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From: TerryMosel@aol.com
Date: Thu, 25 Apr 2002 19:43:26 EDT
Subject: Planets & New Astronomy History Soc

Hi all,

Have you seen all the five naked-eye planets together yet? I got a super view 
from a local hill with a a good NW horizon on Tuesday: I was able to see 
Mercury with the naked eye from 21.30 to 22.20 BST - one of the longest 
spells ever in my career. The other planets were easy, of course, although 
Mars is disappointingly faint compared even to Saturn. I tried some photos; 
hope they come out OK. Also another view from my garden the next evening, but 
not so good due to restricted horizon.

But the best views are still to come, in early to mid - May, particularly 
after the Moon leaves the evening sky. So keep looking. All you need is a 
good W to NW horizon: start looking from about 9.45 p.m.

Some of you may be interested in the following announcement, via Dr Ian 
Elliott of Dunsink (still?): 



A new national Society for the History of Astronomy is being formed, with the 
support of noted astronomy historian Dr. Allan Chapman of Wadham College, 
Oxford.  The Society will welcome equally amateur and professional historians 
and astronomers, and enthusiasts with a general interest in the subject.  The 
objectives of the Society will include encouraging new research into the 
history of astronomy, especially amateur research at the local level, and 
facilitating its collation, publication and dissemination both by 
conventional means and through the internet.

It is planned to develop a close working relationship with the Royal 
Astronomical Society and the British Astronomical Association Historical 
Section, with the aim of contributing research material and publications to 
both of their Libraries as well as maintaining a central Archive and 
promoting the preservation of such research in local, county and national 
record offices.

Stuart Williams of the SHA said "Astronomers know well the major contribution 
that amateurs can and do make to the study of the great science, both making 
new discoveries and supporting the major research programmes of the 
professionals.  Amateur and local historians can make an equally important 
contribution to the history of astronomy, especially its local history or in 
those aspects of history which are not always covered by professionals, such 
as that of the scientists assisting the 'big names', the local and university 
observatories, the amateur astronomers and societies, the telescope makers 
and publishers, etc.  The SHA will have as one of its primary aims the 
encouragement and support of amateur research in these areas especially, but 
will also encourage professional research and the widest possible general 
interest in the subject"

The Society for the History of Astronomy will be founded at a special meeting 
organised for the purpose at Wadham College, Oxford, on Saturday 29th June 
2002 at 1pm.  A light lunch will be available at modest cost before the 
meeting, at 12 noon.  Anyone interested in joining the new Society and 
contributing to its work is very welcome to attend that meeting, and for 
further details and a formal Invitation should indicate their interest by 
sending an A4 first class stamped s.a.e. to:

Stuart Williams FRAS LRPS, Society for the History of Astronomy, Flamsteed
Villa, 26 Matlock Road, Bloxwich, West Midlands, WS3 3QD.

Stuart Williams can be contacted by email on flamsteed@v21mail.co.uk

Good luck,

Terry Moseley

Last Revised: 2002 April 26th
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