THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY OF CANADA
252 College Street, Toronto 2-B , Ontario
STANDING COMMITTEE ON OBSERVATIONAL ACTIVITIES
Bulletin No. 2 Maple, Ontario,
There have been replies to our first Bulletin from seven Centres: Montreal,
Quebec, Ottawa, Hamilton, Halifax, Kingston and Niagara Falls. All of these
Centres have appointed Lunar contacts. Sane do not have active Lunar observing
groups but have expressed interest in starting a Lunar programme. For these
Centres, it has been decided to prepare a series of "Information Bulletins".
These will provide the basic data necessary for planning a worthwhile programme.
The provisional list of titles is as follows:
1. Lunar Sketching.
2. The Sun' s Selenographic Colongitude.
3. Lunar Charts and Naps.
4. What to Observe on the Moon.
5. Books on the Moon.
6. The Recording of Observations.
Centres wishing to receive these special Bulletins should notify the National
Co-ordinator through their Lunar contact. Any suggestions you may have for
similar or alternative material will be welcome, and we shall do our best to
answer any specific enquiries you might have regarding Lunar observing.
Our first reported observation canes from the Ottawa Centre. Mr. W. M.
Cameron has forwarded a summary of Mr. David Fisher's observations of the August
lunar eclipse. Mr. Fisher observed from Ottawa through variable cloudiness
using a pair of firmly mounted 10 X 50 binoculars. He timed the ingress of
the umbra at 20hr. 36m.25 and the egress at 23hr. 41m.0, and also timed contacts
of the umbra with some of the larger craters. Due to weather conditions and
limited optical aid, Mr. Fisher concentrated on colour estimates. Figure 1
shows the moon's appearance at 21hr. 38m. as the umbra (orange) was crossing the
lunar surface. The yellow area represents the brighter penumbra. Between
21hr. 45m. and 22hr. 08m, colourations remained fairly stable. Figure 2 shows
the appearance at mid eclipse (22hr. 08m.). The overlapping areas on the east
and west limbs were reported as a mixture of the two neighbouring colours.
Such colour effects are usually regarded as originating in variable refrac-
tion in the earth's atmosphere, but there may be other causes, not fully under-
stood, some of which could have a lunar origin. These possibilities were fully
discussed at the November meeting of the Ottawa Observer's Group. Any comments
or theories from other Centres would make interesting material for a later lunar
(Two diagrams here.)
Other observational. reports cane from the Montreal and Toronto Centres. These
two groups are collaborating on a catalogue of lunar domes. It is hoped that this
will culminate in a list giving rectangular co-ordinates and brief descriptions of
each of these puzzling lunar objects. The aims of the National Observing Committee
would be furthered by the participation of other Centres in this project especially
those with active and experienced lunar observers. Duplication of effort is no
barrier here since confirmatory observations are of value. Descriptive data or
sketches of well-known examples and reports of suspected dome-like object are
equally valuable. Further reports of this project will be made in later Bulletins.
We hope that from these small beginnings we can extend our efforts to cover more
of the many interesting fields of amateur lunar research. This will depend on the
response of Centres willing to pool their results with their fellow R.A.S.C. members
from Halifax to Vancouver. Raymond R. Thompson, Lunar Section.
Lunar Section Bulletin No. 2