The Manchester Astronomical Society, and the British Astronomical Association held a special joint meeting in Manchester on Saturday, April 27.
Dennis Buczynski, Martin Mobberley
Colin Harrison, Ray Brierley
|A good time had by all, not only wine was consumed that evening!|
Dr. John E. Geake, Department of Physics, UMIST and Adjunct Professor, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona. Described the "UMIST Refractometer on Titan" one of a number of instruments that will land (or more hopefully splash) on the surface of Titan in 2004.
With the Minutes given by Dr John Mason.
Presentation of the BAA's Merlin Medal to Dr Henry Soper, by Maurice Gavin. Dr Soper a member of the Manchester Astronomical Society, has done and still undertakes many observations of fireball's and bright meteors. He specialises in taking all sky photographs with his home made equipment. Much of his work involves obtaining spectra of these meteors. He has obtained many spectra from thousands of camera hours observing time. Dr Soper is noted as taking the best spectra of a meteor in the UK, with some 80 lines present. This spectra was analysed by the Late Harold Ridley.
The Main Lecture, "Global Solar Oscillations", given by Professor George Isaak, School of Physics and Space Research, University of Birmingham. A most enthusiastic and illuminating talk with some practical demonstrations. He explained how he and his team were able to take very small, accurate measurements of the Solar Oscillations, measurements which were taken with relatively simple equipment over many years from a number of sites around the world. Professor Isaak then finished by stating that from the observations it would appear as if we have all over estimated the age of the Sun, and therefore all other stars. So perhaps the oldest stars found in some globular clusters are not older than the Universe (which of course they can not be). So perhaps the Hubble Constant is not far out after all.
Martin Mobberly gave the current observing notes for May.
He predicted cloud over Manchester for the forthcoming month. I think he may just be right there!
Jonathan Shanklin talked about Comet Hyakatake, 1996/B2. In order to observe the comet Nick James, Martin Mobberley and Glyn Marsh went to Tenerife. They were rewarded with fantastic views of the comet which Nick James shared with us at the meeting, photographs, some taken with a standard 50mm camera lens showing a huge coma and tail stretching right across the field. I just sat there with my bottom jaw on my lap! See the TA Comet page for some of these images.
Kevin Kilburn described the Pole Stars of the Planets, and how he came to discover what these were. Kevin is a member of the Manchester Astronomical Society, and Past President.
Michael Maunder discussed Planetary Conjunctions and Appulses. Michael showed us that you don't need to use expensive automatic cameras to takes photographs of conjunctions, and gave many examples of his work. He explained his 5-6 rule for calculating the exposure: Use a film with a film speed near 56 (nearest is 64 ISO) stop the lens down to f5.6 and expose for 5 to 6 seconds, with this rule you should be successful every time.
Beware: Photographing conjunctions with erupting volcano's in the foreground may damage you health!
To round the day off there was a Reception at Manchester Town Hall, hosted by the Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Shaw, who was presented with a photograph of Comet Hyakutake and 2 volumes on the History of the BAA, by Maurice Gavin, (President of the BAA)
Group Photo: (from left, Kevin Kilburn, Rossie Atwell, Maurice Gavin, Murad Ghorbal, Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw, Anne Cross, Tony Cross and Dr Eric Strach)
A great weekend.