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About jambouk

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    Red Dwarf

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  1. BAA Historical section meeting - 25th November

    Michael, It was good to meet you on Saturday in the SHA Library. With regards starting out doing research of local past amateur astronomers there are lots of ways to start this. Here are some ideas. Take a look at the SHA website and go to the Survey tab and look at existing entries for the county. There may be entries there your members can add more information to, or existing names known to you which are not yet listed there: https://societyforthehistoryofastronomy.com/ Most county library archives now have an online search tool; search for the terms astronomy, astronomer, telescope, observatory, astronomical, moon, lunar, eclipse, meteor, binoculars etc. Libraries themselves may have material too which isn't yet in the archives; again online searches or go into the library and look up similar terms. The English Mechanic is a great source of information, local libraries may have copies for you to search. Local newspapers; are any of these digitised? Ask the members and contact any much older members of the society who may no longer come to meetings - the older generation may well have valuable information. Ancestry and Genes Reunited can be searched for occupations like astronomer, scientist etc. Speak to a local newspaper and see if they will run an article on the topic; again readers may have information and contact you. Are there any museums locally; contact them as they may have equipment or books which were left to them which could initiate an avenue to explore. Search old journals (MNRAS, BAA Journal etc) for Worcester / Worcestershire etc. Search the SA/NASA site: http://ukads.nottingham.ac.uk/ If you can search church records, look for graves which may have the term astronomer. There is a good article by Mike Frost in the JBAA - BAA members will be able to access the full document: https://www.britastro.org/journal_item/2777 Another good article by Roger Jones from the SHA: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/2006AntAs...3...69J The SHA is holding a research workshop in Feb 2018 in Birmingham; info about this can be found on page 5 of this edition of e-News: https://societyforthehistoryofastronomy.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/sha-enews-2017-04.pdf And join the Society for the History of Astronomy; it's £20 a year or £15 for concessions: https://societyforthehistoryofastronomy.com/join/ Just some ideas to get you going. James
  2. BAA Historical section meeting - 25th November

    The Society for the History of Astronomy is opening its library, and there will also be a book sale of surplus books. I may see some of you there tomorrow. James
  3. SHA e-News, Nov 2017

    The latest edition of e-News from the Society for the History of Astronomy is now out and freely accessible to everyone. https://societyforthehistoryofastronomy.com/the-e-news/ James
  4. I would call up one of the retailers like Rother Valley, Green Witch, FLO and just check. I have only played with one once and it was an NEQ6 - I liked it very much but I have an AZEQ6 and I can get the GOTO accuracy to be pretty good anyway. Why would you want to release the clutches anyway in combination with the bang on accuracy of the Starsense? James
  5. The Starsense comes with its own handset which replaces your existing handset. All of your slews would have to go through the Starsense handset. If you released the clutches and manually moved the mount you would have to then re-do your Starsense star alignment if you wanted to continue using the Starsense... as far as I'm aware. James
  6. Allan Chapman's book, The Victorian Amateur Astronomer which was first published in 1998 is still an important read and source of references for anyone interested in the history of astronomy in Britain in the 19th century. Long out of print, second hand copies go for extortionate prices. Allan has been saying for at least 10 years that he is going to get a second edition printed with corrections, but now at last this is happening. I'm told the second edition will be available in the next month or so. It will be available on Amazon and can be ordered through bookshops. Below is a leaflet about it which allows you to pre order copies from the publisher, with free P&P for the UK. I have no financial interests in the book, though I did help Allan to get the ball rolling again to get the second edition moving, and I look forward to getting a copy. James The Victorian Amateur Astronomer.pdf
  7. SHA Autumn Conference 28th October 2017

