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A S T R O N O T E S
The Newsletter Magazine of the Ottawa Centre of the RASC
Vol. 24, No. 6 June 1985
Editor.......Rolf Meier..... 4-A Arnold Dr.......820-5784
Addresses.... Art Fraser..... 92 Lillico Dr.......737-4110
Circulation...Robin Molson....2029 Garfield Ave...225-3082
ASTRONOMY DAY - 1985
This year, the Ottawa Centre celebrated Astronomy Day at the Merivale Mall Shopping Centre. Rolf and I arrived at 9:30 am to set up our display, telescopes, and information.
The display consists of information and activities of our club and photos taken by Rolf and Fred Lossing. Interest was keen with people looking and asking questions before we were actually ready. Roy Fox, Donna Kourtessis, and Rob Hanlan were other volunteers kind enough to subject their telescopes to public use (in the case of some children, abuse). Enthusiasm in astronomy was clearly evident by the number of membership applications taken. At the May meeting, a number of new members were welcomed into the club. When I asked where they heard about the RASC, they said "at the Mall". Thanks go to Rolf, Roy, Donna, and Rob for participating in this year's Astronomy Day.
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CLUB MEMBER WINS AWARD AT LOCAL SCIENCE FAIR
One of our new members, Donna Kourtessis, took second place in the senior engineering division at the Ottawa Regional Science Fair held at the Museum of Science and Technology on April 12, 1985. Together with her partner Peter Chow, she won a total of five different awards, breaking the previous record of three. The project was a demonstration of laser communication between computers. It involved modulating the light of a low-power He Ne laser and detecting it with a phototransistor.
The Awards Second place, senior engineering (a cheque for $300). Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario, Ottawa Chapter (a large trophy, 2 smaller trophies, and a cheque, to be given at Uplands Air Force Base in June). Engineering Institute of Canada senior award (2 books, The Ascent of Man and Cosmos). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers award (a plaque). Lumonics Inc. award (3 trophies and cheques for $125). I would like to take this opportunity of behalf of myself and the Ottawa Centre to congratulate Donna and Peter on their excellent project at the Science Fair.
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APRIL LYRIDS OBSERVED
On April 21/22 I observed the April Lyrids at IRO. I observed from 21:45 to 23:14, a total of 1 hour and 29 minutes. Ten meteors were observed, all of them Lyrids. The NRC meteor plotting map was used for this session. Maximum was expected on April 22 at 04:00 local time, with a ZHR of 15. With maximum duration to 1/4 strength of only 2 days it is not surprising that I only saw 10 meteors in 1 1/2 hours.
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METEOR SESSION PLANNED FOR JUNE LYRIDS
A meteor session is planned for the June Lyrids at the Indian River Observatory (IRO). The June Lyrids are a minor shower with a Zenith Hourly Rate (ZHR) of 10. The radiant will be up at the end of evening twilight and high overhead at the beginning of morning twilight, with sunrise at approximately 05:15 local time. This shower peaks on June 16, which is a Sunday. The session is planned for June 15/16, Saturday evening. Moonrise on June 16 is 03:40 EDT.
At this time of year, just before solstice, the evening twilight ends at about 23:00, so this will give about 4 hours of dark sky. Anyone wanting to join me in observing this shower at IRO should contact me at 820-5784. Sleeping bags, warm clothing, and some sort of cot or lawn chair are about the only items required to observe meteors. There are quite a few new members this year, and I would especially like to see some of you at IRO for this session.
date: June 16
duration: June 11 to 21
radiant: RA 18h 32m, Dec +35°
remarks: ZHR 10, blue meteors
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STAN MOTT LIBRARY ON COMPUTER
Recently, I entered the Stan Mott Library into my Apple computer. This will permit sorting the library on any field in the record. The library currently has approximately 400 books. Most of these were donated by Stan Mott, who has been our librarian for 30 years.
Each record has 8 fields, as follows:
year of pulication
Stan has 2 copies of the printout, sorted by topic:
field number 6 explanation
solar system, planetary
variable stars/double stars
star atlases/reference books
The printout format is organised as follows:
In entering the records into the database, I noticed about 40 books that are missing, that were borrowed but never returned. If anyone has any of these books, it would be appreciated if they could be returned to the library, so that others may possibly read them.
* * *
Thanks go to Frank for his work on this project, a very worthwhile effort that should be of benefit to all members!
Articles for the July issue of Astronotes are due by June 24.
