AstroNotes February 1972

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AstroNotes

The Newsletter of the Ottawa Centre, RASC

Vol. 11, No. 2 - February, 1972

Editor:
Tom Tothill
Addresses:
Mary Grey
Circulation: Ted Bean
22 Delong Drive, K1J 7E6
Dom. Observatory, 994-5474
399 McLeod Street, K2P 1A5
EDITORIAL
Man climbs the tree of knowledge like an ant. His
antennae and vision extend but a short way into his future
path. His steps are erratic, diverted by a multitude of
irrelevant stimuli, and he is barely aware of which way is
up, let alone which way is promising. His circuits of the
branch may as likely be a re-trace of former steps as to
turn up a new leaf or discover a whole new branch, laden
with fruit. There are bold ants, and timid ants, and lazy
ants, and lucky ants. There are ants that are obedient to
their peers and will only work by direction, and there are
ants that perform best without directions. There are hier­
archies of ants to impose the directions and establish the
dogma and its enforcement. There are industrial ants to
build the bridges and bring the fruit to the banquet; there
are soldier ants who would turn the fruit into weapons to
intimidate their neighbours; and there are ecology ants who
say: "Stop dropping the peels on us!"
There are mathematical ants that construct whole trees
out of thin air, with branches precisely cylindrical and
ordered, symmetrical above and below ground, but with
amazing thin shoots extending to infinity from singular
points arising from assumptions that are too simple, or
mathematics that is too primitive. There are administrative
ants that group the rest by number and class, indistinguish­
able one from another, and by time-and-motion study impose
right-footed methods on left-footed ants. There are teacher
ants that tire of describing the trunk and lower limbs, and
would spend all their time on exploration. And there are
ants that are wrong by logic that is excellent, and ants
that are right by no logic whatever.
Then there are political ants who say: "Go straight to
the fruit. Do not stop at buds or explore the beauty of
flowers along the way.’’
But Confucius Say: "Pay attention to the buds and
flowers, for they will become fruit in due season".OBSERVERS GROUP MEETING - JAN 7
Cathy Hall
Mr. Tothill chaired the meeting of 63, 19% non-members,
A half-hour program on the activities of the Observers Group
was proposed by our cable-vision man, Karl Poirier.
Our planetary liege, Rolf Meier, spoke on planet
positions for the month (not all by Occident) and his comet-
searching program. He also showed some slides.
All avid selenographers were encouraged by Barry
Matthews to try crater timings, colour and magnitude esti­
mates for the eclipse of Jan 30.
A report on the excellent Geminid meteor shower was
given by Ken Hewitt-White. He also suggested that obser­
vers try to find Encke's Division on Saturn's ring system.
Rob Dick, overseer of the deeps of the sky, described
those objects not so deeply located for those using naked
eye or binoculars.
The magnitude of the change in the variable program
was announced by Jon Buchanan. Nine stars will be observed,
as opposed to six last year.
Our new guardian of Helios, Mrs. Knapp, would welcome
any interested solar observers.
Lastly, John Conville, lunary graze co-ordinator , gave
the main talk of the meeting - on grazing occultations, and
showed several slides of aurora borealis,
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Get a load of that Conville!
eyes closed.
Batting 667, with his
-Ed.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
HELP SEND A BOY TO COLLEGE:
I will soon be finished with the rebuilding of my 6"
f/7 . 5 , to be sold for $115.0 0 only because I need the money.
-Rolf Meier, 224-1200
-Rolf Meier, 224-1200
-Rolf Meier, 224-1200METEOR SUMMARY, 1971
Ken Hewitt-White
This was a most gratifying year for the people at the
Quiet Site, We had a record number of observations again,
exceeding in fact the 1970 record-breaking totals by 33% in
nearly all departments. Final counts show that 20 observers
put in 886 hours and 45 minutes of group time over 80 nights
in 1971. This resulted in 10,736 sightings of 8,220 meteors.
We averaged
persons* a session, 23 of which were solo
efforts, and 5 were full houses.
