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jrasc-june'99 text - The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada

June/juin 1999 Volume/volume 93 Number/numero 3 [677]The Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of CanadaLe Journal de la Société royale d’astronomie du CanadaI N S I D E T H I S I S S U EThe Days of the Week • Misidentified Meteorite • Gamma-Ray BurstersDouble Stars • Newton’s Telescope


June/juin 1999Vol. 93, No.3 Whole Number 677contentstable des matièresFEATURE ARTICLES/ARTICLES DE FOND109 Seeing Doubleby Doug Middleton113 Histoire et Construction du Premiertélescope Newtonpar Réal ManseauCOLUMNS/RUBRIQUES117 Reflections: Bessel, The Man and theFunctionsby David M. F. Chapman119 Second Light: A Gamma-Ray BurstCaught in the Actby Leslie J. Sage143 At The Eyepiece: The Best of Herculesby Alan Whitman145 Ask GazerRESEARCH PAPERS/ARTICLES DE RECHERCHE122 Astronomical Names for the Days of theWeekby Michael FalkAsk Gazerp.145135 The Leeds, Québec Meteorite: its StrangeHistory and a Re-evaluation of its Identityby Stephen A. Kissin, Howard Plotkin andAndré BordeleauBessel, The Man and the Functionsp.117The Best of Herculesp.143The Leeds, Québec Meteoritep.135Astrocrypticp.121The Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of CanadaLe Journal de la Société royale d’astronomie du Canada


DEPARTMENTS/DÉPARTEMENTS102 From the Editorby David Turner103 Correspondence/CorrespondanceNaming of Variable Stars; Amateur Astronomyand Science Fiction104 News Notes / En manchettesDoes the Radius of the Sun Vary During the SolarCycle?; Cosmic Collisions and Gamma Ray Burst;Amateur Techniques and Modern Discoveries; StellarOscillations; Long Period Variables; Slow Boat toMars107 Focal Plane: Pushing the Envelopeby Joseph O’Neil134 From the Past/Au fils des ansTime in Bible Times148 Reviews of Publications/Critiquesd’ouvragesThe Physics of the Interstellar Medium, 2 nd Edition,by J. E. Dyson and D. A. Williams; Is the UniverseOpen or Closed? The Density ofMatter in the Universe, by PeterColes and George Ellis.151 Obituary/NécrologieLucian KembleWilhelmina IwanowskaACROSS THE RASCDU NOUVEAU DANS LES CENTRES140 A Pilgramage to Arizonaby Randy Klassen141 Society NewsRASC Certificates Awarded at the November andMarch Meetings of National Council; ServiceAwards to Ralph Chou and John Mirtle;Congratulations to Stéphane Charpinetand Rajiv Gupta146 Scenic Vistas: A Mysterious GalaxyQuartet in Boötesby Mark BrattonCover Photo:A reproduction ofNewton’s telescope(photo by Réal Manseau)A Gamma-Ray Burst Caught in the Actp. 119Les qualités et les observationsavec mon télescope artisanalp. 116See page 113


From the Editorby David TurnerThe present year is numbered 1999 in the western calendar,the number designating a year count of 1,999 in theCommon Era (ce), according to the language of historians.It is also year 5759 of the Hebrew calendar (the “Double HeinzYear” having occurred two years previous), year 1420 of theIslamic calendar, Ethiopian year 1992, Chinese year Ki-mau andcycle 16, Japanese year Tsutsno-to-ov 2659, Coptic year 1716,Fasli year 1400, and the 694 th Olympiad. I could go on, but thepoint should be evident. The only thing that is special aboutthe number “1999” is that it represents a year count in ourparticular historical-cultural tradition. Incidentally, it is alsothe second-last year of the present millennium, but don’t getme started on that issue.It is of interest to note that, despite differences in yearcount from one culture to another, nearly everyone agrees uponwhat day of the week it is — provided one takes into accountchanges occurring when crossing the International Date Line.(The short-lived modifications occurring during the FrenchRevolution and the Russian Revolution represent only a minorglitch.) There may be historical and cultural differences thataccount for how we count our years, but, as noted by MichaelFalk in this issue, there is almost universal agreement on howwe keep track of the days of the week — language issues aside.Also in this issue is another Focal Plane article by JoeO’Neil, who seems to be becoming a regular contributor to theJournal. His current bone of contention centres on the generallack of telescopic observations being made at high magnification,or “high power observing” as some would call it. The Focal Planeitem is a forum for opinions on any area of astronomy, and wewelcome contributions.The Journal is a bi-monthly publication of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and isdevoted to the advancement of astronomy and allied sciences. It contains articles on Canadianastronomers and current activities of the RASC and its centres, research and review papersby professional and amateur astronomers, and articles of a historical, biographical, oreducational nature of general interest to the astronomical community. All contributions arewelcome, but the editors reserve the right to edit material prior to publication. Researchpapers are reviewed prior to publication, and professional astronomers with institutionalaffiliations are asked to pay publication charges of $100 per page. Such charges are waivedfor RASC members who do not have access to professional funds as well as for solicitedarticles. Manuscripts and other submitted material may be in English or French, and shouldbe sent to one of the addresses given below.EditorDavid G. TurnerDepartment of Astronomyand Physics, Saint Mary’s UniversityHalifax, Nova ScotiaB3H 3C3, CanadaInternet: dturner@ap.stmarys.caTelephone: (902) 420-5635Fax: (902) 420-5141Associate EditorPatrick M. KellyRR 2, 159 Town RoadFalmouth, Nova ScotiaB0P IL0, CanadaInternet: patrick.kelly@dal.caTelephone: (W) (902) 494-3294(H) (902) 798-3329Fax: (902) 423-6672Contributing EditorsDouglas Forbes (Education Notes)David ChapmanMartin Connors (News Notes)Leslie SageRussell Sampson (News Notes)Ivan Semeniuk (Book Reviews)Alan WhitmanEditorial BoardRobert F. Garrison(Publications Committee Chair)J. Donald FernieDouglas ForbesDavid LaneLeslie J. SageIvan SemeniukProduction Co-ordinatorDavid LaneInternet: dlane@ap.stmarys.caProofreaderMichael AttasDesign/ProductionBrian G. Segal, Redgull Integrated DesignEditorial AssistantSuzanne E. MoreauInternet: semore@sympatico.caAdvertisingDavid LaneTelephone: 902-420-5633PrintingUniversity of Toronto PressThe Journal of The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada is published at an annual subscriptionrate of $80.00 by The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Membership, which includesthe publications (for personal use), is open to anyone interested in astronomy. Annual feesfor 1998, $36.00; life membership is $720. Applications for subscriptions to the Journal ormembership in the RASC, and information on how to acquire back issues of the Journal canbe obtained from:The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada136 Dupont StreetToronto, Ontario, M5R 1V2, CanadaInternet: rasc@rasc.caWebsite: www.rasc.caTelephone: (416) 924-7973Fax: (416) 924-2911Periodicals postage paid at Champlain, NY and additional mailing offices.U.S. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to IMS of NY, P.O. Box 1518, Champlain, NY 12919.U.S. Periodicals Registration Number 010-751.Canada Post: Send address changes to University of Toronto Press Incorporated, 5201 DufferinStreet, North York, ON, M3H 5T8© 1999 The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. All rights reserved. ISSN 0035-872X102JRASC June/juin 1999


CorrespondenceCorrespondanceNAMING OF VARIABLE STARSDear Sir,In his “Reflections” article on F. W. A.Argelander (JRASC, 93, 17, 1999), DavidChapman is not quite correct in sayingthat Argelander chose to start his letteringof variable stars at “R” because it stoodfor “rot,” the German for “red.” In fact,Argelander started with “R” becauseJohannes Bayer, in his famous Uranometriaof 1603, and more particularly in theaccompanying lists of stars, not onlyintroduced the use of lower case Greekletters, but also (in order) both lower caseand upper case Roman letters. In noconstellation did he go beyond the letter“Q.”In northern constellations, most ofthe stars with Roman letter designationsare known more frequently nowadays bytheir Flamsteed numbers, although oneor two persist, such as P Cygni. In thesouth, both lower case and upper caseRoman letters are encountered far morefrequently, a Car and Q Car being justtwo examples.Argelander (1855) gave his reasonsfor the choice of names as follows (mytranslation):“However, to avoid confusion withthe Bayer letters wherever possible, Ihave chosen the last [letters] of thealphabet, and taken them from thecapital letters.”Argelander later explicitly statedthat he thought that the nine letters from“R” to “Z” would be more than sufficientto identify all the variables that might befound in any one constellation. He mayhave been wrong in that, but with hiswork, and especially his “Appeal to AmateurAstronomers” (Argelander 1844) in whichhe suggested that amateurs should monitorvariables, he was certainly the founderof modern day variable star astronomy.StormDunlop, sdunlop@star.cpes.susx.ac.ukEast Wittering, Chichester, West SussexUnited KingdomReferencesArgelander, F. W. A. 1844, “Aufforderung an Freundeder Astronomie,” in Jahrbuch für 1844, ed. H.C. Schumacher (Verlag der Cotta’schenBuchhandlung: Stuttgart), pp. 122–254Argelander, F. W. A. 1855, “Über die Periode vonR Virginis,” Astronomische Nachrichten, 40,No.959, Columns 361–368Chapman Replies: I thank Storm Dunlopfor pointing out the correction to myarticle. The “R = rot” story is found inIsaac Asimov’s Biographical Encyclopaediaof Science & Technology, 2 nd RevisedEdition, by Doubleday, under “Argelander,”but is clearly in error.David M. F. Chapman,dave.chapman@ns.sympatico.caDartmouth, Nova ScotiaAMATEUR ASTRONOMY ANDSCIENCE FICTIONDear Sir,I am writing in response to your commentin the February 1999 issue of the Journalstating that last year only one personresponded to your query about amateurastronomers who are also interested inscience fiction (SF). I have been intoscience fiction ever since seeing my firstepisode of Star Trek, as a (very) youngchild. My tastes have matured considerablysince then, although I do still watch StarTrek quite often.I am a voracious reader, reading twoto five books a week on average. I amprimarily interested in “hard science”writers (who use their knowledge ofastronomy, physics, or whatnot to givetheir story lines a little more credibilityand veracity), e.g. Larry Niven, Arthur C.Clarke, Isaac Asimov and Jerry Pournelle.Larry Niven wrote the famous andacclaimed novel Ringworld (and twosequels), a story based on his ingeniousadaptation of the Dyson Sphere, a theoryadvanced by physicist and futurist Dr.Freeman Dyson. Simply put, a DysonSphere is a structure that a technologicallyadvanced species could construct arounda star, like a shell, thereby enabling themto harness virtually unlimited sources ofenergy from the star by using solarcollectors, employing (presumably) moreadvanced technology to do so. I also enjoythe writing of Poul Anderson, Ursula K.LeGuin, Harlan Ellison, and Harry Harrison.There was also an interesting showI used to watch, now in syndication. Itwas called “Prisoners of Gravity,” and washosted by Rick Green (currently starringas “Bill” on The New Red Green Show).The show was a series of SF book reviewsand interviews with science fiction authors,and, as I have said, can still be seen, Ibelieve, on the Space channel.I would say that my favourite SFwriter would have to be Joe Haldeman.Best known for his novel The Forever War,which won both the Hugo and NebulaAwards, Mr. Haldeman has been writingfor a long time, having written his firstpoem at the age of nine. I was first turnedon to his work by an old friend of mine,who loaned me The Forever War when Iwas in the hospital, aged fifteen, recoveringfrom knee surgery. From the first pageonward, I was hooked. What a wonderfulantidote for boredom! Haldeman studiedastronomy, physics, and computer scienceat the University of Maryland, currentlyteaches (part time) a science fictionwriting course at MIT, and is a Vietnamveteran. Mr. Haldeman writes with awonderful grasp of both scientific principleand human nature, and with what canonly be described as a wicked sense ofhumour. You might read his collection ofJune/juin 1999 JRASC103


short stories and poems, None So Blind.It includes a short story called None SoBlind (which lent its name to the collection),which contains an apt and hilariousdescription of how a computer’s memoryfunctions. Also check out his trilogy ofWorlds novels and his book Dealing inFutures. He has also written somewonderful and memorable poetry (oneof particular interest to astronomersbeing The Space Junkie), and is anaccomplished clarinettist and songwriter,as well.Another Side of RelativityUncle Ernie’s first light bucketexperience goes awry…Robert A. Sears, robertsears99@hotmail.comHamilton CentreNews NotesEn ManchettesDOES THE RADIUS OF THE SUNVARY DURING THE SOLAR CYCLE?Does the Sun change its size with thesolar cycle? The Sun varies its output instep with the solar cycle, so it seemsreasonable that the size of the Sun shouldalso change. Yet a connection betweenthe solar cycle and any changes in theSun’s radius has, so far, been elusive. Overthe centuries many methods have beenused to measure the size of the Sun, fromsimple projected transit timings ormicrometer measurements to sophisticatedsolar astrolabes. From such measurementsit has been found that the Sun appearsto change its radius only slightly and inthe past, difficulties in observationaltechniques have limited the accuracy ofmeasurement. Recent observations havesuggested a maximum variation of onlyabout 1 arcsecond (0.1%) from a meanradius of 960.0 arcseconds as seen froma standard distance of 1.0 AstronomicalUnits.Dipak Basu, a visiting scientist inthe Department of Physics at CarletonUniversity, has examined over threehundred years of solar observations, andhas concluded that the Sun appears togrow and shrink in phase with the sunspotcycle (December 1998 issue of SolarPhysics). According to Basu’s findings,the more sunspots there are on the Sun,the larger it appears.Basu’s analysis was made possibleby a recent re-examination of historicalmeasurements of the solar radius. MichelToulmonde at the Observatoire de Pariscorrected the original data for such effectsas atmospheric refraction, seeingconditions, the observers’ reactions, andthe diffraction caused by the small aperturetelescopes used in the 17 th and 18 th centuries(September 1997 issue of Astronomy andAstrophysics). Missing from Toulmonde’sanalysis were corrections for instrumenterror in the micrometer measurementsmade prior to 1750. According to RandallBrooks of the National Museum of Scienceand Technology, astronomers in the 17 thand early 18 th century had a poorunderstanding of the systematic errorsintroduced by the filar micrometer. Brooksgoes on to suggest that those inaccuratemeasurements should be given far lessweight than the more modern data. Basualso builds upon the results of FernandoNoël of the Universidad de Chile, who iscurrently producing sub-arcsecond solarmeasurements from a Danjon astrolabein Santiago, Chile (September 1997 issueof Astronomy and Astrophysics).More sophisticated long-termobservations are required to confirm theclaims, since the detected variations arenear the limit of, or may even exceed, theapparent accuracy of the pre-1850 data.With the improved accuracy of the modernsolar astrolabes, an answer may soon beat hand.COSMIC COLLISIONS ANDGAMMA RAY BURSTSA current problem in astrophysics is thesource of gamma-ray bursts. Over thepast two years, data obtained from aflotilla of orbiting observatories haveshown that what are suspected to betitanic events on the energy scale areprobably cosmic, rather than local, inorigin. Some are observed to be directlysuperimposed on distant galaxies, andare believed to originate from objectsbelonging to the galaxies, but at suchdistances, the observed energy outburstswould make them among the mostpowerful cosmic events since the BigBang. Ever since the accidental discoveryof gamma-ray bursters in the early 1970s,the astronomical community has beenpuzzled about their possible origin. Most104JRASC June/juin 1999


competing models agree that the observedenergy and time scales likely involve thebirth or death of a black hole or neutronstar.Recent work by a Canadian team ofresearchers has put a new spin on suchmodels. Brad Hansen and ChigurupatiMurali of the Canadian Institute forTheoretical Astrophysics (CITA) in Torontohave suggested that gamma-ray burstsare the result of the collapse of a neutronstar into a black hole, triggered by animpact with a more normal star (September20, 1998 issue of the Astrophysical JournalLetters). Collisions between stars areextremely rare, but Hansen and Muraliargue that stellar encounters may befrequent enough inside the dense stellarneighbourhood of a globular cluster toaccount for the observed number ofgamma-ray bursts. According to the CITAteam, the sparse nature of the interstellarmedium in a globular cluster is also anideal environment for the gamma rayevent. The observed gamma ray fireballand afterglow would be difficult to producein the denser interstellar gas usually foundinside the disk of a galaxy.Hansen and Murali have also provideda possible test for their model. Most othermodels require the gamma-ray burst tooccur in a galaxy that is undergoing agreat deal of star formation. Such starburstgalaxies appear very distinct. The Hansenand Murali scenario, on the other hand,uses the older population of stars inglobular clusters as the precursors, andglobular clusters are found in almostevery type of galaxy. If gamma ray burstsare not found to be specific to a particulartype of parent galaxy, then the CITA teammay be on the right track.AMATEUR TECHNIQUES ANDMODERN DISCOVERIESA major step toward the resolution ofone of the biggest mysteries of modernastronomy was made recently with thedetection of the optical flash from agamma-ray burster (see Second Light: AGamma-ray Burst Caught in the Act byLeslie Sage in this issue, and also Sky &Telescope for May 1999). Amateurastronomers will be interested to learnthat the equipment used in the detectionof the optical counterpart to the bursteris comparable to that used by advancedobservers who have moved into the worldof CCD imaging. Telephoto lenses, CCDswith computer support and computerdrivenmounts are all familiar to amateurs,if not yet in every enthusiast’s backyard.The constantly decreasing costs for suchhigh-tech equipment suggest that it willsoon be within the grasp of most interestedobservers. Although many will continueto thrill at photons from a favourite Messiergalaxy streaming directly onto their retinas,others may wish to participate in thesystematic study of the cosmos and tospend at least some of their observingtime in front of a computer monitor.The discovery of the gamma-rayburst counterpart is only one area wherehigh-tech equipment can play a role.Although large professional telescopeswill continue to dominate where veryfaint objects, especially those of smallangular size, are to be studied, the highdemands for time on oversubscribedtelescopes preclude lengthy studies of allbut the most scientifically “productive”objects. Searches for light-varying ormoving objects are often difficult toschedule on larger telescopes. In suchareas, amateurs, particularly with theapparatus now available, can make avaluable contribution. Many types ofvariable stars could benefit from systematicstudy, from very short-period stars of theSX Phoenicis class to long-period variables.According to Brian Martin of King’sUniversity College in Edmonton, the shortperiod variable DY Pegasi, as an example,is easily studied with small CCD-equippedtelescopes. With its average magnitudeof 10.6, amplitude of variation of 0 m .7,and a period of only 105 minutes, DY Pegundergoes a complete cycle in one evening.Explosive drama, albeit on a smaller energyscale than that of gamma ray bursters, isprovided by the cataclysmic variables or“dwarf novae.” Not only are the outburstsof such objects unpredictable and in needof monitoring, but there are also moresubtle variations resulting from movementof gas in an accretion disk around a whitedwarf star.In keeping with the need forcontinuous monitoring, the Center forBackyard Astrophysics (http://cba.phys.columbia.edu/) attempts to co-ordinateobservations of cataclysmic variable starsby instruments worldwide on advancedamateur/smallprofessional-class telescopes.Amateurs have long dominated the searchfor comets and asteroids. That they havebeen surpassed in recent years by largeautomated projects such as Skywatchand LINEAR, may be a situation that canbe countered as more amateurs useequipment similar to that employed forthe important discovery of the gammarayburster counterpart. Who knows whatlimits there are for those with a great lovefor the skies and a budget to support theirinfatuation?STELLAR OSCILLATIONSActivity continues at the University ofBritish Columbia on the MOST satelliteproject described in the Journal forDecember 1998. Those wishing to followthe progress of Canada’s first scientificsatellite in over two decades are welcometo visit the MOST web site athttp://www.astro.ubc.ca/MOST/. Thename of the satellite (an acronym forMicro Oscillations of STars) is well-chosen,but web browsers tend not to like it sincethe MOST link is difficult to find by websearching!In eastern Canada, stellar oscillationsare already being used to study themysteries of the end phases of stellarevolution. Gilles Fontaine, Pierre Bergeron,François Wesemael and Pierre Brassardof the Université de Montréal, incollaboration with French researcher G.Vauclair, use variations in the luminositiesof white dwarf stars (of spectral type DA)to study the properties of the thin layersof hydrogen that lie at the surface of thesestellar remnants. White dwarfs are mainlycomposed of the nuclear ashes that remainfrom the conversion of hydrogen to heavierelements during nuclear processing inthe interiors of stars. The tiny amount ofJune/juin 1999 JRASC105


emaining hydrogen that they contain isforced to float to the surface through theaction of their intense gravitational fields.“Temperature waves” travel throughthe outer layers of such stars and producevariations in their total light output. Thevariations, in turn, can be used to deducethe properties of the layers, once analyzedwith the aid of sophisticated computeralgorithms. The observations arechallenging since white dwarfs, largelybecause of their small size, are faint,typically about fifteenth magnitude. Evenby allowing all of a star’s light to fall onthe 3.6-m diameter mirror of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (no filters areused) and sampling for 10 seconds at atime, the team requires several hours toobtain the precision of a few thousandthsof a magnitude that is required for theanalyses of the light curves. Several hourscorresponds to many periods of variation,which are typically from about one totwenty minutes in white dwarfs of theZZ Ceti type — the designation for theclass of objects that exhibit this type oflight variability. In practice, many periodsare present simultaneously in a singlestar, which complicates the analysis butallows much to be learned about thestructure of the stars. The collaboratorsin the project have now patiently acquireda high-quality data set that permits reliablecomparisons to be made with white dwarfmodels.LONG PERIOD VARIABLESVariable stars of long period have beenthe subject of study by amateurastronomers since the discovery of theprototype Ceti (Mira) by David Fabriciusin 1595. In several recent papers, JohnPercy of the University of Toronto, inconjunction with a number of students(some from high school), has studied theproperties of long-period variable starsusing visual and photoelectric dataassembled by the American AssociationDifferential photoelectric photometry of the bright semi-regular pulsating red giant EU Delphini —mostly by amateur astronomers Howard Landis and Russ Milton of the AAVSO. Their observations,over many years, have demonstrated that EU Del and other stars like it are periodic variables (graphfrom John Percy).of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO), aswell as other sources including data fromthe Hipparcos satellite. Percy has examinedthe statistical properties and light curvesof red giant and supergiant stars, suchas EU Del shown above, and finds that alarge part of the variability in the lightcurves of long period variables seems tobe random in nature, and is unrelated tothe evolution of the stars. Understandingwhat types of change are random, andwhich are caused by the effects of stellarevolution (including shell flashes attributedto ignition of helium burning), is importantfor obtaining a more detailed picture ofthe late stages in the life of a star. Ultimately,such stars lose mass and make thetransition from red giant to white dwarf.Pulsations undoubtedly play a role in thatprocess, although one that is understoodincompletely. Percy’s results are illustrativeof the type of work that can arise throughamateur/professional partnerships inresearch in astronomy. He is convenor ofa session on the topic at the upcomingRASC General Assembly, which is part ofa joint meeting with the AAVSO and theAstronomical Society of the Pacific(http://www.aspsky.org/u99/pa.html).SLOW BOAT TO MARSThe Canadian Thermal Plasma Analyser,which is the first Canadian scientificinstrument launched toward Mars, leftEarth in July 1998 as planned. As reportedin the August 1998 edition of the Journal,sounding rocket tests of a twin instrumentin Earth’s ionosphere were very successful,and the instrument being carried towardMars rides aboard a Japanese spacecraftinitially called Planet-B. After a successfullaunch, the designation was changed toNozomi, which in Japanese means “hope.”While there is still every hope that theinstrument will get to Mars and functionas expected, a misfire during a midcoursecorrection has delayed the expected arrivalto late 2003, rather than later this yearas initially planned. A new trajectory hasbeen established that includes two flybysof Earth. The gravitational boost technique,which has now been used with manyinterplanetary spacecraft, will allow themission to continue with the fuel remaining,but at a slower pace than foreseen.106JRASC June/juin 1999


