Electronic Newsletter for the History of Astronomy - Number 34

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*      Published by the Working Group for the History of Astronomy        *
*                  in the Astronomische Gesellschaft                      *
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*                      Number 34,  March 8, 1999                          *
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*                     Edited by: Wolfgang R. Dick                         *
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1. Steve McCluskey: Archaeoastronomy: the Journal of Astronomy in Culture

2. 150th Anniversary of the Founding of the U.S Nautical Almanac Office

3. Symposium announcement: The Legacy of J. C. Kapteyn

4. Workshop announcement: One Hundred Years of Observational Astronomy and

5. XVIII International Scientific Instrument Symposium


Item 1                                           ENHA No. 34, March 8, 1999

Archaeoastronomy: the Journal of Astronomy in Culture

By Steve McCluskey, Morgantown, WV

        The first edition (vol. 14, number 1) of Archaeoastronomy: the
Journal of Astronomy in Culture (formerly Archaeoastronomy: the Journal of
the Center of Archaeoastronomy) will appear in June, 1999 under an expanded
editorial board and a new publisher (The University of Texas Press). Since
its inception in 1977, Archaeoastronomy has always been a refereed journal
and its editors have sought to maintain a high standard for publication.
This has not changed.

	The editors welcome the submission of articles reporting
substantial research in the general areas covered by the terms
Archaeoastronomy, Ethnoastronomy, and Astronomy in Culture. The acceptance
of papers for publication has never been influenced by membership in any
organization nor in degrees held by the author but by the extent to which
the submission promotes further understanding of the questions arising in
the study of astronomies in cultures and demonstrates the formal rigor
necessary for academic recognition.

        The Journal's style guide and further details on submission can be
found at:

        Please note, the journal Archaeoastronomy: the Supplement to the
Journal for the History of Astronomy, continues to appear under the
editorship of Michael Hoskin.

Author's address: Dr. Steve McCluskey, West Virginia University,
Morgantown, WV, USA, e-mail: scmcc@wvnvm.wvnet.edu

Item 2                                           ENHA No. 34, March 8, 1999

150th Anniversary of the Founding of the U.S Nautical Almanac Office

March 3, 1999 marked the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the U.S.
Nautical Almanac Office (NAO) by Congress. Since its founding, the NAO and
the U.S. Naval Observatory (its modern-day parent organization) have
compiled a distinguished record of service to the U.S. Navy, the other
armed services, the international scientific community, and the public by
providing reliable, practical astronomical data. These data are used for a
wide variety of purposes including navigation, surveying, scientific
research, mission planning, and everyday activities.

To commemorate this special event, the U.S. Naval Observatory hosted the
Nautical Almanac Office Sesquicentennial Symposium on 3-5 March 1999 in
Washington, DC. The symposium covered a broad spectrum of topics including
the history of the office, its mission, the users of its products, the
underlying science, and a look toward the future. The attendees, all
invited, came from diverse backgrounds, both military and civilian, and
were international in scope. In addition to papers presented by the
Nautical Almanac Office staff, invited speakers included scientists and
historians from a variety of institutions. Program information for the
Symposium may be found on the Astronomical Applications Department web site
at URL:


In 1849 Congress established the Nautical Almanac Office to prepare and
publish an official national almanac. Up to that time American scientists
and seamen relied on foreign almanacs - particularly those of Great Britain
- for astronomical and navigational data. Privately published almanacs,
such as Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanac, were generally not
adequate for scientific use.

The Office was placed under the direction of Lieutenant Charles Henry
Davis, an experienced naval officer with a scientific background and
personal associations with prominent American scientists. Davis
established the Office in Cambridge, Massachusetts, independent of the U.S.
Naval Observatory in Washington. In Cambridge the Office had access to
Harvard University and Professor Benjamin Peirce, the leading American
mathematician of the time. The Office would remain in Cambridge until
1866, when it was moved to Washington, DC. In 1893, the Nautical Almanac
Office moved into office space at the U.S. Naval Observatory's new home
north of Georgetown.

In 1852, the Office published its first volume, The American Ephemeris and
Nautical Almanac for 1855. An extract of this, The American Nautical
Almanac for 1855, was issued for mariners. The American Ephemeris and
Nautical Almanac provided data needed by astronomers and surveyors. In
addition to its practical purpose, it served as a source of national pride.
The volume was regarded as an important demonstration of the developing
scientific prowess in the United States. The American Ephemeris and
Nautical Almanac and its successors, The Astronomical Almanac and The
Nautical Almanac, have been published continuously ever since. The Air
Almanac, a publication geared towards aviation navigation, has been
published continuously since 1941.

