AstroNotes 1972 December Vol: 11 issue 10



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The Newsletter of the Ottawa Centre, RASC

Vol. 11, No. 10 - December, 1972

Tom Tothill
Mary Grey
Circulation: Ted Bean

22 Delong Drive, K1J 7 E6
Dom. Observatory, 994-5474
399 McLeod Street, K2P 1A5
Of all the creatures in the atomic menagerie, the
photon is the strangest animal of all. It does not exist
until a quantum of energy is supplied to an atom or a mole­
cule, forcing its electrons into a higher orbit. The atom
does not remain in this excited state for long - perhaps a
millionth of a second - before returning to its previous
state by ridding itself of the excess energy in the form
of a photon, a tiny indivisible packet of energy which
travels at the speed of light for ever unless it hits some­
thing. Our entire knowledge of the universe depends upon
photons arriving from distant sources. Some of them have
been travelling for hundreds of millions of years.
Photons may be indivisible but they are not all the
same. There are red photons and blue photons. There are
radio photons and radar photons. Their energy varies
directly with their frequency (or inversely with their
wavelength). Besides carrying with them energy and frequ­
ency, photons contain information about the vibrations
and rotations within the emitting molecule, and about the
magnetic fields through which they have passed. They re­
veal the state of ionization too (the number of electrons
missing) of the emitting atom. Furthermore, they are
slightly 'bent' by gravitational fields, so parts of the
universe may not be quite where we see them to be (or to
have been at the tine the photon started out). Their fre­
quency is increased by motion of the source towards us and
vice versa yet, according to the most astounding postulate
of Relativity, their speed of emission from the source is
exactly the same as their speed of reception by us - the
speed of light, which nothing can exceed. Do photons obey
Relativity? Certainly they have energy E; certainly they
have velocity C ; then from E = MC2 they must have mass.
But according to Relativity anything travelling at the
speed of light would have to have infinite mass.
We know a lot about what the photon does, but what is
it?Mr. Tothill opened our monthly meeting with the
announcement that end-of-the-year processes were upon us.
An awards committee to select the "Observer of the Year"
and "Merit Award" recipients was set up, and members were
urged to give thought to nominations for the coming elec­
Dave Dodge (who just happened to be in Ottawa getting
lunar samples for the Vancouver Planetarium) and Pete
MacKinnon showed eclipse slides from Tuktoyaktuk. Some of
these were taken with a Questar, some with a telephoto
attachment. Questar scores again! They were beautiful!
A short summary was given by Rolf Meier on the aster-
oids visible nowadays, Vesta and Messalia. Coordinates
are available for the asking. Get out your binoculars!
Also mentioned were Mercury's elongation on the 5th and
the colour controversy (?) over M42 as to what hues the
naked eye can detect. This was followed by a report by
Ken Hewitt-White on what the naked eye could not detect -
the Giacobinid meteor shower - due both to Murphy's cloud
machine and to lack of meteors.
Art Fraser presented some long-awaited slides of
Stellafane, the David Dunlap Observatory, and the McLaugh­
lin Planetarium, followed by others on Stellafane by Dave
Got an FM you don't know what to do with? Jack Hor­
wood has the answer - listen for meteors on channels that
are ordinarily static. He brought his tape recorder to the
meeting with some of his results, explained his techniques,
and urged others to try. The advantages are many - his
Giacobinid results were unaffected by cloud and daylight!
The Star Truk of Allen Miller and company finally
showed its movie premiere of their trip out west. It was
well worth waiting for. The colour filming was excellently
done and the sound track put together with a great deal of
thought. Thanks for an extremely enjoyable piece of cinema
In closing, it was mentioned that the telescope-lend­
ing library is growing, both in circulation and in scopes.
Those wishing to lend or borrow, please contact Barry M.ASTRONOTES, ETC - A VERY SHORT HISTORY
Rick Lavery
December 1962 was the beginning of Astronotes in the
form you now receive it. The first few issues had a cover
design taken from the all-sky map in Sky & Telescope. The
original background colour was blue, but the printers had
problems maintaining the same shade, so it was decided to
switch to black around 1965 .
Before Astronotes there were a number of single
"announcement sheets", dated March 25, 1955 and December
1955. In these newsletters the first meeting of the
Amateur Telescope Making Group was recorded as having taken
place on March 6 , 1954 at the home of Art Covington. Also,
by the time the second sheet was produced, the Amateur
Telescope Making Group had changed its name to Observer's
Group, and were meeting at the Geophysical Building.