    What a cracking day it was yesterday at the conference. All of the talks were excellent. I particularly liked Eddie's talk on lantern slides and the show he put on with them. The work that must have gone into making lantern slides is astonishing. I learnt something from all the lectures, far too many things to either remember or type here. Roger Salt's talk on the Antikythera Mechanism was very different from the ones I'd heard on the topic before.Much more about the discovery of the mechanism and the early investigations of it, rather than the focus being on the modern day analysis, though this was also covered. What a calm, considered and educated speaker. I'd recommend him to come and speak to any Society in the Midlands region. Lee Macdonald's talk on the Isaac Newton Telescope was also very informative, and whilst I've read a few papers on the history of this, it was nice to hear Lee talk on the subject, and to see images I'd not seen before, including the state of the original mirror! Donald Kurtz is another most engaging speaker, and pitched his talk perfectly. I'm unsure how to describe the content of his talk, but as the title suggests it was all about time. I'd never appreciated why the days of the week are named as they are (especially the names in French), and fascinating to hear about calendars. Donald also managed to pull in major components from the other speaker's talks which really gave a sense of the day having a theme. Allan Chapman was on top form as always. A fascinating talk on spectroscopy and Norman Lockyer. His talks all interlink, like one huge spiders web, with associations and communications explained between all the various influential figures of the day. A really great day and very well attended. I'm already looking forward to the Spring Conference in Cambridge with another great line up of speakers including Nik Symanec on the history of astrophotography. James
  8. We are having our Autumn Conference in Birmingham tomorrow (28th October), open to members and non-members. The programme can be found here though has changed slightly: https://societyforthehistoryofastronomy.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/2017-autumn-conf-flyer.pdf Talks include: · Roger Salt - “The Antikythera Mechanism” · Eddie Carpenter - “An Astronomical Slide Show – lantern slides” · Dr Lee Macdonald – ''From Cracked Mirror to Nobel Prize: Fifty years of the Issac Newton Telescope'' · Professor Donald Kurtz - “It's About Time” · Dr Allan Chapman – “The Civil Servant and the Sunbeam, Sir Joseph Norman Lockyer, pioneer of solar physics’. Should be an educational day. I’ve just been setting stuff up and putting out a vast number of books to sell. If you are turning up on the day, the first talk by Roger Salt is now starting at 10:45am. James Society for the History of Astronomy Librarian
  9. History of eyepieces

    Following a talk last night on the use of colour filters in observational astronomy by Alan Heath at my local society, I looked for something on the history of eyepieces. I found this comprehensive document which does a pretty good job [and a detailed one] of working through the different groups of eyepieces there have been in the last hundred years or so. It's quite long, and there are lots of equations and the like, but these can be skipped over. I simply found this on the internet, I cannot take any credit for it. http://www.brayebrookobservatory.org/BrayObsWebSite/BOOKS/EVOLUTIONofEYEPIECES.pdf James
  10. Tolles eyepiece

    Looking for a Tolles eyepiece, ideally in the range of 9-10mm. Drop me a message if you have one you are happy to sell. James
  11. Mak to EOS

    I agree, which is why I want to not use 1.25" kit. But is there an adapter which goes from Mak visual back to T2? James
  12. Mak to EOS

    Is there an adapter which goes from a Mak visual back (SW 150 Mak) to T2 to allow an EOS DSLR with an "EOS to T2 ring" to attach directly, or is it best to get a Mak to 2" adapter (which we have) and just get a 2" nose piece for the EOS ring? I want to keep it all 2" and not 1.25". James
  13. Cometographia

    Another fascinating video. Thanks for sharing. James
  14. SHA e-news, August 2017

    Yes, it is fascinating to read about people of the past, and the equipment they cobbled together and the impressive results they achieved. Many of the notable amateurs from the past really did push forward the science community's understanding of the sky above us (and the earth beneath our feet). The SHA Bulletin will be out at the end of September and I am sure it will have plenty of interesting stuff in it again. I will be at the SHA Library in Birmingham on the 15th August, you should pop along sometime and have a browse or borrow some books. The opening schedule for the library is on the website. I hope you've also booked a place for the AGM in October also in Birmingham. Again information in e-News and on the website. James
  15. The August edition of the Society for the History of Astronomy's e-News is now available and accessible to all: https://societyforthehistoryofastronomy.com/the-e-news/ Lots of good stuff in there as usual, though I am biased being the SHA's Librarian The SHA is going to have a stand at the IAS in October and I'll be there selling books the library doesn't want to keep. Any boy there is a pile of books; I'm not sure how my poor little car is going to cope under the weight. James