The Journal of the British Astronomical Association

Volume 116, No.5: 2006 October

Summary contents page

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

On the cover: A new red spot on Jupiter

Jupiter's oval BA, displaying a new orange colour like the Great Red Spot. In the full-disk images, oval BA is on the central meridian and the GRS is to the left. South is up. From top to bottom: (a) 2006 April 25, Hubble Space Telescope (ACS/HRC): credit Drs Imke de Pater, Michael Wong, and Amy Simon-Miller. (b) April 15, 02:54 UT, CM2=143: Damian Peach (Barbados). (c) May 28, 12:57 UT, CM2=134: Christopher Go (Philippines). (d) July 20, CM2=109: Stefan Buda (Australia): oval BA now passing the GRS. See also pages 226-228.

Notes and News

From the President (Richard Miles ) / One last blast from the Leonids? (Neil Bone) / Solar Section (Lyn Smith ) / 'Hello' from your new Director (Lyn Smith) / Jupiter in 2006 (John H. Rogers)

Presidential Address 2005

Tools for supernovae: Discovery and follow up ... Tom Boles

Have you ever wondered what motivates someone to search for supernovae? There is the thrill of discovery of course, but if this were all, you would tire of it very quickly. It takes between three and four thousand patrols to discover one supernova, so it could be very disheartening. To put it another way, between one hundred and two hundred hours' work are needed between each discovery report, not to mention the extra hours that the vagaries of our maritime climate add to that total. I wonder what other branch of observing there can be where, even with a GoTo system, it takes 110 hours to find what you're looking for. Seriously, there has to be something else motivating the observer.
Above: UK supernova patrollers. Top left: Mark Armstrong; top right: Tom Boles; bottom: Ron Arbour.

Refereed papers

The aurora 2004 ... R. J. Livesey

This report summarises observations of the aurora relating to the northern hemisphere collected by members and correspondents of the Aurora Section in 2004.

Brief outbursts in the dwarf nova V1316 Cygni ... Jeremy Shears, David Boyd & Gary Poyner

Several brief outbursts were detected in the dwarf nova V1316 Cyg during 2005. These events have an average amplitude of 1.4 magnitude and a duration of <1 to 2 days. Whilst no outburst period could be confirmed, the shortest period between detected events is 10 days. These curious brief outbursts appear to be the normal pattern of behaviour for this system. They are of smaller amplitude and shorter duration than normal outbursts previously reported in this star. V1316 Cyg appears to be a very unusual system and we suggest that further observations by both amateur and professional astronomers could yield important information about the underlying mechanism.

A study of the T. Mayer B lunar highland dome ... Rodrigo Viegas et al.

This study describes a highland dome that to our knowledge was previously unreported; it is neither on the ALPO list nor classified. Positioned at 31.08 W and 14.77 N, this dome stands about 100km to the NW of the well known highland dome adjacent to T. Mayer D, embedded in the hummocky terrain south of the Carpathian Mts. We report CCD imagery including a calculated slope and height for the dome. An image-based three-dimensional reconstruction of the dome is performed based on a shape-from-shading approach. This has made it possible to extract additional information for its classification and interpretation in geological terms.

Report of the Council and Accounts for the session 2005-2006

Click here to obtain a PDF file of any of these articles


  • Seeing Mercury ... John Vetterlein, Nicholas Kollerstrom
  • 'Where have all the observers gone' ... Tony Markham, John Brown, Alan W. Heath
  • 'Robert Burns and the aurora' ... Christopher Maycock
  • 'The Sky at Night goes South' ... M. S. Ghorbal

  • Observers' Forum

  • V2362 Cygni: a 2006 nova in Cygnus [Image by Richard Miles] ... Guy Hurst
  • Longitudes of the central meridians of Jupiter and Saturn ... Gordon E. Taylor
  • Observing the galaxies of the 'Local Group' ... Stewart Moore

  • Reviews

  • The amateur astronomer by Patrick Moore
    Springer-Verlag, 2005. ISBN 1-85233-878-4. Pp viii + 293, hbk.
    Reviewed by Martin Morgan-Taylor
  • Fundamentals of solar astronomy by Arvin Bhatnagar & William Livingston
    World Scientific, 2005. ISBN 981-256-357-1. Pp 445, 20.00 Amazon (pbk).
    Reviewed by Dave Airey
  • Giant planets of our solar system: an introduction by Patrick Irwin
    Springer-Praxis, 2006. ISBN 3-540-31317-6. Pp xxv + 320, 38.50 (pbk).
    Reviewed by John H. Rogers

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  • Out-of-London meeting, Cambridge, 2005 September 2-4 ... John H. Rogers & Doug Ellison

  • Sky notes for 2006 October & November

      by Neil Bone

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