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Ordinary Meeting: The Observations of James Dunlop

Friday 2nd May 2014 - 8:00pmTopic:   The Observations of James Dunlop
Speaker:   Andrew James, ASNSW Deep Sky Scetion
Venue: Epping Creative Centre - 26 Stanley Road, Epping
Abstract:  James Dunlop in the 1820s made and recorded many visual observations of celestial objects that included double stars, deep-sky objects, planets, comets and stars. However, most of our knowledge and judgements about this stem only from his published works, which historically have been considered of poor quality or riddled with incomprehensible mistakes. Yet few have properly analysed all his manuscripts in situ, nor have they stood back and examined them collectively. The key is his fascinating handwritten notes, which contains a much broader picture of what Dunlop was attempting to do – nothing less than a complete integrated survey of the southern skies. Implications of this postulate suggest that the old paradigm about him and his works maybe misguided or simply wrong, where the Paramatta Star Catalogue, double stars and deep-sky catalogues, were all part of some larger consolidated scheme.As some members are already aware, my continuing observational project has been firmly based only on Dunlop’s double stars. This I have spoken before to the ASNSW. Yet, my recent investigations have found it necessary to solve many other new broader inherent problems. By using a much wider holistic approach, I have been able to ascertain some new connections with his observational program. In this talk I will also give several pertinent observational examples, including: - Observation errors he made with the Small Magellanic Cloud- Some missing Dunlop objects- Several odd double star observations like missing DUN 108. - The Jewel Box / NGC 4755 during the 19th Century, which was once wrongly postulated that the cluster displayed observable significant motion and rapid evolution of its stars – all traced back to his published distorted drawing of it during 1824 or 1825   I do hope you can attend this interesting talk.


Andrew James is a long term member of ASNSW and can always be relied upon to deliver an interesting talk.

Event Date: 
Friday, 2 May, 2014 - 20:00
Epping Creative Centre, 26 Stanley Road, Epping NSW

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