THE SOLAR CYCLE AND GEOMAGNETISM
During a recent discussion with member Gary Pearse, it was mentioned by him that in his work using survey equipment, he was kept apprised of solar activity, as it would have an effect on his results. The equipment used was a magnetometer, which measures the magnetism of rocks, but perhaps more importantly, magnetic surveys are carried out by governments primarily for the purpose of providing data for studies of the nature and origin of the earth's magnetism.
This greatly intrigued me, and he gave me the name of a person to speak to at Energy, Mines and Resources. The man I reached referred me to someone who would, as it turned out, be more than helpful. Dr. Jaroslava Hruska is the Director of the Magnetic Observatory in Ottawa, with offices in the old Dominion Observatory on Carling Avenue. She very kindly allowed me to meet her, and she gave me access to the books in their library, along with her own personal information. (The Public Library had surprisingly little information on the subject of geomagetism). Last month I gave a talk on this fascinating topic, and as most people seemed to find it interesting, I have decided to put it into Astronotes.
For simplicity, and to keep it short, I have used a publication by Dr. Hruska, who can say it far more simply and succinctly than I can. However, I have tried to put it in my own words where possible. Also, within her article, noted below, she sets out further references which I will gladly provide to interested people. The instruments used to record any variations and fluctuations in the earth's magnetic field are called magnetograms, of which there are many types.
The changes recorded are known as geomagnetic disturbances. A magnetically quiet day will show an even, regular line. When a solar flare occurs, you would see fluctuations and irregular variations from the smooth trace of a "quiet" day. All of these fluctuations are caused by plasma disturbances in the solar wind, and by variations in the interplanetary magnetic field. From the shape of these variations they are known by different names, such as pulsations, substorms, sudden impulses, bays, magnetic storms, etc.
What was surprising to me was the effect it can have on our own activities. Of course, ham radio operators have known this for a long time. Other areas however are hydro power transmission problems, corrosion of pipe lines (this is from the earth currents, which flow in the crust of the earth in great circuits), disturbance of magnetic surveys, climate change, and possible biological impact. (Recently I heard on Quirks and Quarks about a study done at Cambridge, which showed an incidence of depression among mentally ill and normal people peaking in the spring and fall; this is possibly coincident with solar activity).
The solar-terrestrial relationships have been studied for a long time, and two types of storms have been identified, the "sporadic" and the "recurrent". Sporadic storms are often, but not always, related to solar flares. Recurrent storms, which have a 27-day cycle, do appear to be related to the solar phenomenon of long-lived coronal holes. This had been established by an English Magnetician, C. Chree. There are 3 phases of the "average" magnetic storm: initial, main, and recovery, which differ in length and amplitude.
The storms which are either gradual or have an abrupt change are called Sudden Commencement (SC) storms. A similar abrupt disturbance, without succeeding large changes, is called a "sudden impulse". This is caused by compression of the magnetosphere by a flare-generated shock wave. The main phase begins at the time when the horizontal variation field (H) decreases below the pre-SC level and ends when H reaches its minimum. The initial and recovery phases occur before and after the main phase. The phases are difficult to identify in a particular storm. Storms are, as you may have guessed, accompanied by ionospheric and aurora activity.
The main characteristics of geomagnetic disturbances are as follows.
1) Latitudinal dependance of the occurrence and strength of geomagnetic disturbances is well documented. The most disturbed zone is the auroral zone (60° to 70° geomagnetic latitude) followed by the polar cap zone (north of 70°).
2) Seasonal variation shows in the polar cap zone a very clear maximum of geomagnetic disturbance during the summer months, while in the auroral and sub-auroral zone, the equinoxial months are the most disturbed (I can vouch for this, as every spring and fall my aurora reports always show a greater incidence of activity). The winter is usually the quietest.
3) Daily variation of magnetic activity is characterised by quiet conditions around 16:30 local time at all latitudes, with high activity around midnight in the auroral zone and around noon in the polar cap zone.
4) Correlation with 11-year solar cycle exists with geomagnetic activity. The sporadic storms occur or exist with the peak in solar activity while the recurrent storms have their maximum approximately 2 years later than the maximum in solar activity. Storms during years of great solar activity seem to last about 3 times longer than those during the minimum of solar activity. When these storms occur they appear first in the auroral zone.
5) Duration of minutes to days. the magnetic disturbances
6) Intensity of these nanoteslas) also varies from a hundreds of micropulsations.
varies from disturbances (called few micropulsations to -z Components of the Earth’s magnetic field V is the magnetic variation or declination. D is the dip or inclination. Ht Z, and T, which have the same significance as in Fig. 2.2, are shown in a coordinate system in which the X axis is directed towards true north and the Y axis towards the east point; the Z axis is vertical, with its positive direction downwards.