The first "Observer's Group Newsletter" was published
in the spring of 1961. In it the arrangements were made
for the auxiliary telescope teams to be present on the
Observatory lawn on Saturday nights.
Perhaps members would be interested in knowing some of
the unfamiliar names that keep cropping up in those early
years... Covington, Horwood, Mott, Lossing, Dey, and Grant.
I thought I should also record the editors of Astro­
notes, as original issues are becoming very scarce (collec­
tor's items?).
George Brunton
Howard Harris
Tom Tothill
Frank Evraire
Dan Brunton
Peter MacKinnon
Gordy Grant
Tom Tothill
Observers Group Chairmen
Because Astronotes has not been around since the start
of the Observers Group, trying to work out the progression
of Chairmen was difficult. After talking to many of the
founding members, here is the sequence:1954-55
Art Covington
Gordy Grant
Len Orr
John Stairs
Bill Cameron
Fred Lossing
Earl Dudgeon
Len Orr
Bill Dey
Jack Horwood
Frank Evraire
Archie Gillieson
Tom Tothill
Dan Brunton
Fred Lossing
Rick Lavery
Tom Tothill
Observer of the Year Award
Although the Observer of the Year Award has been very
well recorded in Astronotes, I thought I would list the
Rick Salmon
Les MacDonald
Rick Lavery
Steve Craig
Ken Hewitt-White
Allen Miller
Rolf Meier
Merit Award
This may well become the Observers Group's most valued
Award. It has not been awarded often since its inception
in 1968.
Les MacDonald
Fred Lossing
Ton Tothill and Bill Dey
Variable Star Section Plaque
The winners have been few as this is only its fourthyear of existence
Ken Hewitt-White
Ken Hewitt-White
Jon Buchanan
We take our "regulars" so much for granted that I
think it is appropriate to end with the most outstanding
record of then all. There has only been one Librarian!
Stan Mott!!!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Ken Hewitt-White
For a week in November I had the privilege of having
as a guest in our home Mr. David Dodge, director of tele­
scopes of the Vancouver Centre. Dave was here in the sum­
mer of course, and vowed to come back again to the land of
meteor coffins and 16-inch telescopes. This time Dave was
here to pick up a lunar sample to take back to the H.R.
MacMillan Planetarium where he works. At the last minute
(we know of no other way) we found out that the rock could
be taken right to the Hotel Hilton-Hewitt (the Chateau-
White?) minus security guard accompaniment. Thus, our very
own living room was host to a moon rock for an entire eve­
ning. Although it was surrounded by a protective layer of
nitrogen and encased in glass, good minimum reflection
pictures were taken by some of the group we 'quietly'
called over. The quiet reception soon manoeuvred its way
into a riotous celebration, however, and by midnight the
usual (and totally Vancouverite) ritual had begun: Southern
Comfort, pizza, and the most incredibly disjointed, Dodgie-
type jokes. In the morning (we assume it was the next
morning) the rock was deftly placed aboard a jet along with
Mr. Dodge, both encased in protective boxes, and shipped
off to Vancouver until sufficient excuse can be developed
to bring either of them back.
Well, I can bet you any money you
rock, in
billion years on the moon,
such a sight as it did in watching the
Centres yuk it up in ray living room on
like that that moon
has never witnessed
Vancouver and Ottawa
November 7. We'lltake any excuse to get into the bubbly, even if it's just
a hunk of rock in a glass case. Well, with Murphy on 24-hr
call, what else is there left to do?
This space no doubt left for editor's comments:
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
How could I possibly improve on that?
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Confucius Say: Rock in hand worth two in head.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Jon Buchanan
Well, it's that time of year again when observers dig
into their closets and dust off their files as they try to
recover what observations they have done during the year.
The Variable Star Award is one reason why observers go
through this ritual. The Award is given each year to the
variable star observer who has done the most observing
(of a limited number of variables) for that year. This
Six Star plaque, the stars representing the first six var­
iables that the award was given for observing, is waiting,
This year has seen another increase in interest in
variables as new members joined in, new variables were
attempted, and two quasars were observed. And next year
promises to be even bigger.
Observations should be forwarded to me at the earliest
opportunity, or arrangements made for me to get them. My
phone number and address are given below. Don't feel shy
if you've only a few observations - they nay be the ones
that will help fill in a gap when others didn't observe
and information is desperately needed!
For those interested in the award, this year it is a
closely contested battle between three people, two of whom
have just started variables this year or just before.
