the observer’s handbook for 1979 is the seventy-first edition—at 140 pages, the largest edition ever. I thank all those whose names appear explicitly in the various sections, and especially the editor’s assistant, Jaymie M. Matthews.

I also wish to thank: R. C. Brooks for the diagram on page 12; Drs. Lorne Avery and Vic Gaizauskas for the material on the 26 February solar eclipse and on sun­ spots; Terence Dickinson for expanding the “Planets” section and for his advice; Dr. Ian Halliday for looking after the “Miscellaneous Astronomical Data” section; Dr. Helen Hogg for her valuable comments; Janet A. Mattei of the AAVSO for all the data on variable stars; Ian McGregor for previewing the 1979 sky for me in the McLaughlin Planetarium Star Theatre. Many readers provided useful comments and suggestions; I thank them all. The administrative support of the RASC National Council (particularly Dr. Alan Batten, Rosemary Freeman and Dr. Lloyd Higgs) and the financial, technical and moral support of the David Dunlap Observatory and Erindale College, University of Toronto, are much appreciated.

This handbook is greatly indebted to H.M. Nautical Almanac Office, and to the American Ephemeris, for the contribution of essential material. Leslie Morrison and his staff at H.M.N.A.O. have provided all of the predictions of total and grazing lunar occultations, and Gordon E. Taylor has provided the predictions of planetary occultations. To these and all the other contributors, I extend my sincerest thanks. Good observing!

John R.Percy

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