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THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY OF CANADA METEOR SECTION PRELIMINARY NEWS-LETTER 1 August, 1966 I'd better start this news-letter off by apologizing to all active and potential meteor observers in general, and to kiss Isabel K. Wifliamson, the National Chairman of the Standing Committee on Observational Activities in particular, for the embarrassed silence of this Section since I was appointed Co-ordinator. Meteor observing is a field in which amateurs without specialized equipment can make an important contribution and enjoy themselves at the same time The prime requirements are enthusiaem, familiarity with the constellations, and a willingness to stay up when the majority of citizens have hit the sack. All other things being equal, more meteors are seen between midnight and dawn than between dusk and midnight. After all, those arriving before midnight have to overtake the Zerth from the rear, while those we see in the wee small hotus are meeting us head-on. Thus the latter will, tend to be brighter, and there will be more of them. This is a field, also, in which the younger member can come into his (or her!) own. Here in Ottawa, we have two groups of experienced observers (Hillcrest and Queensway) made up of high school students. So, if you are thinking of starting or expanding a meteor observing group, don't neglect people of high school age as a source of recruits after a short period of training, they can develop into very effective observers. It is my intention to have the first few bulletins deal with such topics as setting up a visual observing station, the type of information to be gathered by visual observers, and the recovery of meteorites after a suspected fall. Later bulletins will deal with meteor photography and spectroscopy, telescopic meteors, and the collection of fireball reports from untrained observers. I would like to stress that these bulletins will be in the nature of advice from one amateur to another, and will not be laying down hard and fast rules. If you have any ideas of your own, go ahead and try them out, and please let me know the results. I would like to have your comments on the bulletins and news-letters (including this one!), and also news of your group or Centre's activities in the meteor observing field. (But not the data you've collected, please send that to the Meteor Centre, National Research Council, Ottawa 2, Ontario, where Dr. Peter U. Millman will feed it to his hungry computors). There have bean a number of brilliant fireballs seen lately, and it is important to remember that most of the people from whom observations of this class of object can be collected do not know what it is they hate seen. Reports ot flying saucers, or unconfirmed stories of planes crashing in flames, unexplained noises from the sky, and other peculiar happenings, should be investigated otherwise the chance of a meteorite recovery may be lost. Remember, reporters and others who work in the mass-communication field cannot be expected to be familiar with meteoritic phenomena. In this connection, it's instructive to read the reports of the meteorite which fell in Barwell, England, last Christmas Eve (see Sky and Telescope, July 1966, page 7, and Journal of the British Astronomical Association, April 1966, page 192), and compare it with the recoveries of the Bruderheim meteorite of 4 March 1960 and the Peace River meteorite of 31 March 1963 (see Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada: October 1961, page 218; and June 1964, page 109, respectively), I personally think the comparison reflects great credit on our Western meteorite reeovery experts. ... 2