Over the years, the Nautical Almanac Office has employed several of the
nation's most able astronomers and mathematicians, including Simon Newcomb
and G. W. Hill, whose 19th Century theories on the motions of the planets
remained in use until the 1980's. In the 1940's, the first mechanical
computers dramatically improved the accuracy and streamlined the production
of the Almanacs. In the 1960's, the Office established a close and lasting
relationship with Her Majesty's Nautical Almanac Office in Great Britain
and with scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The Astronomical
Almanac (a new, joint publication of the British and American Offices) was
introduced in 1984.

Today, the Nautical Almanac Office is a part of the USNO's Astronomical
Applications Department. It continues to provide annual printed almanacs
for air and marine navigation, and for use by astronomers worldwide. In
addition, it continues to develop and refine computer-based almanacs, such
as the Multiyear Interactive Computer Almanac (MICA), and to provide a wide
range of free, interactive almanac data via the USNO's World Wide Web site.

In addition to providing critical astronomical data, the Astronomical
Applications Department also carries out a modest research program in
diverse areas, including celestial mechanics, positional astronomy, and
navigation, to enable it to meet future needs.

(Based on a press release of the Public Affairs Office, U.S. Naval
Observatory. Information Contact: John Bangert, bangert@aa.usno.navy.mil .
Press Contact: Geoff Chester, grc@spica.usno.navy.mil)

Item 3                                           ENHA No. 34, March 8, 1999

Symposium announcement

(From: "Elektronische Mitteilungen zur Astronomiegeschichte" Nr. 37,
22. Januar 1999, Item 3.)

                    THE LEGACY OF J.C. KAPTEYN

          An overview of Kapteyn's influence on astronomy

           Groningen, The Netherlands, June 9 - 11, 1999


     The University of Groningen was founded in 1614 and consequently will
be celebrating in 1999 its 385th anniversary. In this year we are less
than 2 years away from the end of the twentieth century and the beginning
of the third millennium. When the twentieth century started, Kapteyn had
just completed publication (between 1896 and 1900) of the "Cape
Photographic Durchmusterung", a work that established his international
fame and leadership. Kapteyn's influence on astronomy in the Netherlands
is still alive; in fact it may be safely stated that the success of Dutch
astronomy in this century has for a major part been derived from Kapteyn
through his work, his students and his strong commitment to international

     As part of the University's celebration of its lustrum a symposium
will be held which is organized by both the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute
and the History Department.

     The primary aim is to concentrate on issues related to the sociology
of Kapteyn's influence. It would be of interest to try to trace the
continuation of Kapteyn's initiatives in research, campaigns and
organizations by concentrating on both persons and themes.

     The symposium will last three days with six half-day sessions, mainly
made up of invited contributions. Speakers include W.E. Krul, 
W.T. Sullivan, W.R. de Sitter, M. Schmidt, D. DeVorkin, R. Smith,
G. Gilmore, M.A.C. Perryman, L. Woltjer and various members of the
Scientific Organizing Committee. The final program will leave ample time
for discussion. The symposium should be attended by an international
audience consisting of both astronomers with a historical interest and
historians of astronomy and natural science.

     More information about this symposium and how to register can be
obtained by visiting the symposium's web-page or sending an e-mail or
letter to the LOC. 


Scientific Organizing Committee: 

    Chairpersons:  Prof. P.C. van der Kruit, Prof. K. van Berkel
    Other members: Prof. A. Blaauw, Prof. M.W. Feast,
                   Prof. O. Gingerich, Dr. K.H. Kuijken, Prof. J.D. North,
                   Prof. D.E. Osterbrock, Dr. P.R. Wesselius 

Local Organizing Committee: 

    Chairperson:   D.H.N. Staal
    Other members: Prof. T.S. van Albada, T.A. Jurriens,
                   J.P. Terlouw, H.P. Zondervan-Kimsma 

    E-mail:        jck99@astro.rug.nl
    WWW page:      http://www.astro.rug.nl/~jck99/

    Post address:  Kapteyn Institute,
                   LOC Kapteyn Symposium
                   P.O. Box 800
                   NL-9700 AV Groningen
                   The Netherlands 

Item 4                                           ENHA No. 34, March 8, 1999

Workshop announcement

(From: "Elektronische Mitteilungen zur Astronomiegeschichte" Nr. 37,
22. Januar 1999, Item 4.)