Focal PlanePushing the Envelopeby Joseph O’Neil, London Centre ( joneil@multiboard.com)When the opportunity permits,I love observing at high power.Sadly, the profusion of cheaplymade department store telescopes withoutrageous claims of “675 power” hasgiven the whole concept a bit of a blackeye. There exist other obstacles as well,but perhaps the point is best made in thisfashion: not taking advantage of highpower observing, if and when theopportunity presents itself, is a terriblewaste.I find that most people observevisually at magnifications of about 150×.Seldom does one hear reports ofobservations being made at over 250×.Why are there so few reports ofobservations being made at four or fivehundred power? My answer is: Objects,Opportunity, and Optics.With regard to objects, if you could,would you observe M31 or M42 at 500×?Both objects are rather large, and gainlittle from high magnification. Withnotable exceptions, observations at highmagnifications are best suited to planetary,lunar, and double star programs, whichis where the first problem arises. Manyamateur astronomers are obsessed withdeep sky observing, otherwise why elsewould one see 90-mm telescopes withcomputerized 12,000-object data basesbuilt into the mounts? I recently reportedon the Internet that I had chanced upona lunar occultation of a 4.4 magnitudestar in Taurus, and asked if anyone elsehad witnessed the event. The silence wasdeafening.Perhaps very few people read themessage, but I am amazed at how manypeople think to themselves, “The Moonis up, I might as well forget aboutobserving.” Why? If you wish to learn theskies, you should be out there every clearnight, even if it is only for five minutes“Not taking advantage of high powerobserving, if and when the opportunitypresents itself, is a terrible waste.”with a pair of binoculars from the middleof a light polluted city. Put another way,consider your favourite sport or musicalinstrument and imagine two people who,over the period of one year, practice theart or sport. The first person practicesfor ten minutes a day every day, while thesecond person does it once a week fortwo hours. Who do you think will havemastered the art in question more at theend of the year? It is the same withobserving. Every time you observe anyobject in the heavens, you are trainingyour eyes, body, and mind to become abetter observer. Do not neglect anyopportunity available.Another obstacle to observing arisesfrom the feeling of obligation. “It is clear,therefore I must observe.” It is best toalter one’s frame of mind about suchmatters. I like to brew a cup of tea beforeI go outside, or indulge in a fine maltliquor during warmer nights, and just sitthere, vegetating under the stars. Yes,alcohol can interfere with one’s skill atthe eyepiece, but high blood pressure andstress are even more of a detriment.Observing should be a relaxing influenceon one’s life, a chance to escape the noiseand madness of modern living, if evenfor a brief period.Next is the question of opportunity,which is a true quagmire. As a nation,we sometimes define our identity as aland of lousy weather. The great thingabout Canada, no matter where you live,from Alert to Point Pelee or from St. John’sto Victoria, if you complain about theweather, instantly you speak perfectCanadianese.Given the variety of weather weexperience in our fair land, observersshould be aware that the combination oftransparent skies and steady seeing mayonly present itself a few nights each year.Since some of those nights will occurduring the full phase of the Moon, vigilanceis essential.Another hindrance to Canadianastronomers is our northern latitude.While winter nights are long (and hard),the dark hours in the warmest periodsof summer seem only like fleetingmemories, especially as the latitude growshigher. For most observers, the few hoursof night that do occur are often “ruined”by displays of the northern lights. (Youcan always distinguish Canadianastronomers from those of any othernationality by the way they criticize thingsin which others delight.)With regard to telescope optics,there are two remarks I wish to make.First, who among us has not heard theterm “refractor snob”? It might help tounderstand that many high-endinstruments are actually designed primarilyfor photographic or CCD work, wheretolerances are fairly strict relative to thosefor visual observing. That is not to implythat such instruments fail at visual work.Quite the contrary, they do work, butJune/juin 1999 JRASC107


permit me to make a bit of an applesversus-orangescomparison, for argument’ssake.An 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegraintelescope, complete with mount, tripod,drive motors, eyepieces, diagonal andfinder, can easily cost $2,000. By way ofcomparison, a professional photographer,who depends upon optical equipment tomake a living, can spend $2,000 to $4,000on a single camera lens. That is for a singlelens. Camera body, light meter, tripods,film, etc. are all extra. I am referring toprofessional quality equipment, not theaverage chain store camera lens. The pointis that the optical equipment availablein amateur astronomy is relativelyinexpensive.A second point is the myth thattelescope making costs the same as buyingan instrument. That is not true if youcompare optics of equivalent quality.Many people do not realize that even afirst time amateur telescope maker canturn out a beautiful mirror if the personis willing to take the time. People oftencomplain that they have neither the timenor the inclination to grind a mirror.While that is a valid point, among hobbiesand professions that make use of opticalequipment, only in astronomy do thereexist traditions and infrastructure thatsupport the construction of one’s owninstrument. In the worlds of birding andphotography, the traditions andinfrastructure do not exist. If you wantgood optical equipment, you have to payfor it.It is essential to have high qualityoptical equipment to obtain high powers,whether the equipment is acquired throughsweat or cash. A simple Dobsoniantelescope with a plywood mount andcardboard tube can be an excellenttelescope for observing at highmagnification if the optics are good, unlikethe demands of imaging where everythingfrom mount to tube assembly has to bejust right.Even when one has good opticalequipment, the battle does not stop there.“It is essential to have high qualityoptical equipment to obtain highpowers, whether the equipment isacquired through sweat or cash.”All telescope optics, even refractor optics,need time to cool to ambient temperatureto perform at 100%. That poses a chronicproblem for large telescopes. Considerthe situation of an observer in Edmontonwho, during a warm June night, is waitingfor the mirror of his 16-inch Dobsonianto cool to ambient temperature. Evenwith the aid of a small fan, by the timethe mirror has acclimatized, sunrise mightbe taking place.I should mention that a largetelescope with good optics can be one ofthe best instruments one ever uses forplanetary observing, even though largeDobsonians are typecast as deep skyinstruments. Most observations of planetsand lunar events at high power seem tobe made with smaller, high qualityrefractors. It is almost impossible to findreflectors smaller than eight inches inaperture with superior optics, unless theyare homemade. While good optics arecertainly capable of surpassing the “50×per inch” rule, one of the best observationsI ever had of Jupiter was through a 16-inch Dobsonian that possessed exquisiteoptics.The next question is when is thebest time to observe? If one simply waitsfor objects to climb out of the murk nearthe horizon to a point near the zenith,more problems are encountered. Thecombination of climate and latitude forobservers in Canada can result in a varietyof frustrations: too cold in winter, toomany bloodthirsty insects in summer,observing sites in winter blocked by snowdrifts, summer rains turning fields intomud, and more. One peculiar problem Iexperience is from trains. Among thebusiest rail lines in all of North Americais the Quebec City–Windsor/Detroit–Chicago corridor, which passes a mere300 metres from my observing site. Eachand every time a train rolls by, be itpassenger or freight train, my telescopeshakes and I experience an instantearthquake inside the eyepiece. Changingmounts makes no difference, for thetremours can be felt in the ground itself.Even if all conditions of object, opportunity,and optics combine favourably on one ofthose rare occasions that occur three orfour times a year, I still take a rest everytime a train passes.One often hears the expressions“pushing the envelope” and “expandingone’s personal limits,” usually in conjunctionwith physical activity. I think astronomyis an area where, in simple ways, we cando the same with body and mind, as longas it remains enjoyable — a personal goalto achieve instead of a yardstick to bemeasured by. Opportunity is fleeting, sograb it when you can. In the process ofdoing so, you can teach yourself morethan you ever imagined possible.A member of the London Centre of the RASC,Joe O’Neil has been interested in astronomysince grade school. In his spare time he enjoysplanetary and lunar observing from the lightpolluted skies of London, and black and whiteastrophotography from the family farm nearGranton, Ontario, about five kilometres duenorth of Western’s Elginfield Observatory.108JRASC June/juin 1999


Feature ArticlesArticles de FondSeeing Doubleby Doug Middleton, Montreal Centre, reprinted from SkywardSeeing DoubleSooner or later, for those of us whohave done a bit of observing, thequestion arises: is there life afterMessier? Having worked our way fromM1 to M110, where do we go from there?For some, the next step is the list of thefinest NGC objects as given in the Observer’sHandbook. For others it is the Herschel400 catalogue of deep-sky objects. Forthose blessed with an abundance ofaperture, the sky is literally the limit.Recalling the fun (?) I had with my trustysix-inch Dobsonian identifying the faintfuzzies in Virgo and Coma Berenices, Idecided that none of the above appealedto me very much. Of course, stars canalso be faint, but rarely fuzzy. What aboutdouble stars? It is generally reckoned thatmore than half of the stars in our Galaxyare double or multiple, so that shouldkeep me occupied for a little while!There was not a great deal of doublestar observing during the first century ofthe telescopic era, although in 1650 theItalian astronomer Giovanni Ricciolidetermined that Zeta Ursae Majoris (Mizar)was a double with a companion fourteenarcseconds distant. In 1656 ChristianHuygens found that Theta Orionis was atriple; a fourth component was found in1684. The first serious observer was WilliamHerschel, who started to observe doublesin 1779. His observations of AlphaGeminorum (Castor) and five other doublesled him to the conclusion that in thosecases the non-linear motion of one starwith respect to the other was a result oforbital movement. That conclusion,published in 1803, supported the viewthat the theory of Newtonian gravityapplied beyond the solar system and wastherefore a universal law.Another pioneer in double starobserving was F. G. Wilhelm Struve. In1837, using a 24-cm refractor, he examinedno fewer than 120,000 stars. It is noteworthythat the sons of both pioneers carried onthe work of their fathers. Otto Struveissued the Pulkovo supplement to hisfather’s Dorpat catalogue, and John Herschelextended his father’s observations byspending four years at the Cape of GoodHope surveying the southern hemisphere.Later, Robert Grant Aitken examined allthe stars in the Bonner Durchmusterungdown to magnitude 9.0, and in 1932 issuedhis New General Catalogue of double stars(Aitken’s Double Star Catalogue) containing17,180 pairs. It is the basis for ADS numbers,which are still in use today. Currentlyover 60,000 double stars are catalogued,but most are out of the reach of amateurtelescopes.At first sight there appears to besome confusion regarding the nomenclaturefor double stars, which are variouslydescribed in the literature as naked eye,optical, binocular, visual, telescopic, etc.That is more a description of how thestar system is observed than of the systemitself. We also have the case where twostars appear to be very close together inthe sky because they happen to lie almostin the same direction, but are actually aconsiderable distance apart. Such systemsare usually known as optical doubles. TheAlcor/Mizar pair in Ursa Major is oftencited as an example of an optical doublesystem, but actually both lie at similardistances from Earth at the core of theUrsa Major moving cluster, and are thebrightest members of their own multiplestar systems. There are, in fact,comparatively few examples of opticaldoubles. Most stars that appear doubleare indeed binaries, i.e. gravitationallyconnected. In general the two stars in abinary system revolve about a commoncentre of gravity, with orbital periodsranging typically from less than two yearsto many centuries. The apparent orbit ofone star about the other is an ellipse, withthe primary star (the brighter of the two)lying at one focus. Unless the observer’sline of sight happens to be perpendicularto the plane of the ellipse, the observedellipse will be a projection of the trueellipse on the plane of the sky, and theprimary star may not lie at one of the twofoci. It is possible to determine the sizeand shape of the true ellipse throughanalysis of the apparent ellipse, but thatrequires a large body of observations forthe system. Fewer than a thousand binarieshave calculated orbits.A visual binary is one that can bedetected by direct observation or byphotographic means, and its detectionis limited by the resolving power of theinstrument being used. Binary systemsthat cannot be detected visually can bediscovered by other methods. If the orbitalplane is edge-on or at a very small angleto the line of sight, one star may occultor transit the other, resulting in periodicvariations in the apparent brightness ofthe system. A plot of the brightness overa period of time is called a light curve,which can be analyzed to determine theorbital elements. Such a system is referredto as an eclipsing or photometric binary.Some stars may appear as single inthe telescope, but the periodic doublingor periodic velocity shifts in their spectrallines will indicate the orbital motion ofa two-star system. The motion in such aJune/juin 1999 JRASC109


case is detected by means of the Dopplershift — the spectral lines shift to the redwhen a star is receding and to the bluewhen approaching. A system detected inthis fashion is termed a spectroscopicbinary. It has been estimated that onestar in four is a spectroscopic binary.Normally only close binaries can bedetected by this method. Wider binarieshave larger orbits in which the two starsorbit one another with much slower orbitalmotions and radial velocity variations.Spectroscopic observations of radialvelocity variations produced by orbitalmotion are also the means used in recentyears for the detection of companionsorbiting 51 Pegasi and other stars, althoughin such cases the Doppler shifts areextremely small and so require specialtechniques for detection.Observations of a star’s proper motionover a period of time can show cyclicalvariations that arise from motion of thestar about the barycentre of a binarysystem. The secondary in the system mayeither lie too close to the primary to bevisually separated, or be so faint that itcannot be detected. Such periodic wobblingwith respect to background stars is thecharacteristic of an astrometric binary.A classic example is Sirius, which has awhite dwarf companion. Prior to the visualdetection of the companion by F. W. Besselin 1844, Sirius was a recognized astrometricbinary system in which the secondarywas too faint to be seen telescopically.Multiple systems of three or morestars also exist. The stars in such systemsare sufficiently close together that theirmutual gravitational attraction dominatesall other gravitational forces. Althoughmultiple systems of six or morecomponents have been detected, the mostcommon are hierarchical systems consistingof a close pair with a distant thirdcompanion, or two well-separated closesystems orbiting a barycentre betweenthem.The brightest stars can often be seento have different colours, indicative ofthe different temperatures in theatmospheres of the stars. Typical coloursrange from the steely blue-white of an O-type star (e.g. Zeta Orionis), through theyellow of a G-type star (e.g.our Sun), to the deep red ofan M-type star (e.g.Betelgeuse). One of the mostattractive features of visualbinaries is the colourcontrast between twocomponents of very differenttemperature. Unfortunately,the human eye is not wellsuitedto determine starcolours. Rods in the retinaare adaptable to low lightconditions, but see only inblack and white. Cones,which perceive colour, aredesigned for normal daylightuse, but are relativelyineffective at low light levels.Observations by the WebbSociety have shown thatthere is a high probability that thecomponents of a visual binary will havethe same or very similar colours. Binariesof high colour contrast, such as Beta Cygni(Albireo), are the exception rather thanthe rule. In general, the smaller theseparation, the greater the probabilitythat the colours will be the same. Again,there are notable exceptions, such asGamma Andromedae with its blue andorange-yellow components separated byonly ten arcseconds.How would my six-inch Dobsonianfare in the observation of doubles? Tofind out, I had to delve lightly into itsoptical performance. As a result of thediffraction of starlight by the aperture ofa telescope, in extremely good seeing thelight of a star is seen as a small disksurrounded by a series of concentric rings.That is the Airy disk named after SirGeorge Airy who, in 1834, determinedthat the angular radius (in dimensionlessangle units of radians) of the first darkring is given by 1.22 × D, where isthe wavelength of the light and D is thediameter of the telescope (both dimensionsbeing expressed in the same units). It wasfurther stated by Lord Rayleigh that, fora double to be just resolved, the angularseparation of the stars should match theradius of the first dark ring. The Rayleighlimit for visual observations correspondsThis illustration shows how to determine position angle in anastronomical (inverting) telescope.in arcseconds to 14 ÷ D, where D is thediameter of the telescopes in centimetres.You will note that the resolution limitdepends upon the aperture, and is notaffected by the brightness of the star. Thetheoretical Rayleigh limit is somewhatlarger than in practice.An empirical formula given by theRev. W. R. Dawes specifies a minimumseparation in arcseconds of 11.6 ÷ D fora pair of sixth magnitude stars in a smalltelescope. For brighter and fainter systems,and especially for pairs of unequalbrightness, the results may be very different— up to 91 ÷ D for very unequal pairs.That is to be expected, since it is verydifficult to detect a faint companion closeto a bright primary.Such theoretical considerations areall very interesting, but are secondary toatmospheric conditions. My 6-inchtelescope has a resolution limit of 0.76arcseconds according to the Dawes formula,but the best I have been able to achieveis 1.5 arcseconds, and that was undervery good seeing — a rare occurrence!On the plus side, telescopes up to sixinches are less affected by bad seeing,and the larger diffraction disk makes iteasier to distinguish colour hues. Skydarkness is also a factor, since lack ofcontrast makes the resolving of faintdoubles more difficult. As most of us110JRASC June/juin 1999


know, practice and perseverance paydividends. That is particularly true inobserving doubles. On occasion I havefound myself staring unsuccessfully atan elongated fuzzy blob, when suddenly,for an instant, the seeing steadied and agap appeared between the stars that onecould drive a truck through!A binary system is defined by themagnitudes of its components, the positionangle and the angular separation. Thebrighter star is considered to be theprimary. The fainter star is the secondary,and the position angle of the secondaryis measured in degrees, counterclockwisefrom north as shown in the diagram. Theseparation is usually given in arcseconds,although for wide pairs it may be givenin arcminutes. The system was firstintroduced by John Herschel, and hasbeen used ever since.Such details seem all verystraightforward, until you are at theeyepiece and you have to figure out wherenorth is located! A suggestion in somearticles that I have read is to nudge thetelescope in the direction of Polaris, inwhich case new stars will enter the fieldfrom the north. Having spent some timestar hopping in the celestial boondocksto find a faint double, the last thing I wantto do is nudge my scope anywhere!Fortunately, there is a very simple solution.Centre the double in the eyepiece and letit drift to the edge of the field — that isto the west, corresponding to a positionangle of 270°. For those with a clock drive,just switch it off. In the beginning I thoughtsuch a practice was too easy, but it works!Now we have the problem of beingable to estimate the separation of thestars in arcseconds. To do that, it isnecessary to calibrate the various eyepiecesbeing used. For example, if the eyepiecebeing used has an apparent field of viewof 50° and gives a magnification of 50×,dividing the apparent field of view by themagnification gives a true field of viewof one degree or 3,600 arcseconds. It isfairly easy to check that by measurement.Select a bright star on or near the celestialequator and time its drift from one sideof the field to the other in seconds. Dividingby four gives the true field of view inminutes of arc.I have found it useful (and timesaving)to prepare a list of objects to be observedbeforehand. For double stars, I thoroughlyrecommend Volume 2 of Sky Catalogue2000.0, which contains 8,315 separatedouble or multiple systems. The listincludes objects well beyond my telescope’scapabilities. Since I use Wil Tirion’s SkyAtlas 2000.0, which plots stars to eighthmagnitude, I decided to select doubleswhere the primary star is no fainter thanseventh magnitude. I also tried to avoidlarge magnitude differences by restrictingthe companion stars to at most tenthmagnitude. I soon discovered that therewas no point in listing a double wherethe primary was fourth magnitude, thesecondary was eighth magnitude, andthe separation was a mere three arcseconds.Even with such restrictions, I was ableto come up with a total of nearly 400candidates. That should keep me out ofmischief for a little while! A selection ofsome of the doubles and multiple systemsI have observed is given below. They arenot in any particular order nor are theyall spectacular, but they have impressedme, as noted in my observing log. Youmay like to try some of them!Some years before I had built mytelescope and done any serious observing,I attended an open night at the observatoryon the University of British Columbiacampus. It had a 24-inch telescope, acomputer-driven SCT, and towards theend of the presentation the technicianasked if there was anything we would liketo see. A small voice was heard to say“Can we see Albireo please?” We did. Itis still one of my favourite objects.Beta Cygni — Albireo: On everybody’slist and no wonder — it has everythinggoing for it. It is readily located, lying inthe head of an easily recognizableconstellation, Cygnus the Swan. Theprimary is a magnitude 3.1 K3 star, andthe secondary is a magnitude 5.1 B8 star— the pair is separated by a generous34˝. The colours are blue and gold. It isvisible in binoculars and a glorious sightat low power in a scope. Being an opticaldouble does not detract from its beauty.Omicron 1 Cygni: Awide triple withmagnitudes of 3.8, 6.7 and 4.8, and withseparations of 107˝ and 336˝. The coloursare yellow, blue, and blue. In binocularsthe brighter pair are likened to a widerversion of Albireo.61 Cygni: This is Struve 2758. It is a pairof sixth magnitude red dwarfs, both oftype K5. Separated by 29˝, they are easilyresolved at 100×. Both stars are deepyellow — like cat’s-eyes in the dark! Thepair is only ten light-years distant.Alpha Canum Venaticorum — CorCaroli: A nice bright pair. Magnitudesare 2.9 and 5.5 at 19˝ separation. Bothstars are listed as blue-white, but I see atouch of yellow in the primary, which isof type F0.Delta Lyrae: A very wide optical double,but it is included for its nice colour contrast.The primary is a magnitude 5.6 star oftype B4, with the secondary being a typeM4 red giant at magnitude 4.3. Thebinocular view is of a blue and orangepair.Zeta Lyrae: Another colourful pair. Atmagnitudes 4.3 and 5.9, and with aseparation of 44˝, the system is easilyresolved at low power. The colours areblue and yellow.Epsilon Lyrae: This is the well-knownDouble-Double, easily separated bybinoculars into two stars of magnitudes4.7 and 5.1. Each “star” is a close doubleseparated by about 2.5 arcseconds andoriented almost at right angles to eachother — a unique sight. I see all of theJune/juin 1999 JRASC111


components as white. I have resolved thisquadruple system from light-pollutedskies, but have failed to do so at a darksite. — dark skies do not always meangood seeing!Delta Corvi: Here we have a largedifference in magnitude, the primarybeing 3.0 and the secondary 9.2. Theseparation of 24˝ is enough to resolve itat 100×, but the faint secondary, whichis type K, has only a tinge of red.Nu Draconis: No colour contrast here,but for a change, a very bright pair! Bothstars are of spectral type A and have amagnitude of 4.9. They are separated by62˝ and easily split at low power, makingtheir duplicity visible in binoculars.Eta Persei: A nice colour contrast. Theprimary is a type M giant, of magnitude3.8, with a type A companion of magnitude8.5. At 28˝ separation, they are easilyresolved at 100×. Colours are yellow andblue. There is a tenth-magnitude thirdcomponent that I was not able to detect.Gamma Andromedae: A brightcolourful pair. Magnitudes are 2.2 and5.1. Separated by 10˝, they are easilyresolved at 100× revealing nice yellowand blue hues.Sigma Orionis: My first quadruple!Readily located — it is the bright,magnitude 3.7 star just below the lefthandstar of Orion’s belt. For multiplesystems I have found it easier to identifythe components alphabetically in orderof increasing separation from the primary.In some listings, they are given in decreasingorder of brightness, which I find confusing.For Sigma Orionis, the magnitudes are:A (3.8), B (10.3), C (7.5) and D (6.5).Separations from the primary (A) are 11”,13˝ and 43˝ arcseconds, respectively.They are all blue-white in colour, androughly in a straight line with C and Don one side of the primary and B on theother. Components C and D are easilyresolved at 100×, but D, at magnitude10.3, is just resolved at 160×. The primarystar is actually a very close binary (0.2˝),making Sigma a quintuple system!Omicron Draconis: With magnitude4.8 and 7.8 stars separated by 34˝, thesystem is easily resolved at 50×. Theprimary is deep blue with a blue-whitecompanion, making a nice contrast. Thereis some doubt as to whether the systemis actually a true binary instead of anoptical double.Eta Tauri: This is Alcyone in the Pleiades,a quadruple system with a magnitude 2.9primary and three eighth magnitudecompanions. All of the stars are wellseparatedand easily resolved at 50×. Itis an unusual grouping, with the threecompanions forming a triangle on oneside of the primary. Like most of the starsin the Pleiades, they are blue-white.Alpha Herculis: The primary is a redsupergiant (type M5) of magnitude 3.2(variable). The secondary is magnitude5.5 and separated by 5˝. It is resolved at100×, and although they are fairly close,the brightness of the components helps.The colours are orange and blue — a nicepair.Alpha Geminorum — Castor: At firstglance it looks like a triple system. Thecomponent magnitudes are A (1.9), B (2.9)and C (8.8), separated by 3.8˝ and 73˝.Stars A and B are blue-white A0 stars. Cis a red dwarf, but faint, so only a tingeof red is seen. It resolved at 100×. StarsA and B are spectroscopic binaries, andC is an eclipsing binary making the system,in fact, a sextuple!Beta Orionis — Rigel: This double hasmagnitudes 0.1 and 6.8 separated by 10˝.It is just resolved at 100×, but it is a verydifficult pair because of the glare fromthe primary, which is a blue-whitesupergiant.Zeta Coronae Borealis: A brilliantblue-white pair of sixth magnitude typeB stars separated by 6˝. This system isno problem at 100×, and the equalmagnitudes seem to enhance the coloursof the stars.Xi Boötis: This double comprises amagnitude 4.6 type G8 star with amagnitude 7.4 type K4 companionseparated by 7˝. It is resolved at 100×,but with some difficulty. It is frequentlylisted as a showpiece double for smalltelescopes, but I found the yellow andorange colours very pale. The conditionsmust have been below par that night.112JRASC June/juin 1999