The work of Dr. Hruska and her colleagues is invaluable towards a better understanding of this interesting phenomenon, and I am grateful to her for her time.
J. Hruska, Magnetic Disturbances, Geomagnetic
Bulletin no. 2 - 8 0 , Earth Physics Branch, 1980.
SOME HIGH PROPER MOTION STARS
There are many stars which can be observed to change their position in the sky in a very short period of time. These are the high proper motion stars. I propose that we use the 16-inch telescope at IRO to do an ongoing survey of some of these stars.
The negatives or slides would form the basis of the "IRO Proper Motion Survey". This would permit any member to participate in a scientific project using the 16-inch telescope. Several hundred stars with annual proper motions of greater than 1 arc-second exist, but for practical purposes I will limit the survey to the first 100. One photograph per year at the prime focus of the 16-inch should be sufficient.
Charts of these stars will appear in Astrontes from time to time, with accompanied descriptive text. Analysis of the negatives will require some sort of measuring instrument. If anyone has any ideas, pleas contact me.
This is the star with the greatest proper motion known. At 10.310" per year, it traverses 1 degree of sky in 351 years. It was first noticed by E Barnard in 1916. It has an apparent magnitude of 9.53.
position: RA 17h 55m 23s, Dec +4° 33.4' (1950.0) 17h 57m 49s +4° 41.8' (2000.0)
mu: 10.310" per year
theta: 355.8 degrees
distance: 6 light-years
other designations: Luyten 57, LFT 1385 BD+4 3561, Munich 15040,
Second only to Barnard's Star in Ophiuchus for its large proper motion. It is a red dwarf with apparent
visual magnitude of 8.8.
position: RA 5h 09m 41s, Dec -44° 59.9' (1950.0) RA 5h 11m 41s, Dec -45° 01.l' (2000.0)
mu: 8.688" per year
theta: 131.3 degrees
distance: 12.7 light-years
other designations: Luyten 29, BD-45 1841, LFT 395, GC 6369, HD 33793, CZ 5h 243
For 50 years Groombridge 1830 had the largest proper motion known until Kapteyn’s Star was discovered in 1897. It is a G5 yellow star of magnitude 6.5
position: RA llh 50m 06s, Dec +38° 04.6 ' (1950.0) llh 52m 59s +37° 43.l' (2000.0)
mu: 7.042" per year
theta: 145.5 degrees
constellation: Ursa Major
distance: 28 light-years
other designations: Luyten 44, LFT 855, BD+38 2285, HD 103095, SAO 62738
A red dwarf of spectral class dM2e with an apparent visual magnitude of 7.39. It has the 4th largest proper
postion: RA 23h 02m 39s, Dec -35° 08.5' (1950.0) 23h 05m 52s -35° 51.2' (2000.0)
mu: 6.907" per year
theta: 78.9 degrees
constellation: Pisces Austrinus
distance: 11.9 light-years
other designations: Luyten 70, BD-36 Cordoba 31353, SAO 214301, HD 217987
15693, LFT 1758
Mr = red magnitude
Mpg = photographic magnitude
colour = spectral class or estimated colour
mu = absolute total proper motion
theta = direction for year 2000
Burnham's Celestial Handbook,
Robert Burnham Jr., 1978;
Barnard's Star - 1251-5,8; Kapteyn' Star - 1462-1463;
Groombridge 1830 - 1978-1982; Lacaille 9352 - 1487-1488
LHS Atlas, Willem J. Luyten and Henry Albers, 1979
LHS Catalog (second edition), Willem J. Luyten, 1979
Sky Catalog 2000.0 (volume 1), Wil Tirion, 1983
Special thanks to Roy Fox for enlarging chart of Kapteyn's Star from the LHS atlas.
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THE PATH OF BARNARD'S STAR - 1880 to 2040 AD.
CHART 19 30' ON A SIDE, MARGINAL MARKS ARE 3' APART
BARNARD’S STAR. Identification field from a Lowell Observatory 13-inch telescope plate. The circle is 1° in diameter, north is at the top. The bright star at the extreme left edge is 66 Ophiuchi, magnitude 4.8. Plate made July 1960.
The proper motion of the star from 1900 to the year 2050 is shown on the charts below. Stars to about the 10th
magnitude are shown; grid squares are 1° on a side with north at the top.
