It gives me great pleasure to introduce the 38th Journal of the ASE. I would like to thank the contributors and, in particular, Dave Gavine for his significant work in continuing to provide the editorship and production of this publication.
Having recently taken over from Jim Nisbet as President, I would like to thank Jim who has amazingly executed the double role as both President and Treasurer over the past two years. I am pleased to say that he has agreed to continue as Treasurer, his prudence being more famous than that of the Chancellor of the Exchequer!
Graham Rule is continuing to represent the Society on the Calton Hill Advisory Group set up to look at all aspects of future developments on the Hill. We will continue to keep you informed at meetings should any significant issues arise. Unfortunately the Society was not in a position to have its usual Open Day during the Science Festival owing to the state of the Playfair Building while essential repairs were taking place.
Council meetings and after-meeting refreshments continue to take place in the City Dome while the repair work continues. The resolution of the dry rot situation within the library is progressing and I am glad to report that we will be able to go ahead with the Open Doors Day on 26th September this year.
In addition, an exhibition on Astronomy is being organised for the summer by Jamie Shepherd. The main theme of the exhibition will be a display of genuine meteorites. Jamie has acquired a particularly superb meteorite for the Society through a donation from a collector in the USA
Although the Summer Solstice has recently occurred and the light evenings make observing the night sky more difficult, remember that the observatory is still open most Friday evenings. You will be able to borrow a book, look through a telescope or simply just chat about astronomy with other members.
Another exciting thing on the horizon, we are currently negotiating with the NERC the setting up of a dark site observing centre at Earliburn, a few miles south of Edinburgh. It is hoped to organise observing parties on a regular basis to allow more effective observing to take place away from the City Centre.
What draws many of us to Astronomy are the variety of different areas that everyone can get involved in. The ASE will help you to fulfil your interest whether it is in observing the Planets, the Moon, the Sun, nebulae, galaxies, star clusters, comets, meteors, satellite tracking, space-flight, telescope making, Aurorae, NLC's, eclipses, occultations, variable stars, double stars, astro-photography, or just plain old star-gazing.