Although the casual user of this Handbook may have the impression that much of it remains the same from year to year, significant additions and/or revisions have been made to 162 of the 212 pages of this, the eightieth edition and the largest ever.

D. J. Jeffers of Cheadle, England provided valuable comments which have been incorporated into the section Telescope Exit Pupils; the section Solar Activity has been completely revised by Dr. Gaizauskas and two new contributors, C. L. Donaldson and E. J. Kennedy of the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics; thanks to a recommendation by Leonard Larkin of Saint John, N .B., the key to the Map Of The Moon has been made more useful for observers by the addition of selenographic longitudes; on the suggestion of Dr. John A. Wheeler of the University of Texas at Austin, a new section, Tides, has been added; on the suggestion of Dr. Richard Herr of the University of Delaware, the two-year summary of full moon dates has been altered to give new moon dates and higher precision; Terence Dickinson has extensively revised The Planets for 1988 section to give more of an observational emphasis; Dr. Larry Bogan has added data concerning Iapetus to the section of Configurations of Saturn’s Satellites; Dr. Robert Millis has rewritten the text to the Planetary Appulses and Occultations section; a footnote concerning areas of the Constellations has been added to p. 161 following a suggestion by James Himer of the Calgary Centre; once again Dr. Robert Garrison has updated The Brightest Stars table, maintaining its status as “the best in existence”; Dr. Alan Batten has made some revisions and additions to The Nearest Stars section; Dr. Janet Mattei has provided information concerning the star R Leonis in the section on Variable Stars. Revisions of a more routine nature (but, in many cases, no less time consuming) have been made to several other sections by the respective contributors (see the inside front cover), and I apologize for not mentioning them individually here.

The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada is again indebted to the Nautical Almanac Office of the U.S. Naval Observatory and its Director, Dr. P. K. Seidelmann, for essential pre-publication material from The Astronomical Almanac. The Astronomy Department of St. Mary’s University provided the Vehrenberg chart used in preparing the diagram of Pluto’s path. As always, the Society is fortunate in having Rosemary Freeman, its Executive-Secretary, who looks after many details concerning this publication throughout the year. Special acknowledge­ ment is again due to Acadia University and its Department of Physics for providing an editor for the Observer’s Handbook.

Suggestions for making this Handbook more useful to observers, both amateur and professional, are always welcome and should be sent directly to the Editor. Good observing quo ducit Urania!

Roy L. Bishop, Editor
Department of Physics
Acadia University
Wolfville, Nova Scotia
Canada B0P 1X0

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