There may be more, but I need your observations to find
out. The last day for accepting observations will be Dec
31, midnight (celebrate the New Year after).
14 Kirkstall Ave, Ottawa, Out, K2G 3M5.
Rolf Meier
Now is the time when everyone should consider what he
or she has done in the past year which nay be of an astro­
nomical nature. The reason for this is that an award will
be presented for the Observer of the Year, which I was
pleased to accept last year. Everyone, yes everyone, of
the Ottawa Centre is eligible for this award. The only
thing is that we (the committee) must know just what you
did, and that means that you have to give us a writeup of
whatever you did. The more people who send in reports the
better, for we would really like to know how active some of
our members are. If you win, you will also be on the com­
mittee to pick next year's winner,
Who will win the award? It will be the person who has
shown a great desire to participate in astronomy. Someone
who will not stay inside to watch television on a clear
night with a distinct opportunity to observe. The Observer
of the Year usually does not mind going to school the next
day a little sleepy when on the previous night he has ex­
plored the universe more extensively than any book could
describe. Previous winners will know what I mean. They
have placed their enthusiasm about astronomy in a position
to answer the question of what they can do tonight.
This, then, is what may be considered together with
what an observer has observed. The report, containing
whatever the candidate may feel significant, may be given
to any member of the committee: Ted Bean, Barry Matthews,
or myself before the end of the year. Preferably it should
be mailed to Ted Bean, whose address is on the first page
of Astronotes.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Help Send Me to Africa
For sale - 8” telescope tube, drilled, 36" long.
Also included are end caps, mirror mount, slide focussing
mount, and diagonal holder. Everything you need for a 6"
telescope but the optics for only $15.00. Also, if anyone
has available a fibreglass or other lightweight tube in the
7" diameter range, give me a call.
(2 )
Barry Matthews
Prism / Gratings
Passing white light through a prism causes it to slow
down. Each wavelength (colour) slows down a different
amount so the beam of light is dispersed on leaving the
prism. A very common example of this is sunlight entering
a drop of water in the atmosphere and being dispersed, and
reflected to form a rainbow. If however you take an
identical prism and reverse it and pass the dispersed beam
of coloured light through the second prism you will re­
combine the various wavelengths back into a beam of white
light. By having the two prisms in the same configuration
a spectrum of double the length will be produced.
Ruled diffraction gratings can also be used to break
up the white light into spectra. As gratings are expensive
and a little hard to manage we will stick to prismatic
spectroscopic equipment.
Entrance Slit
Of all the bits and pieces that go into the making of
a spectroscopic instrument the entrance slit has to be the
most exacting. First, the slit must meet a number of
operational requirements:
Edges of the slit must be straight.
" parallel.
" " sharp (blunt edges tend
to give fuzzy images).
Slit must be adjustable (on adjustable slits the
jaws must remain parallel).
Good design, careful workmanship and above all patien­
ce are required. A very adequate means of satisfying the
many requirements listed above is the use of razor blades
(new) and making up a variety of slit openings.
Next month I will show two designs for the entrance
slits and start on actual construction plans for instru­
ments.VARIABLES (3)
Jon Buchanan
A picture is worth a thousand words!
A diagram is a picture missing something!
This is a missing thousand words?
This is a light curve of a particular type of variable
which is not a variable in the true sense of the word.
Eclipsing binary stars. Of all the stars in our
galaxy, over half are members of a binary or other multiple
system. Why then are there only some 3000 binaries that
vary in light for some small fraction of the time? And
what is the reason for them to vary like this?
The light variation is caused by one star eclipsing,
either partially or totally, another star, The reason so
few have been seen doing this is because their plane in
which they orbit must pass close to Earth, otherwise we
would not see one star superimposed on the other (see Figs
a, b, and c). The size of the stars and their orbital
distance determine the maximum inclination of their orbit
to the Earth at which they may be seen to 'eclipse' (Figs
d and e).What is visible during an eclipse of two stars?
Taking different cases, let's first assume that we have
two stars of the same size and luminosity (Fig f). As the
pair orbit, they come to a point when they are just about
to make first contact as seen from Earth. The light curve
has been a combination of both their luminosities up to
this point. As A goes in front of B, the amount of light
visible from Earth decreases, for A is blocking the light
of B. This continues until A has completely occulted B
and passes it, exposing some of B again, giving a sudden
rise in luminosity. This rise continues until A and B
separate once more, leaving the total luminosity as the
sum of A and B again. This will continue to remain un­
changed until half a period later when B eclipses A.
