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ENHA-29

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*                                                                         *
*           ELECTRONIC NEWSLETTER FOR THE HISTORY OF ASTRONOMY            *
*                                                                         *
*      Published by the Working Group for the History of Astronomy        *
*                  in the Astronomische Gesellschaft                      *
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*                      Number 29,  May 29, 1998                           *
*                                                                         *
*                     Edited by: Wolfgang R. Dick                         *
*                                                                         *
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Contents
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1. IAU Commission 41 (History of Astronomy)
   - IAU Commission 41 on the Web
   - Current officers (1997-2000)
   - New Resolutions
   - IAU Commission 41 50th Anniversary

2. Indian Society for the History of Astronomy

3. Progress Report on the New Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage

4. NCHALADA Meeting in Oakland, CA

5. Meetings and Celebrations

6. Book Review: 
   Thalheim, Klaus: Katalog der Meteoriten am Staatlichen Museum fuer
   Mineralogie und Geologie zu Dresden (Wolfgang Czegka)

Acknowledgements

Imprint

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Item 1                                            ENHA No. 29, May 29, 1998
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IAU Commission 41 (History of Astronomy)
----------------------------------------


IAU Commission 41 on the Web
----------------------------

Commission 41 (History of Astronomy) of the International Astronomical
Union (IAU) is now on the WWW. You may access it directly at
http://www.astro.uni-bonn.de/~pbrosche/iaucomm41. Or you may link to it
from the IAU Web site Commission page at
http://www.intastun.org/commissions.html. The site contains C 41
officers, members and their current addresses, newsletters, and the
Bibliography on History of Astronomy, compiled by Ruth Freitag of the
Library of Congress in Washington, D. C. The C 41 site also links to the
history of astronomy site maintained for several years by the History of
Astronomy Working Group of the Astronomische Gesellschaft, and now also
maintained on behalf of Commission 41.

                                           Steven J. Dick, Wolfgang R. Dick


Current officers (1997-2000)
----------------------------

President:                   Steven J. Dick (USA)
Vice-President:              F. Richard Stephenson (UK)
Immediate Past President:    S. M. R. Ansari (India)
Organizing Committee:	     Wolfgang R. Dick (Germany)
                             Alexander A. Gurshtein (Russia)
                             Il-Seong Nha (Korea)
                             Wayne Orchiston (New Zealand)
                             Edoardo Proverbio (Italy)
                             Woodruff T. Sullivan (USA)
                             Xi Zezong (China)

The total membership of the Commission stands at 139, plus 19 consultants.


New Resolutions
---------------

New resolutions adopted during the Kyoto General Assembly of the IAU
(August 1997) included the following:

1) Whereas historical astronomical records are important to the heritage
of astronomy and may be essential to applied astronomy

The IAU supports the recovery, inventory and preservation of astronomical
archives of national and international institutions, including
observatories, societies and other institutions.

2) That Commission 41 records its serious concern regarding grave losses
at Pulkovo as the result of fire, and supports the assessment of these
losses to the cultural heritage of astronomy.

3) That, in order to facilitate research into the history of astronomy in
a country (the "host country") that was subjugated or governed by another
country ("governing country"), and where the relevant source material now
resides in the governing country, every attempt should be made to provide
copies of such source material to the host country.

4) Noting that vital primary source material pertaining to history of
astronomy in a country (the host country) that was ruled or governed by
another (the governing country) resides in the governing country, it is
recommended that visiting fellowships be created by IAU, European Union,
and bilateral agreements between countries to enable researchers from a
host country to consult source material in a governing country.

(Source: Report from the Kyoto General Assembly. In: IAU Comm. 41
Newsletter, 1997-2000 Triennium, October 1997, Issue # 1)


IAU Commission 41 50th Anniversary
----------------------------------

Commission 41 was formed at the 1948 meeting of the IAU, and therefore
celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. C 41 member Woody Sullivan
(University of Washington) recently brought to my attention the first
report of Commission 41, in IAU Transactions, 8, page 623, published in
1954. The report shows that Commission 41 had a bit of a rocky start.
Otto Neugebauer, appointed the first C 41 president in his absence,
expressed his conviction that "an international organization in the
history of astronomy has no positive function ... my only activity during
my term of service consisted in iterated attempts to resign." This is
perhaps one of Neugebauer's few statements to have been proven wrong!
Under the circumstances Herbert Dingle acted as President for the 1952
meeting. The first members of the Commission were Armitage, Birkenmajer,
Danjon, Dijksterhuis, Dingle, Dittrich, Hubble, Idelson, Spencer Jones,
Kukarin, Kulikovsky, Lundmark, Marguerat, Nordenmark, Norlund, Pannekoek,
Pelseneer, Pogo, Sadykov, Seydl, Volta, and Zinner.