               Homage to MIKLOS KONKOLY THEGE (1842-1916)

                  Tihany (Hungary), 13--15 August 1999

                          FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT


The purpose of this workshop is to mark the centenary of the founding of
the Konkoly Observatory in 1899 as a research institution of the Hungarian

The workshop will bring together international experts in the history of
observational astronomy and astrophysics to present papers on various
topics. These topics will relate to observational astrophysics in the era
when Konkoly himself was active.


The main topics to be covered will be:

- Solar, stellar and solar-system astrophysics

- Instrumentation, telescopes and observatories

- Scientific results and concepts in astrophysics

- The interaction between astronomy and fundamental physics, and the
  consequent birth of astrophysics

- The relationships between astronomers in the time of Konkoly and his

- International programmes in observational astronomy (such as Carte du
  Ciel and CPD) and catalogues (Harvard photometry and HD Catalogue, etc.)

- The formation of international organisations (International Solar
  Union, and later of IAU from the Astrographic Congress, etc.)

The workshop will explore topics such as these as they were in the half
century 1870-1920, which includes all the years when Konkoly himself was
active, from the time of his early interest in astronomy, the founding of
his private observatory in 1871, through to the time of his death in 1916
and to the building of the National Observatory at Svabhegy in Budapest in
the 1920s.

The workshop will not be devoted just to the life and work of Konkoly
himself, but will explore themes in international astronomy and
astrophysics current at the time of Konkoly and especially those which he
himself espoused.


Friday August 13 to Sunday August 15, 1999. The workshop follows on
immediately after the conclusion of IAU Symposium 176.


The venue is a Conference Center of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences at
Tihany, Lake Balaton, Hungary. Group transport from Budapest will be
organized on August 13 (Friday afternoon), busses will bring participants
back to Budapest on Sunday August 15.


Guesthouse-type accommodation on the premises of the same Conference
Center. We have booked a number of rooms with double and triple occupancy
for the nights of August 13 and 14. The cost for a double room (single or
double occupancy) is about DM 50 per night, a room for three persons is
about DM 75 per night. These prices do not include breakfast.


The number of participants is restricted to 25, and participation is by
invitation only. 


Interested participants are invited to register with the enclosed
registration form (which is also available at our website
http://www.vub.ac.be/STER/KONKOLY/tihany.html). The registration fee is
DM 120 and will cover one copy of the proceedings, the group transport
from Budapest to Tihany and back, the rent of the conference room, and 
simple breakfast (catered by ourselves) on the days of August 14 and
15. Cash payment is accepted at the moment of registration.


We welcome accompanying persons, and there is no charge for registered


We try to run the Workshop with almost no financial sponsoring. Therefore,
of the registration fee can exceptionally be granted to young participants
who are not supported by a home institute. Applications for such support
should be made well in advance of the meeting.


All oral papers will be included in the Proceedings, which will be
edited by C. Sterken and J. Hearnshaw.


Lajos Balazs
Hilmar Duerbeck
John Hearnshaw
Istvan Jankovics
James Caplan
Dimitar Sasselov
Anneliese Schnell
Klaus Staubermann
Chris Sterken
Endre Zsoldos
Mine Takeuti
Magda Vargha
Brian Warner
Gudrun Wolfschmidt

Scientific Organizing Committee:        |   Local Organizing Committee:   
Chris Sterken                           |   Magda Vargha 
University of Brussels                  |   Laszlo Szabados
Brussels, Belgium                       |   Endre Zsoldos
(csterken@vub.ac.be)                    |   (vargha@buda.konkoly.hu)
                                        |   (szabados@buda.konkoly.hu)
John Hearnshaw                          |   (zsoldos@buda.konkoly.hu)
University of Canterbury                |   
Christchurch, New Zealand               |   Konkoly Observatory
(j.hearnshaw@phys.canterbury.ac.nz)     |   Budapest, Hungary

 =                                                                     =
 =                         REGISTRATION FORM                           =
 =                                                                     =

               Homage to MIKLOS KONKOLY THEGE (1842-1916)
                  Tihany (Hungary), 13--15 August 1999

 Family Name:
 First Name:

 Postal address:   

 E-mail address:

 Number of accompanying persons (with numbers):

 Please complete if you wish to present a paper:
        Duration of talk:

 Accommodation: please indicate your choice:

     0 I prefer single occupancy 
     0 I wish to share a double room with:
     0 I wish to share a triple room with:

Return to: Chris Sterken, 
University of Brussels, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium,
e-mail: csterken@vub.ac.be, fax: 32 93623976



Item 5                                           ENHA No. 34, March 8, 1999

Symposium announcement

	   XVIII International Scientific Instrument Symposium
		     Moscow - St. Petersburg, Russia
			   20-25 September 1999

The International Scientific Instrument Symposium will be for the first
time held in Russia in 1999. The Organizers of the Symposium in the
Russian Federation are The Institute of the History of Science and
Technology of Russian Academy of Sciences, and The Union of Scientific and
Engineering Associations. The Symposium includes sessions with papers in
Moscow (20-22 September 1999) and a two-day post-conference tour to
St.Petersburg for visiting museums and institutes (23-24 September 1999).

