Mike Frost is Meetings Secretary.
If you wish to contact Mike please use firstname.lastname@example.org
SHA MEETINGS IN 2023
The SHA 2023 Spring Conference was on 1st April
The SHA Summer Picnic 2023 was on Sat 1 Jul
The SHA 2023 AGM and Autumn Conference was on Sat 21 Oct
The report on the Autumn Conference can be found here
Proposed events for 2024/25
2024 SPRING CONFERENCE
This will be on Sat 20 Apr 2024 at the Birmingham & Midland Institute, 9 Margaret St, Birmingham, B3 3BS. The theme will be Astronomers Royal.
2024 SUMMER PICNIC
Provisionally, the Summer Picnic in late-June will be the Temple Observatory, Rugby.
2024 AGM AND AUTUMN CONFERENCE
This will be on Sat 26 Oct 2024 at 10 am–5 pm at the Birmingham & Midland Institute, 9 Margaret St, Birmingham, B3 3BS.
2025 SPRING – PARIS CONFERENCE
Planning is going ahead for a repeat joint conference in Paris with the Historical Commission of the So-ciété Astronomique de France (SAF). Previous joint conferences with our French sister organisation took place in Paris (2017) and Oxford (Apr 2019).
The next online talk is on Wednesday, 8pm: 24th January 2024
“The First Hundred Years of Printed Moon Maps” By Frank Manasek FRAS, FRMS
Brief bio: Frank Manasek is a retired professor whose research involved the cellular mechanisms of early heart development. He is also a historian with a long-held interest in both cartography and astronomy, interests combined in his studies of the history of Moon mapping. In addition to being a SHA member, he is a Fellow of the RAS as well as FRMS.
The Presentation Summary. The discovery of discrete geologic features on an irregular lunar surface required the intervention of the telescope. Although Thomas Harriot was perhaps the first to draw lunar features using the telescope, his drawings were not published and they had no effect on subsequent recording of lunar detail. Galileo, a talented Renaissance artist, published the first illustrations of the telescopic appearance of the Moon. Published as etchings in his Sidereus Nuncius, Galileo’s images quickly spread throughout Europe and were soon followed by other printed Moon images. Galileo did not intend to map the lunar surface; his images were purposed to demonstrate the irregularity of the terrain. As such, his images are perhaps best perceived as drawings from nature, rather than as maps.
Printing had a profound effect on the spread of scientific knowledge. Printed images can be shared widely with the knowledge they are invariate. Everyone sees the same image making shared interpretation and discourse possible. Galileo’s images were quickly followed by other published telescopic views some of which were intended to be true maps, but all were limited by the reproduction process then available: etching, engraving, woodblock.
The combination of telescope, visual acuity, artistic ability and style and reproduction method resulted in a wide range of printed perceptions of the lunar surface. The first hundred years of telescopic observation resulted in a number of vastly different printed presentations of the lunar surface and I shall discuss many of them, illustrating the wide range of interpretation given to the lunar surface
The last Online talk was on Wed 1 Nov 2023
“FANTASY FLIGHTS TO THE MOON; FROM ROMAN WRITER LUCIAN TO THE FLIGHT OF APOLLO 11” by Robert Garfinkle
A link to the Youtube video can be found here