Theta l Orionis — The Trapezium:In the heart of the Orion Nebula and oneof my favourites! The four main stars havemagnitudes of A (6.7), B (7.9), C (5.1) andD (6.7), separated from A by 9˝, 13˝ and22˝ respectively. There are also two eleventhmagnitude components, E at 4˝ from A,and F at 4˝ from C. To resolve all sixcomponents requires very good seeingand a bit of patience. I find that it is veryuseful to plot some multiple systems toscale, on the basis that it is easier to findfaint stars if you know where to look! Ihave observed the Trapezium many times,but the faint components are sometimesconspicuous by their absence!Doug Middleton joined the Montreal Centrein 1990, and found that it has a very activeobserving group. With their advice andencouragement, and using his homemade6-inch Dobsonian, he successfully completedthe Messier List. Later, he decided toconcentrate his observing on multiple starsystems. He is currently in his fifth year asthe Centre’s treasurer, and to the surprise ofall, the Centre still remains solvent.Histoire et construction du premiertélescope Newtonpar Réal Manseau, membre non-associé de la SRAC et membre du club d’Astronomiede Drummondville (reprinted from Le Québec Astronomique)Pour un grand nombre d’amateurs, l’astronomie est un loisir agréable que l’on partage à l’occasion avec ces amis.Pour d’autres, ce sont les possibilités de participer aux programmes de recherche qui complémentent ceux desastronomes professionnels, qui les attirent. Toutefois, pour un très petit nombre, l’astronomie se marie à d’autrespassions, telles que la peinture, la programmation d’ordinateurs, etc.L’auteur de la présentation qui suit, Réal Manseau, a su joindre ces talents de fabricant artisanal avecun intérêt recherché dans les télescopes historiques, tels que ceux de Newton, pour pouvoir en créer des répliques.Les photos et le texte ci-bas illustrent bien son expertise en présentant quelques-unes de ces répliques. Il faut noterque la qualité de leur fabrication et leur fidélité aux caractéristiques des originaux lui ont permis, en autre, devendre une de ces répliques au Centre Muséographique de l’université Laval à Québec. De plus, comme l’attesteson ami, Guy Roy, il sait fabriquer des télescopes modernes qui font preuve de la même qualité de construction etde caractéristiques optiques supérieures.— Suzanne MoreauIntroductionUn pas des plus importants de laphilosophie naturelle des sciencesfut mis à jour sur la fin de l’année1671. C’est décembre 1671 qu’un jeunehomme de 29 ans, inconnu des scientifiquesde Cambridge et London, présenta à laRoyal Society, la version du premierinstrument grossissant en se servant demiroirs. Isaac Newton l’appela le télescopecatadioptrique. Ce petit instrument nemesurait pas beaucoup plus de deuxpouces de diamètre et avait une focalede six pouces. A cette époque, la lunettefut popularisée par Galilée. A partir de1609, lorsque Galilée observa les satellitesde Jupiter, les phases de Vénus, et lescratères lunaires, ce fut l’émerveillementdans le monde des savants.L’objectif était un verre convexe etl’oculaire une lentille concave, ce quidonnait un champ très étroit et des imagestrès floues. Quelques années plus tard,Kepler suggéra que le champ visuel pouvaitêtre plus large en se servant d’un oculaireconvexe. Aucune mention de laconstruction d’un instrument semblablenous est parvenu.Dans les annees 1660, Newton fitses expériences sur la lumière, les lentilles,l’observation chromatique, et l’étalementdu spectre au passage de la lumière àtravers un prisme. Malgré toutes cesrecherches, Newton n’arrive pas à conclurecomment corriger l’aberration chromatiquedes lentilles. Cette découverte fut faitepar Chester Hall et John Dollond soixantedixans plus tard.Le Télescope de NewtonVoici, selon diverses sources et documents(Letters on Natural Philosophy, 1672, byIsaac Newton), des croquis et dimensionsprobablement du premier modèle présentéà la Royal Society. Le miroir (spéculum)primaire de deux pouces de diamètre etde 6 1 ⁄3 pouces de focale. Un oculaire de1⁄6 pouce de focale correspondait à ungrossissement de 38 fois. Ces notes demanuscrit correspondent bien au modèlede Cambridge.June/juin 1999 JRASC113


Isaac Newton fut le premier àprésenter un télescope réflecteur en 1671.Cependant, Newton n’était pas le seul àexpliquer correctement les raisons desdéfauts de couleurs produits par unréfracteur. James Gregory, astronomeécossais et mathématicien, publia, à 24ans, ses propres dessins maintenantconnus comme le réflecteur Grégorien.Ses dessins sont présentés dans son livreOptica Promota (1663). Robert Hooke futle premier à construire un Grégorien etle présenta à la Royal Society en 1674.D’autres dessins de N. Cassegrain,professeur de physique au Collège deChartres, furent publiés. La présentationde Cassegrain est semblable au télescopeGrégorien, à l’exception que le miroirsecondaire est convexe et placé à l’intérieurdu premier foyer du miroir primaire.Newton dessina de plus grandsmodèles de télescopes, mais n’en fabriquajamais d’autres. Durant les trois sièclesqui suivirent, les télescopes deviendrontde plus en plus grands. Nous pouvonssuivre l’évolution avec les travaux d’Herschelet Lord Ross, etc.Suite à mes recherches sur l’origine de la vraie description du “Premier telescope de Newton,” j’enviens à la conclusion suivante. Newton fabrique un premier télescope: tube de tôle de plomb,spéculum de 2” diamètre avec une diagonale et une oculaire. Ce modèle, présenté par le jeuneNewton, a été refusé par la Royal Astronomical Society de Londres; on considéra le télescopecomme un jouet et mal présenté par Newton.Description du telescopede NewtonPublié dans Philosophical Transactionsdu 25 mars 1672, par Isaac Newton:• Le miroir de 2 3 ⁄8 pouces de diamètreest appelé spéculum ou miroir de métal.L’alliage du spéculum fut fait par Newtonet se compose de six onces de cuivre,deux onces d’étain, et une once d’arsenic.Ce mélange était employé pour éliminerles bulles d’air qui se formaient dansle métal.• Le polissage fut fabriqué à la main parNewton. A cette époque, l’appareil deFoucault n’était pas encore inventé;c’est pour cette raison que le spéculumfut poli, essayé et repoli à plusieursreprises pour arriver à une courbesphérique.• Le tube de papier carton mesureapproximativement neuf pouces delong, deux pouces de diamètre, et 1 ⁄8pouce d’épaisseur.• Le spéculum et la diagonale sont enlaiton. La diagonale est fixée à unsupport et placé à 45°. Ces deux miroirssont retenus dans le tube par desanneaux extensibles détendus àl’intérieur du tube.• Les tubes sont fixés à un support enacier forgé pour permettre la mise aufoyer, en glissant les deux tubes l’undans l’autre. Ce support est fixé à uneboule de bois sphérique, freiné par despinces en acier à ressort, forgé.• Sur la base de bois circulaire, mesurantsix pouces de diamètre, une plaque delaiton y est fixée où nous pouvons ylire: “The First Reflecting Telescope,Invented by Sir Isaac Newton and madewith his own hands in the year 1671.Royal Society, 28.”Nous pouvons y apprendre d’autresvérités sur le premier télescope de Newton,suite à la lecture d’un article “Newton’sTelescope Revealed” par Roy L. Bishop,RASC.La plupart des professionnels et desamateurs admettent que le premiertélescope réflecteur fut fabriqué parNewton et il fut le premier à présenterun secondaire incliné à 45°. Son premiertélescope fut fabriqué en 1668, et sonsecond en 1671.Les notes qui suivent proviennentd’une lettre de A. H. Mills et P. J. Turney,publié dans Records of the Royal Society,33, 133, 1979:• Le télescope maintenant conservé parla Royal Society fut donné en 1766 parHearth and Wings, une compagniefabriquante d’instruments à Londres.• La longueur focale du spéculum (8.2pouces) à l’intérieur du télescope necorrespond pas aux notes de Newton(6.3 pouces), pour le second télescope.• Aussi, le spéculum ne contient aucunetrace de l’argent que Newton dit y avoirajouté au métal du miroir, avant de leprésenter à Londres.• Le spéculum qui accompagne letélescope sur la plupart des photos esttrop large en diamètre pour le tube.• La focale est inappropriée pour la114JRASC June/juin 1999


longueur du tube et la compositiondes alliages est plus récente que l’époquede Newton.• La très pauvre qualité de la diagonaleest si irrégulière qu’il ne semble pasprovenir des mains de l’habile artisanNewton.• Ce télescope est assemblé avec deslentilles retenues par des filets et ilsemble que, du temps de Newton, leslentilles étaient retenues à pressiondans un tube.• La cellule du spéculum et du porteoculaire sont faits de bois dur importéet ne semblent pas avoir été employéspar Newton.• En plus, les filets de précision qu’onpeut voir sur le télescope semblentd’une qualité qu’on a acquise qu’unsiècle plus tard.• Le second télescope de Newton, conservéà la Royal Society, semble avoir disparuautour de 1700. Il semble que le premiertélescope de Newton était en possessionLe deuxième modèle, mieux présenté par Newton: tube decarton, spéculum 2 3 ⁄8” diamètre, ouverture du tube de 2”diamètre, focale 6 1 ⁄4” et un grossissement de 38×, montésur une base en forme de rotule et attaché au socle pardeux pinces en acier ressort. Ce second modèle est consideré,par la majorité des historiens, comme étant le “PremierTélescope de Newton.” On y fait référence dans la plupartdes articles.de Thomas Hearth.• Le fabricant d’instruments de Londres,Mills and Turvey, suggère que lespéculum qui se trouve à l’intérieurdu télescope conservé à Londres soitcelui du premier télescope. Ce quiexplique le mot “First” inscrit sur labase.• Aussi, il se peut que les parties en acierforgé, c’est-à-dire les pièces à ressortqui retiennent la boule et le supportdu tube, soient des pièces du secondtélescope.Il semble bien que l’assurance del’authenticité des pièces du télescope deNewton ne soit pas certaine, car dansson livre Optics, Newton mentionne queles miroirs des deux télescopes qu’il aconstruit était de deux pouces de diamètreet 1 ⁄3 de pouce d’épaisseur et ayant unefocale approximative de 6 1 ⁄4 pouces. Donc,pas plus la focale et l’épaisseur coordonnentavec le spéculum extérieur.ConclusionSuite à ces lectures et à l’examende plusieurs photos de ce fameuxtélescope, j’ai constaté beaucoupd’erreurs de présentation. D’abord,certaines représentations sontannotées comme authentiqueset, en réalité, sont des répliquesplus ou moins fidèles. Surcertaines répliques, nous pouvonsvoir des moulures manquantes.Sur d’autres, les viseurs fixés auxextrémités des tubes sont souventcomplètement désalignés.Références“The First Newtonian,” R. A. Wells, Sky& Telescope, December, 1971, p. 342.“Newton’s Telescope Revealed,” Roy L.Bishop, Sky & Telescope, March, 1980,p. 207.“Newton’s Principia: A Retrospective,”Sky & Telescope, July, 1987, p. 18.ANNEXE 1La construction d’une répliquedu telescope de NewtonSuite à la lecture de l’article “The FirstNewtonian” publié dans Sky & Telescopede décembre 1971, j’ai proposé à mononcle Lorenzo Manseau, artisan etsculpteur, de nous construire deux répliquesdu télescope de Newton. Après mûresréflexions sur les dimensions et lesmatériaux nécessaires à ce projet, j’aiconsacré un dizaine d’heures aux planset à la conception de ce petit instrument.L’entente sur notre projet fut négociéecomme suit. Pour ma part, j’ai fourni lesplans, les conseils techniques vis-à-visl’optique et la mécanique du télescope,et fabriqué les portes diagonales, les portescellules en laiton, les cercles de garnitureau bout des tubes, et les viseurs. J’ai fourniles oculaires et il ne me reste qu’à polirles deux spéculum, qui devront mesurer2 3 ⁄8 pouces de diamètre et seront polisavec une surface sphérique de F4,5 defocale.Notre projet avançait bien, mononcle, retraité depuis quelques années,avait comme travail la fabrication detubes en bois laminé en trois épaisseurs.Il a eu le plaisir de tourner les boulessphériques, les colonnes, et les socles ennoyer noir americain. La forge d’artisanlui a servi à former les ressorts quiretiennent la boule sphérique, et le supportforgé qui permet de faire glisser les deuxtubes l’un dans l’autre. En tournant lapoignée forgée fixée au bout du tube,nous pouvons faire la mise au point selonles oculaires employés ou l’acuité visuelledes observateurs.Les oculaires et le porte-oculairesont en bois de Gayac africain. Ce boissans finition garde toujours un fini brillant,huileux, spécifique à sa propriété. Lespieces de bois sont finies avec un vernisd’artisan poli au chiffon.Le dernier travail de la fabricationfut les plaques d’identification fixées àla base. Sur ces plaques est gravéel’inscription suivante: “Quelques soiréeset samedis nous ont été nécessaires pourassembler toutes les pièces.” Pour maJune/juin 1999 JRASC115


part, j’ai investi 64 heures et mon oncle70 heures de travail. Il me reste à polirles deux spéculum et diagonales, un travailde quelques dizaines d’heures.Ce petit bibelot, emblème de Newton,m’a servi à commémorer le 300 eanniversaire de la publication du livrePhilosophiae Naturalis PrincipiaMathematica. J’ai reçu beaucoup decommentaires élogieux lors des différentesexpositions auxquelles j’ai participé en1987:• Astronomy Day, Musée National desSciences et de la Technologie, Ottawa.• Expo-Science Internationale, Québec.• Congrès annuel de la Société Royaled’astronomie du Canada, Premier Prix,Instrumentation, Toronto.• Concours des fabriquants de télescopesStellafane, U.S.A., Premier Prix, SpecialExhibit.• Congrès de l’A.G.A.A. à Drummondville.• Concours des fabriquants de télescopes,CAFTA, à Lanoraie, Québec.ANNEXE 2Les télescopes de bois réaliséspar Réal Manseau avec uncollègue– François St-Martin• 1 ère réplique. Vendue au Cosmodômede Laval, Québec.• 2 ème réplique. Vendue à Jean-MarcCarpentier, consultant scientifique ettechnique, Montréal, Québec.• 3 ème réplique. Appartient à FrançoisSt-Martin, Roxton Falls, Québec.• 4 ème réplique. Vendue à AlainVaillancourt, Dr. chiropraticien,astronome amateur, Drummondville,Québec.• 5 ème réplique. Vendue au CentreMuséographique de l’Université deLaval de Québec, Québec.Réal Manseau a été un membre non-associéde la Société Royale d’Astronomie du Canadapour plus de vingt ans. Il est aussi membredu club d’astronomie de Drummondville.LES QUALITÉS ET LES OBSERVATIONS AVEC MON TÉLESCOPE ARTISANALJe suis astronome amateur de larégion de Drummondville auQuébec depuis une dizained’années, et je possède untélescope artisanal de type Newtonsur monture Dobson qui futfabriqué de toutes pièces par monami Réal Manseau. Seul l’optiquedu télescope fut acheté à un endroitspécialisé, mais tout le reste aété fait à la main avec desmateriaux standards tels que:tube de carton, feuilles decontreplaqué, poignées métalliques,et boulons divers.Mais, je peux vous dire quece télescope est une merveillede solidité et est très facilementtransportable. Les caractéristiquesprincipales du télescope sont lessuivantes:• Newton 5” f/7.8• monture Dobson (très stable)• viseur (guide) muni d’un “LED”rouge• support à oculaires intégré à la monture• porte-oculaire 1 1/4”• oculaires 25-mm Erfle et 12.5-mm Plössl• base d’élévation de la montureLes qualités de mon télescope sont nombreuses mais par-dessus tout, à part sa grandequalité optique, il est d’abord et avant tout très solide, très stable, et facilementtransportable avec ses poignées de transport intégrées au tube de télescope, à lamonture Dobson et à la base d’élévation.Ce télescope s’est promené un peu partout: sur nos sites d’observation dansnotre région, ainsi qu’au Mont Mégantic et même jusqu’aux États-Unis lors de l’eclipseannulaire du Soleil du 10 mai 1994. Pour ce qui est de l’observation, ce télescope s’estretrouvé dans des conditions de toutes sortes. Que ce soit en hiver à –25˚C, ou pourdes nuits complètes d’observation au printemps et en été, il a vu beaucoup de lumière.Voici d’ailleurs tout ce que ce télescope a pu me permettre de contempler: tous les110 objets Messier plus au-delà d’une centaine d’objets “NGC,” une douzaine decomètes, une éclipse solaire, deux ou trois éclipses lunaires, sans parler des innombrablestaches solaires grâce à un filtre adéquat, et finalement, la Lune et ses cratères ainsique les magnifiques planètes: de Mercure à Saturne en passant par les petites tachesnoires nous indiquant les impacts de la comète Shoemaker-Levy 9 sur Jupiter.Comme vous pouvez le constater, ce télescope a fait passablement de chemin,et ce, grâce à sa solide construction et à sa grande portabilité. Il peut voir jusqu’à desmagnitudes s’approchant de 12,5 par nuit impeccable et sans Lune. Il m’a permis decontempler parmi les plus beaux joyaux cosmiques à regarder, et j’en suis...astronomiquement heureux!Guy Roy, astronome amateurDrummondville, Québec116JRASC June/juin 1999


ReflectionsBessel, The Man and the Functionsby David M. F. Chapman (dave.chapman@ns.sympatico.ca)Once in a while I come across atopic or an individual that spansseveral of my interests. For thepurpose of this article, those interestsinclude astronomy, acoustics and music;the individual is Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel,a German scientist whose 215 th birthdaytakes place this summer.Bessel made lastingcontributions to the fields ofmathematics, physics andastronomy (see “FriedrichWilhelm Bessel — ABicentenary,” by Allen Batten,JRASC, 78, 133, 1984). He wasborn on July 22, 1784, inMinden, Brandenburg (nowGermany). When just 14 yearsold, Bessel began a career asan accounting clerk in animport-export business. Inhis spare time he taughthimself mathematics,astronomy, geography andnavigation. In 1804 he wrotea paper on Halley’s comet,calculating the orbit fromobservational data collectedin 1607. He sent the paper toHeinrich Olbers, who deemedit to be a doctoral-leveldissertation and recommendedits publication. Olbersencouraged Bessel to turnprofessional by urging hisacceptance of the post ofassistant at the Lilienthal Observatory.After some thought, Bessel left the affluenceof his commercial job for the poverty ofthe Observatory post. (No, it is not whatwe call a “Bessel transform”!)His career as a professionalastronomer was a success, and he turneddown several better job offers before hereached the age of 26, when FrederickWilliam III of Prussia appointed himDirector of a new observatory atKönigsberg. Bessel’s lack of a formaleducation nearly scuttled his promotionto university professor, as he had neverreceived a doctoral degree. On therecommendation of Carl Gauss, theUniversity of Göttingen solved the problemby granting Bessel a doctorate based onFriedrich Wilhelm Bessel (1784–1846).his impressive record of astronomicalobservations. He remained at theobservatory in Königsberg (nowKaliningrad, Russia) for the rest of hislife, which ended on March 17, 1846.Bessel pioneered the precisemeasurement of the positions of stars inthe sky. With the new, powerful telescopesavailable at the time, astronomers werediscovering that some stars creep slowlyacross the sky in relation to other starsbeyond them. In 1838 Bessel chose toobserve a star named 61 Cygni, whichtakes 350 years to move one Moon diameteracross the sky. On top of its steady motion,Bessel noticed a yearly wobble in the star’sapparent position caused by the Earth’sannual motion around the Sun. With theaid of those observations, in 1838Bessel became the first personto calculate the distance to astar. His distance for 61 Cygniturned out to be within 10% ofthe currently accepted value of11.4 light years.During his career Besselaccurately measured the positionsof 50,000 stars. His work wascontinued by his student FriedrichArgelander, the subject ofFebruary’s column. In one seriesof observations, Bessel noted apeculiar wobble in the positionof Sirius, the brightest star inthe sky. He correctly deducedthat the wobble was caused bythe gravitational pull of an unseencompanion star revolving aroundSirius, but he did not live to seehis prediction confirmed. In 1862the American telescope makerAlvan Graham Clark focused oneof his new instruments on Siriusto test the telescope’s lens. Clarkobserved a small speck of lightalmost lost in the glare of Sirius,and at first he assumed it was a defect inthe telescope. Other bright stars did notshow the suspected defect, however, andClark realised that he had actuallydiscovered a small companion to Sirius.That companion star, now called SiriusB, is the star whose existence was predictedby Bessel.The story of Sirius B does not endwith Alvan Clark. Later, in 1915, analysesJune/juin 1999 JRASC117


of the light emitted by Sirius B showedthat it is hotter than our own Sun, yet indiameter it is about the size of Earth.Sirius B turned out to be the first of anentirely new class of small, hot stars calledwhite dwarfs.As one of his many achievements,Bessel worked out a method ofmathematical analysis involving what wenow call Bessel functions. He introducedthem in 1817 as part of his study of Kepler’sproblem, namely determining the motionof three bodies moving under their mutualgravitation. In 1824 he further developedBessel functions in a study of planetaryperturbations.That brings us to the connectionwith acoustics and music. My firstintroduction to Bessel came in my thirdyear of undergraduate physics at theUniversity of Ottawa. Many physicalrelationships can be describedmathematically through differentialequations (yuk... calculus!), and that yearwe were progressing through the litanyof differential equations that arise inseveral classic physics problems. Thesolutions to the more frequently occurringequations have been given the generictitle “special functions,” and each has itsown name and symbol.Bessel functions are just one familyof such special functions. You may havecome across them from time to time: thesymbols J 0 (x) and Y 0 (x) are typical examples.In my underwater acoustics career, I firstencountered them in modelling thepropagation of acoustic waves in theocean. The modes of vibrations of thecircular membrane of a drumhead arealso described by Bessel functions. Thefunctions look a bit like “damped” sineand cosine functions, and are the naturalThe solid line is J 0 (x), the Bessel function of the first kind of order zero. The dashed line is Y 0 (x), theBessel function of the second kind order zero. Note the resemblance to “damped” sine and cosinefunctionssolutions when the medium has cylindricalsymmetry.It may seem like we have strayed abit too far from the astronomical themeof this journal, but we are closer than youmay think. The 1997 June issue of Sky &Telescope contains an article entitled“Seeing Under the Sun’s Skin,” whichdiscusses the work of the Global OscillationNetwork Group (GONG), a collaborationof researchers who are engaged in thestudy of helioseismology. The Sunundergoes internal acoustical oscillationswith periods on the order five minutes.Of course, we can only observe the surfaceexpression of these pulsation modes. Thegeometry of the surface of the ball-likeSun is quite different from that of adrumhead, however, and consequentlythe vibrational modes of the Sun aredescribed not by Bessel functions but adifferent family of special functions calledAssociated Laguerre polynomials. (Thanksto David Guenther of Saint Mary’sUniversity’s Department of Astronomyand Physics for this tip.)This column has been quite a ride— from comet orbits, stellar parallax,underwater sound and drum beats, tothe GONG show. It attests to the breadthof Bessel’s interests and his rich legacyto the field of science.David Chapman is a Life Member of theRASC and a past President of the HalifaxCentre. Speaking of banging drums, he invitesweb surfers to visit Dave Chapman’s AstronomyPage, whose URL is www3.ns.sympatico.ca/dave.chapman/astronomy_page.html,to view some of his astronomical writings.118JRASC June/juin 1999


