BAA Summer Meeting 2012

This meeting was hosted by Crayford Manor House Astronomical Society, the weather wasn’t great but we did manage to get the Solar scopes out for a short while. The lectures were great.

Europe goes to Jupiter

Dr Chris Arridge
All about project JUICE an ESA mission to Jupiter


Dr Dan Andrews
All about missions to comets with some insight into the Beagle 2 mission

Application of penetrators for the Exploration of planets & the Moon

Dr Rob Gowen
Title says it all really

Differentiating between dead comets and Asteroids

Prof. Iwan Williams
All about categorisation of asteroids and coments and how/ if they can/should be classified differently

Working on Mars

Dr Craig Leff
All about how to manage robotic missions on Mars.
























BAA Exhibition Meeting 2010

Location: Greenwich, London, UK.

This meeting included a (Free) trip to the Planetarium organised by the SPA, and then the BAA exhibition meeting down the hill. At the meeting our founder, Gordon Taylor received an Award from the BAA.

Solar Eclipse 2008 August 1st, China

This eclipse was special for its colours around the horizon. There were wonderful oranges and reds all around, the clouds lit up, some dark in silhouette, some golden, glowing yellowy-orange in the distance. You could see the shadow approaching against the clouds and then rushing away as it left. A great and wonderful experience that we will all never forget.

During the eclipse it was possible to see a prominence at about 2 o’clock and the planets Venus and Mercury were easily visible.

The desert venue for this eclipse was a little windy, buffeting equipment and making imaging and video at high magnifications a little difficult.

Totality video by Member Andy Barber. Also featuring Maddy and Martin Crow and family. Venus and Mercury are also visible.

The video above shows the site used to observe the Solar Eclipse. Video by Andy Barber.

Images by Mike Rushton

Eclipse China 2008 Mike Rushton

Images by Martin Crow

Eclipse2008 Martin Crow

Images by Andy Barber

Solar Eclipse 2008 China  ANdy Barber01/08/2008 10:25

 Total Solar Eclipse Image by Andy Barber 01/08/2008 11:18

Eclipse China Image by Andy Barber 01/08/2008 11:07

 Total Solar Eclipse Image by Andy Barber 01/08/2008 11:33

 Total Solar Eclipse Image by Andy Barber 01/08/2008 11:07

 Total Solar Eclipse Image by Andy Barber 01/08/2008 11:07

Solar Eclipse 2006 Turkey & Libya

Two teams of Crayford members went to image the March 2006 total eclipse:

Arthur Cockburn, Jean & Brian Felles, Mike Rushton and Rita Whiting

Andrew Barber, Martin Crow, Malcolm Gough, Keith Rickard and Julian Tworek


Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak, NASA’s GSFC

Images by Arthur Cockburn





Images by Jean Felles











Images by Brian Felles


Images by Mike Rushton





Images by Martin Crow



Images By Julian Tworek






Solar Eclipse, 2005, October 3rd, Spain

Keith Rickard travelled to Plaza Mayor in Madrid to observe the Annular Eclipse. This location was very close to the centre line of the eclipse path.

In the UK there was a partial eclipse and Honor Wheeler and Julian Tworek imaged it, Honor in white light and Julian in Hydrogen Alpha light.

Images by Keith Rickard

Below are some of the images Keith Rickard took with his Olympus OM1 SLR camera with a 420mm lens with a converted eclipse spectacles lens for a filter. Kodak Elite chrome 200 film was used. In the images below you can see Baily’s Beads and multiple shadows of the partial eclipse phase.



Images By Julian Tworek

The following images were taken by CMHAS member Julian Tworek from his observatory in Sidcup, Kent. They are of the annular eclipse but are seen as partial from the UK.

The images were taken using a Coronado PST (H-Alpha) telescope mounted on a Meade LXD55 mount, taken afocally with a Canon A510 compact camera. Plenty of prominences are visible if you click on the images.

Images by Honor Wheeler

The following images were taken by CMHAS member Honor Wheeler from her home in Wilmington near Dartford, Kent. They are of the annular eclipse but are seen as partial eclipse from the UK.

The images were taken using a Meade ETX 105 telescope, taken afocally with a Fuji E550 digital camera (set to auto), through a 26mm eyepiece with BAADER Astrosolar safety film and yellow filter.

