The Journal of the British Astronomical Association

Volume 116, No.1: 2006 February

Summary contents page

Detailed contents: Notes and News / Articles / Observers' Forum / Reviews / Letters / Meetings / BAA Update

On the cover: Dust in the 'Eye of Mars'

Dust in the 'Eye of Mars'. Mars Section Director Dr Richard McKim supplied this montage of images by Clay Sherrod and Damian Peach of the recent perihelic opposition and dust storm. See 'Notes and News' below.

Notes and News

From the President: the excitement and awe of astronomy (Richard Miles) / Calling all new members (Martin Morgan-Taylor ) / Solar Section (Mike Beales) / Newcastle and North Tyneside light the way (Bob Mizon ) / Mars in 2005: first interim report (Richard McKim) / Aurora Section (R. J. Livesey) / Tom Boles bags the first supernova of 2006 (Hazel McGee) / The Asteroids and Remote Planets Section (Roger Dymock) / Observing the planetary nebula NGC 1514 (Stewart Moore)

Refereed papers

Predicting astronomical seeing in the UK ... Damian Peach

During the last several years the author had a particular interest in the prevailing seeing conditions from the three sites in the southern UK where he has lived, and presents in this paper a guide to predicting astronomical seeing with good accuracy based on the knowledge and experience he has gained during several years of studying this phenomenon. The study concentrates on the general prevailing seeing across the southern United Kingdom. Get PDF

A rapid roll-out Newtonian shelter for a dedicated planetary instrument ... Martin Mobberley

While my run-off sheds have become increasingly user-friendly over the years, I felt that my lightweight 25cm f/6.3 planetary instrument could enjoy an even friendlier structure. What if the telescope itself did the moving, not the shed? My main concern here was whether the roll-out of such a telescope could be smooth and leave optical collimation unaffected. I decided it could and, with my father's woodworking expertise, also decided that a simple shelter could be designed around this principle. Get PDF

Solar chromospheric darkenings around active areas ... Eric Strach

Unusually dark areas have occasionally been observed in the solar chromosphere adjacent to an active sunspot group when near the solar limb. An attempt is made to explain this phenomenon. Get PDF

The mean density of the Earth ... David Hughes

The historical measurements of the mean density of the Earth are reviewed and the significance of its value is briefly discussed. Get PDF

V973 Cygni - an overlooked semi-regular variable? ... J. J. Howarth

The giant spectral-type-M star V973 Cygni has appeared in various surveys over the past 50 years and is listed in many catalogues, but its variability has not always been recognised. This paper analyses 1,543 visual observations submitted to the BAAVSS over the past 23 years, confirms the 40-day period listed in the GCVS and identifies several longer-term ones. Get PDF

Observations of the recently discovered dwarf nova 1RXS J053234.9+624755 during the 2005 March superoutburst ... Gary Poyner & Jeremy Shears

1RXS J053234.9+624755 is a recently discovered dwarf nova. We present CCD and visual photometry during 2005 March of the first ever observed superoutburst in this system. Get PDF

The Zeeman effect observed with a spectrohelioscope ... Fredrick N. Veio & Leonard F. Higgins

A spectrohelioscope can visually detect the widening and sometimes splitting of a solar line across a sunspot umbra. This is known as the Zeeman effect, discovered by Dr Pieter Zeeman in 1896. This effect is caused by the magnetic field in the vicinity of a sunspot which splits the energy levels of atoms into more than one level. This then causes spectral lines to split with the amount of splitting proportional to the strength of the magnetic field. The widening of some of the photospheric spectral lines can be observed with a high resolution spectroscope. A 50x50mm area grating of 1200 grooves/mm will resolve in the second order about 0.05, which is quite adequate. Get PDF

Lunar domes: a generic classification of the dome near Valentine located at 10.26E and 31.89N ... Raffaelo Lena et al.

We describe a dome located at longitude 10.26E and latitude 31.89N, including data about slope and height. An image-based three-dimensional reconstruction of the eastern part of the dome is performed based on shape using a shading approach. This has made it possible to extract additional information for its classification and interpretation in geological terms. Get PDF

Index to Volume 115 (2005)


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  • Planetary geology: an introduction by Claudio Vita-Finzi
    Terra Publishing, 2005. ISBN 1-903544-20-3. Pp viii + 168, 19.95 (pbk).
    Reviewed by David Rothery
  • The Hatfield SCT lunar atlas by Jeremy Cook
    Springer-Verlag, 2005. ISBN 1-85233-749-4. Pp 122, 24.95 (hbk)
    Reviewed by Alan Wells

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  • 'Centenaries for 2006' ... Robert Argyle & Darren Beard
  • Richard Baum and the Walter H. Haas Award ... Robert Garfinkle
  • Slides of recent comets and other phenomena ... Anthony Kinder
  • The brightest feature on the Moon? ... Richard McKim
  • The worsening curse of light pollution ... James Abbott
  • Proliferation of local solar eclipses ... Jean Meeus
  • Observing the aurora from the UK ... Ron Livesey

  • Meeting reports

  • Special General and Ordinary Meetings, 2005 March 30 ... Dominic Ford Get PDF

  • Observers' Forum

  • Annular solar eclipse, 2005 October 3 ... John McElroy et al.
  • The Variable Star Section CCD target list ... Roger Pickard
  • Two more UK near Earth asteroid discoveries ... Roger Dymock

  • BAA Update

  • Obituary: Andrew John Hollis, 1947-2005 ... Richard Miles
  • Obituary: John Louis Perdrix, 1926-2005 ... Wayne Orchiston

  • Sky notes for 2006 February & March

      by Neil Bone

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