Second LightA Gamma-Ray Burst Caught in the Actby Leslie J. Sage (l.sage@naturedc.com)Two years ago in this column, I wroteabout the first detection of anoptical counterpart to a gammarayburster (JRASC, 91, 110, 1997). Thefading afterglow of the explosion thatcaused the burst was seen about 19 hoursafter the burst. Since that time, a numberof afterglows have been observed. Onecan picture the burst in terms of a nuclearexplosion, with the explosion correspondingto the prompt emission of gamma rays,and the mushroom cloud to the fadingafterglow. Under the impetus of actualobservational data on gamma-ray bursts,our theoretical understanding of themhas sharpened considerably over the pasttwo years. Until two months ago, however,no one had yet seen optical emission atthe time of the burst. The main problemhas been lack of knowledge of where tolook in the sky, because the positionsavailable while the bursts are still underwayare too crude — accurate only to about5 degrees — to allow a telescope to bepointed in the precise direction. Burststypically last less than 100 seconds.Carl Akerlof of the University ofMichigan, and his collaborators at theLos Alamos National Laboratory in NewMexico (and elsewhere), built an instrumentdesigned to find transient optical signalsin a large area of the sky. On January 23,1999, they found a bright new source just22 seconds after the burst started (seethe 1 April issue of Nature). In the 25seconds between the first observationand the second, the source increased inbrightness by a factor of 16, to a peakmagnitude of about 9. Fortuitously, thefirst optical observation took place at thepeak of the gamma-ray burst, allowingastronomers their first look at the actualflash of the explosion, rather than thefading fireball that is left afterwards.The Robot Optical TransientExperiment (ROTSE) that detected theburst is a clever design that incorporatesfour standard telephoto lenses (for aCanon 35 mm camera) in a 2×2 array,directing the light onto a large-formatCCD chip. The total field of view is 16degrees × 16 degrees, so a positionaluncertainty of 5 degrees would leave thesource visible somewhere in the field. Thecameras are mounted together on aplatform that can slew across the sky inless than 3 seconds, in response to signalsreceived through the internet from theBurst and Transient Experiment (BATSE)on the Compton Gamma-ray Observatory.When not responding to bursts, whichhappen on average about once a day, thecamera follows a pre-set program ofphotographing the entire sky, so that foreach detection there will be a recentreference photograph. Since ROTSE becameoperational about a year ago, it hasresponded to 53 burst triggers — abouthalf of which were from actual gammaraybursts. The event of January 23 wasthe first time it caught a GRB in the act.One of the leading contenders as asource of the bursts is the merger of twoneutron stars. The initial burst is thoughtto occur when a shock wave from thecentral explosion encounters a smallamount of gas surrounding the originalsource. As the surrounding gas isaccelerated very quickly to highly relativisticspeeds (99.9% of the speed of light), itgives off a burst of gamma rays. Part ofthe energy of the explosion is reflectedoff the surrounding gas back towards thesource in a “reverse shock,” and it is thereverse shock that is thought to producethe prompt optical emission. The fadingafterglow results from the expanding andcooling gas, which is composed of bothejecta from the explosion as well as thesurrounding gas that was heated as theshock wave passed through it. Anotherpossibility that is gaining popularity isthe “hypernova” model, in which the barecore of a massive star undergoes the samecatastrophic collapse that makes asupernova (of type II), but without theoverlying layers of the stellar envelope.In general, supernovae do not give riseto gamma-ray bursts because the shockwave has to accelerate too much material— the stellar envelope — and thereforethe material does not reach the highlyrelativisticspeeds needed to produce thegamma rays.As a result of the detection of opticalemission from the burst itself, as well asfrom a comparison of the relative fluxesat different wavelengths, theorists willbe able to constrain what is actuallyhappening. Perhaps, after we have collectedobservations of enough events, we willeven be able to determine the underlyingnature of the burst.GRB990123 (the number indicatingthe year, month, and day of the burst)had the distinction of being one of the“brightest” events ever detected in termsof gamma rays. The redshift of the galaxyassociated with the burst is z = 1.6 (Kulkarniet al., 1 April issue of Nature and Andersonet al., 26 March issue of Science), whichimplies a burst energy equivalent to thetotal conversion of about two solar massesof material into energy, if the energy wasemitted equally in all directions. Thatamount of energy is so large that ShriKulkarni regards the result as strongevidence that the gamma rays are beamedtoward us — that is, we are looking downa narrow cone of emission rather thanseeing photons from an expanding sphere.Such a model has been proposed in thepast to get around problems associatedwith the burst energy. It allows us tocontinue thinking in terms of mergingneutron stars from the point of view ofthe energy, but may introduce problemswith regard to the frequency of suchJune/juin 1999 JRASC119


events. The estimated number of mergingneutron stars anywhere in the universeover its entire history should be on theorder of about one gamma-ray burst perday, as is observed. If the emission isbeamed, however, then we will see onlya fraction of the total number of events.The narrower the cone of the beam, themore events there have to be in order forus to see one per day, though theuncertainties in the merger rate and the“opening angle” of the cone of the burstare both large.What can we expect to learn aboutgamma-ray bursts in the near future? Ifthe optical emission scales with thegamma-ray emission (and that is verycontroversial), then ROTSE should detectabout 12 optical bursts per year.At that rate it will take considerabletime to build up enough detectionsto provide meaningful statistics.ROTSE is in the process of beingupgraded, however, and that willmake it much more sensitive —by about a factor of 40. It will alsobe interesting if, during its normalpatrol of the skies each night,ROTSE can detect optical transientsthat are not associated withgamma-ray bursts. Such detectionsmay indicate that the opticalemission is much less stronglybeamed than the gamma rays,which would tell us more aboutthe nature of the explosion.The Robot Optical Transient Experiment (ROTSE) on theroof of a modified military communications enclosure atLos Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Theenclosure was previously used in the Gulf War, and obtainedby the researchers from a scrap-metal dealer for $250.The entire enclosure, which houses the computer thatdrives ROTSE, can be picked up with a forklift truck andmoved to any location accessible by road.Dr. Leslie J. Sage is Senior Editor, Physical Sciences, for Nature Magazine and a Research Associate in the Astronomy Department at theUniversity of Maryland. He grew up in Burlington, Ontario, where even the bright lights of Toronto did not dim his enthusiasm for astronomy.Currently he studies molecular gas and star formation in galaxies, particularly interacting ones.120JRASC June/juin 1999


Astrocrypticby Curt Nason, Halifax CentreACROSS2. Tycho at first feels mad about his old star charts (9)8. Cassiopeia had an interesting rocker, initially (5)9. He was detected by a Norman (7)10. The zodiac temple ended badly at right ascension (7)11. Remove the postscript from optics for hearing (4)14. He was perhaps depressed by the adage, but collected maps (5)16. The end of the universe described in poetry (5)17. Tuning back to ε Pegasi (4)18. Mad gene syndrome evident near end of chess match (3,4)22. Big Momma singer in one famous division (7)23. Oddly, he didn’t duck the issue of extraterrestrial intelligence (5)24. Was Pete close to realigning his Newtonian? (9)DOWN1. Mechanically raise one Newton (4)2. Feynman’s head is real bad after solar discharge (5)3. Out of focus circle around 102 yards (4,4)4. Lion’s double star perturbed mercurial phenomena (5,8)5. Use acid in sketches of Mars (4)6. Sol turns astray after dusk begins (3,4)7. He turned cheers into hearty laughter first after finding a planet (8)12. Convenient ocular sets conceived of carpal consideration (8)13. He had a number of atoms, constantly (8)15. It could picture Earth from within Sol and Saturn’s orbit (7)19. Scope makers have it made around the capital of England (5)20. Generally, the target of Mont Mégantic astronomers (4)21. The French poles can bend light (4)STAR QUOTES"The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage."Mark RussellJune/juin 1999 JRASC 121


Research PapersArticles de rechercheASTRONOMICAL NAMES FORTHE DAYS OF THE WEEKby Michael FalkHalifax, Nova ScotiaElectronic Mail: falk@fox.nstn.ca(Received December 14, 1998; revised March 19, 1999)Abstract. Day names generally follow one of two conventions: the numerical convention, in which the days are numbered from one toseven (as in Portuguese, Mandarin, or Swahili), and the astronomical convention, in which the days are named after the Sun, the Moon,and the planets (as in English, Hindi, or Quechua). The two naming conventions originated about 2600 years ago and together accountfor most of the day names in the majority of the world’s languages. Day names of specifically religious origin are more recent, and areusually limited to days of religious significance, mainly Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. The survival of the astronomical day names in manyof today’s languages is remarkable, in view of the passage of time and the many past efforts to eradicate such relics of our ancient past.Résumé. Le nom des jours de la semaine se conforme généralement à l’un de deux usages: soit l’usage numérique selon lequel les jourssont numérotés de un à sept (comme, par exemple, en portuguais, en mandarin, ou en swahili), ou soit l’usage astronomique selon lequelles noms du Soleil, de la Lune, et des planètes servent à nommer les jours (comme, par exemple, en anglais, en hindi, ou en quéchua).L’origine de ces deux usages remonte à environ 2 600 années et ensemble expliquent la grande part des noms des jours dans la majoritédes langues à travers le monde. Les noms des jours avec des liens religieux spécifiques sont apparus plus récemment, et ils sont généralementlimités aux jours qui ont une portée religieuse particulière, surtout le vendredi, le samedi, et le dimanche. La survie des noms d’origineastronomique dans de nombreuses langues même aujourd’hui est remarquable étant donné le passage du temps et les maintes effortspar le passé de supprimer ces vestiges des anciens temps.SEM1. The Origin of the Modern Seven-Day WeekThe lunar month, based on the Moon’s cycle of phases and containingon the average 29.53 days, was at one time universal in all cultures.Shorter groupings of days also came widely into existence in earlyagricultural societies in connection with the need to maintain cyclesof market days and other recurring socio-economic and religiousactivities. Market cycles consisted of different numbers of days indifferent cultures. An eight-day cycle (nundinae), for example, wascommonly used in ancient Rome and a ten-day cycle (decades) inancient Greece. Some eight-day cycles are still in use today in sub-Saharan Africa and probably elsewhere. Most of the earlier non-sevendaycycles were forgotten, however, along with the names of theirdays, once the present seven-day week had been adopted.The modern seven-day week, now very nearly universal, appearsto have originated in Babylonia some time between the eighth andsixth century bce (Duncan 1998; O’Neill 1978). The ninth centurybce Babylonian calendar was based on the lunar month, and is knownto have had recurring “bad luck” days, which included the 7 th , 14 th ,21 st , and 28 th day of each month (Table I). On those days travel wasnot undertaken, and certain priestly functions, such as divinationand healing, were not performed. The Babylonian month being lunar,the four special days corresponded closely (though not exactly) toFirst Quarter, Full Moon, Last Quarter, and the disappearance of theMoon (New Moon). The Babylonian month therefore contained fourseven-day periods, each ending on one of the special days, followedby one or two extra days. It was only a small step to leave out the extradays, making the seven-day cycle continuous and divorced from thelunar cycle.Table IBabylonian Lunar Month1 2 3 4 5 6 7 * First Quarter8 9 10 11 12 13 14 * Full Moon15 16 17 18 19 20 21 * Last Quarter22 23 24 25 26 27 28 ∗ New Moon29 (30)122 Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, 93:122–133, 1999 JuneJune/juin 1999


2. Numerical Day Names and the SabbathWe have no record of when and how the seven-day cycles becamecontinuous. An important contributing event may have been thearrival in Babylon during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar (604–561 bce)of exiled Judeans, who founded a thriving Jewish community in exile,which lasted many centuries. The Jews made the seven-day week acentral feature of their theology. The first chapter of the first book ofthe Hebrew Bible (Genesis 1) gives an account of the creation of theworld in six days, followed by the seventh day on which the Creatorrested. In this account the seven days of creation are named numerically,as in Table II. Further along, in Exodus 20, the Bible proclaims theseventh day of the week to be a day of rest for mankind, under thename Shabbat in Hebrew, Shabta in the closely related Aramaic. Thename, known in English as “Sabbath,” was most likely derived fromshabattu or shapattu, a Babylonian word for the feast of the Full Moon(O’Neill 1978). The numerical naming convention, based on theHebrew Bible, is to number the first six days of the week and to givea special name to the seventh.It has often been suggested that the word Shabbat is of numericalorigin, being derived from the Hebrew sheva “seven,” but the differencesin the Hebrew spelling of the two words show that the two roots aredistinct. It has also been suggested that Shabbat is derived from theHebrew verb meaning “cease, desist, rest” (shabbat in the past tense),Table IIThe Day Names in Genesis 1Hebrew Bible Meaning Aramaic BibleYom Ekhad “day one” Yoma KhadYom Sheini “day two” Yom TinyanYom Shlishi “day three” Yom TlitaiYom Revii “day four” Yom ReviayiYom Khamishi “day five” Yom KhamishayiYom Hashishi “day six” Yom ShetitayiYom Hasheviyi “day seven” Yoma Sheviyaahbut it seems more likely that it is the verb that is derived from thenoun signifying the day of rest. In all probability, the word Shabbat isrelated to the Babylonian shabattu and was originally connected withthe Full Moon. Later, the meaning could have been extended to allfour lunar phases. We should therefore consider “Sabbath” as anastronomical rather than a numerical name.The name “Sabbath” was borrowed repeatedly from one languageto another until today it occurs, in various modified forms, in verymany languages. Most commonly it designates Saturday, but sometimesSunday, and in some languages it also means “week” (Table III).Table IIISome of the Names for Saturday Derived from Babylonian shabattuANCIENT LANGUAGES:About 1000 bce: Babylonian: shabattu (“Full Moon”)About 500 bce: Hebrew: Shabbat Aramaic: ShabtaMiddle Ages: Latin: Sabbatum Greek: Sabbaton Arabic: AsSabtSabbati Dies (Sambaton)(Sambati Dies)MODERN LANGUAGES:Spanish: Sabado French: Samedi Georgian: Shabati 3Italian: Sabato Romanian: Sîmbata Chechen: ShotSardo: Sappadu German: Samstag Ingush: ShoattaRussian: Subbota Swabian: Samschdich Maltese: Is SibtUkrainian: Subota Greek: Savvaton Hausa: SubduCzech: Sobota Hungarian: Szombat Fula: AsetPolish: Sobota Farsi: Shambeh 3 Tuareg: EssebtinSlovene: Sobota Kyrghiz: Ishembi 3 Kabyle: SebtBizkaian: Zapatu Azeri: Senbe 3 Malagasy: AsabotsyArmenian: Shapat Uzbek: Shanba 3 Malay: SabtuTagalog: Sabado Tatar: Shimba 3 Fulfulde: AssebduBobangi: Sabala Pashto: Shanba 3 Teda: EssebduPapua: Sabat 2 Baluchi: Shembe 3 Harari: SabtiMajel: Jabot 2 Turkmen: Shenbe 3 Mandinka: SibitooHebrew: Shabbat 3 Kazakh: Sembi 3 Egyptian: EssabtEnglish: Sabbath 2 Amharic: Senbet 1 Syrian: IssabtNotes:1 Denotes both Saturday and Sunday2 Denotes Sunday3 Also means “week”June/juin 1999 JRASC123


3. Astronomical Day NamesThe astronomical day-naming convention, in which the seven daysare named after the Sun, the Moon, and the five planets known inantiquity, also arose in Babylonia, though it was totally ignored bythe Jews. The Babylonians associated the planets with seven of theirimportant deities. The connection between gods and planets wasshared by many early cultures. Partly through independent mythcreatingprocesses and partly by borrowing, the names given to theplanets in the Greek, Roman, and Hindu civilizations were those ofdeities roughly analogous to those of the Babylonian gods (Table IV).The order of the Sun, the Moon, and the planets in the namingof week days may at first seem strange. An explanation has beenprovided by Dio Cassius, a Christian historian of the third century(O’Neill 1978). According to Cassius, astrologers assigned the 24 hoursof every day of the week to the seven moving celestial objects in thespecific cyclic sequence Saturn–Jupiter–Mars–Sun–Venus–Mercury–Moon, which is simply in decreasing order of their sidereal periods.In such fashion, Saturn was assigned the 1 st , 8 th , 15 th , and 22 nd hoursof the first day, and the first hour of the second day fell to the Sun.Each day of the week was then named in honour of the planet towhich its first hour was assigned, yielding the current sequenceSaturn–Sun–Moon–Mars–Mercury–Jupiter–Venus, as summarizedin Table V. Roman calendars have been preserved that show theassignment of the twelve hours of each day and night to the sevenplanets as described by Cassius (Salzman 1990). The hours assignedto the different planets were understood to be good (bona), bad (noxia),or indifferent (communis). The astrological concept of “lucky” and“unlucky” hours has been strongly ingrained in Western culture, goingback to antiquity.While the seven-day week with astronomical day names appearsto have been already in use in Babylonia in the reign of Nebuchadnezzar,no direct evidence exists. The early use of the astronomical day namesby the Babylonians may be inferred, however, from the fact that theHebrew name for the planet Saturn, used for example in the BabylonianTalmud, is Shabbetai. The name, meaning “related to Sabbath” or “theSabbath planet,” implies that at the time it was coined by the Jews,presumably in the early stages of the Jewish exile in Babylon, the daycelebrated as the Jewish Sabbath was dedicated by the Babyloniansto Saturn (Babylonian Ninurta).Table IVNames of the Divinities given in Antiquity to the Sun, Moon, and PlanetsBabylonian 1 Latin Greek Sanskrit GermanicSun Shamash Sol Helios Surya, Aditya, Ravi SunMoon Sin Luna Selene Chandra, Soma MoonMars Nergal Mars Ares Angaraka, Mangala TiwMercury Nabu Mercurius Hermes Budh WotanJupiter Marduk Iupiter Zeus Brihaspati, Cura ThorVenus Ishtar Venus Aphrodite Shukra FreiaSaturn Ninurta Saturnus Kronos Shani ... 2Notes: 1 Duncan (1998)2Not known124JRASC June/juin 1999


Table VAstronomical Names for the Hours and the DaysHourDayI Sat Sol Luna Mars Merc Jup VenusII Jup Venus Sat Sol Luna Mars MercIII Mars Merc Jup Venus Sat Sol LunaIV Sol Luna Mars Merc Jup Venus SatV Venus Sat Sol Luna Mars Merc JupVI Merc Jup Venus Sat Sol Luna MarsVII Luna Mars Merc Jup Venus Sat SolVIII Sat Sol Luna Mars Merc Jup VenusIX Jup Venus Sat Sol Luna Mars MercX Mars Merc Jup Venus Sat Sol LunaXI Sol Luna Mars Merc Jup Venus SatXII Venus Sat Sol Luna Mars Merc JupXIII Merc Jup Venus Sat Sol Luna MarsXIV Luna Mars Merc Jup Venus Sat SolXV Sat Sol Luna Mars Merc Jup VenusXVI Jup Venus Sat Sol Luna Mars MercXVII Mars Merc Jup Venus Sat Sol LunaXVIII Sol Luna Mars Merc Jup Venus SatXIX Venus Sat Sol Luna Mars Merc JupXX Merc Jup Venus Sat Sol Luna MarsXXI Luna Mars Merc Jup Venus Sat SolXXII Sat Sol Luna Mars Merc Jup VenusXXIII Jup Venus Sat Sol Luna Mars MercXXIV Mars Merc Jup Venus Sat Sol Luna4. The Spread of the Astronomical Day NamesThe spread of the seven-day week over the entire Mediterraneanregion took place about six centuries later, at the beginning of theChristian Era. One of the factors that may have helped the spreadwas the dispersal of Jews over the whole Roman Empire, especiallyafter the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 ce. Another factormay have been a rising popular interest in astrology. The commonuse of the seven-day week with the astronomical day names in thefirst century ce was clearly shown by the discovery in the excavationsin Pompeii of bilingual graffiti containing the Greek and Latin daynames given in Table VI (O’Neill 1978). The graffiti must have beenscrawled during or before the year 79 ce, when Pompeii was buriedunder a thick layer of volcanic ash in the eruption of Vesuvius. It isalso recorded that the Jews, who first appeared in Rome during thefirst century bce, were thought to be worshippers of Saturn (O’Neill1978). That confirms the fact that the Jewish Sabbath coincided withthe Roman Dies Saturnis. As Christianity spread across the RomanEmpire over the following two centuries, the astronomical day nameswere apparently already well entrenched. Emperor Constantine legallyincorporated the seven-day week into the Roman calendar in theyear 321 ce, declaring Dies Solis an official day of rest and worship.June/juin 1999 JRASC125


Table VIEarly Astronomical Day NamesLatin (79 ce) Greek (79 ce) SanskritSun Dies Solis Heliu Hemera Adityavaara or RavivaaraMoon Dies Lunae Selenes Hemera SomavaaraMars Dies Martis Areos Hemera Angarakavaara or MangalavaaraMercury Dies Mercurii Hermu Hemera BudhavaaraJupiter Dies Iovis Dios Hemera Brihaspativaara or CuruvaaraVenus Dies Veneris Aphrodites Hemera ShukravaaraSaturn Dies Saturnis Khronu Hemera Shanivaara5. The Impact of ChristianityThe early Church recognized the pagan origin of the astronomicalday names and tried very hard to replace them by a numerical systembased on the Bible. The attitude of the Church is shown by the followingtwo passages.1. Ascribed to Pope Sylvester, 314-335 ce (O’Croinin 1981): “The BlessedPope thus instructed Christians… that they should not name the sevendays of the week according to the pagan custom, but name them insteadPrima Feria i.e. Dominicus, Secunda Feria, Tertia Feria … .”2. Ascribed to Caesarius, Bishop of Arles, Fifth Century ce (Holman1994): “Truly, brothers, we must scorn and reject those filthy names(ipsa sordissima nomina dedignemur)… and never say Dies Martis,Dies Mercurii, Dies Iovis, … but name the days Prima Feria, SecundaFeria, Tertia Feria, … according to what is written in the Bible.”The Church-sponsored terminology generally prevailed inEastern Europe. The original set of seven astronomical day names inGreek, for example, was replaced by four numerical names for Mondaythrough Thursday, and three religion-related names for Friday, Saturday,and Sunday (Table VII). In contrast, the impact of Christianity on thelanguages of Western Europe was relatively minor (Table VIII). Fiveof the seven astronomical day names in Latin were retained throughthe middle ages, religion-related names being adopted only for Saturdayand Sunday. One exception in Western Europe was the adoption ofnumerical names in Portuguese, which replaced astronomical namesaltogether. It is not clear why the Church was so uniquely successfulin Portugal.Day names did not undergo any changes in the Romancelanguages since the early medieval period. The majority still revealtheir astronomical origin (Table IX). The word Dies (“day”), whichwas optionally added to Latin day names (Dies Martis or Martis Dies,or Martis), became incorporated at the beginning of the day namesin Catalan (Dimarts) and Provençal (Dimars), at the end of the daynames in French (Mardi) and Italian (Martedi), but does not appearat all in Spanish (Martes), Romanian (Marti), or Sardinian (Martis).The history underlying the associated geographic distribution hasbeen much discussed (Holman 1994; Dardel 1996).Table VIIImpact of Christianity on Greek Day NamesPre-Christian GreekModern GreekSunday Heliu 1 Kyriake (“Lord’s day”)Monday Selenes 1 Deftera (2)Tuesday Areos 1 Triti (3)Wednesday Hermu 1 Tetarti (4)Thursday Dios 1 Pempti (5)Friday Aphrodites 1 Paraskevi (“preparation”)Saturday Khronu 1 Savvaton 1 (from Sabbaton)Notes: 1 Name of astronomical origin126JRASC June/juin 1999


Table VIIIImpact of Christianity on Latin Day NamesPre-Christian Church Medieval Modern ModernLatin Usage Latin Spanish PortugueseDies Solis 1 Dominica Dominica Domingo DomingoDies Lunae 1 Secunda Feria Lunis 1 Lunes 1 Segunda-feiraDies Martis 1 Tertia Feria Martis 1 Martes 1 Têrça-feiraDies Mercurii 1 Quarta Feria Mercuris 1 Miércoles 1 Quarta-feiraDies Iovis 1 Quinta Feria Iovis 1 Jueves 1 Quinta-feiraDies Veneris 1 Sexta Feria Veneris 1 Viernes 1 Sexta-feiraDies Saturnis 1 Sabbatum 1 Sabbata 1 Sábado 1 Sábado 1Notes:1Name of astronomical originTable IXDay Names in Some Romance LanguagesSunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday SaturdayLate Latin Dominica Lunis 1 Martis 1 Mercuris 1 Jovis 1 Veneris 1 Sabatu 1French Dimanche Lundi 1 Mardi 1 Mercredi 1 Jeudi 1 Vendredi 1 Samedi 1Italian Domenica Lunedi 1 Martedi 1 Mercoledi 1 Giovedi 1 Venerdi 1 Sabato 1Spanish Domingo Lunes 1 Martes 1 Miércoles 1 Jueves 1 Viernes 1 Sábado 1Romanian Duminică Luni 1 Marti 1 Miercuri 1 Joi 1 Vineri 1 Simbătă 1Sardinian Duminica Lunis 1 Martis 1 Merculis 1 Zobia 1 Chenapura Sappadu 1Catalan Diumenge Diluns 1 Dimarts 1 Dimecres 1 Dijous 1 Divendres 1 Dissabte 1Provençal Dimenge Diluns 1 Dimars 1 Dimercres 1 Dijous 1 Divenres 1 Disapte 1Notes: 1Name of astronomical origin6. Day Names in German,Celtic, and Balto-Slavic LanguagesGermanic languages adopted the astronomical day names in pre-Christian or early Christian times. Dies Solis and Dies Lunae weresimply translated as “Sun-day” and “Moon-day,” while the names ofthe five planets were given the names of Germanic deities, substitutedfor those of the Roman gods (Table X). In Old English all seven daysbore astronomical names, while in Old High German and Old Norseonly six days did, the exception being Saturday, which was replacedat an early date by Sambaztag (from Greek Sambaton and ultimatelyfrom Babylonian shabattu) and Laugardagr (meaning “bath-day”)respectively. Later, under Church influence, German Wodenstag wasreplaced by Mittawecha “mid-week,” which later became Mittwoch,but the other astronomical day names remained. Only in Icelandicdid a more substantial replacement of astronomical names occur.Sunday and Monday were retained, but the names of the other dayswere replaced by numbers (Tuesday and Thursday) or by other churchapprovedterms (Table XI). The renaming of Wednesday as the “midweekday” (German Mittwoch and Icelandic Mi∂vikudagur) followsthe popular late Latin Media Hebdoma, still found regionally as TuscanMezzedima, Dolomite Mesaledema, and Dalmatian Misedma (Holman1994). Names for Wednesday signifying “mid-week day” were alsocoined in all Slavic languages, as well as in Finnish and Estonian.Celtic languages fall into two distinct groups (Table XII). Bretonand Welsh were subjected to early Romanization, and borrowed allseven astronomical day names from pre-Christian Latin. Severalcenturies later, the Scots and Irish acquired only three of the originalseven Roman astronomical names (Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday),adopting religion-related names for the other four days.The Slavs were gradually converted to Christianity during theyears 863 to 988, and adopted a single set of day names now usedover a very wide area. The uniformity of Slav day names (Table XIII)is remarkable, in view of the fact that the Slavs spoke more than adozen mutually unintelligible dialects and came under the influenceof either the Western Church or the Eastern Church. The names usedin Ukrainian, Belarus, Slovak, Sorbian, Serbo-Croat, and Slovene arevery similar to the ones listed in Table XIII. The set of names, clearlyJune/juin 1999 JRASC127


coined under a strong Church influence, contains special names forSaturday and Sunday, the remaining days being numbered. The namefor Sunday, Niedziela in Polish, means “no work” or “no activity.”Analogous names have been coined in Manx (Yn Doonaght) and insome Amerindian languages. The name for Wednesday, Środa (“middle”),follows Mittwoch, Mi∂vikudagur and Media-Hebdoma. The persistenceof the same set of names in so many languages for over 1000 years isremarkable. The only innovation during that period has been thereplacement of the early Russian word for Sunday, Nyedyelya (“nowork”),by the current Voskresyenye (“resurrection”). (Nyedyelya is stillused in Russian to mean “week,” however.) The replacement of Nyedyelyaby Voskresyenye represents a substitution of one religion-related nameby another. There are no astronomical names in Slavic languages,except for Sobota (Saturday).The Balts were Christianized later than the Slavs (1259–1385).The Lithuanian and Latvian day names (not shown) are entirelynumerical, except for Sunday, called “holy day.” The Balts have noequivalent for Środa or Niedziela and, unlike the Slavs, simply numberSaturday as the sixth day, their numbering starting with Monday.Table XEarly Germanic Day NamesPre-Christian Latin Old High German Old English Old NorseDies Solis 1 Sunnuntag 1 Sunnandaeg 1 Sunnundagr 1Dies Lunae 1 Ma – netag 1 Mónandaeg 1 Mánadagr 1Dies Martis 1 Ziestag 1 Tiwesdaeg 1 Tysdagr 1Dies Mercurii 1 Wodenstag 1 Wódnesdaeg 1 Óŏensdagr 1Dies Iovis 1 Donerestag 1 Thunresdaeg 1 Thorsdagr 1Dies Veneris 1 Friatag 1 Frigedaeg 1 Friádagr 1Dies Saturnis 1 Sambaztag 1 Saternesdaeg 1 LaugardagrNotes: 1 Name of astronomical originTable XILater Developments in Germanic Day NamesDutch German Swedish IcelandicZontag 1 Sonntag 1 Söndag 1 Sunnudagur 1Maandag 1 Montag 1 Måndag 1 Mánudagur 1Dinsdag 1 Dienstag 1 Tisdag 1 ri∂judagur (“third-day”)Woendag 1 Mittwoch (“mid-week”) Onsdag 1 Mi∂vikudagur (“mid-week-day”)Donderdag 1 Donnerstag 1 Torsdag 1 Fimmtudagur (“fifth-day”)Vrijdag 1 Freitag 1 Fredag 1 Föstudagur(“fast-day”)Zaterdag 1 Sonnabend 1 Lördag Laugardagur (“bath-day”)Notes:1Name of astronomical originTable XIIDay Names in Some Celtic LanguagesLatin Breton Welsh Irish Gaelic Scots GaelicDies Solis 1 Sul 1 DyddSul 1 AnDomhnach Di-Domnaich (Dominica)Dies Lunae 1 Lun 1 DyddLlun 1 AnLuan 1 Di-Luain 1Dies Martis 1 Meurz 1 DyddMawrth 1 AnMháirt 1 Di-Màirt 1Dies Mercurii 1 Marker 1 DyddMercher 1 AnChéadaoin Di-Ciadaoin (“first-fast”)Dies Iovis 1 Diryaou 1 DyddIau 1 AnDéardaoin Di-Ardaoin (?)Dies Veneris 1 Gwener 1 DyddGwener 1 AnAoine Di-Haoine (“fast”)Dies Saturnis 1 Sadorn 1 DyddSadwrn 1 AnSatharn 1 Di-Sathurn 1Notes:1Name of astronomical origin128JRASC June/juin 1999