The Symposium will be held in the year of the 275th anniversary of the
foundation of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Creation of the Academy was
based on the establishment of close connections with scholars and
scientific institutions of other countries. With this in mind, the main
theme of the symposium is:

   Historical relations between Russia and other countries in the field
			of scientific instruments.

Although this theme will be given priority, papers on other problems will
be included as well. Abstracts with not more than 300 words are to be sent
by mail to the Conference Office before April 30, 1999. Speakers will have
20 minutes for their reports; an additional 5 minutes will be given to
answer questions. Poster papers will be allowed also.

Address of the Conference Office:

     XVIII International Scientific Instrument Symposium
     Institute of the History of Science and Technology, RAS
     Staropanski per., 1/5, Moscow, 103012, Russia.

     Telephone: (095) 921 8061
     Fax: (095) 925 9911 
     E-mail: borisov@history.ihst.ru 

Location and Fees

The Symposium will be held in the Conference Hall at the Presidium of
Russian Academy of Sciences.  Accommodations for participants will be at
the nearby hotel Sputnik except for students (those paying the reduced
students fee) who will be offered accommodations at a students hostel.
The address of the hotel is:

     Hotel Sputnik
     Leninsky prospekt 38, Moscow 
     (from metro station Leninsky prospect the hotel is 7 min. walk

The registration fee includes:  hotel accommodation, lunches and
coffee-breaks during the sessions, documents (book of abstracts, notebook,
postcards, etc.), receptions and conference dinner, excursions to museums
and bus service.

The standard registration fee is:

     $500 if payment is made before 1st June. 
     $550 if payment is made on or after 1st June. 

A reduced registration fee for students is $420.

Participants who wish to go to St. Petersburg should make additional
payment for this trip. Payment for the trip to St. Petersburg (23rd-24th
September) includes: railway ticket to St. Petersburg (and back if
necessary), hotel accommodation, meals, excursions to museums and bus

The cost of the trip to St. Petersburg is:

     $275 for those who leave Russia from St. Petersburg. 
     $350 for those who return to Moscow. 

Preliminary Programme

                        Arrival - Moscow
  September 19
                Arrival of the symposium participants
                Check in at the Hotel Sputnik or student Hostel
                       Moscow Conference
  September 20 
                Opening Session 
                Excursion to the Kremlin with visit to the Armoury 
                Opening Reception 
  September 21
                Excursion to the State Polytechnical Museum 
                Reception in the Museum 
  September 22 
                Plenary Session of the Scientific Instrument Commission 
                Excursions to Moscow museums (by choice): 
                - Museum of the Astronomical Institute named after P.K.
                - Exhibition devoted to the modern aspects of instrument
                   held in Bauman Moscow State Technical University 
                - Museum of Moscow State University of Geodesy and
                - The Faculty of Physics of Moscow State University 
                - Museum of History of Moscow Medical Academy
                named after I. Sechenov 
                - The State Historical Museum Memorial Museum of
                P.L. Kapitza 
                Departure to St. Petersburg for a two-day excursion.
                       St. Petersburg Trip 
  September 23 
                Excursion to the Museum "The State Hermitage" 
                Lecture delivered by V. Matveev: 
                        "Scientific instruments and watches in the
                Hermitage Collection" 
                Visits to St. Petersburg museums (by choice): 
                - D.I. Mendeleev Archival Museum in St. Petersburg
                - Museum of the Radium Institute named after V.P.
                - Central Museum of Communications named after A.S.
  September 24 
                Visit to the Lomonosov Museum and the Observatory
                named after A. Voieikov 
                Lecture delivered by N. Nevskaya: 
                        "Instruments of the St. Petersburg Observatory"
                Visits to St. Petersburg area museums (by choice): 
                - Central Navy Museum
                - Museum of the Research Institute of the HF currents
                named after V.P. Vologdin 
                - Museum-laboratory named after A.S. Popov in
                Closing Reception

For more information, please contact the Conference Office, or visit
the Symposium's Web site at




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 

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