ASE logo Astronomical Society of Edinburgh


No. 48 - June 2005

From the President

As many people are saying: we are living in exciting times astronomically. There is an opportunity for the Society to expand its activities and to reach out to new members including young people.

Your Council are finalising the publication of a Membership recruitment leaflet. We hope, with your help, to make this available to the public in schools, libraries and community centres throughout Edinburgh. If the ASE was to double its membership over the next two or three years we would be in a very good position.

We plan to highlight coming astronomy events and help the public to observe them. There is an eclipse of the sun on Monday 3rd October visible at around 9am in Edinburgh. Here the sun will be partially eclipsed up to about 60 %. Mars comes to opposition (closest approach to the Earth) every two years. There is an opposition on Monday 7th November. Mars will be an attractive bright object at magnitude -2.3 at about 45 degrees above the horizon. Though not as close as the opposition in 2003 the planet is higher in the sky. It will be an easier and better object to observe. As in 2003 we hope to produce an observing guide for the public.

We are very pleased to have the article from Lorna McCalman in this edition of the Journal. The article that you will read is an amended version of an article that is aimed at school children. We hope to publish the full version as a Society pamphlet that can be used schools in Edinburgh.

I think that there is a lot of people, young and old, who would like to observe and appreciate what is going on in the night sky. With the help of all our members the Society can help meet this need. With a little higher public profile I am sure that we can put pressure on the City Council to carry out the necessary refurbishment of the City Observatory and its facilities. It will be expensive but such a historical building must not be allowed to fall into disrepair. It would be a great pity to lose these facilities never mind the modern Centre that ought to be present.

I heard our City leaders saying at a recent conference that Edinburgh likes to be seen as the foremost European city in terms of education / cultural and science facilities. This ought to mean that refurbishing the City Observatory becomes a priority. Let us hope that it will.

Des Loughney


Cover page

From the President

Cooling the Earth

See the Sun in a different light

The 2005 Scottish Astronomy Weekend

Z Ursae Maioris

The Televue Radian eyepiece

The Society at work and the City Observatory

About the ASE Journal

This journal as a single web page

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