Those are pretty impressive figures. I congratulate
the team on its keenness and fortitude in developing a total
like that. In particular, I should congratulate Cathy Hall
and Lindsey Davis who entered the select 1000-Club this
year, Each saw well over 1000 meteors in 1971. Only Chris
Martin and myself in the team's nine-year history have
reached that plateau before.
A group's success is dependent upon the cooperation of
its members. I think, in general, the group's cooperation
this year was just great. I should like to thank particu­
larly Dave Paterson and Sylvia Wake for their assistance in
transportation in the Spring and Summer. Without cars ob­
servers cannot get out to Q.S.; these two have certainly
proved instrumental in keeping this problem under control.
The 1967-71 results are now being readied for Peter
MacAulay's very useful computer program. We will take the
data in preferential bunches, starting with our voluminous
Perseid results and working down the list, making sure not
to fall behind on our continuing 1972 observations. The
results will be a histogram of activity, observer equations
and, who knows, perhaps a solid enough base for making
predictions of our own.
Anybody for punching up 35,775 computer cards?
The guys and gals who contributed to this year's total
are given in the table opposite.
* We've heard of half-wits.
excessive precision?
Aren't 0.4-wits rather
-Ed.
The Editor thanks John Conville for assistance in
typing this biggest-ever issue of Astronotes.Nights
Hours
Brennan P.
12:30
3
Brennan R.
26:10
7
Buchanan J .
37:20
9
Conville J.
10:40
5
Craig S.
8:10
3
Dafoe J.
1:00
1
Davis Miss L.
34
101:15
Damw P.
10:10
2
Dick R.
4
7:20
Hache J .
10
21:00
Hall Miss C.
34
112:25
Hewitt-White K.
268:50
69
Houlihan B.
2:00
1
MacDonald L.
38:50
17
MacKinnon P.
10:20
2
14
Martin C .
38:20
Miller A.
4
12:10
Murphy X.
285
2565:00
Paterson D .
40:40
13
Saddlemyre Miss L. 12
31:50
26
Wake Miss S .
71:00
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Meteors
158
310
637
145
30
-
1148
450
31
619
1427
2208
5
277
963
337
433
tres mucho
470
171
919
NORTH MOUNTAIN FEES
The Observatory Committee has decided that the
Observatory year will run from April to April, in order to
spread the problem of raising cash to pay Centre and
Observatory subscriptions equitably for our more impecuni­
ous members. Also, April is the time of year when many
people start observing again after the winter.
Keyholders pay $10, and observer fees ares first visit
free, and $1 per visit thereafter up to a maximum of $5.
In the meantime, observer fees went into effect Oct 1, 1971.
Payment may be made to John Conville.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
FROM HEWITT AND MILLER, AUTHORS
The last 15 copies of "A Midsummer-Night's Dream" will
be on sale Feb 4 at the Observers Group meeting at $5 per
hard-cover copy. It covers the best 115 deep-sky objects
of the summer, with descriptions, finder charts, and draw­
ings.VARIABLE STAR REPORT FOR 1971
Rick Lavery
The following totals are the number of estimates re­
ceived of the six variables on the National variable star
program. These observers are all members of the Ottawa
Centre.
J. Buchanan
J. Conville
K. Hewitt-White
R . Dick
J. Knapp
Swami
B. Matthews
G. Mark
J. Rowlandson
S. Wake
J. Williams
317
38
166
189
45
97
56
11
8
61
8
Thanks to all 11 observers for their efforts in 1971
and I hope you will continue to support the National
variable star program in 1972.
The winner of the variable star section Award this
year is Jon Buchanan, Jon has been the runner-up for the
past two years, so he is hardly a stranger to this program.
It is rather fitting that Jon is now the V.S. co-ordinator
of the Ottawa Observers Group.
If any new members are Interested in observing varia­
bles for the National variable star program, and. have bino­
culars, they should see me at the next Observers Group
meeting.
Preliminary Notes on OJ 287, Quasar
Messrs. Conville, Dick, Hewitt-White, Lavery, Meier,
and Miller have spent a number of nights observing and
pondering over its light variations since first they found
it on Jan 7/8.
