Ordinary Meeting, 2004 January 10

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Ordinary Meeting, 2004 January 10

held at The Geological Society, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1

Tom Boles, President

Ron Johnson, Nick Hewitt and Nick James, Secretaries

The President opened the third meeting of the 114th session, welcoming an exceptionally full audience to the Christmas Meeting. However, he regretted that the first item of business was less happy, for Jeremy Cook, a past Director of the Lunar Section, had passed away suddenly on December 21. Furthermore, Lionel Mayling, who had previously held positions as both Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer to the Association, had lost a long battle with ill-health on January 4. A minute's silence was observed in their honour. Dr Nick Hewitt proceeded to read the minutes of the November meeting, which were approved and signed. The Papers Secretary reported that Council had approved one paper to appear in the Journal:

Stonehenge astronomers and the precession of the Equinox, by David Hughes.

Mr Boles announced that 20 new members were proposed for election. The 26 members who had been proposed at the previous meeting were approved and duly elected. The next meeting at the present venue would be on March 31, when the main speaker would be Meghan Gray, with a talk entitled Dark Matter and Gravitational Lensing. Before then, the Association's fourth Observers' Workshop would take place at the Open University in Milton Keynes on February 28, and a meeting of the Deep Sky Section on March 6 in Northampton. The President then proceeded to introduce Prof Malcolm Longair, Jacksonian Professor of Natural Philosophy at Cambridge University. The President joked that to give a full CV of Prof Longair would require longer than the talk itself, citing his former position as Astronomer Royal for Scotland, and present post as head of the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, as two of his most notable appointments. It gave Mr Boles great pleasure to welcome Prof Longair to deliver the 2004 Christmas Lecture, entitled Astrophysics and Cosmology in the 21st Century.

Prof Longair spoke with great clarity, his excitement for his subject clearly evident. He has since kindly provided his own summary of the address, found elsewhere in this Journal. The talk was followed by enthuastic applause, after which the meeting broke for tea.

The meeting re-convened after the tea break and the President invited Mr Mobberley to give his Sky Notes.






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