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John Harrison and Longitude ~ Brian Mills FRAS


Brian looks briefly at navigation before the Longitude Prize and why the prize came about and then reviews the various ideas put forward for finding longitude at sea including some of the more bizarre ones.

The focus imoves to the Harrison’s and their timepieces but puts that story into context with how they interact with the Board of Longitude and the Astronomer Royal and the method he championed.

Finally Brian looks at one or two postscripts to the Harrison’s story.

Brian has been interested in Astronomy since the age of 11 when an Aunt and Uncle bought him a Patrick Moore astronomy book. He was very lucky that another class member at secondary school was also interested.

He is a Fellow of the RAS and a member of the BAA for whom he writes the “Sky Notes” in their bi-monthly “Journal”. He is also a member of the SPA and Chairman of the Wadhurst Astronomical Society.  Observationally he has been observing lunar occultations (including grazing occultations) for more than 40 years. He also does some imaging but just haven’t mastered it yet!


An update on Solargraphy - Bob Okines/David Pulley


Earlier this year many of us embarked upon a the project of Solargraphy using conventional B&W photographic paper and a beer can.  Here we see some of the results and explore how we can improve upon them.


Occultation of Neptune - Simon Allen


On Thursday evening (15th September) you will be able to see Neptune pass behind the Moon.  Unfortunately the Moon is nearly full so seeing this will prove very difficult.


What is in the news: Proxima b - David Pulley


In late August and published in Nature, astrophysiscists announced that our nearest star, Proxima Centuri, have a small accompanying planet, Proxima b.  We will look at how they identified this planet and how many of its properties were determined.


The Local Group