The most baffling phenomenon is the very rapid light
variation over 30 seconds. All observers have witnessed
drops of 0.5 mag in less than 10 seconds, and some have
witnessed even greater drops, followed by a slower rise
over 20 seconds; but long steady periods are also observed.THE AWARDS
Ted Bean, Allen Miller, and
Ken Perrins
During January, the last submissions for Observer of
the Year were received. This left the Awards Committee
rather short for time, the result being no announcement of
a winner at the Observers Group meeting. It was not until
the Dinner that the first revelation was made.
All of the submissions received were well done, with
no fewer than three hours of deciding needed to establish
a clear-cut winner.
This year's winner of the honour and the pin has been
in the group for only three years. He did many years of
his own little projects with telescopes (namely 6 and 8-inch)
he made by himself but in 1971 he showed endurance others
lack. For those of you who did not attend the annual
eating session, Rolf Meier is 1971's best.
There were twice as many (two) Merit Awards decided
upon this year. These awards were presented to Mr, William
Dey and Mr. Tom Tothill for their fantastic help to the
Group and towards the Centre's new 16-inch telescope. For
all those of you who have figured a deep 8-inch mirror and
know the troubles involved, the amount of time that Bill
Dey put into the Sixteen's figure - and what a figure -
third prize at Stellafane, will be appreciated.
The log book at North Mountain reveals Tom's part in
making nearly 50 visits since March 1971 - all to better
the site in some way so that he and others could enjoy the
Sixteen more easily.
Congratulations and. best wishes for '72 to Rolf Meier,
our new planetary co-ordinator, Tom Tothill our chairman,
and Bill Dey our master of optics.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
THE OBSERVATORY COMMITTEE WISHES TO ACKNOWLEDGE ...
... the remarkable donation of $50 resulting from the
sales of Ken Hewitt-White and Allen Miller's book "A Mid­
summer' Night's Dream" compiled from their own observations
and drawings.
... WITH DEEP APPRECIATION.BLUE COLOUR
IN SATURN' S RINGS?
Ed ter Heijden
Recent colour photographs of Saturn taken on Ansco 500
film revealed curious pastel blue rings surrounding the
normal yellow-brown planet. Finding this rather strange,
I took careful visual observations of the planet with my
8" reflector. Ring A appeared slightly greyer-blue while
Ring B seemed pearl-white, The intensity of Ring A was
lower than the intensity of Ring B . Still not convinced
that the "blue shift" was due to the film, I compared the
ring to the planet intensities using red, green, and blue
filters. The result of this experiment revealed that the
rings are much brighter than the planet in blue light, but
retained approximately equal intensity in green and red
light. This of course is expected when a white object is
compared to a yellow-brown one.
The photographs of Jupiter shown on the cover of last
month's issue of Sky & Telescope are similar examples of a
"blue shift" of yellow-white regions. Has anyone an expla­
nation?
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
MURPHY DISPELLED
Doug Beaton
Let me first dispel the rumour that Ottawa suffers
from a disease more affectionately known to Latin students
as "rottenis weatherisium". Last year's new-years-eve
resolution was to keep track of our weather in terms of the
number of clear nights versus the number of cloudy, A clear
night was defined as any night which was cloudless enough to
permit some sort of astronomical observation, be it variable
stars or perhaps lunar. This clear sky must persist for at
least an hour and cannot be interrupted by passing clouds or
sulphurous smog. All observations were done between 8 and
1 o'clock at night.
Following the name of the month is the number of clear
nights, and then the number of cloudy. This is the lazy
astronomer’s way of getting out of putting the information
on a graph, Jan 16/15, Feb 14/14, Mar 23/8, Apr 18/12,
May 16/15, Jun 21/9, Jul 19/12, Aug 21/10, Sep 18/12,
Oct 25/6, Nov 10/20, Dec 17/14. The total was 218 clear
and 147 cloudy nights. In other words, observations could
have been made on 59% of the nights of the year.
And look what a nice job the Swami made of October!THE PLANETS IN FEBRUARY
Rolf Meier
All the planets with the exception of Mercury can be
observed this month.