If star A was, say, twice as luminous as star B, then
when star B was in front more light would be blocked off
than if star A were in front. This would result in the
second light curve seen in Fig f.
If star A were twice the size of B, then as B eclipse
A a point would be reached when B transited the surface of
A with no light variation, resulting in a flat bottom to
the dip. Similarly, when A eclipsed B, there would be a
period of tine taken for B to traverse the back of A before
it could re-emerge in which no light variation occurred
(see Fig g). In this case if the luminosity of A and B
are equal, then the light (luminosity) when A is in front
would be less than with B in front, for in the first in­
stance only A is visible, and in the second B and part of
A are visible,(note first curve, Fig g). If one were more
luminous than the other, say A is more luminous than B,
then if the luminosity difference is great enough B will
block out more light when in front than when A is in front
giving rise to the lower curve in Fig g.Other effects due to the nature of stars being what
they are can also be seen on the light curves of eclipsing
binaries. A rounded bottom is due to limb darkening on the
larger star. The smaller star blocks more light near the
centre of the star than near the limb because the centre is
more luminous than the limb.
The energy being emitted by a star will tend to heat,
or add more energy, to an area of an adjacent star that is
closest to it. This area, besides emitting its normal
amount of energy, will also emit a bit more due to this
supplement given by the other star. This additional energy
will cause this particular area to be more luminous than it
normally would have been. Since this area tends to follow
the other star as it orbits, it will become visible to
Earth when this star comes round to the front, giving a
rise in luminosity up to and just before the eclipse. This
results in a slight curve just before and after the eclip­
se, as seen in the first figure of this article.
Another effect is due to tidal interactions between
the stars, notably the close ones. Due to this tidal
effect, the stars elongate towards one another, and more of
their surface is presented to us when they lie perpendicu­
lar to Earth, i.e. at maximum separation, than when they
are just about to eclipse, i.e. between the dips of their
light curves.In binary systems with eccentric orbits, the period
of one dip may change as the system precesses, moving back
and forth over a number of years. This means that the
major axis of the orbit rotates slowly in space, an effect
similar to our Earth, in which we find the pole star slow-
ly moving past 'true north', or 'true north' precessing
and moving in a large circle over a great number of years.
These, then, are the reasons why eclipsing binaries
vary in brightness the way they do. No one, to my know­
ledge, has attempted observing any eclipsing binaries in
the Ottawa Centre recently, and thus a real light curve
for an eclipsing binary is not possible at this time. I
am assured that some will be tried soon,
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
OJ 287 - RUN #3
Ken Hewitt-White
The North Mountain gang works fast. Rick Salmon wrote
us a letter in October wondering about a possible hook-up
of programmes on the quasar OJ 287 between Cerro Las
Campanas (elev. 7000 ft) and North Mountain (elev, 3'-6").
Thus, our third programme on OJ 287 began very aus­
piciously (if briefly) on October 27, 1972. On November 5
much better results were received when the moon was new.
On this date, Rick was probably running a set of observa­
tions with the 24" in Chile as well and we anxiously await
a comparison of his photon-counter results with our eyeball
Our first returns this time show OJ to be rather
fainter than when we left it last May. Further, the short-
period fluctuations seem to be almost totally absent, down
to perhaps 0.1 mag in amplitude, BUT, take note - these
returns are strictly preliminary, being based on only a few
dozen estimates so far.
Armed with stereo tape facilities, CHU, and quasar-
dilated pupils, we hope to join in with Rick Salmon and
define the optical nature of OJ 287 before the century is
out. Only Murphy works faster than that. He has complied
with our wishes by souping up the sky only 13 times this
month. And today is November 14. Oh well...BEGINNERS COURSE
'Dick Matthews-White'
On Nov 17 the second beginners course was held under
more pleasant circumstances than #1. Twenty members and
guests appeared at the Geophysical Building on Carling.
Ken opened the talks with a brief history of telescopes,
followed by Rob Dick's dissertation on optics. This topic
generated a great deal of interest and very searching
questions. Once Rob identified that he could not spell
'eyepiece' he turned over the fascinated audience to Barry
Matthews who went into a number of different types of
mounts and tried to confuse all who were not asleep.
The meeting closed with an attempt to look at Saturn
with a 50 mm refractor through the impending clouds. Three
cars then left for North Mountain loaded with many of the
students and teachers, and a very rewarding observation
session was enjoyed.
