The Journal of the British Astronomical Association

Volume 117, No.3: 2007 June

Summary contents page

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

On the cover: New Horizons at Jupiter

The new face of Jupiter in 2007, revealed by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft earlier this year and by ground-based images from Australian amateurs Stefan Buda (top left) and Zac Pujic. The main image shows the Great Red Spot area on February 27, imaged by New Horizons in the infrared. See article by John Rogers and full caption details on page 113. New Horizons images courtesy NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab/Southwest Research Institute.

Notes and News

The Christmas and New Year Orion Star Count (Richard Miles & David Lloyd) ) / From the President (Richard Miles) / Jupiter embarks on a 'global upheaval' (John H. Rogers) / Two supernova discoveries for Ron Arbour (Stewart L. Moore) / Solar Section (Lyn Smith)

Photo: The central region of the globular cluster M13, imaged by the 2.0 metre Faulkes Telescope North through a V filter using an exposure time of 5 seconds. The image was obtained remotely at the BAA Winchester Weekend meeting on 2007 March 31.

Refereed articles

James Wigglesworth and the Great Scarborough Telescope ... Raymond Emery & David Hawkridge

It may come as something of a surprise to many readers of this Journal to learn that there was once - albeit briefly - a major astronomical establishment in the town of Scarborough, queen of Yorkshire's many fine seaside resorts. Moreover, the legacy of this brief flowering of astronomy in the bracing North Sea air (or German Ocean, at it would have been at the time) is set in perpetuity in the form of contributions made to the famous New General Catalogue of deep sky objects.

The Geminid meteor shower in 2001 ... Neil Bone

Absence of moonlight favoured the prolific Geminid meteor shower around its maximum on 2001 December 13-14. Clear skies allowed collection of a substantial body of watch data from the British Isles, indicating another strong, broad maximum, with corrected Zenithal Hourly Rates reaching 100-110 early on Dec 14. Bright Geminids were perhaps less abundant than in some recent previous years. As usual, the proportion of Geminid meteors showing persistent train phenomena was lower than for other major showers.

Mare Orientale: the Eastern Sea in the West: Discovery and nomenclature ... Richard Baum & Ewen A. Whitaker

The history of the discovery of the great impact feature on the Moon known as the Orientale basin is traced from its partial recognition in the eighteenth century to its identification and naming by the German astronomer Julius Heinrich Georg Franz sometime before 1906, through to Hugh Percival Wilkins who made the first detailed visual study in 1937, and the observations of Samuel Morris Green in the period 1938-1939. Some account is also given of later developments in the saga of its nomenclature and the eventual recognition of its true physical character

HR Lyrae (Nova Lyr 1919): from outburst to active quiescence ... Jeremy Shears & Gary Poyner

Nova Lyrae was discovered at the Harvard College Observatory on 1919 December 6 at magnitude 6.5. We present a lightcurve for this nova based on published and archival observations. This was a classical fast nova, probably of type B. Decline times were t2 = 31 or 47d, depending on the method used, and t3 = 97d. The amplitude was at least 9.5 magnitudes. Based on our t2 values, we estimate that the absolute magnitude at maximum was -6.9 or -7.2 (1.1) and at minimum is +2.3 or 2.6 (1.1). The star shows an active quiescence with brightness variations on a variety of timescales. Visual observations over a period of ten years also reveal long periods when the star was around 15.4v and others when it was close to 15.7v. Finally, we point out that some characteristics of the star are similar to those of recurrent novae and propose further monitoring of future activity.

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Observers' Forum

  • Occultation of Saturn by the Moon, 2007 March 2 ... Mike Foulkes
  • Total lunar eclipse, 2007 March 3 ... Lee Macdonald
  • Delights in Delphinus ... Stewart L. Moore

  • Composite image showing the southern regions of the Moon and Saturn at maximum occultation on March 2 as seen from Selsey, Sussex. Pete Lawrence


  • Ordinary Meeting and Exhibition Meeting, 2006 June 24 ... Hazel McGee & Martin Mobberley
  • Observing the Sun with the Solar Section ... Lyn Smith
  • Asteroids & Remote Planets Section - past, present and future ... Roger Dymock
  • Annual General Meeting and Ordinary Meeting, 2006 October 25 ... Dominic Ford

  • Reviews

  • State of the Universe 2007: New images, discoveries and events by Martin Ratcliffe
    Springer/Praxis, 2007. ISBN 0-387-34178-1. Pp xiii + 187, 15.50 (hbk).
    Reviewed by Jacqueline Mitton
  • The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the Stars by James B. Kaler
    Cambridge University Press, 2006. ISBN 0-521-81803-6. Pp ix + 324, 35.00 (hbk).
    Reviewed by Roger Pickard
  • Handbook of space astronomy and astrophysics by Martin V. Zombeck
    Cambridge University Press, 2007. ISBN 0-521-78242-2. Pp v + 767, 50.00 (hbk)..
    Reviewed by Richard Miles

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  • Meetings Diary and notices

  • Sky notes for 2007 June & July ... Neil Bone

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