Venus is now mag -3.6, and I would appreciate obser­
vations of the phase and features visible. At the time of
writing (Jan 18), Venus was still more than half illuminated,
and as mentioned last month, observers should note the day
that half phase occurs.
Mars is now very small, but is very high on the meri­
dian, so a few features may be visible. Watch out for the
Man from Mars, who can often be seen in the coldest weather,
and is easily recognizable by his large white beak,
Saturn hasn't changed much, but it still looks good.
The three of Venus, Mars and Saturn are moving closer
together for a configuration in the evening sky of April,
Uranus has been seen by this observer, and even some of
its moons may have been sighted by Ken, Rob Dick, and
myself using the 16", though other observations would be
needed to confirm this. Uranus is visible to the naked, eye
at mag 5.7 about 3° from Spica. A small telescope can
easily resolve the disc.
Neptune is rising in the early twilight and it too
shows up as a small disc. Its brightest moon is 13.6 mag,
and we hope to see it as well,
Jupiter is the planet to watch this year, all the way
to December. The unfortunate thing is that this year it
will be very low, never getting more than 23° above the
horizon (unless you happen to be in Arizona).
The asteroid Ceres will be in opposition on the 5th of
Feb at mag 6 .4, which makes it a good object to follow in
binoculars, A map of its positions for Jan and Feb is in the
handbook.
Pluto is all the way up to 14th mag at opposition on
Mar 21. Then its position will be RA 12:29, Dec +15° 11'.
Last year its position on Mar 19 was RA 12:20 in Dec +15° 53'
so I imagine it is now between these positions, but closer
to the former.REFLECTORS - PART 5
Allen Miller
Polishing the mirror is probably the most tedious part
of mirror-making, but keep in mind that you are very close
to the end.# Remember too that the more time you spend
during this stage of construction, the greater your chances
of picking up scratches. For some I know, the polishing
time (unbelievably endured) has yielded what looked like a
fine-ground surface. In this little episode of Reflectors,
or sometimes called How to Make a Shaving Mirror the Hard
Way, I will try to show you how to keep the polishing time
to a minimum by knowing how to interpret the Foucault test
shadows.
I will not explain how to make a Foucault testing
device, for that would take more space than Astronotes can
give. However, the A.T.M. books or "Telescopes" by Sam
Brown will be of great help in this field. Briefly, though,
here are a few clues for the clueless. It consists of a
slit or pinhole light source and a straight sharp knife-edge.
Either or both may be mounted on a sliding bed whose move­
ment must be measured to a thousandth of an inch. The
light leaves the slit, hits the mirror, and is reflected back
to a focus beside the knife edge. As the edge is cut into
the real image of the slit, a variety of shadows that depend
entirely on the mirror's surface will be seen. (Assuming
your eyeball is right behind the knife edge).
Basically these shadows stem from three simple facts
of the Foucault tester. If the knife-edge is inside the
radius of curvature or focal plane of the mirror or zone of
the mirror, the shadow will advance in the same direction
as the knife edge. When the edge is cut in outside of the
focus the shadow will move in the opposite direction. Now
if the exact focus of a zone or a spherical mirror is loca­
ted at the knife edge, there will be no shadows, only a
gradual darkening that is completely dependent on the amount
of light stopped at the knife edge.
Those three facts are true only if the Foucault has the
light source to the right of the knife edge when seen from
behind. Simply use reverse logic for the opposite setup,
I will deal with the first type, since most people own that
variety of tester,
# The end is something that becomes increasingly hard
to reach with time.FOR
A
SPHERICAL
M IR RORWhen the three basic shadow types are combined and
used as one, all the symptoms of the mirror can be studied
and measured. Now let us suppose you have a mirror that
looks like the one below.
Now, for our setup we have to imagine an imaginary
light source off to the right of the mirror that is illum­
inating the real features of the mirror surface. Hence a
hill or longer radius-of-curvature section of the mirror
will be light on the right side and dark on the left side.
