BAA Meeting at Manchester Metropolitan University

Friday, 1996 April 26 to Sunday, April 28

See just what you Missed!

The Manchester Astronomical Society, and the British Astronomical Association held a special joint meeting in Manchester on Saturday, April 27.

Friday April 26th.

Cheese and wine reception party for the BAA at the Godlee Observatory, UMIST.

Tony Cross and Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw
Tony Cross and Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw at the start of the evening.

Dennis and Martin
Dennis Buczynski, Martin Mobberley
Colin and Ray
Colin Harrison, Ray Brierley
A good time had by all, not only wine was consumed that evening!

Saturday April 27th. BAA meeting

Held at the Manchester Metropolitan University, in the Manchester Lecture Theatre, All Saints Building, Oxford Road, Manchester.

Morning Events

Prof. Tom Millar Prof. Tom Millar, Department of Physics, UMIST gave a talk on "The Physics and Chemistry of Star Formation". Prof. Miller, explained with viewgraphs and slides how and where stars were being formed. There are many molecules in space, each one emits radiation at a particular frequency. He empathised the necessity of making many observations in many different wavelengths, much with radio telescopes to determine the nature and composition of star forming regions in order to find out exactly where the stars will form.

Dr. John E. Geake 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.

Afternoon Events

Maurice Gavin Dr John Mason BAA meeting. Chaired by Maurice Gavin, President of the BAA.

With the Minutes given by Dr John Mason.

Dr Henry Soper presented with medal by Maurice Gavin Dr Henry Soper 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.

Professor George Isaak Demo 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

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 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 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 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!

Group photo at Town Hall 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.

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Page modified 21 January, 2005