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Three Talks for the Price of One

Friday 23rd March 2018 - 8:00pm
Topic: Three Talks for the Price of One: II - 1) Constellations: Boundaries and Areas, 2) New Data Mining Techniques and Resources in 2018, 3) The Jewel Box: Discovery of Its Motion and Stellar Evolution
Speaker: Andrew James, ASNSW
Venue: Epping Creative Centre - 26 Stanley Road, Epping
Abstract: 1)  Constellations: Boundaries and Areas
During 1928, now nearly ninety years to the month, the decision was made by the International Astronomical Union to divide the eighty-eight modern constellations into fixed boundaries onto the celestial sphere. Here the ultimate decision in adopting the unique selection of constellation lines originally befell on Belgian astronomer, turned celestial draughtsman, Eugéne Joseph Delporte. By April 1930, was then formally presented as a submitted IAU report (in French),  “Délimitation Scientifiques des Constellations (Tables et Charts)” or “Scientific Demarcation of the Constellations (Tables and Charts).” Delporte had used most adopted lines originally created by either Benjamin Gould or Friedrich W. A. Argelander, whose selected divisions were set at the standard epoch of 1875.0. Delporte usefully considered and followed, he adopted these initial alignments in both right ascension and declination on that precise date.
Once assigned, some other astronomers became interested in the complex set of areas placed upon this celestial area on this imaginary fixed spherical sphere, requiring calculations of four grid points of this sphere known as a zonal sector or just sector.
This interesting talk discusses how the constellations boundaries were historically decided, and highlights some of the recent work that the presenter will soon be publishing regarding the historical derivation of areas of the constellations.

2)  New Data Mining Techniques and Resources in 2018
One of the recent and greatest applications in astronomy and astrophysics is the growing amount of accessible data available to interpret astronomical phenomena. The sheer quantity of electronically preserved material is so almost overwhelming insofar as the discoveries and knowledge are almost impossible to keep pace with. In response, there has been a dramatic rise in new software or image viewers, some of which are useable by amateurs. With the use of Gaia DR1 TGAS and the upcoming April 2018 release of the revolutionary Gaia DR2 data, I thought members might be interested to know or discuss what implications this has (or will have) for amateur astronomy, and show some examples of recent good resources to aid identification of stellar or other celestial objects.

3)  The Jewel Box : Discovery of Its Motion and Stellar Evolution
The final talk will be on the Jewel Box / NGC 4755 and the history of the discovery of proper motions of star clusters. Discussed will be how important the speculations of the 19th and early 20th Centuries proved useful determining  the nature of open star clusters and the transformation in understanding theories on stellar evolution. Highlighted are new information of this wonderful southern open and the new data that satisfies old telescopic observations of the past. 
This talk is a follow-up to one under the same title as presented on 3rd July 2015, and the first topic a continuance of the “History of the Far Southern Constellations” made on 22nd March 2013.
Biography: Andrew James has been a member and Past-President of the ASNSWI, and in April 2018 celebrates forty years with us. He is currently our Deep-sky Section and Planetary Nebula Section leader and has a wide and diverse range of interests, including astronomical history, that includes the works of James Dunlop and Australian Astronomy, and double stars.

Event Date: 
Friday, 23 March, 2018 - 20:00
Epping Creative Centre, 26 Stanley Road, Epping NSW

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