A turned-down edge will have the same appearance. To see
these shadows the way they are drawn, you must have the
knife edge at the exact focus of the grey zone (70% radius
of the mirror in this case). But as you have probably
experienced, you can make any zone grey by moving the edge
back and forth. What is the best position to make grey?
Well, use the place that will show the least amount of
work to correct to a sphere or paraboloid as I did above.
When you come to draw the cross-section (always helpful)
make any grey zones as flat and on the same level. The
result is shown in the lower figure above.
In most cases the figure aimed for is the paraboloid.
It is by no means incorrect to proceed to this figure di­
rectly, For the example I have shown above, assuming of
course that the edge is not too far turned, parts of the
paraboloid can be seen. It is crudely a combination of a
hole in the centre and a turned-down edge,
The following figure shows how a proper paraboloid
should look in the Foucault test and in cross-section.Unfortunately this type of article takes up much space
and I will have to end here. For those who need more help,
call me or see me at the meetings. It is much easier to
help a specific case.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
THE ANNUAL DINNER AND ELECTIONS - JAN 19
One hundred and one members and guests were present for
the Annual Meeting and Dinner at the R.C.A.F. Officers' Mess,
which proved to be just right for comfort and convenience.
Dr. Lloyd Higgs, the President, announced the award of
R.A.S.C. Membership Certificates for 1970 to Mr. Hoyes Lloyd
our long-time Honorary President and to Mr. James Hargreaves.
Certificates for 1971 were awarded to Dr. C.S. Beals, Mr.
A.E. Covington, Dr, V. Gaizauskas, Mr. G.A. Grant, Dr. J.L,
Locke, Mr. F.N. Lavery, Dr. P.M. Millman, Mr. J.T. Tothill,
and Dr. D.W.R. McKinley, The Observers Group Awards were
announced by Rick Lavery and presented by Dr. Higgs.
Reports by the Officers of the Centre indicated an
increasing membership and a healthy state of the library
and finances. The retirement of Mrs, Mary Henderson as
Treasurer after eight years of much-appreciated service to
the Centre led to the election of Mr, Romeo Wlochowicz to
that office, and Mr. Lavery's retirement as Recorder and
member of Council led to the election of Mr. Tothill asRecorder, Councillors for 1972 will be Mr, T.E.D. Bean,
Mr. K. Hewitt-White, Mr. R.L. Hutchison, Mr. K. Perrins,
and Dr. D.W. Sida.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
DR. MILLMAN ON COPERNICUS AND KEPLER
Dr. Peter Millman's address at the Dinner meeting was
entitled "The Thinkers" and marked centennials of Coperni­
cus and Kepler, Many of the illustrative slides were of
portraits and paintings from the time of Copernicus and
Kepler, but some were from Dr. Millman's own camera when
he attended the I.A.U. celebrations of these centennials
recently, showing the present aspect of some of the places
and some of the original manuscripts that were on display.
As usual, Dr. Millman's talk was thoroughly researched and
delivered with his customary enthusiasm,
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
COMPUTER ANALYSIS OF VISUAL METEOR DATA
Peter Macaulay
The purpose of the meteor program is to collect and
analyse meteor observational data to illustrate trends in
meteor shower phenomena.
In the past it has been the practice of the amateur
teams to collect the data and calculate the results by hand.
An adequate computer program has not yet been written to
cover the need. This has resulted in a present backlog of
approximately five years of records still waiting to be
processed.
This article is a proposal for a new computer card
layout and system design for complete data analysis, (A
computer program can be used to translate the existing data
cards into the new format). It is hoped that the reading
of this article will evoke contributions from members. In
this manner an optimal computer card and program can be
defined.
The philosophy of the present system design is to pro­
vide a modular computer program such that future subroutines
may be added with ease. To accomplish this each input card
has been designed to contain all, the information known about
a particular observation. This includes the observer, site,
magnitude, shower group, date, time, and observing condit­
ions, In this manner any data card may be analysed as a"stand alone" data source. Multiple sightings are recorded
with a card for each observer and linked in the analysis
through the meteor number. Most observations need not have
a meteor number; in fact, the majority of observations will
be punched with the time, observer, magnitude, and shower
group. Then, the key punch operator will duplicate the
information from the previous card for weather, site and
date.