Solar Eclipse 2003 Antarctica 24th November

A total solar eclipse is an unforgettable experience anywhere in the world but to stand beneath the Moon’s shadow in Antarctica must surely be the most memorable.

I was fortunate to be one of the 98 passengers on board the Russian icebreaker ‘Kapitan Khlebnikov’ which made its way through the field ice to the Davis Sea where we were one of the first people to experience a total solar eclipse in Antarctica.
An ‘inconsiderate cloud’ covered much of totality giving us only a glimpse of the corona and a brief flash of the diamond ring but it meant that I could concentrate on the moon’s shadow as it rushed like a huge storm cloud across the ice and stranded icebergs, and marvel at the pink and gold colours on the horizon.

For us on local ‘ship time’ totality occurred at 6:36am on 24 November 2003, ship time being UT +8hrs. Our position was 65º 55’S and 89º 16’E.
Valarie Stoneham


Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak, NASA’s GSFC

Images by Valarie Stoneham

On our journey to the eclipse site we stopped briefly at the Kuerguelen Islands. Only one of these islands is large enough to attempt a landing and it was here that 3 expeditions, despatched from Britain, Germany and the United States, established stations to observe the transit of Venus in 1874.

Two members of the expedition team on the Kapitan Khlebnikov, using informaition from modern maps and Airy’s report compliled in 1881, discovered the site of the US station near the location at Point Malloy. All that remained was a short brick pillar which had lost a few bricks from the top (this may once have borne an inscription) and two iron telescope foundations but they were able to measure the position accurately using a Global Positioning System.

Solar Eclipse 2002 December 4th , Australia

Member Jean Felles travelled with her husband, Brian to Australia to view this Eclipse.

The eclipse site was situated at KOOLYMILKA, North West of Woomera, South Australia.

Position: 30º 57.443’S and 136º 31.464’E.

Local time = UT +10½ hours






Photos taken with 500mm mirror lens plus 1.4x converter = 700mm at approximately F12 on 400 ASA Fujichrome film.

Discovery of Asteroid 1997 WQ28 by Crayford Member

On the evening of 30th November 1997 we were obtaining CCD frames for the UKNova/ Supernova patrol using a 10″LX200, operating at f3.3 and StarlightXpress. At 21.30UT we imaged a suspect object near ngc765, a type SBb/Sc, 14th mag spiral galaxy in Aries. Estimating the magnitude at brighter than 16 we initially thought we might have discovered a second supernova as this was rather bright for a new asteroid and no known asteroid was in the region of the galaxy. We used the Sky v4 to control the LX200 and always load the 34000 minor planets before we start patrolling so are forewarned of any asteroid in the field. We also checked Megastar and the new service to check supernova suspects for minor planets at the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams Web site:

A second image 25 minutes later clearly showed movement, ruling out a supernova. Ignoring our chagrin we took a final image at 22.28UT, measured the positions using astrometrica, a commercial astrometry software package and sent a report to Martin Mobberley, deputising for Guy Hurst who was away on business.

Asteroid 1997 WQ28 discovery image by Mark Armstrong

Asteroid 1997 WQ28 Follow-up image by Stephen Laurie

The skies remained cloudy until on 3rd December we imaged six overlapping fields twice, approximately one hour apart to try and recover the suspect. At this stage we had to estimate where we thought the suspect should be as we don’t have the software to calculate a rough ephemeris from initial observations. We picked up only one object showing movement and not appearing in the `Real Sky` field but were doubtful that it was the suspect as it appeared at least 0.5 magnitude fainter and CCD images taken near the ecliptic can often reveal faint asteroids. However we measured the new positions and reported to Guy Hurst.

Meanwhile on 2/3 December Stephen Laurie, having seen our original report but unable to respond immediately due to business, imaged an object in the approximate position. Using Computer-Aided Astrometry, another commercial software package, he imputed all the measured positions to date and concluded that they were all the same object!
Guy reported the observations to the Minor Planet Centre on 6th December and the asteroid received the official designation 1997 WQ28. We have now secured 28 observations over a 55 day arc and the object has still not been linked to a previously designated object. Our previous `discovery` 1997 DV was linked to 1990 QN5, discovered at Palomar!

Article originally by Mark Armstrong