Leo Enright (1943-2009) was a prominent member of the RASC, whose many contributions furthered the RASC’s educational and public outreach goals. Leo was the originator and long-time author of our best-selling Beginner’s Observing Guide, he effectively served his centre and the national Society in responsible positions, he was the recipient of the Service Award, and he and his spouse Denise Sabatini were honoured by the IAU through the naming of minor planet Ensab (9070). But above all, Leo was someone who encouraged people to go out and experience the heavens in real time for themselves.
Now thanks to the generosity of Denise Sabatini, Leo’s observing logs have been donated to the RASC. This invaluable record of a life spent in astronomical pursuits has been digitized, and is available for perusal here. Also featured is an essay by David Levy on the cultural significance of Leo's logbooks, and on Leo as an observer, friend, and proponent of astronomy. Logbooks of dedicated amateurs, aside from any records of discoveries or good scientific data they may contain, are important as witnesses to styles of observing and varieties of observing. They can serve as examples for emulation, and may provide observing suggestions in regard to objects, instrumentation, and techniques. They can also serve as primary historical evidence for how active amateur astronomy was done in specific places at specific times, for all sorts of fields — the history of citizen science, cultural studies, communication and literary studies, dissemination of technologies, cognitive psychology, recreology — the sky is literally the limit for the possibilities.
It is fitting that Leo’s observing logs now join those of his good friend David Levy. We invite you to dip into them in search of inspiration.
The copyright of the logbooks resides with the RASC; questions reagrding use or reporduction should be addressed to the Society's National Archivist.