Table XIIIDay Names in Some Slavonic LanguagesPolish Czech Bulgarian Macedonian RussianNiedziela 1 Nedĕle 1 Nedelja 1 Nedela 1 Voskresyenye 2Poniedzialek Pondĕlí Ponedelnik Ponedelnik Ponyedyelnik (“after-niedziela”)Wtorek Úterý Vtornik Vtornik Vtornik (“second”)Środa Str˘eda Sryada Sreda Sreda (“middle”)Czwartek C˘tvrtek Chetvyrtyk Chetvrtok Chetverg (“fourth”)Piątek Pátek Petyak Petok Pyatnitsa (“fifth”)Sobota 3 Sobota 3 Sobota 3 Sobota 3 Subbota 1 (from Latin Sabbata)Notes:1”no-work”2“Resurrection”3Name of astronomical origin7. Day Names in Other European LanguagesEstonians and Finns live in close proximity, and the two languagesare closely related but use very different day names. Finnish has simplyborrowed the Scandinavian set of astronomical names, while Estonianhas borrowed only the names of Friday and Saturday, the other daysbeing named according to a numerical system that recalls the Slavicmodel (Table XIV).Hungarian day names (Table XV) include only one of clearlyastronomical origin, Szombat (Saturday), borrowed from GreekSambaton.Basque day names (Table XV) are interesting in that they containa possible trace of an ancient three-day week. Such a short week isimplied by the names for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (Astelehen,Astearte, Asteazken). The etymology of several other Basque namesis uncertain and they could be of astronomical origin. Ortzegun(Thursday), for example, could have meant either “sky-day” or “thunderday,”so it may have been named after Jupiter (Trask 1998).Albanian day names (Table XV) are largely astronomical. Thenames for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday are derived from Mars,Mercury, and Saturn, while the names for Sunday and Monday carrythe Albanian words for “Sun” and “Moon.” The names of Thursdayand Friday, Enjte and Prémte, are of uncertain etymology and mayalso be astronomical.The languages of the Caucasus region belong to several unrelatedlanguage families, but they have all borrowed the Hebrew Shabbat orAramaic Shabta for Saturday (Table XVI). Armenian and Georgianalso use shapti or shabati as a counter (meaning “week”) to form thenames of Monday through Thursday. Most of the day names in thetwo languages therefore contain the root shabbat of astronomicalorigin. The names for Monday through Thursday are numerical, andthose for Friday and Sunday are religion-related, borrowed frommedieval Greek. For Monday, Chechen and Ingush have apparentlyborrowed the Georgian Orshabati, or “day two,” but they call TuesdayShinara, which also means “two” in their own language. There aremany examples of this type of confusion involving separate daycountingsystems.Table XIVDay Names in Estonian and FinnishOld Norse Finnish EstonianSunnundagr 1 Sunnuntai 1 Pühapäev (püha = holy, päev = day)Mánadagr 1 Maanantai 1 Esmaspäev (“first-day”)Tysdagr 1 Tiistai 1 Teisipäev (“second-day”)Óoendagr 1 Keskiviikko Kesknädal (“mid-week”)Thorsdagr 1 Torstai 1 Neljapäev (“fourth-day”)Friadagr 1 Perjântai 1 Reĕde 1 (from Friadagr)Laugardagr Lauantai Laupäev (“bath-day”)Notes: 1 Name of astronomical originJune/Juin 1999 JRASC129


8. Islamic Day NamesUnder Islam, Friday became the all-important day of the weekand has been named Juma’a, “assembly” in Arabic. Islam hasalso borrowed the name of Sabbath from Hebrew or Aramaicfor the seventh day of the week, As Sabt in Arabic (“As” is theArabic article “al,” with “l” assimilated to “s”). That is the onlyday name of astronomical origin. For the other days, Arabicadopted the numerical system of day naming, closely followingthe Hebrew Bible (Table XVII).In many languages in the Islamic world, the day nameswere borrowed from Arabic. The word yaum (day) was usuallyomitted, but the Arabic article “Al” was often retained (TableXVIII).Not all Islamic day names are borrowed from Arabic.In modern Persian (Farsi) only one day name is borrowedfrom Arabic, Juma’a (Friday). The other days are numberedin a system analogous to that in Armenian and Georgian (Table XVI)that uses a numeral plus shambeh, a counter meaning “week,” borrowedfrom Greek Sambaton, ultimately from Babylonian shabattu. TableTable XVDay Names in Hungarian, Basque and AlbanianHungarian Basque AlbanianVasárnap (“market-day”) Igande (“resurrection”?) Diel 1 (“Sun”)Hétfö (“week-head”) Astelehen (“week-first”) Hënë 1 (“Moon”)Kedd (?) Astearte (“week-middle”) Martë 1 (“Mars”)Szerda (“middle” Slavic) Asteazken (“week-last”) Mërkurë 1 (“Mercury”)Csütörtök (4, Slavic) Ortzegun 2 (“sky-day”) Enjte 2 (?)Péntek (5, Slavic) Ortzirale 2 (“sky”-?) Prémte 2 (?)Szombat 1 (“Sambaton”) Larunbat 2 (?) Shtunë 2 (“Saturn”?)Notes:1Name of astronomical origin2Name possibly of astronomical originXIX indicates some of the Persian day names adopted by Indo-European languages closely related to Persian, like Kurdish, Baluchi,and Tajik, or by entirely unrelated Turkic languages like Uzbek, Kyrghyz,Uighur, Kazakh, Turkmen, Bashkir, Tatar or Turkish.Table XVIDay Names in Four Languages of the CaucasusArmenian Georgian Chechen IngushGiragi K’wira K’irande K’irandi (Greek Kyriake)Yergushapti (2) Orshabati (2) Orshot (2) Oarshuot (2)Yerekshapti (3) Samshabati (3) Shinara (2) Shinara (2)Chorekshapti (4) Otkhshabati (4) Qaara (3) Qeara (3)Hinkshapti (5) Khutshabati (5) Eara (4) Jiera (4)Urpat P’arask’evi P’eraska Ruzba (Greek Paraskevi)Shapat Shabati Shot Shoatta (“Sabbath”)Table XVIIDay Names in Modern ArabicDay Name MeaningSunday Yaum Al-Ahad “day one”Monday Yaum Al-Itsnain “day two”Tuesday Yaum At-Tsoulatsa “day three”Wednesday Yaum Al-Arbaa “day four”Thursday Yaum Al-Khamiis “day five”Friday Yaum Al-Joumaa “day of assembly”Saturday Yaum As-Sabt “day of Sabbath”Table XVIIISome Numerical Day Names Borrowed from ArabicLanguage Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday ThursdayArabic Al-Ahad Al-Itsnain Al-Tsoulatsa Al-Arbaa Al-KhamiisMaltese Il-Hadd It-Tnejn It-Tlieta L-Erbgha Il-HamisHarari (Ethiopia) Alkhad Isniin Säläsa Arba’ a KhamiishSomali Akhad Isniin Talaado Arbaco KhamiisTuareg (Sahara) Elkhedden Lîtniten Ettenâtetîn Inardâten ElremîsenKabyle (Algeria) Elkhad Tnain Tlata Elarbâa KhmisAmharic (Ethiopia) Ikhud Senio Makseniu Rebuu KhamusHausa (Nigeria) Lahadi LÌtÌnĩ n Tàlata Laraba AlhamisBahasa Malasia Ahad Isnin Selasa Rabu KamisMaranao (Phil.) Akad Isnin Salasa Arbaqa HamisIndonesian Ahad Senin Selasa Rabu KamisJavanese (Indon.) Ngahad Senèn Selôsô Rebo KemésMalagasy (Madag.) Alahady Alatsinainy Atalata Alarobia AlakamisyMandinka (Gambia) Alahadoo Tenan Talatoo Araboo Araamisoo130JRASC June/juin 1999


Table XIXSome Day Names Borrowed from PersianLanguage Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday SaturdayFarsi Yekshambeh Doshambeh Seshambeh Chaharshambeh Panjshambeh ShambehKurdish Yekshemmé Dushemmé Seshemmé Chwarshemmé Penjshemmé ShemmeBaluchi Yekshembe Dwshembe Seyshembe Charshembe Penchshembe ShembeTajik Yakshanbe Dushanbe Seshanbe Chorshanbe Panjshanbe ShanbeUzbek Yakshanba Dushanba Seshanba Chorshanba Panjshanba ShanbaKyrghiz Jekshembi Düyshümbü Sheyshembi Charshembi Beyshembi IshembiUighur Yäkshänbä Düshänbä Sayshänbä Charshänbä Päyshänbä ShänbäKazakh Jekshembi Düysembi Seysembi Särsembi Beysembi SembiTurkmen Ekshenbe Düshenbe Siishenbe Charshenbe Penshenbe ShenbeBashkir Yäkshämbe Düshämbe Shishämbe Shärshambe Kesadna 1 ShämbeTatar Yäkshämbe Dushämbe Sishämbe Chärshämbe Pänjshämbe ShimbäTurkish Pazar 1 Pazartesi 1 Sali Çarşamba Perşembe Cumartesi 1Notes:1Non-Persian name9. Day Names in Other Non-European LanguagesThe astronomical day names spread to India in pre-Christian times.Variants of Sanskrit day names (Adityavaara, Somavaara, …) are usedtoday in all the Indo-European languages of India, in many of theunrelated Dravidian languages like Telugu and Tamil, and also in theMon-Khmer languages of Indochina, including Cambodian, Lao, andThai (Table XX), as well as in the Batak dialects of Sumatra.Many of the Bantu languages of southern Africa borrowed thename of Sunday from English, and it is their only day name ofastronomical origin. For the other days they developed a numericalsystem, starting the day count with Monday (Table XXI). Swahili isexceptional. Under the Islamic influence, it named Friday Ijumaa andnumbered the other days of the week, starting the count with Saturdayso that its numbering is at odds with that of the other Bantu languages.Wednesday in Swahili is Jumatano, which contains the numeral tano(five). For Thursday, Swahili borrowed the Arabic name Alhamisi, sothat it has two consecutive days named “the fifth day,” another confusionof separate day-counting systems.Modern Chinese uses a numerical system of day naming forMonday through Saturday, but Sunday is given an astronomical name,containing “Sun” in Cantonese and “sky” in Mandarin (Table XXII).Japanese and Quechua are two unrelated languages, half a worldapart. They have both independently adopted day names followingthe astronomical convention (Table XXIII), however. The first twodays follow the convention explicitly, “Sun-day” and “Moon-day” inboth languages. In Quechua, the language of the Inca empire stillspoken in Peru and Bolivia, the series continues with other sky-relatednames, where “wizard” could probably be translated “astronomer.” InJapanese, the series continues with the five elements that were believedto make up the physical world.In many languages around the world, the seven-day week wasadopted and the seven day-names borrowed from the language ofcultural colonizers. The languages that have frequently served as asource of such borrowings are Arabic, Russian, Persian, English (TableXXIV), Spanish (Table XXV), and French (Table XXVI). In somelanguages all seven day names have been borrowed, as in Majel (TableXXIV), Tzotzil (Table XXV), or Michif (Table XXVI). In other languagesonly some of the names have been borrowed, native names havingbeen developed for the remaining days, as in Tongan and Maori (TableXXIV) or in Carrier (Table XXVI). The names borrowed from Russianand Arabic are largely numerical, but those borrowed from English,Spanish, and French are mostly astronomical.June/Juin 1999 JRASC131


Table XXAstronomical Day Names Borrowed from SanskritSunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday SaturdaySanskrit Aditya Soma Mangala Budha Brihaspati Shukra Shanior Ravi or Angaraka or Curu(“Sun”) (“Moon”) (“Mars”) (“Mercury”) (“Jupiter”) (“Venus”) (“Saturn”)Hindi Ravivaar Somvaar Mangalvaar Budhvaar Brihaspativaar Shukravaar ShanivaarMarathi Rawiwar Somwar Mangalwar Budhwar Gurwar Shukrawar ShaniwarBengali Robibar Shombar Mongalbar Budhbar Brihaspatibar Shukrabar ShonibarAssamese Rabibar Hombar Mangalbar Budhbar Brihaspatibar Hukurbar HanibarPanjabi Aitwaar Somwaar Mangalwaar Budhwaar Wiirwaar Shukkarwaar Haftaa 1Urdu Itwaar Piir 1 Mangal Budh Jumaraat 1 Juma 1 SanicharTelugu Aadivaaram Somavaaram Mangalvaaram Budhavaaram Guruvaaram Shukruvaaram SanivaaramCambodian Tngay-Qaattit Tngay-Chun Tngay-Ong’kea Tngay-Puut Tngay-Prohoa Tngay-Sok Tngay-SawLao Wan-Aathit Wan-Jan Wan-Angkhan Wan-Phut Wan-Phahat Wan-Suk Wan-SaoThai Wun-Ahtit Wun-Jun Wun-Umgkahn Wun-Poot Wun-Pareuhut Wun-Sook Wun-SaoNotes: 1Non-Sanskrit nameTable XXIDay Names in Some Bantu LanguagesShona Zulu Bemba Tonga Swahili(Zimbabwe) (Southern Africa) (Zambia) (N. Zimbabwe) (Eastern Africa)Svondo 1 iSonto 1 Mulungu Nsondo 1 Jumapili (2)Muvhuro uMsombuluko Cimo (1) Musumbuluko Jumatatu (3)Chipiri (2) oLwesibili (2) Cibili (2) Bwabili (2) Jumanne (4)Chitatu (3) oLwesithatu (3) Citatu (3) Bwatatu (3) Jumatano (5)China (4) oLwesine (4) Cine (4) Bwane (4) Alhamisi (Arabic, 5)Chisanu (5) oLwesihlanu (5) Cisano (5) Bwasanu (5) Ijumaa (Islamic)Mugovera iMigqibelo Cibelushi (6?) Mujibelo Jumamosi (1)Notes:1Name of astronomical originTable XXIIDay Names in MandarinDay Name MeaningSunday Xing”qi”tian “week-sky”Monday Xing”qi”yi” “week-1”Tuesday Xing”qi”er` “week-2”Wednesday Xing”qi”san” “week-3”Thursday Xing”qi”si` “week-4”Friday Xing”qi”wu v “week-5”Saturday Xing”qi”liu` “week-6”132JRASCJune/juin 1999


Table XXIIIDay Names in Japanese and QuechuaDay Japanese QuechuaSunday Nichiyoobi (“Sun-day”) Intichay (“Sun-day”)Monday Getsuyoobi (“Moon-day”) Killachay (“Moon-day”)Tuesday Kayoobi (“fire-day”) Atipachay (“wizard-day”)Wednesday Suiyoobi (“water-day”) Qoyllurchay (“star-day”)Thursday Mokuyoobi (“wood-day”) Ch’askachay (“Venus-day”)Friday Kinyoobi (“gold-day”) 1 Illapachay (“lightning-day”)Saturday Doyoobi (“earth-day”) K’uyichichay (“rainbow-day”)Notes:1Or “metal-day”Table XXVISome Day Names Borrowed from FrenchHaiti Michif Carrier EsperantoCreole (N.Dakota) (Central BC) (Invented 1887)Dimanche Jimawnsh Dimosdzin (dzin = "day") DimanĉoLindi Laenjee Landi LundoMadi Marjee Whulhnatdzin 1 (nat = 2) MardoMecredi Mikarjee Whulhtatdzin 1 (tat = 3) MercredoJodi Zhweejee Whulditdzin 1 (dit = 4) JaudoVenneredi Vawndarjee ... 2 VendredoSâmedi Samjee Sumdi Sabato 1Notes:1Name not borrowed from French2Name not in dictionaryTable XXIVSome Day Names Borrowed from EnglishPapua-Pidgin Papua-Pidgin Tongan Majel Maori(Torres- (Port- (Marshall (NewStrait) Moresby) Islands) Zealand)Notes:Sande Sande Sapate Jabot Ratapu 1 (“holy-day”)Mande Mande Monite Manre ManeTyuzde Tunde Tusite Juje TureiWenezde Trinde Pulelulu 1 Wonje WenereiTazde Fonde Tuapulelulu 1 Taije TaitePraide Fraide Falaite Balaire ParaireSatade Sarere Tokonaki 1 Jarere Rahoroi 1 (“clean-day”)1Name not borrowed from EnglishTable XXVSome Day Names Borrowed from SpanishTzotzil Papago-Pima Papiamentu Chamorro Tagalog(Mexico) (Arizona) (Curaçao) (Marianas) (Philippines)Rominko Domig Djadumingu Damenggo LinggoLunes Luhnas Djaluna Lunes LunesMartes Mahltis Djamars Mattes MartesMelkukes Mialklos Djarason 1 Metkoles MiyerkulesHweves Huiwis Djaweps Huebes HuwebesByernes Wialos Djabierne Betnes BiyernesSavaro Shawai Djasabra Sabalu Sabado10. ConclusionsThe ancient planetary names of the days of the week still survive inmany of the world’s languages. The survival is remarkable, in view ofthe many past efforts to eradicate such relics of our ancient past. Theform of the names has undergone such changes with the passage oftime, however, that today’s speakers are usually unaware of theirastronomical origin.The author is grateful to the informants and linguists who suppliedhim with information and advice on many languages, and to thereferee for several important suggestions.Michael Falk1591 Conrose AvenueHalifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 4C4CanadaReferencesDardel, R. de. 1996, Les noms des jours de la semaine en Protoroman, Revuede Linguistique Romane, 60, 321–334Duncan, D. E. 1998, Calendar (Avon: New York)Holman, R. A. 1994, The Romance days of the week: An underlying cohesiveness,The Language Quarterly, 32: 3-4, 165–174O’Croinin, Daibhi 1981, The oldest Irish days if the week, Eriu, 32, 95–114O’Neill, W. M. 1978, Time and the Calendars (Sydney University Press: Sydney)Salzman, M. R. 1990, On Roman Time (Univ. of Calif. Press: Berkeley)Trask, L. 1998, Days and Months in Euskara, Buber’s Basque Page on theInternet (weber.u.washington.edu/~buber/Basque/Euskara/days)Notes:1Origin uncertainMICHAEL FALK has been a member of the Halifax Centre of the RASC since 1977, and is currently the Centre Librarian. He has recentlyretired as Senior Research Officer at the National Research Council Institute for Marine Biotechnology in Halifax, and has been able todevote some time to linguistics and history, which along with astronomy have been his long-time hobbies. The language data for this articlewere collected from standard reference works, including over 200 dictionaries as well as the resources of the Internet.June/juin 1999 JRASC133


FROM THE PASTAU FIL DES ANSTIME IN BIBLE TIMESYou move into a different time-world from ours when you open your Bible. You find yourself in a much more leisurely atmosphere,where exact time measurements are unknown and the calendar a very casual affair. A modern city-dweller, living in this mechanizedage when minutes are important and when speed contests and radio have accustomed us to split-second timing, is surprised to learnthat the words “minute” and “second” are not found anywhere in the Bible. The patriarchs of the Old Testament and even the disciplesof Jesus were time-wealthy and had no use for such small change. When hours, days, weeks, months, and years are mentioned inthe Scriptures, they seldom correspond exactly to our divisions of time with the same names.Neither the word “calendar” nor the word “clock” is used in the Bible. Only one sundial is mentioned, and that belonged to aking. It was on this dial of King Ahaz that the prophet Isaiah is said to have caused the shadow to move backward 10 degrees as asign to King Hezekiah. The story itself bears eloquent testimony to the naive ideas about time that then prevailed. Nobody in Isaiah’sday realized that the Earth would have to reverse its motion if the shadow on the dial were to move backward. No one even dreamedthat the result of such a reversal, had it really occurred, would have been a tidal wave that would have wiped Isaiah, King Hezekiah,the sundial, and all the inhabitants of Palestine out of existence!Today “time marches on” inevitably by regular measured steps, but in Bible days, for all that even the wisest men knew, timemight loiter, stop altogether, or even go backward. There was nothing incongruous to them in the thought of Joshua commanding theSun to stand still until Israel was avenged of her enemies. They were blissfully unaware of the catastrophe to the whole solar systemthat would have ensued.* * * * *The week is not very important in the Bible. It is mentioned only 26 times, while the month is referred to 250 times, the year 884 times,and the day 2,852 times. You would think that the week would be important, because it was popularly supposed that the seven-dayweek was ordained by Jehovah himself when he created the world in six days and rested on the seventh, thus establishing the Sabbath.But it is extremely probable that the Jews adopted the seven-day week, including the Sabbath, from the Babylonians, who probablygot it from the four phases of the Moon. Scholars are inclined to think that the Hebrew week was not derived from the Creationnarrative, but vice versa.In the Old Testament, the word for week is “shabua,” from “sheba,” the Hebrew word for seven. In the New Testament, it is“sabbaton” or “sabbata,” meaning “from Sabbath to Sabbath.” The days of the week were not named like our Sunday, Monday, etc.,but were numbered, save the seventh, the Sabbath. Since the week was also named the sabbath, there is some confusion in certainpassages. The afternoon of the sixth day (our Friday afternoon) had a name of its own, “the preparation,” since at that time the Jewswere preparing for the Sabbath. Our Sunday was known as “the morrow after the Sabbath” or as “the first day of the week” until thevery end of the Bible, where we find the first use of a new name for it which later became very popular in the apostolic ChristianChurch. In Revelation 1:10 the author says, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.” Even today many Christians prefer that name toSunday, which they consider an unwarranted concession to heathen sun worship. It was on “the first day of the week” that the Biblesays that Jesus rose from the dead, so that day was chosen as particularly His.* * * * *by Charles Francis Potter,from Journal, Vol. 35, pp. 163–168, April, 1941.134JRASC June/juin 1999