The data card format has been established with the
first character on the card to be used as a key for process­
ing. If the key is 0, 1, or 2, the card represents an
observation and is processed. However, with a key of 3 the
data card will establish the final report output. If the
key is 4, the observer number will be equated to the obser­
ver’s full name. This card may also be used to accumulate
an individual’s observing time. A key of 5 equates the site
code in columns 69 and 70 with the complete site name inclu­
ding latitude and longitude. A key equal to 6 equates the
three-character shower codes and the full shower name. The
angle of the radiant above the horizon can also be indicated
on this card for a calculation of the zenithal hourly rate
for that particular shower.
Keys 7 and 8 are presently spares for future require­
ments while a key of 9 terminates the program and produces
the output.
The data can be analysed to determine the magnitude
distribution and meteor rate distribution. These figures
only become meaningful when one can compare them with res­
ults from a previous evening. Consequently, it will be
necessary to compare the observed results with predicted
values. However, it must be realized that many factors
affect the observed meteor rate.
(1) The zenith hourly rate ZHR = (60/m) N csc
+ 6 °)
a
(
where m = observing period in minutes
N = meteor count in m minutes
a = altitude of radiant for middle of period
(2) The time of night N = 1.099T + 0.48
where N is the number of meteors visible during
the hour beginning T hours after local noon. This
is an empirical formula based or some 300,000 obser-vations.
(3 ) The phase of the moon affects the magnitude dis­
tribution and, therefore, the meteor count. This
effect will vary depending on whether the observer
is facing the moon or looking away. An algorithm
for this parameter could be derived from the five
years of existing data.
(4) The weather conditions have a direct effect on the
limiting magnitude. At the same time the sky could
be one quarter covered, resulting in a proportional
reduction of the meteor count. Combined in this
effect is the twilight, aurora and city lights on
portions of the observer's sky.
(5 ) Finally, a most difficult variable to quantify is
that present within the observer, A subroutine in
the program will show what deviation a particular
observer has from the mean argument. Perhaps it
will be necessary to use group weighted statistical
analysis to correlate results,
All of the above-mentioned factors will be incorporated
into the program to obtain a predicted result.
As stated previously, the output format will be defined
by the type 3 card. A standard output will include an hour­
ly meteor rate distribution for the evening plus individual
distributions for particular showers. The time periods
could be selected as desired, such as ten minutes, monthly,
or annually.
In addition, a magnitude distribution for the evening
and for observed showers will be printed. All distributions
will be in the form of a histogram for an overview of the
evening's observations. Also, the observed and predicted
values will be supplied for comparative analysis.
The final output (selected on card type 3 ) will be a
summary of the evening's results incorporating total hours
observed for each observer, maximum hourly rates and magni­
tudes, and the total evening count. All final reports
could be in punched cards for later monthly or annual analy­
sis, making the program regenerative with the ability to
reanalyse its own data.The simplicity of the program would have distinct ad­
vantages. First, little observer training would be necess­
ary. Different observer groups across Canada could easily
use it. This would make the methods of analysis universal
and would facilitate the correlation of different Centres'
results.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
CLOUDED OUT
Barry Matthews
In place of the regular book review I would like to
review a relatively new subject: Asteroids. By definition,
minor planets or planetoids.
Some members of the Ottawa Centre or readers of Astro-
notes subscribe to the astronomical magazine "Amateur Astro­
nomer" or "Modern Astronomy" as it will be named with the
Jan '72 issue, and will be well aware of Dr. J.U. Gunter’s
periodic articles 'Asteroid of the Month'. With the publi­
cation of Dr. Gunter's first article I was bitten by this
small astronomical bug called asteroid hunting. In my own
blundering fashion I proceeded on my hunt with very little
luck and certainly no confirmation that I had been success­
ful. Oppositions came and faded into deep space and then -
a bonanza! Urania, Kleopatra, Melpomene and Flora succumbed
to the Whimsical fancy of "Charlie" my 6" f/8 reflector. To
quote Dr, Gunter "The amateur will experience a real thrill
from positively identifying a unit of the solar system only
a hundred miles in diameter, more or less, and usually a
hundred million or so miles away."
