British Astronomical Association


    A BROCHURE entitled "The British Astronomical Association. Its Nature, Aims and Methods" has been issued by the Association with the main object of encouraging amateurs to undertake astronomical work. Fourteen sections are now in existence, and valuable work is still being done in spite of the difficulties of war conditions. Novices need not be deterred even if they have very little instrumental equipment; in some cases, such as the observation of meteors, auroras, zodiacal light and in historical research, etc., no equipment of any kind is necessary. Proof of the important work that amateurs can do is afforded by a recent triumph of the Computing Section under Mr. J. G. Porter; with the help of four members of this Section, a definitive orbit of Comet Pons-Winnecke has just been computed (J. Brit. Astro. Assoc., 54, 7; 1944). This is probably the first time in the history of astronomy that a body of amateurs has computed a definitive orbit, and it is a testimony to their wonderful patience and skill in handling figures that this formidable work has been accomplished.

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