BAS Observer – May 2021

May 2021 – BAS Observer

In a packed edition, find stories on topics terrestrial and astronomical:

  • New dark-sky observing site at Calvert, just west of Rosewood
    Protecting our Sunshine Coast night skies
    A double star and star cluster worth observing
    Observing a quasar 2.4 billion light years away
    Great first night at Calvert observing site
    Finding the darkest skies in Australia, and protecting them
    Binocular astronomy, a great first step in observing

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Author:  James Harford

An excellent book covering the life and technical achievements of Hero of The Soviet State, Sergei Pavlovich Korolev.  For years his name was unknown to the West, and referred to in the soviet press as simply “Chief Designer”.

As a young engineering experimenting in rocketry, Korolev was denounced by his colleagues and banished to the Siberian gulags.  His health suffered terribly and impacted him severely in later life.

However, following the Soviet capture of German V2 rocket technology post WWII, Korolev was recalled to Moscow and the rest was history.  First man-made satellite in space. First manned vehicle to orbit the Earth.  And very nearly the first manned landing on the Moon.

An amazing life and a biography well worth reading.


Author: Theodore Mehlin

A textbook for an introductory university course on astronomy.  Written in the later 1950’s, this edition published in 1961.

Contents covers:

  • Telescope of the era
  • Star evolution
  • Stellar distances
  • The Sun
  • Binary Stars
  • Variable stars
  • Galaxies
  • The Milky Way
  • The planers
  • The Earth
  • Earth satellites
  • Comets and meteors
  • Origin if the Solar System.

The contents is dated but still interesting and useful.

Countdown – A History of Space Flight

Author: T.A. Heppenheimer

This book comprehensively covers the history of space flight up to the 1990s (it was first published in 1997). It extends from Oberth’s and Goddard’s early thoughts on space flight, through World War II and the military development of rocketry, then on through the Cold War and beyond.  Chapters cover the 1960’s space race and subsequent missions and exploration.

The Whole Shebang

Author: Timothy Ferris

This is a guide to the central issues in cosmology and the breakthroughs made in recent years: the inflationary universe immediately subsequent to the Big Bang; the discovery and significance of large-scale galactic structure; and the evolution of the many-worlds hypothesis.

The book delves into the big bang; expansion of the Universe; geometry of space; element synthesis; dark matter; cosmic evolution; and aspects of quantum physics as they relate to origin of the Universe and its evolution.


Author:  Thierry Legault

Author and world-renowned astrophotographer Thierry Legault teaches the art and techniques of astrophotography-from simple camera-on-tripod night-scene ..Written for digital camera astrophotography, the book provides an abundance of detail on equipment, imaging the planets, Sun, Moon and deep-sky objects.