The existence and usefulness of the Observer's Handbook owes much to the several people who voluntarily contribute their time and expertise (see the inside front cover). On behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, I especially wish to acknowledge the past contributions of Yoshio Kubo (Total and Grazing Lunar Occultations) and John Galt (Radio Sources, and a contributor to this Handbook for 20 years), and welcome Akio Senda and Ken Tapping, respectively, who have taken over these sections.

The 1985 edition has grown by 8 pages. Among the several changes and additions are: The tables of orbital and physical elements of the planets have been updated using the 1985 Astronomical Almanac. Joseph Veverka has made several revisions to the table of planetary satellites. On the suggestion of Leo Enright (Sharbot Lake, Ont.), the “Telescope Parameters” table has been expanded to include “light grasp”. The compilation entitled “Some Astronomical and Physical Data” has been reorganized and expanded. Information, including two maps, has been added to cover the arrival of Halley’s Comet in the inner solar system in 1985. Robert Garrison has revised the parallax and radial velocity data in “The Brightest Stars” table. Alan Batten has completely revised the section “The Nearest Stars”. Anthony Moffat has expanded the “Star Clusters” section to include material on two representative clusters. Ken Tapping has revised and expanded the section “Radio Sources”. The six all-sky maps at the end of the Handbook have been revised, and, as a further step in extending the geographical range of usefulness of the Observer’s Handbook, a new star map, “The Southern Sky”, has been added. In the latter instance, I wish to thank Larry Bogan (Acadia University, N.S.) for advice on deep-sky objects in the southern sky.

As always, the Nautical Almanac Offices of both the United States Naval Observatory and the Royal Greenwich Observatory have provided invaluable help in the form of pre-publication material from The Astronomical Almanac. Predictions of most events within the Solar System are based on this source. Randall Brooks (St. Mary’s University, N .S .) prepared photographic copies of the star charts used for the maps of Pluto and the August—October track of Hailey’s Comet. Rosemary Freeman, Executive-Secretary of the R.A.S.C., efficiently handles the advertising and sales of this Handbook. And finally, particular acknowledgement is due to Acadia University and its Department of Physics for support in the form of many weeks of the Editor’s time and continuing secretarial assistance.

Comments and suggestions are always welcome, and should be sent directly to the Editor at Acadia University (address on the inside front cover). Good observing quo ducit Urania!

Roy L. Bishop, Editor

Whole Number: 
PDF icon ObserversHandbook-1985.pdf7.94 MB