The next beginners course meeting will be held in the
Geophysical Building, 8:00 pm, on Saturday, Dec 9, to avoid
school exams. Topic: "Using the telescope". Everyone
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Confucius Say: Teachers, trying to instruct, learn more
than students.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Barry Matthews
Recently Cathy Hall has paid out vast sums of money
to have her super-duper, high-speed, extra-sensitive elec­
tric typewriter repaired (I think she forgot to plug it in).
Anyway, Cathy along with yours truly was concerned that the
co-ordinators did not have the slightest idea who was look­
ing at what. In order to correct this, Cathy came up with
what I consider to be a first class check list. This list
could be completed on the way to the meeting and turned
over to the Vice-Chairman or me, who would in turn analyse
them and present them to the co-ordinators involved. These
forms will soon be handed out at the meeting and Cathy,
Cathy's typewriter, and I would like you to try them.MOONING AROUND WITH KEPLER'S THIRD
Fred Lossing
Some years ago (1619) Kepler proposed his third law,
which states that the square of the orbital period of a
satellite around its primary is proportional to the cube
of the major axis of the orbit. This law was originally
applied to the situation where several satellites orbited
the same primary, that is, the planets orbiting the sun
To use Kepler's third law to compare satellites
orbiting around different primaries, i.e. moons of planets,
it is necessary to include a constant which is proportional
to the mass of the primary, as Newton showed some 50 years
later. This gives the relationship:
(period)2/(major axis)3 - constant/(mass of primary)
Using this law, one can easily calculate the mass of
any planet relative to that of the earth from the period
and orbital distance of its satellites, if any. For exam­
ple, using data from the Observer's Handbook, let's cal-
culate (period)2/(major axis)3 for Jupiter's moons:
1.2534 x
1.2523 x
1.2534 x
1.2487 x
1.2705 x
1.2457 x
1.2505 x
These all agree pretty well, except for Moon V, which
may be too close to the primary to give an accurate ratio.
Eliminating this one, the other six give an average of
1.2507 x 10-14 for "Kepler's constant"/mass of primary.
For the earth-raoon system, the ratio is
(655.72)2/(477,800)3 = 3.9418 x 10-12
The ratio mass of Jupiter/mass of earth is then given
by 3.9418 x 10-12/1.2507 x 10-14 = 315.2; the accepted
value according to the Handbook is 318.0
Let's try Saturn's moons:Tethys
(45.30000)2/(366,000)3 = 4 .1856
(65.68300)2/(470,000)3 = 4.1554
(108.4170)2/(654,000)3 = 4.2020
(382.6830)2/(1518000)3 = 4 .1866
1 0 -
4.1823 x 10-14
The ratio of the mass of Saturn/mass of earth is
3.9418 x 10-12/4.1823 x 10-14 = 94.25,
compared to the Handbook value of 95.2
The relative masses of Uranus and Neptune calculated
from their moons are 14.58 (Handbook 14.6) and 17.21 (Hand­
book 17.3). It's too bad Pluto does not have a visible
What started me on all this arithmetic was the famous
prediction by Dean Swift, in one of the books of Gulliver's
Travels, that Mars had two moons. Although these moons
were not discovered until 1877, Swift guessed (?) their
number, orbital periods, and distances remarkably closely.
How could he know this in 1720?
In the second part of this article we'll apply
Kepler's third law to Swift's imaginary moons, and see if
his arithmetic was good, and what the consequences are
regarding the relative mass of Mars.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Fred Lossing
In the part of Gulliver's Travels called ”A Voyage to
Laputa", Dean Swift had some fun satirizing the Royal
Society of London. In the story the clever astronomers of
Laputa have discovered that Mars has two moons. These
imaginary moons were really odd, in that they revolved at
distances of only 3 and 5 times the diameter of Mars, and
had the unusual orbital periods of 10 hours and 21.5 hours
The laughter died down somewhat about 157 years later
when Asaph Hall discovered that Mars had indeed two moons,
distant 1 . 38 and 3.46 diameters of Mars and having orbital
periods of 7 hours 39.44 minutes and 30 hours 21.26 minutes
respectively, This must be about the strangest coincidences
in the history of astronomy.The interesting question is: what basis did Swift
have for predicting such an unreasonable pair of noons?
Did he have access to observations we do not know about?
Was he familiar with Kepler's third law, and do these two
moons obey it?
Let's answer the last question.
Part 1 that
Remembering from
(period)2/(major axis)3 = "Kepler's constant"/mass of pri-
we find for Swift's No. 1 that 102/2 5 , 308)3=6.169 x 10-12
and for No. 2 that (21.5)2/(42,180)3 = 6 .160 x 10-12.
