ASE logo The Astronomical Society of Edinburgh

Journal

No 58 - December 2008

Society news

As part of Edinburgh's Doors Open Day, the Astronomer's House was open to the public on 2008-09-27. This is the house that is part of the Calton Hill observatory, perched on the edge of the hill overlooking Waterloo Place and Princes Street. In the Doors Open programme, this is called the James Craig House after its architect, who won the competition to design the First New Town in 1767. The House is depicted on the title page of ASE Journal 37 after a drawing from around 1845. Thanks to Graham Rule, Iain McEachran, Peter Mulholland, Alan Ellis, Danny Gallacher, and Ken and Rachel Thomas, the Society also opened the Playfair building, including the Cooke refractor dome. Over 2000 visitors passed through both the Astronomer's House and the Playfair building that day.

At the ordinary meeting on 2008-09-05 Gerry Taylor gave a talk entitled "Twenty bright stars"; your Editor was unfortunately overseas once again and missed this meeting. On 2008-10-03, the speaker was Des Loughney with an illustrated report of his travel to China to see the total solar eclipse on 2008-08-01. In November Ken Thomas stepped in at short notice to give a talk on 2008-11-07 on the 18th century York astronomer John Goodricke, best known for his observations of variable stars.

At most ordinary meetings Alan Pickup gives a presentation about the sky in the forthcoming month, usually including snippets of recent news in the fields of observational astronomy and spaceflight.

Following the talk at the October meeting, the President and Secretary brought up the subject of the state of Calton Hill. There are too many facets to the issues to discuss here in sufficient detail, but it would appear that the Society is slowly edging towards extracting itself from Calton Hill. The Council of the Society intends to complete a discussion paper in time for distribution to Members at the December ordinary meeting. Further copies would then be sent out with the Journal or by email. The January ordinary meeting would then be dedicated to discussion and feedback from Members to the Council.


Contents

Cover page

IYA astro-happening at Science Festival

Johann von Lamont - Bavaria's Scottish Astronomer Royal

Never the TWAN shall meet?

Total eclipse of the sun on 1st August 2008

Forthcoming events

Exoplanets come into view

Recent observations

Variable star observing workshop

Society news

About the ASE Journal


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