THE LEEDS, QUEBEC METEORITE: ITS STRANGE HISTORYAND A RE-EVALUATION OF ITS IDENTITY 1by Stephen A. Kissin,Lakehead UniversityElectronic Mail: sakissin@gale.lakeheadu.caHoward Plotkin,University of Western OntarioElectronic Mail: hplotkin@julian.uwo.caand André BordeleauPlanétarium de Montréal(Received January 6, 1999; revised March 28, 1999)Abstract. The Leeds iron meteorite, recognized in 1931 by H. H. Nininger in the Université Laval mineralogical collections as amislabeled magnetite specimen, has been noted for its similarity to Toluca. Analyses for 13 diagnostic trace and minor elements areavailable for 21 Toluca samples and 2 Leeds samples. The two data sets were subjected to statistical analysis in order to test the hypothesisthat Toluca and Leeds are indistinguishable. The results reveal that Toluca and Leeds are statistically indistinguishable with respect toall 13 elements, and it is concluded that Leeds is a Toluca fragment. Historical research does not reveal where the original Leeds specimenwas found or how it was initially acquired, but it was likely acquired from abundantly available Toluca material.Résumé. La météorite ferreuse de Leeds des collections minéralogiques de l’université Laval, reconnue par H. H. Nininger en 1931comme étant un spécimen magnétite mal étiqueté, présente des ressemblances à la météorite Toluca. Des analyses de 13 élémentsmineurs et traces diagnostiques sont disponibles pour 21 échantillons de la météorite Toluca et pour celle de Leeds. Les deux sériesd’échantillons ont été assujetties à des analyses statistiques afin d’évaluer l’hypothèse que les deux météorites sont indiscernables l’unede l’autre. Les résultats indiquent que les météorites de Toluca et de Leeds sont du point de vue statistique indifférenciables sur la basede tous les 13 éléments, et donc il faut conclure que la météorite de Leeds est bien un fragment de celle de Toluca. Les rechercheshistoriques ne révèlent ni où le spécimen Leeds a été trouvé, ni comment il a été acquis, mais il provient tout probablement du matérielabondant toujours disponible de la météorite de Toluca.SEM1. IntroductionAlthough no new meteorites from Quebec had been recovered sinceprior to the Second World War, the last decade of the TwentiethCentury has been extraordinarily fruitful owing to the St-Robert (H5)fall of 14 June 1994 (Hildebrand et al. 1997) and the identification ofthe Lac Dodon and Penouille irons in 1995 (Kissin et al. 1997). Thesethree additions to Quebec’s meteorite count, along with the Chambordand Leeds irons, bring the total to five, however, the total is offset bythe loss of one, the Leeds (group IAB) iron, which we demonstratehere to be a Toluca specimen.Suspicions about Leeds arose during examination of trace andminor data from group IAB iron meteorites presented by Choi et al.(1995). Tabulations in order of nickel, gallium and iridium contentreveal that the elements are nearly identical in Toluca and Leeds, anda comparison of tabulated data for 12 elements reveals that the meanabundances for Leeds (n = 2) and Toluca (n = 7) are very similar inall cases. As discussed below, the structural and petrographiccharacteristics of Leeds and Toluca are also very similar.Such compositional and petrographic similarities in themselvesmight still leave open the possibility that Leeds is distinct from Tolucaif the circumstances of its recovery were well established. Leeds hasa strange history, however, which leaves its origins unresolved.2. Historical BackgroundThe Leeds iron was first recognized as a meteorite in 1931 by HarveyNininger, the world’s first full-time, self-employed meteoriticist andco-founder (along with Frederick Leonard) of the Society for Researchon Meteorites, the precursor of the Meteoritical Society. At the timeof its recognition, Nininger had just given up his position as Professorof Biology at McPherson College in Kansas, was struggling to makea living from his new career, and found it necessary to travel far andwide in search of meteorites for sale or trade. As he did so, he frequentlyvisited geological museums along the way to view their mineralogicalcollections. On such a trip to Canada, he stopped at the MineralogicalMuseum at the Université Laval, reputed to be one of the finest inNorth America. Laval had been founded in 1852, and benefited fromvarious gifts from the Séminaire de Québec. Among them werescientific instruments, a library, and several museums. As early as1858 there were close to 4,000 specimens in the Mineralogical Museum,1 An earlier draft of this paper was presented at the Research Session of the 1997 meeting of the Meteorites and Impacts Advisory Committee to the CanadianSpace Agency, held in October, 1997, in St-Hubert, Quebec.June/juin 1999 Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, 93:135–139, 1999 June135


half of which had been donated by the Geological Survey of Canada.Numerous individuals and institutions donated specimens in subsequentyears, making the Laval collection a very strong one. As Nininger(Nininger & Nininger 1950, p. 112; Nininger 1972, p. 111) relates inthe story of his 1931 visit, he wandered up an aisle looking over themineral cases, and happened to notice in the display of heavier ironminerals a 1445g mass which bore a label reading “magnetite fromLeeds, Québec.” Although Leeds (now St-Jacques-de-Leeds, ComtéMégantic) is known to be a source of magnetite, which occurs in theAppalachian fold belt (R. K. Herd, private communication), Niningerthought that this particular specimen looked like a weathered nickelironmeteorite.When he asked permission to examine the specimen, thecustodian testily informed him that “there could be no error in thelabeling since the curator was one of the top mineralogists of NorthAmerica.” The curator in question was l’abbé Alexandre Vachon, whoserved in that role from 1917 to 1936. Although he taught mineralogyand geology courses at Laval from as early as 1914, he was primarilya chemist; he was the author of a standard textbook in the field, andthe chemistry building on the Laval campus is named after him.Although it is more than likely that he was a very erudite professor,the custodian’s characterization of him as “one of the top mineralogistsof North America” is no doubt highly exaggerated. Undaunted by therebuff, however, Nininger sought out the curator in his office, butfound only an assistant there. When permission was sought fromhim, he claimed to be “insulted on behalf of the absent curator.”Nevertheless, he reluctantly agreed to open the case and allow Niningerto remove the specimen and examine it. When a small corner of thespecimen was ground with an emery wheel in the museum shop, itpromptly revealed bright metal instead of black magnetite. Subsequentpolishing and etching brought out a beautiful Widmanstätten figure,providing indisputable proof of its meteoritic nature.Nininger’s published writings do not add any further details tothe story, however, and thus many questions concerning the originand history of the meteorite have remained unanswered. For example,when and how did the Université Laval acquire the specimen? Howdid it come to end up in Nininger’s personal collection (to be subsequentlydivided and distributed to at least nine collections — Center forMeteorite Studies, Tempe; Natural History Museum, London; FieldMuseum of Natural History, Chicago; Harvard University, Cambridge;Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik, Heidelberg; Geological Surveyof Canada, Ottawa; University of California, Los Angeles; U. S. NationalMuseum, Washington, D.C.; and the University of Michigan, AnnArbor)? And if not magnetite from Quebec but a meteorite, wherewas it really from? Did it represent a new find, or could it be pairedwith another meteorite? In short, what was its true identity?Our research now allows us to answer all but the first of thesequestions. The answer to the question of how the specimen endedup in Nininger’s personal collection can best be gleaned from a carefulreading of some of Nininger’s unpublished writings — particularlyhis correspondence (much of which is housed at the Center forMeteorite Studies at Arizona State University), and the long (~1500pages) manuscript draft version of his autobiography (also at theCenter for Meteorite Studies). In a letter to Stuart H. Perry, a Michigannewspaper publisher and Vice President of the Associated Press whohad become one of North America’s leading private meteorite collectorsof his day, Nininger (1941) wrote that, when he persuaded the custodianto remove the Leeds specimen from its case, it was “with the understandingthat if I were correct he would give me half of the specimen.” Althoughsuch an “understanding” might sound somewhat brazen at first blush,it is actually not that surprising. As Nininger explains in the draftversion of his autobiography, geological museum directors at the timetypically had little knowledge of meteorites and, as a result, oftenmislabeled specimens. He frequently offered to correct their labelsand help put their collections in order. In return, he was usually givena small piece of the meteorite in question. “In nearly all such instancesthe one in charge of the exhibit insisted upon dividing the specimenwith me” (Nininger MS, p. 865). Such practice made good sense, sinceboth parties benefited from it. But how did Nininger end up with theentire specimen, not just half? The explanation he gives in themanuscript is that “out of generosity or a desire to avoid making acorrection that might leave someone red-faced, the museum finallyturned the Leeds meteorite over to me on its own suggestion” (NiningerMS, p. 865). That is surprising, however. Why would the UniversitéLaval Mineralogical Museum want — let alone be willing — to partwith an entire (and rare) specimen simply because someone hadpointed out to them that it had been mislabeled?The answer to the question involving the true identity of theLeeds meteorite can now also be made. As is demonstrated below,we argue that Leeds is a specimen from the Toluca meteorite. It isnot surprising that an early retrieved specimen of Toluca could havebecome mislabeled in a museum’s mineral collection. What is surprising,however, is that Nininger failed to recognize its proper identity. In thefall of 1929, only two years before his visit to Laval, he had traveled toMexico to collect meteorites. In the little village of Xiquipilco hecollected some 700 pounds of Toluca specimens. In Mexico City hevisited the National Museum to view its meteorite collection. Heimmediately saw that some specimens were mislabeled, and offeredto correct the errors and help put the collection in order. Niningerprided himself upon his ability to identify meteorites correctly. “Herewas a use for the skill in which I had been training myself, the abilityto identify the correct origin and classification of nearly any meteoritespecimen by surface features and by the etched Widmanstättenpattern…” (Nininger 1972, p. 26). In light of his skill and his closefamiliarity with Toluca, how is it possible that he failed to recognizethe Leeds meteorite as a Toluca specimen? There is simply not enoughinformation available in the historical record to answer satisfactorilyall of the interesting questions about the Leeds meteorite, but thequestion of its true identity can be answered. Despite its mysteriousorigins and strange history, the chemical, structural, and petrographicdata for the meteorite all leave little doubt that Leeds is a hithertounrecognized specimen of the Toluca meteorite.3. Analysis of Compositional DataThe data for the element compositions of the Leeds and Tolucameteorites as presented in Choi et al. (1995) represent only a portionof the data available for Toluca. Wasson’s laboratory has obtained atotal of 21 analyses of Toluca, as well as two for Leeds, and the datahave all been published previously in various articles. The existenceof the two data sets provides an opportunity to apply statisticalanalyses to test the hypothesis that Leeds and Toluca are identical.Such statistical calculations were carried out by the Lakehead UniversityStatistical Laboratory, L. K. Roy, Director. A 95% confidence level wasadopted in the statistical tests.136JRASC June/juin 1999


Table I lists the means, standard deviations, and sample sizesfor determinations of the element compositions for the elementsarsenic (As), gold (Au), cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu),gallium (Ga), germanium (Ge), iridium (Ir), nickel (Ni), platinum (Pt),rhenium (Re), antimony (Sb), and tungsten (W). All data from thetwo samples were subjected to a Kolmogorov-Smirnov test for normality.All data were found to follow a normal distribution, except for goldin Toluca, although the test is trivial in the case of Leeds. Gold thereforerequired special treatment, since normality is required for the t testscited below.schreibersite precipitates along grain boundaries and as spheroidalinclusions within plessite, and sheaf-like graphite crystals in polycrystallinemasses containing occasional cliftonite crystals (a cubic form ofgraphite). Buchwald (1975) remarked in his caption to his Fig. 1048(showing a section of Leeds), “Structurally, it [Leeds] closely resemblesToluca.” He noted in his concluding statement, “Leeds is a typical,inclusion-rich octahedrite, closely related to, e.g., Bischtübe, Deport,Toluca, and Balfour Downs.” Polished and etched sections of Leeds(figure 1) and Toluca (figure 2) illustrate the similarity of the specimens.Table IA Comparison of Element Concentrationsfor the Leeds and Toluca MeteoritesLeeds MeteoriteToluca MeteoriteElement Mean ±s.d. Samples Mean ±s.d. SamplesAs 15.7 ±1.3 µg/g 2 16.5 ±1.1 µg/g 21Au 1.69 ±0.01 µg/g 2 1.73 ±0.22 µg/g 21Co 4.82 ±0.01 mg/g 2 4.88 ±0.13 mg/g 21Cr 20.50 ±0.71 µg/g 2 19.85 ±6.60 µg/g 20Cu 175.5 ±0.7 µg/g 2 170.5 ±12.7 µg/g 21Ga 69.2 ±1.8 µg/g 2 67.2 ±3.9 µg/g 21Ge 265.5 ±6.4 µg/g 2 259.1 ±31.4 µg/g 11Ir 2.45 ±0.03 µg/g 2 2.43 ±0.18 µg/g 21Ni 83.0 ±1.8 mg/g 2 80.3 ±2.8 mg/g 21Pt 5.7 ±0.4 µg/g 2 5.7 ±0.8 µg/g 20Re 0.215 ±0.064 µg/g 2 0.271 ±0.045 µg/g 21Sb 406 ±44 ng/g 2 395 ±51 ng/g 17W 0.82 ±0.01 ng/g 2 0.84 ±0.23 ng/g 21An additional requirement for the t test is that the variances behomogeneous, something that can be examined by the Levene test.Such a test revealed that the variances of the remaining 12 elementsare homogeneous, and an application of the t test to the sample meansindicated that they are indistinguishable.In the case of gold, the Mann-Whitney test is applicable for twowaycomparison when the sample size for one specimen is greaterthan 20. The results of the test indicate that there is no significantdifference in the Au contents of Leeds and Toluca. Leeds and Tolucaare therefore indistinguishable with respect to 13 of 13 elements, andon the basis of composition it is highly likely that they are from thesame meteorite.Fig. 1 — Polished and etched surface of the Leeds 59-g mass (NationalMeteorite Collection, Ottawa).4. Mineralogy and Textural FeaturesBuchwald (1975) has prepared very detailed descriptions of Tolucaand Leeds, and his descriptions are the principal source of the materialbelow. Both are coarse octahedrites with kamacite bandwidths of1.30 ±0.15 mm (Leeds) and 1.40 ±0.20 mm (Toluca) — clearly identicalfrom a statistical standpoint — with identical length/width ratios of~15. The Vickers Hardness Numbers for kamacite from the interiorsof the two specimens are 210 ±15 in the case of Leeds and 235 ±15 inthe case of Toluca, both values being identical within two standarddeviations. Both specimens also contain troilite-graphite nodulesassociated with silicate inclusions. Many other petrographic featuresare common to both, such as abundant rhabdites, pearlitic plessite,Fig. 2 — Polished and etched surface of a typical Toluca specimen (RoyalOntario Museum #3378), illustrating a large troilite nodule rimmed bycohenite. Note the similarity of the length/width aspect of the kamacitelamellae to that of Leeds, as well as the regions of net plessite.5. ConclusionsChemically, analyses for 13 minor and trace elements reveal thatLeeds is indistinguishable from Toluca from a statistical standpoint.Their petrographic similarity is strong, as was noted previously byJune/juin 1999 JRASC137


Buchwald (1975). The historical circumstances surrounding thediscovery of Leeds are clearly vague enough that it is entirely possiblethat Leeds is an unlabeled specimen of Toluca, purchased and misplacedat some earlier time. We therefore propose that Leeds be considereda Toluca specimen with a similar history to that of Michigan Iron,also an instance of a mislabeled Toluca specimen in a universitycollection (Buchwald 1975). The Canadian and Quebec meteoritetotals then decline by one in each case. In light of these findings andrecent finds and falls across Canada, the current national meteoritetotal can be estimated at 52 (a net increase of six in the past 20 years),four of which are in Quebec (see Appendix I).This study could not have been undertaken without the assistanceof J. T. Wasson of the University of California-Los Angeles, who madehis complete analytical data available to us. R. S. Clarke, Jr. of theSmithsonian Institution provided valuable assistance by grantingaccess to his collection of files copied from the Nininger Papers atthe Center for Meteorite Studies, Arizona State University. Themanuscript preparation was carried out by W. K. Bourke, J. M. Huggins,and E. McDonald of Lakehead University.Stephen A. KissinDepartment of GeologyLakehead UniversityThunder Bay, OntarioP7B 5E1André BordeleauPlanétarium de Montréal1000, rue St-Jacques OuestMontréal, QuébecH3C 1G7ReferencesBuchwald, V. F. 1975. Handbook of Iron Meteorites, Vol. 2 & 3 (Univ. Calif.Press: Berkeley)Choi, B.-G., Ouyang, X. & Wasson, J. T. 1995. GCA, 59, 593Hildebrand, A. R., Brown, P. G., Wacker, J. F., Wetmiller, R. J., Pagé, D., Green,D. W. E., Jacobs, C. F., ReVelle, D. O., Tagliaferri, E. & Kissin, S. A. 1997,JRASC, 91, 261Kissin, S. A., Herd, R. K. & Pagé, D. 1997, JRASC, 91, 211Nininger, H. H. April 4, 1941, Letter to Stuart H. Perry, Harvey H. NiningerPapers, (Center for Meteorite Studies, Arizona State University: Tempe,Arizona)Nininger, H. H. Date unknown, Draft manuscript of Find a Falling Star, HarveyH. Nininger Papers, (Center for Meteorite Studies, Arizona StateUniversity: Tempe, Arizona)Nininger, H. H. 1972, Find a Falling Star (Paul S. Eriksson, Inc.: New York)Nininger, H. H. & Nininger, A. D. 1950, The Nininger Collection of Meteorites,A Catalogue and a History (The American Meteorite Museum: Winslow,Arizona)Traill, R. J. 1980, Catalogue of the National Meteorite Collection of CanadaRevised to December 31, 1979 (Geological Survey of Canada Paper 80-17)White, R. 1984, Canadian Meteorites (Provincial Museum of Alberta:Edmonton)Howard PlotkinDepartment of PhilosophyTalbot CollegeUniversity of Western OntarioLondon, OntarioN6A 3K7STEPHEN A. KISSIN is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Geology at Lakehead University, where he has been a faculty member since 1975.Previously he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Geology at McMaster University and a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow atthe Canada Centre for Mineral and Energy Technology, Ottawa, 1974–1975. He earned a B.Sc. in geology at the University of Washington in 1964 andan M.Sc. in geochemistry at Pennsylvania State University in 1968. He worked in the Space Technology Branch at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center,1967–1968, and returned to complete a Ph.D. in geology at the University of Toronto in 1974. His professional interests centre on meteorites and impacts,sulfide mineralogy, ore deposits and the Precambrian geology of the Lake Superior region. He is a member of the Meteoritical Society, the MineralogicalAssociation of Canada and the Mineralogical Society of America. He enjoys fishing in the great outdoors of northwestern Ontario and alternative historyscience fiction.HOWARD PLOTKIN teaches the history of science in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. He receivedhis Ph.D. in the history of science from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland and specializes in the history of astronomy. He is a member ofseveral learned societies, including the History of Science Society, the Meteoritical Society and the Meteorites and Impacts Advisory Committee to theCanadian Space Agency. He is currently writing a series of articles on the development of meteoritics at the Smithsonian Institution in collaboration withRoy S. Clarke, Jr., who is its Curator Emeritus of Meteorites.ANDRÉ BORDELEAU is a Lecturer at the Planétarium de Montréal, where he has worked since 1994. He has been an amateur astronomer since 1982and has been involved with the elimination of light pollution since 1987. Academically, he earned both a B.A. and M.A. in political science from theUniversity of Guelph. He is a prominent athlete, serving on the National Rifle Team from 1978 to 1990. He has been Canadian Champion twice, andOntario Champion once.138JRASC June/juin 1999


Appendix IChronological Listing of Canadian Meteorites(Data from Traill 1980, White 1984, and unpublished MIAC materials)Meteorite Location Type Classification 1 Date of Find/Fall 21. Madoc Ontario Iron IIIA 18542. Iron Creek Alberta Iron IIIA 18693. DeCewsville Ontario Chondrite H6 Jan. 21, 18874. Thurlow Ontario Iron IIIB 18885. Welland Ontario Iron IIIA 18886. Beaver Creek British Columbia Chondrite H4 May 26, 18937. Gay Gulch Yukon Iron IRANOM 19018. Chambord Quebec Iron IIIA 19049. Shelburne Ontario Chondrite L5 Aug. 13, 190410. Skookum Yukon Iron IVB 190511. Blithfield Ontario Chondrite EL6 191012. Fillmore Saskatchewan Iron IA 191613. Annaheim Saskatchewan Iron IA-ANOM 191614. Bruno Saskatchewan Chondrite L6 193115. Osseo Ontario Iron IA 193116. Springwater Saskatchewan Stony Iron Pallasite 193117. Great Bear Lake NWT Chondrite H6 193618. Edmonton Alberta Iron IIA 193919. Dresden Ontario Chondrite H6 July 11, 193920. Belly River Alberta Chondrite H6 194321. Garden Head Saskatchewan Iron IRANOM 194422. Kinsella Alberta Iron IA 194623. Benton New Brunswick Chondrite LL6 Jan. 16, 194924. Holman Island NWT Chondrite LL(?) 195125. Abee Alberta Chondrite EH4 June 10, 195226. Giroux Manitoba Stony Iron Pallasite 195427. Bruderheim Alberta Chondrite L6 Mar. 4, 196028. Midland Ontario Iron IA 196029. Riverton Manitoba Chondrite H5 196030. Vulcan Alberta Chondrite H6 196231. Manitouwabing Ontario Iron IIIA 196232. Peace River Alberta Chondrite L6 Mar. 31, 196333. Mayerthorpe Alberta Iron IA 196434. Catherwood Saskatchewan Chondrite L6 196535. Revelstoke British Columbia Chondrite C Mar. 31, 196536. Ferintosh Alberta Chondrite L6 196537. Kinley Saskatchewan Chondrite L6 196538. Skiff Alberta Chondrite H4 196639. Vilna Alberta Chondrite L5 Feb. 5, 196740. Wynyard Saskatchewan Chondrite H5 196841. Homewood Manitoba Chondrite H5 197042. Blaine Lake Saskatchewan Chondrite L6 197443. Red Deer Hill Saskatchewan Chondrite L6 197544. Innisfree Alberta Chondrite LL5 Feb. 7, 197745. Millarville Alberta Iron IVA-ANOM 197746. Penouille Quebec Iron IB 198447. Burstall Saskatchewan Iron ? 199248. Lac Dodon Quebec Iron IA 199349. St.-Robert Quebec Chondrite H5 June 14, 199450. Hodgeville Saskatchewan Chondrite H3-4(?) 1996 351. Toronto Ontario Iron IA 1997 452. Kitchener Ontario Chondrite ? July 12, 1998Notes: 1 Iron meteorites classified in chemical groups are indicated by a Roman numeral and letter(s).The suffix “ANOM” indicates an anomalous member of a group, and “IRANOM” is an ungroupedanomalous iron. Chondrites are classified by composition indicated by a letter or letters and a numberindicating metamorphic grade, where C = carbonaceous chondrite, H= olivine-bronzite chondrite,L = olivine-hypersthene chondrite, and LL = amphoterite.2Year only indicates a find. Full date indicates a fall (date according to local time).3 Found at some time in 1970–1976.4 Found during 1960s at unknown location in Québec; named for University of Toronto, wherefirst identified.June/juin 1999 JRASC139


