Monday 1 April 2024

The Astronomy Show

 Join me, Martin Lunn MBE tonight and every Monday evening from 7.00 pm-9.00 pm on the Astronomy Show, probably the only regular astronomy show on any radio station in the country.

I will take my weekly look at the night sky and look at all the latest news in astronomy. There will be the astronomical anniversaries this week plus the A-Z of Constellations.



The Astronomy Show every Monday evening only on Drystone Radio live on line at www.drystoneradio.com DAB radio in Bradford and East Lancashire, or 102 and 103.5 FM and can also be heard later on the Drystone Radio Podcast.

Sunday 31 March 2024

Mr Tetley of Leeds, sunspots and a Cooke telescope

 In October 1930 Mr Tetley of Headingley, Leeds used his 4 inch Thomas Cooke & Sons telescope to observe the Sun. He took some photographs of the great sun spot group of October that year. In particular on October 10th the photographs very clearly showed the changes which took place in the groups which crossed the central meridian

I am not sure if the telescope had a photo visual lens or not.



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Friday 29 March 2024

TIROS 1

 Weather is always a major talking point between people, it can be hot, cold, wet or dry.

We are also used to getting fantastic images beamed done from weather satellites orbiting the Earth showing just what the weather is going to be, this includes incredible pictures of hurricanes from space.

However all these modern satellites can trace their time lines back to TIROS 1 the very first weather satellite which was launched on April 1st 1960. TIROS stands for Television Infrared Observation Satellites.

TIROS 1 was an experimental weather satellite built by NASA and would operate until June 1960 when an electoral fault occurred and the probe failed.

Although the pictures it sent back are poor by the standards of today it showed what could be done to help meteorologists predict the weather today.



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Wednesday 27 March 2024

Rev RJ Gould, Jupiter and his Cooke telescope

 The Rev RJ Gould (1802-1880) Windsor Lodge Taunton, Somerset purchased a 5 inch telescope from Thomas Cooke & Sons in 1864, complete with an iron pillar for an observatory.

Soon after he purchased the telescope he became vicar at Mortimer Vicarage, Reading where he would spend the rest of his life.

While using the 5 inch telescope and he was observing Jupiter on October 7th1868 at 11h and 43 mins when he noticed an error in the Nautical Almanac on page 480.

It stated that the 3rd satellite will be on the west side of its primary in company with the 2nd and 4th; The fact was that it was on the east side with satellite number 1. The places of 2 and 4 were right enough but number 3 was certainly not so.

Gould goes on to say that we have no right to expect even the Nautical almanac to be absolutely free from errors and misprints, but I should like to know whether others have observed this or whether it can be shown to have been a mistake on the part of myself.

During the following days several observers confirmed Gould’s observations that the satellite was in the wrong place.

Following his death in 1880 the Cooke 5 inch telescope together with an observatory was offered for sale. I don’t know if this was a Cooke observatory or a home made one.




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Tuesday 26 March 2024

The Date of Easter and Yorkshire

 Yorkshire has a claim as to why the date of Easter changes every year. It was decided at Whitby in the year 664.

The Christian feast of Easter commemorates the suffering of Christ and the death on the cross (Good Friday) and his resurrection three days later (Easter Sunday).

The Gospels tell us this happened during the Jewish festival of the Passover, the date of which is determined by the lunar calendar, or the monthly cycle of the Moon.

The early Christian church adopted this lunar calculations for the date of Easter. In the 4th century, it was agreed that Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday must be celebrated on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the Spring Equinox.

This seems simple enough. However there was disagreement about just when the date of the Spring Equinox was, the days of the lunar month on which it was permissible for Easter Sunday to fall and even the hour of the day when Easter Sunday began.

In Yorkshire, in 664 King Oswiu of Northumbria decided to settle the matter once and for all. He called a meeting of leading churchmen and nobles at the monastery he had founded at Whitby. This event became known as the Synod of Whitby.

Following the meeting it was decided that the teachings of Rome should be followed as to how to calculate the date of Easter.

This means that Easter Sunday is the first Sunday following the full moon after the spring equinox. As the period of time it takes the Moon to orbit the Earth is roughly 29 days or one month, which is in fact a modern word and comes from the old word ‘moonth’.

Therefore the date of Easter Day or Easter Sunday can be as early as March 22nd or as late as April 25th



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Monday 25 March 2024

The Astronomy Show

 Join me, Martin Lunn MBE tonight and every Monday evening from 7.00 pm-9.00 pm on the Astronomy Show, probably the only regular astronomy show on any radio station in the country.

I will take my weekly look at the night sky and look at all the latest news in astronomy. There will be the astronomical anniversaries this week plus the A-Z of Constellations



The Astronomy Show every Monday evening only on Drystone Radio live on line at www.drystoneradio.com DAB radio in Bradford and East Lancashire, or 102 and 103.5 FM and can also be heard later on the Drystone Radio Podcast.

The Rev J Glover of Northants and his Cooke telescope

 In 1865 the Rev J H Glover of Kingethorpe, Northants brought a 4 inch educational style Thomas Cooke & Sons telescope with a finder. The tube was painted black. The telescope came with an equatorial mounting plus a sun prism and 4 eyepieces.



                                                          www.theramblingastronomer.co.uk