It is appropriate to give here the complete list of Commission 41
Presidents.

1948-1952 Neugebauer (USA)
1952-1955 Dingle (UK)
1955-1958 Dingle (UK)
1958-1961 Kulikovsky (USSR)
1961-1964 Kulikovsky (USSR)
1964-1967 Rybka (Poland)
1967-1970 Rybka (Poland)
1970-1973 Gingerich (USA)
1973-1976 Gingerich (USA)
1976-1979 Dobrzycki (Poland)
1979-1982 Hoskin (UK)
1982-1985 Pederson (Denmark)
1985-1988 Eddy (USA)
1988-1991 North (UK)
1991-1994 Debarbat (France)
1994-1997 Ansari (India)
1997-2000 S.J. Dick (USA)

                                                             Steven J. Dick


(From: IAU Comm. 41 Newsletter, 1997-2000 Triennium, April 1998, Issue # 2)

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Item 2                                            ENHA No. 29, May 29, 1998
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Indian Society for the History of Astronomy
-------------------------------------------

The B.M. Birla Science Centre has conducted a One Day National Symposium 
on "Indian Astronomy Through the Ages" on October 13, 1997. The symposium 
dealt mainly with the ancient Indian and medieval Indian-Islamic 
astronomy. Eminent scientists from all over the country participated in 
this seminar. During the scientific sessions, some talks were on 
researches which dated back the Vedic civilization to more than 5000 B.C. 
on the basis of astronomical evidence. Other talks were on medieval Indian 
astronomy (Arabic-Persian, Malyalam, Telugu sources).

Though India has the longest continuing tradition of astronomy in the 
world, its contribution to the field has not got its due place in the 
World History of Science. This is also true for other countries in Asia, 
e.g. West Central Asia. Consequently the seminar was concluded by 
launching the much awaited 'Indian Society for the History of Astronomy' 
(ISHA). The following governing council of the society was elected by the 
founder members of the society.

1. President - Prof. S.M.R. Ansari, the first Asian as (former) President
   of the International Astronomical Union's Commission for History of
   Astronomy. He is retired Professor of Physics of Aligarh Muslim
   University.
2. Vice-President - Prof. K.D. Abhyankar, Professor Emeritus, Astronomy
   Department, Osmania University, Hyderabad.
3. Secretary - Dr. B.G. Sidharth, Director-General, B.M. Birla
   Science Centre, Hyderabad.
4. Joint Secretary - Mr. Y. Ravi Kiron, Assistant Director, B.M. Birla 
   Science Centre, Hyderabad.
5. Treasurer - D. G.M. Ballabh, Department of Astronomy, Osmania
   University, Hyderabad.
6. Counsellor - Dr. B.V. Subbarayappa, President, International Union for
   the History and Philosophy of Science, which he is currently holding.
7. Counsellor - Dr. A. Bandyopadhyay, Former Director, Positional
   Astronomy Centre, Calcutta.
8. Counsellor - Dr. S.D. Sharma, Physics Department, Patiala University,
   Punjab.

The society is to be registered shortly at Hyderabad. Its office will be 
located at B.M. Birla Science Centre, Adarsh Nagar, Hyderabad - 500 063 
(India).

Some of the main activities of the society will be as follows:

1. To promote research studies of all apects of the history of astronomy
   in general, Indian astronomy and astronomy in Asia, in particular.
2. To ensure such publications (e.g. journal, newsletter etc.) from time
   to time as may be decided by the executive council of the society.
3. To hold scientific meetings for presentation of original papers, review
   talks etc.
4. To keep liaison with other historians of Indian and Oriental astronomy
   all over the world, and also with the international groups or
   commissions for history of astronomy.
5. To collect all possible literature concerning ancient and medieval
   Indian astronomy (Vedic, Islamic and South Indian language sources
   etc.) thereby to set up a data base on history of astronomy in Asia.
6. To draw young scholars to the discipline of history of science, to make 
   them aware of our Indian and Asian astronomical heritage and to
   coordinate researches among Indian historians of astronomy.

