storms and astronomical adventures in India, plus memories of Dr Heather Couper and Jim Hysom.

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:

Observers' Forum

BAA Update

Dr Heather Couper (1949–2020)
John Rogers & Alan Dowdell

Refereed Papers

Prof Jean Dragesco : A celebration of the centenary of his birth
Prof Jean Dragesco (b. 1920) gained a worldwide reputation as a photographer of the microscopic scale to the macroscopic. Protistologist by profession and amateur astronomer by inclination, his solar, lunar, planetary and cometary photographs have been admired by a generation of BAA members. This short paper celebrates the centenary of his birth.
Richard McKim
Spatial analysis using ArcGIS of the Valles Marineris region of Mars during the 2018 global dust storm
During the 2018 Mars opposition a global dust storm developed in the period from May to July and declined again in September. Interestingly, when the storm vanished an accumulation of dust could be detected at several locations, including the Valles Marineris region. In order to correlate local topographic features with the distribution of dust we have investigated the nature of the Valles Marineris terrain using ArcGIS software and detailed elevation data. Spatial analysis using ArcGIS seems to be a useful tool to obtain more insight into dynamic features on Mars and other planets.
Eric Sussenbach & John Sussenbach
Challenging visual binaries: the case of γ2 Andromedae
Gamma-2 Andromedae, the blue partner in the beautiful coloured double star Almach, is itself one of the most famous revolving binaries in the heavens: O-Epsilon 38. Always a challenging target for visual observation in sub-metre-class telescopes, this system has recently been going through periastron and has been irresolvable. As it begins to open out again, the time seems ripe to present the author’s observations of the last 26 years, as an encouragement to others to follow this beautiful but difficult orbital system.
J. Christopher Taylor
The brighter comets of 2016
A report of the Comet Section (Director: N. D. James). In this report, observations of the brighter or more interesting comets at perihelion during 2016 are described and analysed, concentrating on those visually observed. Magnitude parameters are given for all comets with observations. Any evolution in the magnitude parameters of those periodic comets with multiple returns is discussed. Additional information on the comets discussed here, and on other comets seen or at perihelion during the year, may be found on the Section’s visual observations web pages.
Jonathan Shanklin