The Journal of the British Astronomical Association

Volume 115, No.3: 2005 June


On this page: Notes and News / Articles / Observers' Forum / Reviews / Meetings / BAA Update

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A special issue of the Journal to commemorate
the 2004 transit of Venus

Cover montage by Nick James.

Notes and News

Memorial to George Alcock commissioned by the BAA / From the President (Tom Boles) / Changes in the BAA office (Tom Boles) / Observing Mars in 2005 (Richard McKim) / 'Notes on the phase anomaly and markings of Venus' (Alan W. Heath & Edward Ellis) / Aurora Section (Ron Livesey) / Harold Ridley and a cometary connection (Guy M. Hurst)/ Solar Section (Mike Beales) / Light pollution now subject to the criminal law of statutory nuisance (Martin Morgan-Taylor & Bob Mizon)

The transit of Venus, 2004 June 8

Preamble ... Hazel McGee & Nick James
  • An introduction ... Richard McKim
  • Observations: the ingress
  • Some transit tales from history ... Mike Frost
    2004: the year of the transit ... Valerie & Andrew White
  • Reports and observations I
  • Reports and observations II
  • Observations: the egress

  • Refereed papers

    The 2004 transit of Venus observed from the Open University observatory... Peter Chambers, Alan Cooper, Andrew Norton, Andrew Rix, Malcolm Stewart & John D. Tanner (Open University Astronomy Club) The purpose of this report is to compare the accuracies of five different techniques for determining contact times. Recordings and measurements of the transit were taken through four instruments, the Open University's Meade LX200 for accurate timing of the third contact, and a Meade ETX 105 for coverage of the whole transit. Both were recorded on digital videotape. In addition, images were recorded on a webcam on a 100mm telescope and visual estimates were made with an ETX125. Analysis of the LX200 tapes gave an accuracy of 5 seconds for the time of contact. Methods are compared in the Conclusions. Several other telescopes were used on campus for public displays of the event. There was minimal black drop. (6pp)

    The priest and the stuffed penguin: Father Stephen Perry SJ and the transit of Venus expeditions to Kerguelen Island, 1874, and Madagascar, 1882 ... P. D. Hingley

    The Royal Astronomical Society has been given an album of photographs depicting the British Transit of Venus expeditions to the Kerguelen Islands in 1874 and to Madagascar in 1882. This addition relates closely to other material in the archives on the nineteenth century transit expeditions, some of which is described. The paper also reviews the literature on the nineteenth century transits, and on the two expeditions' leader, Fr Stephen Perry SJ. Finally it provides a glimpse of the considerable contribution to nineteenth-century science made by officers and men of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Royal Engineers. Peter D. Hingley is the Librarian of the RAS. (12pp)

    Copies of any of these articles may be ordered from the BAA office, or
    purchase this Journal or the associated CD-ROM


    In Association with

    (Here is an easy way to obtain your astronomy books, and help the BAA at the same time. Any books or other goods, including videos, computer software and music, ordered from Amazon after following a link from this site - not just books reviewed here - will generate a small commission for the BAA.)

  • Centauri dreams: imagining and planning interstellar exploration by Paul Gilster
    Copernicus Books, 2004. ISBN 0-387-00436-X. Pp xv + 302, 19.00 (hbk).
    Reviewed by Roger O'Brien
  • The transits of Venus by Bill Sheehan & John Westfall
    Prometheus Books, 2004. ISBN 1-59102-175-8. Pp 407, $28.00 (hbk).
    Reviewed by Peter Hingley

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    Meeting reports

  • Annual General Meeting & Ordinary Meeting, 2004 October 27 ... Dominic Ford

  • BAA Update

  • Meeting of the Deep Sky Section, 2005 March 5 ... Lee Macdonald

  • Letters

  • Developing the Royal Observatory, Greenwich: 'A Universal Appeal' ... Prof. Sir Martin Rees
  • An annular-total solar eclipse ... Darren Beard
  • Lighting in Lyme Regis ... R. J. Marriott

  • Sky notes for 2005 June & July

      by Neil Bone

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