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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:


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.


Society for the History of Astronomy Librarian

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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.



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Very interesting reports :smiley:

I know Eddie Carpenter - he is a member of BAS and we have been treated to a couple of his lantern shows since I've been a member. I had the pleasure of showing him some lovely views of the Sun in white light with my Lunt HW a few months back :smiley:


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