ASE logo The Astronomical Society of Edinburgh


No 51 - December 2006

From the president

In the last edition of the Journal we expressed fears about our future at the City Observatory. Some of these fears have not been resolved. The toilets are still in disrepair. The collapsed ceiling which prevents access to the Cooke refractor has still to be sorted. It is a shame that the necessary finance cannot be found to allow proper access to such important buildings in the history of science, astronomy and Edinburgh. Perhaps now is the time to ask our members and the wider public to join in a campaign to get the City Observatory properly restored. I am going to ask the Council of the Society to draft a model letter which people can use to put pressure on the City Council.

On a brighter note the City Council granted the Society 100 % rates relief. This was long overdue. Previously we had enjoyed 80 % rates relief. The remaining 20 % still came to some £1,400 and was a substantial burden on the Society. Most of our resources were devoted to the property rather than furthering interest in astronomy. We now, thankfully, have an opportunity to improve our services not only to our members but also the public. This is a welcome development.

The Society started a series of evening classes in the autumn on the theme of the Solar System. Although evening lectures are organised by the Royal Observatory on Blackford Hill we considered that in a city the size of Edinburgh there was room for another series near the city centre. The classes have been reasonably successful. A further series is now being planned for the spring on the theme of "Stars and Galaxies". Hopefully, this series will start at the end of January and will continue through eight sessions into March.

Recently I was contacted by photography students at Stevenson College to give a presentation on basic astrophotography projects. This was an interesting experience. I had not realised that astrophotography projects were possible assignments for the students. I think that photography courses are offered in all the Edinburgh colleges due to public interest and demand from all generations. It may be a new fruitful area for ASE members with the appropriate expertise to further knowledge of astronomy. If any member(s) are interested in working with the colleges I would be happy to meet and discuss what can be done. It might be possible to offer colleges, via our web site, what the Stevenson students were after, basic projects in astrophotography, using the new generation of powerful digital cameras.

Des Loughney, president


Cover page

Observing from Edinburgh 1978-1984

Solar global warming

Pluto and the planets

SAW 2006

Recent observations

From the president

Earlyburn sold

From the editor

Forthcoming events

About the ASE Journal

This journal as a single web page

This journal as PDF file (308 kByte)

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