Across the RASCdu nouveau dans les CentresA Pilgrimage to Arizonaby Roger Hill, Hamilton CentreAs a child growing up in Liverpool,I was interested in the Americanand Russian space programs. Itwas interesting to witness space probescrashing into the lunar surface, sendingback pictures just before they were smashedto smithereens. I had a mild interest inastronomy at the time, as many kids did.Then I was influenced by the teacher ofa lifetime. Although I was not a particularlygood student, Mrs. Cooper, who was nearretirement age, noticed my interest inastronomy. She had a set of books at theback of the classroom, and let me readthem if I finished my work. The collectioncontained a book on the Chapmanexpedition to the Gobi Desert duringwhich dinosaur eggs were discovered, butit was a book on Mars that captivated myinterest. The author of the book was PercivalLowell.I fell in love with the images of Marsthat Lowell provided: an old and majesticcivilization, hoarding its resources of water,and Martians digging huge canals to spreadthe liquid life-giving fluid from the polesto the rest of the planet. What a story! Healso supported his descriptions with visualobservations of the planet made with hismagnificent telescope. When Mariner 4encountered Mars and sent back to theEarth pictures of the Martian surface, itcompletely altered our view of the planetand its climate. Unlike Lowell’s vision ofMars, the planet proved to be a very aridplace, with only a very thin atmospherecomposed mainly of carbon dioxide. Cratersseemed to be everywhere and there wasno trace of the fabulous canals — thus,no evidence of a great and noble Martiancivilization having fought a valiant butlosing battle against a worsening climate.Strange as it may seem, that “catastrophe”turned my passing interest into a lifelonglove of astronomy.In recent yearsI have had occasionto travel on business.On two trips toChicago I hoped tovisit the ChicagoField Museum,which I thought hadfunded theChapmanexpedition notedabove. On bothoccasions theMuseum was closedfor renovations. Asa result of that experience, on a subsequenttrip to New York I chose to visit the EmpireState Building rather than attempting tovisit the Museum of Natural History. LaterI was disappointed to learn that it wasactually the New York Museum, not theChicago Field Museum, which had fundedthe Chapman expedition.In March 1999 I made a trip toPhoenix, Arizona and found time to visitBarringer Meteor Crater and Flagstaff,home of the Lowell Observatory. Whilewatching the Apollo Moon landings as ayoungster, I recall many images of GeneShoemaker exploring an impact crateron Earth. It was not some minor ringshapedmound or a circular lake, but anhonest-to-goodness lunar-like crater.Flagstaff is a two-hour drive from Phoenixand Meteor Crater is about an hour fromFlagstaff, so it is possible to visit both inone day. If you take the Sedona exit, youpass through some spectacular countryon the way. The drive from Sedona toFlagstaff along the back roads isbreathtaking.I reached Flagstaff and followed thedirections to the Lowell Observatory,pulling into the parking lot on Mars Hillat 11:20 a.m. The observatory opens tothe public at noon, so I had a few minutesto spare. The Lowell Observatory is thesite of the 24-inch Clark telescope, whereClyde Tombaugh photographed Pluto forthe first time and where Slipher made hisobservations. Although the domes are notopen for general visiting, you can take aguided tour. Public observing on the Clarktelescope takes place only on Saturdaynights in the winter, so there was noopportunity for me to look through thetelescope during my short stay. Onwandering through the grounds whilewaiting for the tour to start, I was surprisedto come across a small building with adome that appeared to be made of blackglass bricks. It is Lowell’s mausoleum,located in the shadow of the domecontaining the Clark telescope.I was able to begin the guided tour,but had to leave partway through it inorder to reach Meteor Crater that sameday. I was able to see the large Clarktelescope and a few other telescopes, butleft before the tour reached Tombaugh’stelescope. I took one wrong turn on the140JRASC June/juin 1999


way to Meteor Crater, and did not reachthe right highway until after 3:00 p.m. Bythen I was on the high plains and couldsee for quite a long distance. After about40 minutes on the highway I noticed anoddly-shaped hill off in the distance. Itwas a low, flat-topped rise. By 4:00 p.m. Ihad reached the rise, marking the rim ofthe Barringer Crater, and was able to visitthe site — after purchasing a ticket for$8 U.S.The crater rim stands about 30 metresabove the surrounding countryside anda magnificent sight greets you once youget past it. As is true for many differentevents and places, you must experienceBarringer Meteor Crater first-hand totruly appreciate it. I had seen many picturesof the site as well as TV documentarieson it, but nothing prepared me for thereality. I overheard a couple of peoplegrumbling to each other that it was a lotof money to pay just to look at a hole inthe ground, yet the scene is a familiar oneon other planets and satellites. The viewis similar to what one would see on theMoon, Mars, Venus and many other objects.It is what a lot of the real estate in theuniverse might look like.The journey back to Phoenix takesjust over three hours via the Interstatehighways all the way and I was back justas the Sun set. If I ever get to Arizona again,I hope to visit Kitt Peak. I suspect that thedrive will be just as spectacular and thatthe vistas will be just as awe-inspiring, butit will not be a pilgrimage.Roger Hill is a recent recipient of the Society’sService Award. He has been using telescopessince 1965, and has been a member of theHamilton Centre since 1970. A self-professedcomputer geek, he is employed by a softwaredevelopment company in Milton, where helives in a house that contains its own computernetwork — one that will also include the newobservatory he is building in his backyard.Roger has been on three solar eclipse expeditionssince 1972.Society News/Nouvelles de la sociétéRASC CERTIFICATES AWARDEDAT THE NOVEMBER ANDMARCH MEETINGS OFNATIONAL COUNCILMessier Certificate:David H. Prud’homme, EdmontonCentreKen Kingdon, Kingston CentrePeter Manson, Ottawa CentreRichard Taylor, Ottawa CentreAlan Sherlock, Winnipeg CentreJohn Smith, Winnipeg CentreRichard Turenne, Winnipeg CentreTimothy George Zacharias, WinnipegCentreNGC Certificate:Mary Lou Whitehorne, Halifax CentreLeo Enright, Kingston CentreChristopher Fleming, London CentreJoe Gurney, London CentreDavid J. Nopper, London CentreRick Wagner, Ottawa CentreRichard Huziak, Saskatoon CentreDaniel Taylor, Windsor CentreMembership Certificates:Calgary Centre:Alan Clark (27 years)Steven Morris (30 years)Thomas Swaddle (33 years)James Fish (10 years)Gary Florence (22 years)Mel Head (11 years)Walter Lindenbach (24 years)Leonard Kampel (6 years)Robert Morgan (6 years)Patricia Morgan (6 years)Susan Yeo (6 years)Kingston Centre:Wayne Morrison (26 years)Deiter Brueckner (10 years)Susan Gagnon (6 years)Kim Hay (10 years)Ruth Hicks (12 years)Peggy Hurley (10 years)Kevin Kell (9 years)Peter Kirk (5 years)Sue Knight-Sorensen (16 years)Walter MacDonald (11 years)London Centre:Ron Sawyer (28 years)Grant Carscallen (20 years)Joe O’Neil (13 years)John Rousom (10 years)Saskatoon Centre:Hugh Hunter (27 years)Ed Kennedy (45 years)Merlyn Melby (27 years)Jim Patterson (29 years)Richard Huziak (22 years)Bill Hydomako (13 years)Halyna Turley (15 years)Mike Williams (20 years)Jim Young (21 years)Toronto Centre:Donald R. Austin (51 years)Michael F. Barrett (27 years)D. H. Bell (27 years)M. J. Bronson (26 years)H. R. Burke (27 years)Jeffery C. Clayton (31 years)Michael De Robertis (29 years)John M. Fincham (29 years)Richard A. Jarrell (30 years)Richard Kelsch (27 years)Lloyd C. Kremer (29 years)Olga Kuderewko (28 years)Robert McColl (30 years)Henry Nothof (26 years)Klaus Plauschinn (27 years)Dan Shire (26 years)Glenn Slover (29 years)Anthony Sosnkowski (30 years)John L. Stewart (27 years)Jacques P. Vallee (29 years)June/juin 1999 JRASC141


NATIONAL SERVICE AWARDSANNOUNCEDDuring the past year, the National Councilof the Royal Astronomical Society ofCanada approved recommendations fromthe Awards Committee regarding thepresentation of Service Awards to thefollowing individuals, the citations forwhom are presented here:Ralph ChouNominated for the Service Awardby the Toronto CentreDr. B. Ralph Chou has played a major rolein the activities of the Toronto Centreover the past 25 years. Ralph joined theToronto Centre in 1971, and has been amember of the Toronto Centre Councilsince 1973. During that period he hasassumed the following Centre positions:Councillor 1971–1973 and 1979, Chairfor Public Education 1971–1978, Recorder1973–1976, Secretary 1976–1979, 1980–1984and 1990–1992, First Vice President1984–1986, President 1986–1990 andTreasurer 1992–1998. In addition, Ralphhas contributed his time and expertiseto the National Society. He has served as:Toronto Centre delegate to NationalCouncil 1975–1979, 1981–1985 and1989–1990, Assistant Editor of the NationalNewsletter 1977–1980, Editor of theNational Newsletter 1980–1985 andNational Treasurer 1985–1989.He has lent his knowledge of solareclipses to many as an organizer of severalCentre eclipse expeditions. During thefall of 1997 he was instrumental in theCentre’s acquisition of the new CARRObservatory near Collingwood, Ontario.Ralph Chou has made invaluablecontributions to both the Toronto Centreand National Society over the past 25years and more, and is very deserving ofthe Society’s Service Award.John MirtleNominated for the Service Awardby the Calgary CentreJohn Mirtle has been a member in goodstanding since he joined the RASC in1986. John helped develop the CalgaryCentre’s popular Observer’s Group Meetingsthat are held once a month, and has beena major contributor to the meetings forten years. Each month he creates a listof objects for people to observe and takesastrophotos of the objects on the list sothat people can see what they look like.He then shows how to find the objectson a chart. Whenever a guest speaker isneeded, John will always sort through hiscollection of astrophotos to give apresentation, even on short notice. Severalof his photos are given away at suchmeetings.John is an excellent astrophotographerand was a major contributor to thedevelopment of an astrophotographyworkshop for the Centre. The workshophas been very successful, with eight peopleparticipating and seven people continuingto take astrophotos. At star parties, suchas the Mt. Kobau Star Party, John hasserved as a judge for the AstrophotographyAwards for the past seven years. At theAlberta Star Party he provides a varietyof his astrophotos as door prizes.For the last four years, John hasprovided the music for our Annual Banquet,selecting music to go along with thepresentations to different individuals. Hebrings in all of his equipment to providemusic for such events and also provideshis astrophotos as door prizes. John’smusical talents are also evident in theslide show for the Centre’s Wilson CouleeObservatory, which attracts variousinterested groups such as the Girl Guides,Boy Scouts, school groups and others.One of our members wrote the narrationfor the tours, which was narrated byanother member. Some of the music forthe show was composed by John Mirtle,and he provided the rest himself. He alsoprovided the astrophotos that are includedin the show.John is active in Public Educationevents such as Astronomy Day, SaturnNight, Zoonival and many of the otherevents that occur over the year. He can becounted upon to bring along one of hisnumerous telescopes to show objects tothe general public and he also provideshis astrophotos for the bulletin boardsthat are erected at such public events.They are also displayed at events such asthe Home Show.John is also there when maintenanceis needed at the Wilson Coulee Observatory,as well as at the Eccles Ranch Observatoryin Caroline. His efforts include erectingbuildings as well as maintaining the site.John is also responsible for the maintenanceof the computer used to produce ournewsletter Starseeker, including upgradesand software installations when necessary.John has been in charge of calendarsfor ten years. He orders calendars andbrings them to all of the meetings for saleto members. He attends every meetinginto the new year once calendars appear,so that no one misses an opportunity tohave one.In light of his long service, the CalgaryCentre nominates John Mirtle for theService Award.CONGRATULATIONS TO……Stéphane Charpinet, who has beenawarded the J. S. Plaskett Medal, sponsoredjointly by the Royal Astronomical Societyof Canada and the Canadian AstronomicalSociety. The award, consisting of a goldmedal, is made annually to the graduateof a Canadian university who is judgedto have submitted the most outstandingdoctoral thesis in astronomy or astrophysicsin the preceding two calendar years.Stéphane completed his doctorate in 1998at l’Université de Montréal under thesupervision of Gilles Fontaine. His thesisis entitled “Le potentiel del’astéroséismologie pour les sous-nainesde type B.” A citizen of France, he ispresently employed by the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Corporation.…Rajiv Gupta, RASC Observers’ CalendarEditor. Under his editorship the 1999edition recently won two prizes from TheOntario Printing and Imaging Association:”Best Calendar” category and “Award ofExcellence”.142JRASC June/juin 1999


At the EyepieceThe Best of Herculesby Alan Whitman, Okanagan Centre (awhitman@vip.net)Hercules is best known for its twobright globular clusters, M13 andM92, but it also holds a thirdglobular, a bright planetary nebula, a thinscattering of galaxies and some of summer’sfinest double stars. Try observing a fewcoloured doubles while your eyes adaptto the dark. None of the following binariesare difficult in a 60-mm refractor on anight of good seeing.One of my favourites is AlphaHerculis, because of the contrasting coloursbetween the orange giant primary andits green companion. The orange giantactually varies in light between magnitudes3.0 and 4.0. The magnitude 5.4 secondarystar lies 4˝.7 to the east. Lately it hasbecome fashionable to state that the greenperceived in stars such as the companionto Alpha Herculis is not real, but is insteada perception created by the contrastbetween the two stars. That is balderdash!The colour is as real as the pastel greenseen deep in a glacial crevasse. Most ofus observe doubles for aesthetic reasonsand the most beautiful doubles are thosewith contrasting colours. The colours ofthe stars of Alpha Herculis are perceivedas orange and green not only by my eyes,but also by the eyes of every humanobserver that I know. What a machinemay record or what a moth that perceivesultraviolet radiation might see, is irrelevantto any discussion of the appearance of adouble star to human eyes. So enjoy theorange and pastel green colours of AlphaHerculis revealed to your eyes.Authors of the last century had noqualms about describing vivid star colours.If the chromatic aberration of a doubletrefractor added to the show, so much thebetter! Have you ever observed the finedouble 95 Herculis? My old 1962-era 60-mmTasco refractor was known to direct aA finder chart showing the location of many of the objects mentioned in this column (ECU chart byDave Lane).few rays of colour astray from time totime and my first observation of 95 Herin September 1962 faithfully recordedthe double’s colours as “the apple-greenand red tints…” described in Serviss’sturn-of-the-century observing guide. Red,eh? I now realize why I liked double starsso much more when I had that telescope!Now I mainly use a 20-cm Newtonian fordoubles and it gives truer colour. Thispast January I recorded the colours of95 Her as “gold and silver,” as given by IanRidpath in the fine little pocket atlasNight Sky, on which he collaborated withcelestial cartographer Wil Tirion. I supposethat silver and apple-green are not thatfar apart. What do you see — surely notjust white and white? The matched pairof magnitude 4.9 stars are 6˝.2 apart.White and white works as well. Takea look at Rho Herculis, with its stars ofmagnitudes 4.0 and 5.1 separated by 3˝.8.I see both as white, but Ridpath calls themblue-white.Other than in binary stars, colouris fairly rare at the eyepiece in deep-skyobjects. Most are just too faint to registervisually as anything other than shades ofgray. The main exceptions are the highsurfacebrightness planetary nebulae.Most of them are small, such as NGC 6210,a tiny blue disk only 14˝ in diameter.Many writers have referred to the colourof that planetary nebula as “robin’s-eggblue.” While it may sound excessivelypoetic, it is what my eye sees with moderateapertures. The ninth magnitude nebulais not difficult with almost any telescope— it was the only NGC planetary that Ilogged with my old 60-mm refractor, butmy logbook does not indicate that anycolour was discernible with the littlerefractor.Without a doubt, Hercules is mainlyknown as the constellation that harboursthe finest globular cluster in the sky’sJune/juin 1999 JRASC143


northern hemisphere, M13. Bright enoughto be seen with the unaided eye frommerely decent sites, the globular is adelight with any aperture. My 10-cmAstroscan resolves the edges at 64×. My20-cm Newtonian shows masses of starsright across the cluster, with long starchainsaround the margins. At moderatepower the southeastern part of the centralcore has three darker lanes, contrastfeatures arranged like a propeller. Usingthe 0.6-metre at Goldendale Observatoryin Washington State in 1981, I wrote:“Bright stars on fainter stars on fainterstars on a mottled background.” On a rarenight that permited the use of such highmagnification, I observed M13 at 424×with another 0.6-metre, the Prince Georgeclub’s Cassegrain. The globular’s centralcore almost filled the field and the Y-shaped dark lanes were as prominent asI have ever seen them, a view that remindedme of a turn-of-the-century descriptionthat I once read somewhere of a view ofa great globular through the Yerkes 1-metrerefractor. While Omega Centauri, lord ofthe Southern Hemisphere, is far brighterthan M13, it does not have as interestingor distinctive an appearance, in my opinion.M13 has it all, even a 12 th magnitudegalaxy in its field — you will find elongatedNGC 6207 only 0º.5 to the northeast in a20-cm scope. John Casino’s 0.9-metreDobsonian revealed a bright nucleus inthis distant Sc galaxy. For a true challenge,try the magnitude 15.5 galaxy IC 4617,which lies midway between the globularand NGC 6207. My Meade 41-cmNewtonian can just barely concentrateenough photons to make IC 4617 visibleat 261× and 348× under the best conditions.Virginian Kent Blackwell has also seenthe spiral galaxy in a 41-cm telescope.After swinging by Hercules’ secondrankedglobular cluster, NGC 6341, continueon north to NGC 6229. If M92 suffers frombeing overshadowed by M13, then Hercules’third globular, NGC 6229, suffers frombeing overshadowed by both. At our FirstLight Party for my Whirlpool Observatorylast September, Ron Scherer made theNGC 6229 star ball one of the first targetsfor my 41-cm equatorial (a Newtonianwhich had begun life as a star-hoppingDobsonian). At 140× NGC 6229 was wellresolvedeven to my champagne-inhibitedeyes. One guest wanted to break thechampagne bottle over my telescope tolaunch it on its celestial journey, butthirstier observers prevailed.There is no pleasure quite likesummer observing. Enjoy!Retired weatherman Alan Whitman is nowa full-time amateur astronomer. His otherinterests include windsurfing on the OkanaganValley’s lakes, hiking and skiing on itsmountains and travel. He invites observingreports for use in this column from experiencedamateurs who have largely completed theirMessier list.Visit the RASC Websitewww.rasc.caContact the National Officerasc@rasc.caJoin the RASC’s E-mail Discussion ListRASC INTERNET RESOURCESThe RASCList is a forum for discussion between members of the RASC. The forum encourages communication between membersacross the country and beyond. It began in November 1995 and currently has about 225 members.To join the list, send an e-mail to listserver@rasc.ca with the words “subscribe rasclist Your Name (Your Centre)” as the first line ofthe message. For further information see: www.rasc.ca/computer/rasclist.htm144JRASC June/juin 1999


Ask GazerDear Gazer:I am fearful for the future of amateurastronomy. I was listening to the radiothe other day and they were talking abouthobbies and future trends expected as aresult of the coming retirement of the “babyboomers.” Part of the feature dealt withhobbies that are currently growing thefastest and are expected to keep growing.With all of the interest in space and sciencefiction, I would have thought that amateurastronomy would be fairly high in the list,but it was nowhere near the top. In fact,it wasn’t even mentioned. Can you believethat the fastest growing hobby, by far, isbird watching? What gives here?Dear Mixed Up:Mixed Up in Moose JawYou have raised an interesting issue. Ina way, amateur astronomy and birdwatching have a lot in common. Disciplesof both hobbies come in“observing,”“armchair,”and “hybrid”persuasions. Isuspect that any difference between thetwo hobbies lies mainly on theobservational side, as reading books isreading books, regardless of whether thepretty pictures are of an astronomical oravian nature. Let us see how they compareon the observational side.After some consideration, I realizedthat they are more alike than I had originallythought. Both use optical observingequipment, and you are limited only byyour budget (and how much stuff you arewilling to carry around with you). In eachcase, there are some objects that you cansee easily from your house (e.g. Venusand starlings). Others, for most people,require travelling to a more“pristine”location (e.g. the Veil Nebulaand bobolinks). And there are some itemsthat simply cannot be seen withouttravelling great distances (e.g. the LargeMagellanic Thingy and the Lesser GoldbreastedDitflicker).Of course, there are some advantagesto bird watching over astronomy. Weatheris one. For starters, you can do it during“normal” hours, unless you are into owls.It can be clear and sunny, overcast withdrizzle, or cloudy with snow flurries, andyou can still look for birds. Another bigadvantage of bird watching is that birdsin the field look like the pictures in thebooks. Three bird watchers looking at ablue jay will all see a blue jay and recognizeit as a blue jay, even if one is using theireyes, one using binoculars, and one usinga small telescope. In the same vein, whileyou can spend a lot of money on binoculars,you do not need a lot of the accessoriesthat you need for astronomy. Bird watchersdo not normally need Telrads to helpthem locate their quarry. I suspect thatbird watchers do not say: “I think it’s amale cardinal. Pass me my red finch filter.Using that and averted vision, I might beable to confirm it.”Not only do bird watchers have itover astronomers in terms of equipment,they also have a big drawing card in whatthey look at compared to what astronomerslook at. Let’s face it, most astronomicalobjects do not change a lot over time.When was the last time that you saw M51do anything different? Has it ever movedto a new constellation? Built a home?Eaten? Taken a bath? Propagated withanother galaxy? …hmmm maybe I shouldhave picked a different Messier object.You can see my point – while celestialobjects do change, birds do too, but ontime scales much more amenable to people.There is also the cuteness factor,which cannot be ignored. While manyastronomical objects such as Saturn, theAndromeda Galaxy or a bright comet caninspire awe, there is no way that they cancompete for cuteness with a chickadeeeating a sunflower seed, a male pheasanttrying to impress a female or an adultrobin stuffing worms into a “baby”thatis almost as big as it is.Bird watching also has a much greater“lottery”capability. While amateurastronomers can discover new cometsand have them named after them or findthe odd nova, that usually requires someeffort. There is little chance that someonein Halifax is going to casually look outhis window some night and spot a newglobular cluster. Compare that to birdwatching where one never knows for surewhat they are going to see when they lookout the window. An indigo bunting ora…hey is that a bald eagle circling upthere? Where are those binoculars?Gazer is a member of the Halifax Centre whowishes to remain anonymous. Gazer’s trueidentity is known only to past editors of NovaNotes, the Halifax Centre’s newsletter. Questionsto Gazer should be sent to gazer@rasc.ca.June/juin 1999 JRASC145


Scenic Vistas: A Mysterious Galaxy Quartet in Boötesby Mark Bratton, Montreal Centre (mbratton@generation.net)The single biggest challenge forobservers of the “deeper sky” is theability of the observer to correctlyidentify the object visible in his or hertelescope. Most amateur astronomersare limited by the accuracy of the sourcesreadily available to them, whether theybe catalogues, star atlases, or, in the 1990s,computer programs. Not surprisingly, thefainter the target is, the more likely thereis to be a problem with identification.Bright objects, of course, have beenobserved countless times by both amateurand professional astronomers, and theiridentities are well established. Yet asurprisingly large number of objects listedin the New General Catalogue and itssupplements, the Index Catalogues, arepoorly observed by professionals as wellas amateurs, and their identities andbackgrounds are not at all certain. Theunsuspecting amateur who trusts thesources at hand can easily be led astray.Sometimes a little detective work isnecessary to clear up identificationproblems.A problem of this nature began forme four years ago during the course ofmy project to systematically observe theentire Herschel catalogue. On a warmJune evening in 1995, my principal targetsfor the night were three moderately brightHerschel objects, plotted together onChart 77 of Uranometria 2000.0. NGC 5660,NGC 5673 and NGC 5676 were objectsthat should have been well within therange of my 15-inch reflector, and indeedNGC 5660 and NGC 5676 certainly were;both were quite bright and stood out wellat a magnification of 146×. When it cametime to observe NGC 5673, the third galaxyplotted on the chart, I did not have muchof a problem either. The galaxy was smallerand fainter than the first two, but notexactly a challenge. I made sketches ofall three galaxies and descriptive notesfor each, and moved on to other targetsfor the night.Doubts about my observations onthat night began a couple of monthslater on an evening when I was casuallylooking through John Vickers’ DeepSpace CCD Atlas: North. I came uponan image of NGC 5673, and was surprisedto note that there was another galaxyin the field. My surprise heightenedwhen I read the caption. One of thegalaxies, the brighter one, was identifiedas IC 1029. The implication was thatSir William Herschel had discoveredthe fainter galaxy but missed the brighterone, that despite the fact that they shouldhave both been visible in the field of histelescope.The first thing I did was to checkmy own observations. Sure enough, acomparison of my drawing with the CCDimage revealed that I had observed theobject identified by Vickers as IC 1029. Ihad made the sketch at 272× and the fieldof view was not large enough to includethe actual object designated NGC 5673.My first reaction was that Vickers hadprobably made a mistake in identifyingthe galaxies in his image. I resolved tocheck our Centre’s copy of the New GeneralCatalogue at the earliest opportunity.When I did so, I realized that Vickers hadgotten it right. The listing for NGC 5673,with discovery credited to William Herschel,was the following: F, S, cE, * 15 np. Forthose unfamiliar with NGC shorthand,that translates to: “Faint, Small, considerablyExtended, a star 15 th magnitude northpreceding.” As can be seen from theaccompanying image, it is a fairly accuratedescription.Next I checked the listing for IC 1029.Here I found that the discovery of theobject was credited to Guillaume Bigourdan,A image of NGC 5673 from the Digitized PalomarObservatory Sky Survey 1 .an accomplished observer at the ParisObservatory about a hundred years ago.The description: vF, S, lE, mbM (very Faint,Small, little Extended, much brighterMiddle) was also accurate, since he useda smaller telescope than Herschel’s, a 12-inch refractor. It was obvious that I hadmade an error in identification, thoughan understandable one. Uranometria2000.0 only plotted three galaxies in thefield when there were actually four. As ageneral rule the atlas plots NGC clusters,galaxies, and nebulae, and only theoccasional IC object. Generally speaking,IC objects, which were all cataloguedbetween 1888 and 1909, are fainter, oftendiscovered by photographic means. Inthe present instance, though, there wasa problem. An obviously brighter objectwas not plotted, though a fainter one was.I resolved at that point to re-observe thefield to see if the true NGC 5673 was visible,and also to try to figure out how Herschelcould have missed the brighter galaxy.An opportunity did not present itselfuntil two years later, in June 1997. On anevening when observing conditions were1Based on photographic data of the National Geographic Society — Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (NGS-POSS) obtained using the Oschin Telescope on Palomar Mountain. The NGS-POSS was fundedby a grant from the National Geographic Society to the California Institute of Technology. The plates were processed into the present compressed digital form with their permission. The Digitized SkySurvey was produced at the Space Telescope Science Institute under US Government grant NAG W-2166.Copyright (c) 1994, Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. All rights reserved.146JRASC June/juin 1999


similar to those of two years before, Iagain acquired the field and re-examinedthe three brightest galaxies before tryingto find the fourth. After a few momentsI found it. In my notes I wrote: “A veryfaint galaxy, appearing a little brighterat 146× than at 272×. Elongated NW/SE,the envelope is rather diffuse and poorlydefined. A little brighter along the majoraxis, though no brighter core is visible.A magnitude 13 star is visible off its NWtip.”I have long admired Sir WilliamHerschel’s observing abilities, and haveoften been astounded at the faintness ofthe objects found in his sweeps. Hisprincipal instrument, an 18.7-inchHerschelian reflector, was probably similarin efficiency to the 15-inch reflector thatI use, but I could not understand how hecould have missed IC 1029 yet pick upthe other three galaxies in the region.More alarming was the fact that at leasta hundred years had gone by between thetime of Herschel’s observation and theobservation of Guillaume Bigourdan. Hadno one observed that part of the sky foran entire century?Only recently has the mystery beenresolved, and we have that incredible1990s resource, the Internet, to thank.One of my favourite web sites is TheNGC/IC Project, which is a project involvingprofessional and advanced amateurastronomers whose stated goal is to resolveand correct all errors in the New GeneralCatalogue. While accessing the site, Icame upon the work of Dr. Harold Corwin,who has dedicated himself to clearing upas many identification errors as possible.His entry for NGC 5673 provides muchinformation that helps clear up some ofthe mystery surrounding the two galaxies.Evidently the identification problemcan be traced to a misinterpretation ofthe data by J. L. E. Dreyer, the person incharge of compiling the New GeneralCatalogue. It seems clear that Sir WilliamHerschel discovered the galaxy, laterdesignated IC 1029, during his initialsweep of the region, as his descriptionmatches that of the brighter galaxy. Henever observed the fainter galaxy. Manyyears later, when John Herschel retracedhis father’s sweeps of the sky, he cameupon the fainter galaxy, later identifiedas NGC 5673. Strangely, both Dreyer andJohn Herschel assumed there was onlyone galaxy in the field. Dreyer thoughtthat Sir William Herschel had made anerror in assigning his position to thegalaxy, and since he apparently had neverobserved the region himself, assumedJohn Herschel’s description and positionwere correct and so included it in thecatalogue. When Bigourdan came along,he observed two galaxies in the field, andsince the position and description forNGC 5673 were correct, identified IC 1029as a new object. He apparently observedthat object first, assumed that it wasNGC 5673, and stated that the starmentioned in the description for thefainter galaxy was not visible.Dr. Corwin’s conclusion is that theidentities of the objects should remainas they are, to avoid confusion. Yet itwould seem to me that, in a revised NGC(should one ever be published), thediscoverer of NGC 5673 should be listedas John Herschel and not William Herschel.William Herschel should also get creditfor discovering IC 1029, with Bigourdanlisted as a co-discoverer, albeit a centurylater. If you are interested in learningabout some of the other identificationproblems in the New General Catalogue,you can access the NGC/IC Project atwww.ngcic.com.Mark Bratton, who is also a member of theWebb Society, has never met a deep sky objecthe did not like. He is one of the authors ofNight Sky: An Explore Your World Handbook,which is scheduled to be published in theU.S. by Discovery Books in the summer of1999.June/juin 1999 JRASC147