This is a perfect fit to Kepler's third law, so evidently
Swift knew the law and carefully made his noons fit it.
Or perhaps his friend Robert Hooke gave him some profess­
ional advice.
Why two noons? Well, in 1610 Kepler had predicted
two moons for Mars on a pretty doubtful line of reasonings
Venus has 0 noons,
Earth has 1 moon,
Mars should have 2 noons,
Mars-Jupiter missing planet should have 3 moons,
Jupiter has 4 moons (!).
Could anyone have seen the moons of Mars by 1720?
Probably not, but note that Phobos has been glimpsed in an
8” telescope by Saheki, and Deimos in a 6" by Araki (Sky
& Telescope 1958). It is just possible that someone with
a good telescope (Hooke, perhaps?) had seen the two moons
but not with sufficient certainty to publish the observa­
tion, so he urged Swift to announce it indirectly in a
work of fiction. Far-fetched, but not quite impossible!
Finally, we can get from Swift's moons a prediction
of the mass of Mars relative to the mass of the earth.
The ratio - 3.9418 x 10-12/6.165 x 10-12 = 0.639. The
actual ratio is 0.107 (calculate it yourself from data in
the Observer's Handbook). Swift was pretty far off on this
one; Mars is much lighter than he assumed.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Maybe this contributor could get more pay writing
headlines for newspapers.CLOUDED OUT
Barry Matthews
As a member of a scientific society, are you growing
tired of just going out and looking? Perhaps you would
like to work on a few projects skilfully laid out so you
can obtain meaningful results.
Laying a foundation of basic scientific research,
Book #195
our library - "Basic Astronomy" by H. Haysham
appears to fill a need to achieve by amateur astronomers.
The text is based on astronomy courses given in Great
Britain and will fill the needs of novice astronomers and
active members of astronomical societies.
Following close on the heels of basic astronomical
theory, the chapters are devoted to practical projects and
problems, over 60 in all. Covered within the interesting
200-odd pages are diverse topics such as: Observing the
Sun, Moon, Planets, Making Sundials, Finding Latitude and
Longitude, giving plenty of scope for naked eye observers
and those possessing small scopes. A number of maps are
included and this newest of volumes should appeal to many
the next tine they are "clouded out".
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
The equipment library still needs instruments for
loan to members that do not yet possess a scope. Remember,
if a new member has to wait until a birthday, Christmas or
until he or she saves the money, they may lose interest
and go to other hobbies or professions.
-Barry, 829-7237
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Tom Tothill
The reason for Biggs' nervousness, it turned out, was
that the boss, Jock Lacke, was getting mighty tough on
coffee breaks, Schlossing sympathized (with Lacke actually,
but he didn't say so) but anyway there wasn't too much to
report. The odometer was reading about 10 million miles,
the System was holding him right on 1 g, and the coffee was
good. The earth and moon were getting quite small in his
rear view mirror, but Planet X, ahead, was hardly any
Biggs, for his part, was already getting a nice Dopp­ler shift and had plotted it out into the future so as to
know where to look for him on the dial, assuming he held
to one g.
"I recommend you keep AVOID o n ,
" he said, "You'll be
in the asteroids before you know it."
"And keep your magnetic shield on HIGH,
you from the small stuff."
It'll protect
Their contented slurps as they talked caused conster­
nation at the Ontario Beers Commission which, having re­
cently been given the added responsibilities of Ale and
Porter, was in process of quadrupling its staff. (Admin got
the lion's share, natch).
Leastways, within the hour an O.B.A.&.P.C. car slid
to a screaming halt at the Observatory, and two uniformed
spinsters of the Sobriety Squad just about tore the place
apart, throwing the entire staff into a state close to
panic. They turned out every drawer, every cupboard in
the whole place. They poked into the computer cabinets,
the junk piles, and even (with a blush) the Men's rooms.
They climbed all through the telescopes and searched every
nook and cranny. They went into the basements and they
had the ventilation trunks opened up for inspection.
When they found the Padre's compan ion wine there was a
moment of terror sweeping through the establishment, but
they reluctantly gave it back when it was pointed out that
its content of beer, ale, or porter was minimal.
Fortunately, they didn’t check the prime focus cage
of the Big Dish - deterred, perhaps, by the large red
notice on the doors
where the decimal point was European-style, and the cooling
was just right.A STRO NOTES
Ms. Rosemary Freeman
National Secretary
The Royal Astronomical
Society of Canada
252 College St.,
Toronto 130, Ontario.