MIRA 34October 1994
and western plains of LACUS MORTIS
Drawn by Vaughan Cooper
10th January 1992
17.35 to 18.35 U.T.
Telescope; 6.5" Cooke Refractor.
The crater BURG lies at 45°N, 28°E in the Lacus Mortis, it is 40km in diameter. To the west of the crater runs a 100km rill called the Rimae Burg
A letter off Vaughan Cooper adds another item to the list of Cameras Obscura which Mike Frost supplied. It is at the Astronomy Centre, Bacup Road, Todmorton, Lancashire. Vaughan is sure this was in operation a few years ago, so does any member know if it is still in working order or if it still exits? Also he adds that, "..the late Horace Dell had one installed in the roof space of his house in Luton. I visited Horace once, a few years ago and saw it in action. What's happened to it now I have no idea."
Again does anyone know? As well as Cameras Obscura, other possible visits with an astronomical theme could be to Planetaria. In this country, only the ones at London and Greenwich are well known, with a recent addition of the Jodrell Bank planetarium. But a letter from Carl Zeiss Jena Ltd., dated December 1984, lists small Planetarium which have been installed by them at Glasgow Nautical College, Liverpool Merseyside Museum, Plymouth Nautical College, Wandsworth Comprehensive Schools and Rickmansworth School along with the Science Museum in London. I have not heard of any of these.A school's planetaria will be, I imagine, private to that particular school, but what of the others? Has any member of the society heard of any or visited any of them and when? Did any one see the Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 impacts on Jupiter? I did look and I think I saw a faint smudge near the terminator just before the planet disappeared behind a bush, so was that one of the impact sites swinging into view, or was it just wistful thinking?
The seeing was very bad with the planet being so low in the evening sky. But it was clear - which is quite a change because most of the other interesting astronomical events which come along during the year are on some of the cloudiest, wettest days of the year.
CAMERAS OBSCURA - UPDATE
By Mike Frost
On May Day I found myself standing on the Great Orme in Llandudno, looking at a sign pointing to the "Camera Obscura", and I remembered my promise to try and compile a definitive list of cameras obscura around Britain and beyond, following my talk at the last member’s evening. New readers may like to know that a camera obscura or "dark chamber" is a darkened room into which is projected an image of the outside world - like being on the inside of a pinhole camera. Before this century large scale cameras were popular tourist attractions, and smaller or even portable cameras were much used by artists to record their subject in comfort. The modem usage of the word camera derives from a portable camera obscura with a photo-sensitive plate to record the image.
The current camera obscura in Llandudno is not the first, as the curator explained to me. He used to nm the old camera for the council, but unfortunately it was closed down, and the lens went missing in storage. Never mind - the curator built his own camera obscura, with a four inch lens, which he now operates privately - he’ll demonstrate it on payment of a pound. The construction is very reminiscent of back garden observatories the nation over, except perhaps for the globe-like structure on top housing the aperture, which looked to me as if it had been adapted from a motorcycle helmet. The new camera stands next to the site of the old one, on a rise above the putting green.
The curator believed that there were 7 or 8 cameras in existence around Britain, and I reproduce his list here:
Location Country Notes
4 inch aperture, on site of older, larger camera
Wales Claimed to be the world’s largest aperture - 22"
Douglas Isle of Man 12 separate fixed apertures, giving a 360 degree
panorama. Built during the 1880s.
Edinburgh Scotland Built 1856
Dumfries Scotland Built 1836
Bristol England On the Clifton suspension bridge - built 1829
Brighton England Originally at the Gateshead garden festival -
Cameras obscura come in all shapes and sizes, so there are a large number of portable examples, for example:
Bradford England Indoor cameras at the photographic museum
I have also heard of one overseas camera:
Paris France On the Bois de Boulogne
(I thought there was one in Alice Springs, but on re-reading my guidebook, this turns out to be a painted panorama and nothing to do with cameras obscura)
Finally, for completeness I note the former location of some cameras which didn’t survive:
Brighton England By the Palace pier
Do let me know if you visit any of these, or indeed find one I haven’t heard of.
LUNAR NAMES AND MEANINGS
How is your latin on the names given to the different Lunar features? The following list of names of various features gives the Latin and English
meanings of them. They are the modern names now given to the lunar surface
which were substituted in 1972 for the older original names.
LATIN NAME MEANING
Lacus Aestatis Summer Lake
Lacus Autumni Autumn Lake
Lacus Bonitatis Lake of Good
Lacus Doloris Lake of Suffering
Lacus Excellentiae Lake of Excellience
Lacus Felictatis Lake of Happiness
Lacus Gaudi Lake of Joy
Lacus Hiemalis Winter Lake
Lacus Lenitatis Lake of Tenderness
Lacus Mortis Lake of Death
Lacus Odii Lake of Hate
Lacus Perseverantiae Lake of Persistence
Lacus Somniorum Lake of Dreams
Lacus Spei Lake of Hope
Lacus Temporis Lake of Time
Lacus Timoris Lake of Fear
Lacus Veris Spring Lake
Mare Anguis Serpent Sea
Mare Australe Southern Sea
Mare Copnitum Known Sea
Mare Crisium Sea of Crises
Mare Fecunditatis Sea of Fertility
Mare Frigoris Sea of Cold
Mare Humboldtianum Humboldt's Sea
Mare Humorum Sea of Moisture
Mare Imbrium Sea of Rains
Mare Insularum Sea of Isles
Mare Marginis Border Sea
Mare Nectaris Sea of Nectar
Mare Nubium Sea of Clouds
Mare Orientail Eastern Sea
Mare Serenitatis Sea of Serenity
Mare Smythii Smyth's Sea
Mare Spumans Foaming Sea
Mare Tranquillitatis Sea of Tranquillity
Mare Undarum Sea of Waves
Mare Vaporum Sea of Vapours
ASTRONOMER OF ASTRONOMY
By SJ Payne
Out into the dark I go
It's Dark . . . . . . It's Dark
All goes quite in the dark
Owls like it dark
I like it Dark.
Under the Stars
All those Stars as points of light
I like the Stars at night in the Dark
Its nice in the Dark
I like it Dark.
Got my Torch
Got my Pencil
Got my Paper
Got my Eraser
Ohh I do like it Dark.
Off with the Big cover
Off with the Small
Off with the small Big cover
Off with the small Small cover
Ohh, Ohh I do like it Dark.
Got it on the North point
Got it in the Finder
Got it in the Cross Hairs
Got it in the Eyepiece
Ohh, Ohh, Ohh I do like it Dark.
Under the Planets
All those Planets as circles if Light
I like the Planets at night in the Dark
It's Great in the Dark
Ohh, Ohh, Ohh, Ohh I do like it Dark.
Out of the South they come
It's Clouds . . . . . . It's CLOUDS
All goes Quiet in the Dark under CLOUDS
Owls can stay in the Dark
I don't like it Dark under CLOUDS.
I like my bed at times like these.
I am but an Atomy
Only an Atom I be in this world of ours
Being an Astronaut up beyond the Atmosphere is my only want
To be Astral or an Astro is my need
An Astronomer of Astronomy
Down the garden with my telescope or binoculars is my Asylum.
According to The Concise Oxford Dictionary
ASTRO Star, heavenly body
ASTRONOMY Science of the heavenly bodies
ASTRONOMER Person who studies or practices astronomy
ASTRAL Connected with or consisting of stars
ASYLUM Sanctuary, place of refuge and safety
ATOM Smallest partial of a chemical element
ATOMY Tiny being
ATMOSPHERE Gaseous envelope surrounding heavenly body
ASTRONAUT Space traveller