Reviews of PublicationsCritiques d’ouvragesThe Physics ofthe InterstellarMedium, 2 ndEdition, by J. E.Dyson and D. A.Williams, pagesxiv + 165, 15.5 cm× 23 cm, Instituteof PhysicsPublishing, 1997.Price US$38.00soft cover. (ISBN 0-7503-0306-0 hard cover,0-7503-0460-X soft cover)As a one course exposure, or a careerlongseduction, the study of the interstellarmedium (ISM) offers many rewards.Fascinating astrophysical processes canbe found at all scales, from the formationof individual molecules to the vastsuperbubbles carved out by clusters ofhot stars. Environments range from denseregions of star formation to the mosttenuous pockets of the Galaxy.While this book does not purportto be a comprehensive study of the ISM,it does attempt to show how familiarphysics can be used to understand, atleast in principle, the many wonders foundin such an unfamiliar setting. Here thereader will find a wide range of physicsat play. For example, atomic physics isrequired to illustrate how heating andcooling occurs, and gas dynamics tounderstand interstellar shocks as well asmany of the radiation processes by whichwe learn about the ISM.The book is identified as part of aseries for graduates, but it seems to meto be aimed more towards seniorundergraduates in the physical sciences(a view supported by the authors’comments in the preface). In fact, thepresentation is very readable and couldbe enjoyed by even more junior studentsor others not frightened of a few equations.In a graduate text I would like to haveseen more technical information andderivations, and fewer qualitativediscussions and statements of results.On the other hand, for its size, this slimvolume accomplishes a great deal. I wouldbe happy if all graduate students couldacquire, retain and explain the materialas well as is done here.The book begins with an overviewof how we observe astrophysicalphenomena, touching on various radiationprocesses and the interaction ofelectromagnetic radiation with matter.Given its scope, however, the material isnot presented with much depth ordevelopment, particularly in areas suchas atomic spectroscopy or electromagnetictheory. Likewise, observational techniquesare not a major focus of the book, andthe reader will have to turn to morespecialized texts to go beyond what ispresented here on molecular physics andon the chemistry and physics of interstellargrains.The second half of the book gives acoherent view of varied energeticinteractions of stars with the ISM, includingthe evolution of ionized regions, stellarwind- and supernova-driven shocks andbipolar outflows from young stellar objects.There is very little attempt to integrateany astronomy into this section — forexample, by presenting real objects thatembody the physics being described. Tosome, that would add to the allure of acourse based on this book.While the book is a second edition,the only major update I could discernwas in the final chapter on star formation.Something more might have been addedabout the importance of magnetic fields,and also a few pages on the cooling ofshocked gas. Care has been taken in therearrangement and presentation of materialand in the refinement of a few numbers.There are also some aestheticimprovements, like crisper typesettingand new figures (the colour plates seemunnecessary), as well as a few moreinstructive problems that have been addedto various chapters. A step backwards isthe elimination of all references to theextensive literature for those who mightlike to explore the subject more deeplyor broadly, or to trace the historicaldevelopment of the ideas presented.To summarize, this book is acceptablefor an undergraduate overview, but fallsshort at the graduate level. My bottomline, though, is that the application ofbasic physics in an unfamiliar and oftenextreme environment like the ISMinevitably stretches the imagination,making a book like this a good read.Readers will surely learn a lot aboutprocesses that shape the ISM and thatinfluence galactic evolution. Enjoy it.Peter G. MartinPeter Martin is a Professor of theoreticalastrophysics at the Canadian Institute forTheoretical Astrophysics at the Universityof Toronto. His research concerns the evolutionof the galactic interstellar medium, as revealedby the multi-wavelength Canadian GalacticPlane Survey and major facilities like theHubble Space Telescope, with a focus oninterstellar dust, molecular hydrogen andgalactic nebulae.148JRASC June/Juin 1999


Is the UniverseOpen or Closed?The Density ofMatter in theUniverse, PeterColes and GeorgeEllis, pages xv +236, 15 cm × 22.5cm, CambridgeUniversity Press.1997. PriceUS$32.95 soft cover.(ISBN 0-521-56689-4)Determining the density parameter ofthe universe has remained perhaps thecentral question in cosmology since thediscovery of the universe’s expansion inthe 1930s. General relativity relates theaverage local density of matter to thechange in the rate of expansion. Thedensity parameter is a combination ofthe matter density and the expansionrate that allows us to describe with asingle number the evolution of the universe,its age, fate and overall geometry: openor closed.This book concentrates on variousefforts to measure the density parameter.What is striking is that the result toucheson virtually every area of cosmology(indeed the table of contents looks verymuch like that of many general cosmologytexts). It is a clear indication of the centralimportance of the density parameter tocosmology. The author attempts to drawfrom each area those aspects which touchon the question of the density parameter,but in a book of some 200 pages it isdifficult to cover any one topic in depth.The result is a whirlwind tour throughcontemporary cosmology at a level andpace that will appeal to some but may befrustrating to others.To a new student in cosmology, thebook provides a quick overview of thesubject, but lacks the detail to serve as acentral source. New ideas are introducedrapidly and the authors fearlessly dip intomathematical details as they wish. Thebook includes an excellent bibliography,and is up-to-date in the material it covers.To someone working in the field,there is relatively little that is new here;the primary attraction of the book is thatit serves as a concise primer in each ofthe selected topics. The topics include:the age of the universe (which must belarger than the ages of its constituents),classical cosmology (angular diameterdistances and more recent measures suchas gravitational lensing), nucleosynthesis(how the abundances of the light elementsdepends on the baryon density andexpansion rate at early times), constraintsfrom large-scale structure (the growthof fluctuations, gravitationally-drivenpeculiar velocities, and observations ofthe inter-galactic medium) and constraintsfrom observations of the cosmic microwavebackground radiation.Two of the most interesting chaptersin the book address issues that mostworking cosmologists generally regardas having little practical importance. Thefirst discusses the so-called “fine-tuning”arguments that are invoked to counterthe suggestion that we live in a universewith 20 percent of the critical density.(The critical density divides universesthat will expand forever from ones thatwill eventually recollapse.) The problemis that if we run the universe back in timeto some very early epoch — perhaps thePlanck time, when quantum effects beginto impinge on relativity — the densityparameter at that epoch becomes extremelyclose to the critical value. Indeed, to havea density parameter that is a factor of fivebelow the critical value today implies thatit must have differed from the criticaldensity by only 1 part in 10 60 at the Plancktime! The fact that we live in a universethat still appears to be “near” the criticalvalue suggests to many cosmologists thatit has precisely the critical density, anidea that is reinforced by inflationarytheory. The authors embark on aninteresting discussion of how we measurethe concept of “nearness” in such a context,and provide arguments that suggest thatwe must treat fine-tuning arguments withcaution.In a related discussion, the authorscritique the current fashion for a nonzerocosmological constant. This constantcontributes an effective energy densityto the universe. By choosing an appropriatevalue we may retain, in a low-densityuniverse, the flat spatial sections that area chief attraction of the critical densitymodels. Unfortunately, the very recentidea of “quintessence” — that thecosmological constant may be both spaceandtime-varying — seems to have missedthe publisher’s deadline. Some mentionis made in passing of the anthropicprinciple — that intelligent life can onlyform in universes with a restricted rangeof density parameters — and althoughinterest in such ideas is growing, it isprobably not appropriate to seek anextended discussion here.The cover advertises the book ascontroversial, but if the controversy refersto the fact that the density parametermay be less than critical, then I think thefield has matured three to five years beyondsuch a debate. Most cosmologists,particularly when discussing postrecombinationcosmology, have alreadyaccepted it as a true practical possibility.We do still wonder in our naive way aboutthe meaning of fine-tuning argumentsand the work hinted at in that section ofthe book is a fascinating glimpse into thequestions that must be answered if thedensity parameter turns out to be differentthan critical.The second topic that is not usuallycovered in cosmology texts is the questionof “smoothing” or averaging in the universe.It is generally assumed that the universeis homogeneous, or smooth, on largescales. Standard practice for a postrecombinationcosmologist is to assumethat one can simply blur out all of thesmall-scale irregularities in the universe,such as galaxies and clusters, and theresulting uniform matter distributionwill obey the relativistic field equationsfor a truly homogeneous universe. Themetric describing all of the observedirregularities is, of course, extremelycomplicated, but it is assumed that if oneapplies the naive classical smoothing,one will arrive at the metric appropriatefor a homogeneous universe. That hasnot been shown in relativity, and thereare suggestions that small-scale shear,for example, can contribute a net energydensity and, hence, affect the globalproperties of the universe. Most of us feelJune/juin 1999 JRASC149


sure, however, that it is of little practicalconsequence.Finally, this book is a good read. Asnoted above it covers a lot of ground andproceeds at a good pace. In their prefacethe authors note that the book originatedas a review article in the journal Nature.In a few places it is apparent that thesheer scope of the material wanted toexpand beyond the confines of the 200pages, and perhaps some harsh editinghas resulted in a few terms like the “Planck”time and the parameters “” describingthe equation of state and “” describingthe baryon density appearing out ofnowhere. The “EGS” (Ehlers-Geren-Sachs)analysis, which appeared in a footnote,required a quick trip to the index. A tablecomparing the success of variouscosmological tests in satisfying the standardcriteria of a successful theory suffers frominadequate headings and could have beenmuch more powerful. These are smallcriticisms, however. The book is wellpresented and builds a cogent argumentwith effective writing.A book very similar to this one couldhave been written in any of the past threedecades, albeit with different foci andstrengths. Interestingly, the constraintson the density parameter and many ofthe arguments about it have not changedover that period. This is all set to changeif the promise of the measurement ofanisotropies in the cosmic backgroundradiation is fulfilled. We stand a goodchance within the next decade, or perhapssignificantly earlier, of determining thebasic cosmological parameters of ouruniverse — including Hubble’s constantand the density parameter — to withinan accuracy of a few percent. This bookserves as a reminder that an epoch ofuncertainty may soon be drawing to aclose.Hugh CouchmanHugh Couchman is a professor in theDepartment of Physics and Astronomy atthe University of Western Ontario. His researchinvestigates the formation of cosmic structure,ranging from galaxies to large-scale structure,using numerical simulation.ADVERTISE IN THE JOURNALThe Journal now accepts commercial advertising. By advertising within these pages you willreach the over 3000 members of the RASC who are the most active and dedicated amateur andprofessional astronomers in Canada. It is also distributed by subscription to university librariesand professional observatories around the world.BLACK AND WHITE RATESSIZE One Insertion Three Insertions1/8 Page $125 $1151/4 Page $175 $1601/2 Page $250 $225Full Page $375 $340Inside Back Cover $500 $425Outside Back Cover $750 $550For information or to receive a copy of our advertising flyer contact:RASC Journal AdvertisingPO Box 31011, Halifax, NS, B3K 5T9Telephone: 902-420-5633Fax: 902-826-7957E-Mail: ads@rasc.ca150JRASC June/juin 1999


ObituaryNecrologieLUCIAN KEMBLELucian Kemble and his “Cascade”Father Lucian Kemble (1922–1999), agreat friend to amateur astronomersthroughout North America and aroundthe world, passed away in Regina,Saskatchewan on February 21, 1999, aftera massive heart attack.Given the name Joseph BertilleKemble, he was born on November 5,1922, on a farm near Pincher Creek, Alberta,where he developed a love of nature andan appreciation of the prairie night skywith the encouragement of loving parents.During the Second World War, he servedin the Canadian Air Force as a radiooperator. The time he spent at anobservation post in the Queen CharlotteIslands on the West Coast left a lastingimpression on him, and he often talkedof his experiences there. Following thewar, he entered the Franciscan Novitiate,whereupon he took the name of Lucian.After studying philosophy and theologyin Quebec, he was ordained as a priestin 1953.In the years following his ordination,Luc taught at the seminary in Regina andat colleges in Maine and Saskatchewan.Apart from four years in the late ‘70s,which he spent in parish work at PortAlberni, B.C., the rest of his vocation wasspent in preaching and counseling duringretreats at Mount St. Francis, Cochrane,Alberta, and at St. Michael’s, Lumsden,Saskatchewan, where he was living at thetime of his death. Lamplighter Luc wasthe sobriquet he adopted to reflect hislife-long quest for knowledge and anunderstanding of our place in the cosmos.Luc’s passion for astronomy was thecatalyst in many of the friendships heforged over the years. I first met Luc inthe fall of 1974 at Lumsden, shortly afterI took a position in the Physics Departmentat the University of Regina. By then, Lucwas already an avid astronomer. He haddone his basic training with binocularsand from a delightful book called TheStars, by H. A. Rey of Curious Georgefame, from which he learned new waysto see the constellations and gained aclear understanding of the celestialclockwork. Although there was a 28-yeardifference in age between us, we veryquickly became good friends. He had aCelestron-5 that he would set up in theRetreat House parking lot, and I wouldbring along another one from the university.We shared many long hours under thedark skies of Lumsden, enjoying viewsof the planets, double stars, star clusters,nebulae, and galaxies while refining ourobserving techniques and skills.Jean, my wife-to-be, joined us in thespring of 1975, and we continued as athreesome of observers. Our notorietywas established late in the summer ofthat year with the appearance of NovaCygni, which we noticed within 20 hoursof its discovery by observers in Japan. Wehad been studying objects down inAquarius, but decided to switch ourattention to the Milky Way in the regionof Cygnus. When we looked there, thesky was unrecognizable because of onebright “new” star. After consulting Luc’scharts, we sent a brave message off to theCentral Bureau for Astronomical Telegramsat the Smithsonian AstrophysicalObservatory suggesting a possible nova.Luc developed into an accomplishedand dedicated visual observer as evidencedby the certificates and awards he received(RASC Messier certificate in 1980,Astronomical League of America Herschel400 certificate in 1981, RASC amateur ofthe year in 1989, Webb Society award ofexcellence 1997) and by the observationsand photos that were published in Sky &Telescope and in Astronomy magazines.In 1980, Sky and Telescope publishedan innocent drawing of an observationmade from Luc’s observatory in Cochrane,Alberta. In the Deep-Sky Wonders columnwritten by Walter Scott Houston, LucJune/juin 1999 JRASC151


described what he saw as “...a beautifulcascade of faint stars tumbling from thenortheast down to the open cluster NGC1502.” Such delicate star patterns, withsubtle differences in brightness and colouramong the stars, were a source of constantpleasure to Luc, and he delighted inshowing them to anyone who wasinterested. The one he described in Sky& Telescope is now generally known asKemble’s Cascade. The Millenium StarAtlas in which the Cascade is labeled,presented to him in August, 1998, at theSouthern Saskatchewan Star Party, wasthe award that gave him the most pleasure.Over the years, we shared manyintense astronomical experiences withLuc, including Comet West in 1976, thetotal solar eclipse of 1979, which weobserved from Estevan, and more recently,comets Hyakutake in 1996 and Hale-Boppin 1997. When the skies were not filledwith such exotic objects, we enjoyedwatching meteor showers, spectacularauroral displays, and lunar eclipses. Wedelighted in the knife-edged cutoff of thelight from a star as it was occulted by theMoon or by an intervening asteroid, whilewe listened to the beat from our favouriteradio station — the time signal fromWWV. Luc even derived excitement fromthe predicted appearance of satellites asthey emerged from the Earth’s shadowinto sunlight high above us. And whenthere was no “special event” to observe,we shared the sky to the accompanimentof Bach and Vivaldi, coyotes and owls, orthe drumming of male sage grouse.Luc pushed his observing skills tothe limit. Whether it was double stars orplanets in the daytime sky or unreasonablyfaint galaxies in the darkest night skies,he found ways to see them. His enthusiasmwas infectious; many nights when Jeanand I had to leave early — around midnight— the graveyard shift of young initiateswould show up, and they would continueto observe into the wee hours of themorning. At age 76, he wondered why hefelt tired at 8:00 a.m. the next morning!Luc was still looking ahead when Italked to him over the phone on the Fridaymorning before his death. He was planningto shoot the latest Jupiter-Venusconjunction using the same recipe he hadfollowed for a similar conjunction backin February 1975 — the same two planetsin the same constellation, Pisces. He lovedto see the completion of cycles in the sky— part of the great cosmic clockwork.For those who would like to knowmore about him, there is a web pagededicated to Luc at http://www.jps.net/davestea/lucian/lucianhome.htm.Peter A. BergbuschWILHELMINA IWANOWSKAPoland re Professor WilhelminaIwanowska (1906–1999), of Poland, whowas an honourary member of the RoyalAstronomical Society of Canada, passedaway on May 16, 1999, at age 93. She wasan Honourary Citizen of Torun, Poland,and of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and a closefriend of Helen Hogg.Professor Iwanowska started hercarrier at the University of Stefan Batoryin Wilno (Vilnius), and then contributedto the development of astronomy in Torun.She was co-organizer of the Observatoryin Piwnice, and the first Director of theInstitute of Astronomy of the CopernicusUniversity in Torun.Professor Iwanowska was knownas a great scientist of worldwide reputation,as well as a friend of the Univeristyemployees and students. She had manyawards and honourary degrees, includinghonourary doctorates from Torun, Leicester(United Kingdom), and Winnipeg (Canada);she was the Vice-President of InternationalAstronomical Union and an honourarymember of the Royal Astronomical Societyand the Royal Astronomical Society ofBelgium, as well as the RASC.The funeral took place on May 21,1999.The President and Senate of theNicolas Copernicus University,Torun, Poland152JRASC June/juin 1999


THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY OF CANADANATIONAL OFFICERS AND COUNCIL FOR 1998-99/CONSEIL ET ADMINISTRATEURS NATIONAUXHonorary PresidentPresident1st Vice-President2nd Vice-PresidentSecretaryTreasurerRecorderLibrarianPast PresidentsEditor of JournalAssociate Editor of JournalEditor of Observer’s HandbookEditor of Beginner’s Observing GuideJack Locke, Ph.D., OttawaRandy Attwood, TorontoRobert Garrison, Ph.D., TorontoRajiv Gupta, Ph.D., VancouverRaymond Auclair, Unattached MemberMichael S. F. Watson, Unattached memberPeter Jedicke, LondonAndrew Oakes, B.A., M.A., Unattached MemberDouglas P. George, M. Eng. B.A.Sc., Ottawa and Douglas P. Hube, Ph.D., EdmontonDavid G. Turner, Ph.D., HalifaxPat Kelly, M.Sc., HalifaxRoy L. Bishop, Ph.D., HalifaxLeo Enright, KingstonExecutive Secretary Bonnie Bird, M.L.Sc., 136 Dupont Street, Toronto, ON, M5R 1V2 (Telephone: 416-924-7973)Calgaryc/o Calgary Science Centre, P. O. Box 2100, Station “M”, Loc #73,Calgary, AB, T2P 2M5Edmontonc/o Edmonton Space & Sciences Centre, 11211 - 142 St.,Edmonton, AB, T5M 4A1HalifaxP. O. Box 31011, Halifax, NS, B3K 5T9HamiltonP. O. Box 1223, Waterdown, ON, LOR 2HOKingstonP. O. Box 1793, Kingston, ON, K7L 5J6Kitchener-Waterlooc/o J. Brunton, 123 Grand River Street N., Paris, ON, N3L 2M4LondonP. O. Box 842, Station B, London, ON, N6A 4Z3MontréalP. O. Box 1752, Station B, Montréal, QC, H3B 3L3CENTRE ADDRESSES/ADRESSES DES CENTRESQuébec2000, boul. Montmorency, Québec, QC, G1J 5E7ReginaP. O. Box 20014, Cornwall Centre, Regina, SK, S4P 4J7St. John’sc/o 206 Frecker Drive, St. John’s, NF, A1E 5H9Sarniac/o Alice Lester, P.O. Box 394, Wyoming, ON, NON 1T0SaskatoonP. O. Box 317, RPO University, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 4J8Thunder Bayc/o 135 Hogarth Street, Thunder Bay, ON, P7A 7H1Torontoc/o Ontario Science Centre, 770 Don Mills Road, Don Mills, ON,M3C 1T3Vancouverc/o Gordon Southam Observatory, 1100 Chesnut Street, Vancouver, BC,V6J 3J9Centre Francophone de MontréalC. P. 206, Station St-Michel, Montréal, QC, H2A 3L9NiagaraP. O. Box 4040, St. Catharines, ON, L2R 7S3OkanaganP. O. Box 20119 TCM, Kelowna, BC, V1Y 9H2OttawaP. O. Box 33012, 1974 Baseline Road, Nepean, ON, K2C OEOVictoriac/o Bill Almond, 354 Benhomer Drive, Victoria, BC, V9C 2C6Windsorc/o Frank J. Shepley, 344 South Middle Road, R.R. # 2, Maidstone, ON,NOR 1K0WinnipegP.O. Box 2694, Winnipeg, MB R3C 4B3


Publications and Products ofThe Royal Astronomical Society of CanadaPromotional ItemsThe RASC has many fine promotional items that sport the National Seal. Pricesinclude postage and taxes. Included are a Cloth Crest (size 11cm with thebackground white and the stitching in royal blue - $11), Lapel pins (blue, white,and silver - $5), Golf shirts (white, available in small and medium - $24),Stickers (size 7.5cm, blue with white overlay - $1 each or 2 for $1.50), Thermalmugs (in blue and white - $5.50), Toques (Black with Yellow lettering - $17), Keychains (Clear arcylic and Blue/white - $2.50).The Beginner’s Observing GuideThis guide is for anyone with little or no experience in observing the night sky. Large, easy to readstar maps are provided to acquaint the reader with the constellations and bright stars. Basicinformation on observing the moon, planets and eclipses through the year 2005 is provided. Thereis also a special section to help Scouts, Cubs, Guides and Brownies achieve their respectiveastronomy badges.Written by Leo Enright (160 pages of information in a soft-cover book with otabinding which allowsthe book to lie flat).Price: $15 (includes taxes, postage and handling)Looking Up:A History of the Royal Astronomical Society of CanadaPublished to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the first meeting of theToronto Astronomical Club, “Looking Up — A History of the RASC” is anexcellent overall history of Canada’s national astronomy organization. Thebook was written by R. Peter Broughton, a Past President and expert on thehistory of astronomy in Canada. Histories on each of the centres across thecountry are included as well as dozens of biographical sketches of the manypeople who have volunteered their time and skills to the Society. (hardcover with cloth binding, 300 pages with 150 b&w illustrations)Price: $43 (includes taxes, postage and handling)*** Special Discount — Looking Up and the BOG — $50 ***Send cheque or money order to: RASC, 136 Dupont St., Toronto, ON, M5R 1V2 CanadaPlease allow 6-8 weeks for delivery. Orders outside Canada please remit in U.S. Funds.Major credit cards accepted. Call the National Office toll-free at 1-888-924-7272 to place your order.(copies of these publications may also be available directly from your local Centre)

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