Dr. B.G. Sidharth
Secretary of ISHA
Director
B.M. Birla Science Centre
Adarsh Nagar
Hyderabad - 500 063 (India)

Prof. S.M.R. Ansari
President of ISHA
C/o Physics Department
Aligarh Muslim University
Aligarh - 202002 (India)


(From: IAU Comm. 41 Newsletter, 1997-2000 Triennium, April 1998, Issue # 2)

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Item 3                                            ENHA No. 29, May 29, 1998
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Progress Report on the New Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage
-----------------------------------------------------------------------


We are making good progress with the JAH2, and expect to see the first
issue off the press on schedule, in June. It will feature the following
research papers:

Brueck, Mary T.: "Mary Ackworth Evershed nee Orr (1867-1949), solar
physicist and Dante scholar"
Dick, Steve: "Observation and interpretation of the Leonid meteors over
the last millennium"
Orchiston, Wayne: "Mission impossible: William Scott and the first Sydney
Observatory directorship"
Pasachoff, Jay: "Williams College's Hopkins Observatory: the oldest extant
observatory in the United States"

We are happy to announce that in addition to papers and book reviews, each
issue of JAH2 will feature Ruth Freitag's on-going bibliographies on the
history of astronomy.

The composition of the Editorial Board has been finalised, and comprises:
Dr Dave Andrews (Northern Ireland), Dr Alan Batten (Canada), Dr Allan
Chapman (England), Dr Steve Dick (USA), Dr Wolfgang Dick (Germany),
Professor Ben Gascoigne (Australia), Professor Bambang Hidayat
(Indonesia), Commander Derek Howse (England), Professor Rajesh Kochhar
(India), Professor Don Osterbrock (USA), and Professor Brian Warner (South
Africa).

Subscriptions information is available from the Managing Editor on
astral@psinet.net.au, while enquiries regarding papers should be directed
to the Papers Editor at: Wayne.Orchiston@vuw.ac.nz. A "Guide for Authors"
is on the WEB at: 
http://www.vuw.ac.nz/~bankst/software.html

            John Perdrix (Managing Editor), Wayne Orchiston (Papers Editor)


(From: IAU Comm. 41 Newsletter, 1997-2000 Triennium, April 1998, Issue # 2)

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Item 4                                            ENHA No. 29, May 29, 1998
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NCHALADA Meeting in Oakland, CA
-------------------------------

The next meeting of the Northern California Historical Astronomy Luncheon
and Discussion Association will occur Saturday, June 6, at Chabot
Observatory, 4917 Mountain Blvd., Oakland, CA 94619, USA. From 10 AM to
about 12:30 the topic is "Lord Rosse of Birr Castle". After lunch at a
local restaurant, the 2-5 PM discussion will be "Chinese Astronomy".
NCHALADA discussions are informal (no dissertations or tenure at risk) and
often good-humored. Meetings are free and there are no pre-requisites,
though people who bring munchies are very popular. This is the 46th
NCHALADA meeting since beginning in 1985 as a copy of Southern
California's "Society of the History of Astronomy".

For further information about NCHALADA, contact Norm Sperling, Everything
in the Universe, 185 John Street, Oakland, CA 94611, USA. Phone & fax:
510-547-6523. eMail: nsperling@global.california.com.

For SHA, contact Margot Wood, 210 S. Guadalupe Avenue, Redondo Beach,
CA 90277, USA. Phone 310-379-8339.

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Item 5                                            ENHA No. 29, May 29, 1998
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Meetings and Celebrations
-------------------------


Early Astronomy in Sydney, July 4, 1998

C 41 OC member Wayne Orchiston, Director of Carter Observatory (the
National Observatory of New Zealand) reports that on 1998 July 4, the
Colonial Science Club in Sydney will host a seminar on "Colonial
Astronomy in Sydney". Shirley Saunders with speak on the topic of her Ph.D
thesis, Parramatta Observatory, which Governor Brisbane established in
1821. Dr Raymond Haynes from the Australia Telescope National Facility
(and an author of Explorers of the Southern Sky) will examine the
development of astronomy in Australia, but particularly the interrelations
of science in the colonies to the management from London. Wayne Orchiston
will speak on William Scott and the early years of the Sydney Observatory,
based on his paper to appear in the Journal of Astronomical History and
Heritage. The final speaker, Dr Nick Lomb, Curator of Astronomy at the
Sydney Observatory, will present a paper about the history of the
Observatory between 1870 and 1900. This paper will relate directly to the
major new display at the Observatory titled "By the Light of the Southern
Stars". After closing as a research institution in 1982, the Observatory
became a branch of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences.