FIELD OF KAPTEYN’S STAR
- 12-Kapteyn's Star. Identification field from the ESO SRC Southern Sky Atlas, made with the UK 1.2 metre Schmidt. The chart is 11 minutes on a side, with north up, and east to the left.
From the LHS Catalog, 1979.
c/o H e r z b e r g I n s t i t u t e of A s t r o p h y s i c s
National Research Council of Canada
1 0 0 Sussex Drive
O t ta wa Canada
K 1 A 0 R6
NATIONAL SECRATARY RASC
136 DUPONT S T .
M5 B 1V2
INDEX TO ASTRONOTES VOLUME 22 (1983)
PRIME FOCUS PHOTOGRAPHY: FRANK ROY: JANUARY: 6
COMETS, ASTEROIDS, NOVAE
WHERE'S HALLEY’S COMET: DAVID FEDOSIEWICH; MARCH; 3
A WRAP-UP OF COMET AUSTIN; DAVID FEDOSIEWICH; MARCH; 5
COMET HUNTING: DAVID FEDOSIEWICH; MARCH; 8
COMET SEARCHING; LINDA WARREN; JUNE; 8
TWO COMET SUPRISES ; ROLF MEIER; JUNE; 9
COMET IRAS-ARAKI-ALCOCK; SANDY THUESEN; JULY; 3
ASTEROIDAL OCCULTATION; BRIAN BURKE; SEPTEMBER; 7
PERCEPTOR; APRIL; 4
OPTIKS; JUNE; 10
OFTIKS; AUGUST; 6
ORGANIC MOLECULES IN SPACE; DAVID LAUZON; APRIL; 5
ORGANIC MOLECULES IN SPACE; DAVID LAUZON; MAY; 4
HOW FEW PHOTONS CAN YOU SEE; FRED LOSSING; JUNE; 6
ORGANIC MOLECULES IN SPACE; DAVID LAUZON; AUGUST; 5
ILLUSTRATIONS AND PHOTOS
CARTOON; JANUARY; 1
MAP OF COMET AUSTIN; MARCH; 6
MAP TO INSTRUMENTATION WORKSHOP; APRIL; 5
ORGANIC MOLECULES IN SPACE: JULY; 6
METEOR PLOTTING MAP; AUGUST; 5
ASTEROIDAL OCCUALTATION; SEPTEMBER; 8
THE AUGUST GRAZE; SEPTEMBER; 6
CARTOON; OCTOBER; 14
DIGITAL DISPLAY CALIBRATION; OCTOBER; 12
MAP TO IRQ; OCTOBER; 7-8
RASC APPLICATION CARD; OCTOBER? 4
THE SEPTEMBER GRAZE; NOVEMBER; 4
METEOR PLOTTING MAP; DECEMBER; 3
TELESCOPE AND INSTRUMENTATION WORKSHOP; MALCOLM LAMBOURNE; APRIL; 5
TELESCOPE AND INSTRUMENTATION WORKSHOP; MALCOLM LAMBOURNE; MAY; 2
TELESCOPE AND INSTRUMENTATION WORKSHOP; MALCOLM LAMBOURNE; JULY; 2
DIGITAL DISPLAY FOR IRQ UPDATED; FRANK ROY; JULY; 4
DIGITAL DISPLAYS CALIBRATED; FRANK ROY; OCTOBER; 11
MEETING , CONVENTIONS , STAR NIGHTS
MAY 13 PUBLIC STAR NIGHT; ROB McCALLUM; JUNE; 2
COUNCIL MEETING - JANUARY 26 AND APRIL 14; KEN TAPPING; JUNE; 2
THE 1983 GENERAL ASSEMBLY; ROLF MEIER; JUNE; 4
IMPORTANT NOTICES CONCERNING SUMMER MEETINGS; JUNE; 10
IMPORTANT REMINDER; JULY; 6
STAR NIGHTS; SEPTEMBER; 1
STELLAFANE - 1983; LINDA WARREN; SEPTEMBER; 3
COUNCIL MEETING - SEPTEMBER 7; ROBIN MOLSON, KEN TAPPING; OCTOBER; 3
THE DEEP SKY WEEKEND AND ANNUAL PICNIC; OCTOBER; 7
ANNUAL DINNER MEETING; OCTOBER; 12
1983 ANNUAL DINNER MEETING; ROB McCALLUM; NOVEMBER; 1
THE DEEP SKY WEEKEND; DECEMBER; 4
OBSERVER’S GROUP MEETING - DECEMBER 3 1983; DAVID LAUZON; JANUARY; 2
