ASE logo The Astronomical Society of Edinburgh


No 59 - March 2009

Society news

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.

An entertaining talk was given at the ordinary meeting on 2008-12-05 by Dave Gavine. Supported by 35 mm slides, overhead transparencies and 3D models, Dave explained how sundials work and showed many examples of sundials, mostly from central Scotland. At the meeting on 2009-01-09 members discussed the future for the Society and the venue for meetings. There was near unanimity that we should from now on hold our meetings elsewhere than the City Observatory. 2009-02-06 saw our first meeting at the new venue on George IV Bridge. The main speaker was Graham Rule on the history of our Society. This was preceded by a short presentation by Ken Thomas on the International Year of Astronomy.

Mrs Mary Brück

In December we received the sad news that Mary Brück died after a brief illness. Dr Brück was an Honorary Member of the Society and in 2001 received the Lorimer Medal.

Closure of the City Observatory

The Council of the Astronomical Society of Edinburgh reluctantly has decided that the Society will not hold meetings at the City Observatory for the foreseeable future. The Society is no longer in a position to organise visits or use of the telescope.

The Society has had the use of the Observatory since 1938 and has met regularly at the Calton Hill since 1953. Unfortunately, in the last couple of years vandalism has caused so much damage to the buildings and fittings that we have had to recognise that the site is no longer usable. The main building has suffered severe water damage following multiple thefts of roofing material. The toilet fittings have been completely destroyed by vandals.

It is with great reluctance that the Council of the Society took the decision to move our meetings and to remove all our property. We hope that the City of Edinburgh Council will manage to restore the site to something approaching its earlier glory when it was quite rightly awarded listed status and that the Society may, some day, have renewed access to what was once one of the country's premier civic observatories.

The Society will continue to meet monthly in central Edinburgh and will provide opportunities for the public to see astronomical phenomena with telescopes. Full details of our activities will appear on the Society website.

Lorimer trustees

The Lorimer trustees fulfil an important role in that they hold in trust for the Society a considerable fund that originated in 1937 after John Henry Lorimer bequeathed the bulk of his estate to the Society. The trustees are listed in the Society's annual report. Recently there have been a few changes.

In 2007 Dr John Hunter stepped down as trustee and was replaced by Jim Nisbet. John was on the Council of the Society from 1960 to 1976. During this period he was Vice President and President for two years each, followed by several years as Treasurer. He was Councillor again for several years in the late 1980s.

In 2008 Ray Fenoulhet has stepped down as treasurer and secretary of the trustees and is succeeded in this role by Alan Pickup. Ray remains as trustee. He was on the Council of the Society - with interruptions - from 1967 to 2001. During that period he was President for two years, Vice President twice for a total of three years, and Secretary from 1977 to 1983. Ray has been a trustee since 1983 and the trustees' secretary and treasurer since 2000.


Cover page

Forthcoming events

Moonwatch in North Berwick

Observing session at the dark sky site, Addiewell

2009 A Space Odyssey

Annual General Meeting

Annual Report for 2008

Society news

About the ASE Journal

This journal as a single web page

This journal as PDF file (350 kByte)

Annual report as PDF file (110 kByte)

web: ISSN 1756-5111
print: ISSN 1756-5103

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