Alfraganus 1200th Anniversary, Uzbekistan, October 23-24, 1998

C 41 member Dr. Shuhrat Ehgamberdiev, Director of the Ulugh Beg
Astronomical Institute of the Uzbek Academy of Sciences in Tashkent,
Uzbekistan, writes that "We have now a new important tradition in
Uzbekistan. We express respect to our eminent predecessors, which we
couldn't do before the Independence. In 1998 we will celebrate 1225th
anniversary of Imam al Bukhari, who well known in the Islamic world as a
great expert in Khoran and author of the Hadises. This year we will also
celebrate 1200th anniversary of great encyclopaedist, astronomer,
geographer, mathematician - Ahmad al-Fargani (Alfraganus). Both jubilees
will be celebrated simultaneously on 23rd and 24th Oct. 1998." The
Government of Uzbekistan has invited about 100 scientists, religious
people and distinguished guests. The events will take place in Samarkand
and Fargana.


Third International Conference on Oriental Astronomy, Japan, October
27-30, 1998

C 41 member Kwan-Yu Chen (University of Florida) reports that the Third
International Conference on Oriental Astronomy will be held in Fukuoka,
Japan, October 27-30, 1998. The First Conference was held in Seoul, Korea
in 1992, and the Second Conference in Yingtan, China in 1995. This year,
the theme is "From Calendar Scholars to Telescopes." The program will
include sessions on calendar making, star catalogues and atlases,
historical records of astronomical observations, instrumentation,
observatories, and exchange of astronomical knowledge between Asian
countries and Japan. Dr. Chen may be contacted for more information at
Dept. of Astronomy, University of Florida, 211 SSRB, Gainsville, FL 32611.
Also see the web site at http://www.fukuoka-edu.ac.jp/meeting/ICOA.html,
or e-mail ICOA@fukuoka-edu.ac.jp.


(From: IAU Comm. 41 Newsletter, 1997-2000 Triennium, April 1998, Issue # 2)

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Item 6                                            ENHA No. 29, May 29, 1998
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Book Review
-----------

(From: "Elektronische Mitteilungen zur Astronomiegeschichte" Nr. 27,
3. Maerz 1998, Item 2.)


Thalheim, Klaus: Katalog der Meteoriten am Staatlichen Museum fuer
Mineralogie und Geologie zu Dresden. Dresden: Staatliches Museum fuer
Mineralogie und Geologie, 1997. 92 p., numerous illus. in colour,
ISBN 3-91006-17-5, Paperback DM 49.00 (Schriften des Staatlichen Museums
fuer Mineralogie und Geologie zu Dresden; 7)

The catalogue is divided in two parts. The first part contains a history
of the Dresden meteorite collection from 1581 to 1997. In 44 pages
Thalheim gives a survey on the historical development of the collection.
Some repros with details of important older catalogues or handwritten
meteorite-lists are added. The second part presents in 43 pages the
details of every meteorite of the Dresden museum collection in an unusual
form. Every data set is illustrated by a high-quality colour print. The
collection includes unique samples like the Nenntmansdorf Iron. A
detailed index and a list of references are added.

Except of some misprints (in 1791 even Chladni didn't know anything about
meteorites; misprint for 1797? see page 8) the book is a recommendable
high quality product. Unfortunately, the reader will miss some detailed
information on the lusatian tektites from Saxony, which could have been
added thematically also to the catalogue.

                          Wolfgang Czegka, Potsdam <czegka@gfz-potsdam.de>


For more detailed information contact:

Staatliches Museum fuer Mineralogie und Geologie
Augustusstr. 2
D-01067 Dresden
Germany
Phone:  +49-351-4952446
Fax:    +49-351-4952468
e-mail: mmg@sik.de
URL:    http://hpkom21.geo.uni-leipzig.de/~mmg/

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Acknowledgements
----------------

For information we thank:

Steven J. Dick (Washington, DC), Norman Sperling (Oakland, CA).
 
...........................................................................

Imprint
-------

Electronic Newsletter for the History of Astronomy (ENHA)

Published by the Working Group for the History of Astronomy in the
Astronomische Gesellschaft

Editor: Dr. Wolfgang R. Dick <wdi@potsdam.ifag.de>

All items without an author's name are editorial contributions.
Articles as well as information for the several sections are appreciated.

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Arbeitskreis Astronomiegeschichte / Working Group for the History of
Astronomy: 

URL: http://www.astro.uni-bonn.de/~pbrosche/aa/aa.html

Chairman: Prof. Dr. Peter Brosche, Observatorium Hoher List der
Sternwarte der Universitaet Bonn, D-54550 Daun, Germany, 
Tel.: (++6592) 2150, Fax: (++6592) 985140

Secretary: Dr. Wolfgang R. Dick, Bundesamt fuer Kartographie und
Geodaesie, Aussenstelle Potsdam, Postfach 60 08 08, D-14408 Potsdam,
Germany, Tel.: (++331) 316 618, E-mail: wdi@potsdam.ifag.de

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