OBSERVER’S GROUP MEETING - JANUARY 7 1983; DAVID LAUZON; MARCH; 1
OBSERVER’S GROUP MEETING - FEBRUARY 4 1983; DAVID LAUZON; APRIL; 2
OBSERVER’S GROUP MEETING - MARCH 4 1983; DAVID LAUZON; APRIL; 3
OBSERVER’S GROUP MEETING - APRIL 1 1983; DAVID LAUZON; MAY; 1
OBSERVER’S GROUP MEETING - MAY 6 1983; JUNE; 1
OBSERVER’S GROUP MEETING - JUNE 3 1983; DAVID LAUZON; JULY; 1
OBSERVER’S GROUP MEETING - JUNE 24 1983; DAVID LAUZON; AUGUST; 1
OBSERVER’S GROUP MEETING - JULY 29 1983; DAVID LAUZON: SEPTEMBER; 2
OBSERVER’S GROUP MEETING - SEPTEMBER 2 1983; DAVID LAUZON; OCTOBER;
OBSERVER'S GROUP MEETING - OCTOBER 7 1983; NOVEMBER; 2
OBSERVER’S GROUP MEETING - NOVEMBER 4 1983; DECEMBER; 5
METEORS AND AURORA
METEORS IN 1983: DAVID LAUZON; JANUARY; 5
THE LYRID METEOR WATCH; LINDA WARREN; MAY; 3
JULY METEORS; DAVID LAUZON; JULY; 3
THIS SUMMERS METEOR SCENE; DAVID LAUZON; AUGUST; 3
THE PERSEIDS OF 83; DAVID LAUZON; OCTOBER; 6
FIREBALL REPORTED; DAVID LAUZON; OCTOBER; 10
AURORA REPORT; LINDA WARREN; NOVEMBER; 5
UPCOMING METEOR SHOWERS; DAVID LAUZON; DECEMBER; 2
CALENDER OF COMING EVENTS; JANUARY; 3
COMING EVENTS; SEPTEMBER; 10
ASTRONOMICAL TRIVIA; OCTOBER; 5
FAREWELL TO A SCIENTIST; DAVID LEVY; OCTOBER; 9
EIGHTEEN DEGREESS BELOW; BRIAN BURKE; OCTOBER; 10
COMPUTERIZING YOUR TELESCOPE (HUMOR); OCTOBER; 13
DUES DUE; NOVEMBER; 1
ASTRONOMICAL TRIVIA; NOVEMBER; 6
AWARD REMINDER; NOVEMBER; 6
NEW SOCIETY FORMED; B.L. MATTHEWS; DECEMBER; 1
ASTRONOMICAL TRIVIA; DECEMBER; 5
AWARD WINNERS; DECEMBER; 6
DECEMBER'S LUNAR ECLIPSE; SANDY THUESEN; MARCH; 2
IT'S PLUTO TIME; DAVID FEDOSIEWICH; MARCH; 4
APRIL GRAZES; BRIAN BURKE; APRIL; 1
THE PLANETS IN MAY; BRIAN BURKE; MAY; 2
GRAZE WORKERS WANTED - NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY; BRIAN BURKE; AUGUST
THE TAG PROJECT; BRIAN BURKE; SEPTEMBER; 4
THE AUGUST GRAZE; BRIAN BURKE; SEPTEMBER; 5
THE PLANETS IN SEPTEMBER; ROLF MEIER; SEPTEMBER; 9
THE SEPTEMBER GRAZE; BRIAN BURKE; NOVEMBER; 3
REPORTS, LETTERS, COMMENTS
10 YEARS AGO IN ASTRONOTES ; JANUARY; 3
VISIT TO WINDSOR CENTRE; LINDA WARREN; MARCH; 7
HOW I SPENT MY WINTER VACATION; ROLF MEIER; MARCH; 9
FROM OTHER CLUES; MARCH; 10
CHAIRMAN'S REVIEW 1982; ROLF MEIER; MAY; 5
TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE - JUNE 11, 1983; PARTICK BREWER? SEPTEMBER; 9
TABLES AND LISTS
COUNCIL FOR 1983; JANUARY; 4
COORDINATORS FOR 1983; JANUARY; 4
COORDINATORS NOMINATED AT THE OCTOBER MEETING; NOVEMBER; 3
AWARD - WINNING VARIABLER BRIAN BURKE; MAY; 3
VARIABLE STAR REMINDER; BRIAN BURKE; OCTOBER; 1
ATTENTION VARIABLE STAR OBSERVERS; SANDY THUESEN; DECEMBER;