Never has so true a word been spoken, when you re-check
a possible star field at the end of an observing session or
on the next clear night to find that it has indeed altered
its configuration. You have then indeed sought, found and
positively identified an asteroid or minor planet.
Considering that observing asteroids is relatively new
to the members of the Ottawa Centre; to those brave and
devoted few who embark on this quest, a few hints:
(1) Use low power, wide field (about 1° min.) To
measure your field, find a star near the celestial
equator and time its drift across the field.
Divide time in min by 4 to get field in degrees,
or multiply by 15 to get it in '.(2 ) An altazimuth reflector is by far the most com­
fortable and easy to star-hop with. (Refractors
with a star diagonal give an erect field trans­
posed left to right, making it difficult to
relate to star maps).
(3 ) Do not use setting circles except to locate the
appropriate area.
(4)
Make use of your wide-field finder.
(5 ) Use averted vision when necessary.
(6)
Get a good general knowledge of the constellations.
(7 ) Have use of Norton's or Skalnate Pleso atlas.
Asteroid hunting is a most enjoyable way to learn the
sky and get a person out viewing even on marginal viewing
nights. Who knows? - you may be the one to discover a comet
or a nova because it is you that is out observing and it is
you that knows every star and nebulosity in that portion of
the sky.
This brings me to the final portion of this review,
Book #65, Gunter D. Roth's "The System of Minor Planets".
The major portion of this book was originally published in
German but comes to us through the translation by Alex Helm.
Unfortunately this field of astronomy is often overlooked
or but briefly covered in astronomy texts. Mr, Roth explai­
ns in words a layman can understand the results and methods
that are used to observe these tiny members of our solar
system. The often ponderous subjects of history, hunting,
naming, identifying, statistics, and celestial mechanics of
asteroids are dealt out in easy doses to be absorbed and
used for further studies.
If Dr. Gunter's articles or Mr. Roth's book whet your
interest for something a little different I have a copy of
"Ephemerides of Minor Planets" from the Minor Planet Center,
Cincinnati, Ohio.
Let's see some reports on your successful (or not)
asteroid hunts in Astronotes. You don't have to be a lit­
erary genius to have reports published in Astronotes. For
proof, look back over this article.THE SCHLOSSING SAGA ( 9 )
Tom Tothill
"How's it, er, going, Red?”
Grady Grunt had heard nothing since ejection,
"Oh, all right I guess," said Schlossing, "But this
couch is about as comfortable as a World War II camp bed.
My back is killing me!"
There was a pause.
"Tean says it is a World War II camp bed,
Anzio, Naples, Ro---".
Sicily,
"I suppose," interrupted Schlossing, feeling that he
hardly had time for Tean's entire military history, "I
suppose the, uh, recovery fleet has been deployed - in case?"
"Fleet?
What fleet?"
"I'm sorry I asked."
"There's a pill in a packet hanging by your right ear.
One bite -— it's very quick."
Schlossing had to admire the distance the ground
organization could make a dollar go, but he quipped:
Time.
"Ah so! Confucius Say: Frying's Fine if you've Got the
I'm glad I wasn't looking for an aspirin."
But Grady just grunted.
Schlossing concentrated on the little TV screen.
was reading:
SPLASH 64 34 + 43 29
It
At least both the numbers were decreasing in a blur, so
he must be going in the right direction. From Cape Sable he
traced his splash point across the Atlantic, Mauritania, the
Congo (are those pygmies cannibals?), Zanzibar (exotic,
especially the politics), the Indian Ocean (nope, he wasn't
going to bop those 15-footers on the nose to find out if
they were Great White Sharks), and Australia (too right,
cobbers, I'm a Canidian) and suddenly, there it was!
ORBIT 121 x
16ASTRO NOTES
TO
Mrs. Marie Fidler
252 College St. ,
TORONTO 130, Ontario