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RGO Archives contains:
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RGO 38 Inventories of Manuscripts
RGO 39 Inventories of Instruments, Art, Furniture, etc.
RGO 4 Papers of Nevil Maskelyne
RGO 40 Rules and Regulations
RGO 41 Cape of Good Hope Publications
RGO 45 Papers of John Guy Porter
RGO 46 Papers of Leslie John Comrie
RGO 47 Anglo-Australian Telescope papers
RGO 48 Papers of the Radcliffe Observatory
RGO 5 Papers of John Pond
RGO 50 RO and RGO Solar Plates
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Papers of John Guy Porter

Title Papers of John Guy Porter
Reference GBR/0180/RGO 45
Creator Porter, John Guy
Covering Dates circa 1925–1981
Extent and Medium 3 boxes; paper/photograph
Repository Royal Greenwich Observatory Archives
Content and context

John Guy Porter (1900-1981) graduated with honours in chemistry from London University in 1922. He joined the British Astronomical Association in 1932, where he was Director of the Computing Section, 1938-1959, and served as President, 1948-1950. He was awarded a Ph.D. in 1945 for his thesis on 'An Analysis of British Meteor Data', and he collaborated with Bernard Lovell in the early days of the radar observation of meteor trails. He joined H.M. Nautical Almanac Office in 1949, and served as its Principal Scientific Officer until his retirement in 1961.

Porter was closely involved throughout his career in developing methods of computing the orbits of comets, meteors and natural satellites. Whilst at the N.A.O., he worked with Donald Sadler, then Superintendent, in the revision of the Office's methods for the computation of the orbital elements and ephemerides of comets, supervising the move away from logarithms to using programmable electromechanical calculating machines and then early electronic computers. He helped introduce similar changes at the B.A.A., overseeing the abandonment of traditional methods of cometary calculations and the adoption of hand-held programmable electronic calculators.

Porter was noted for his contribution to the spread of knowledge and understanding about astronomy. He was involved in broadcasting, contributing monthly talks on 'The Night Sky' for the Home Service or Third Network, 1946-1961, and also broadcasting and writing for the Forces' Network, the World Service and extensively for Schools' Radio. He was Patron of the Junior Astronomical Society, and wrote works which attempted to illuminate his subject for younger enthusiasts.

The collection contains a wide range of material from throughout Porter's career. The largest body of papers are copies of scripts for B.B.C. Radio, written mostly by Porter, but including some by other authors. There are many letters, many of them concerning the activity the Computing Section of the B.A.A., particularly the preparation of ephemerides for its Handbook, but also including correspondence with mathematical astronomers, much of it reflecting Porter's interest in meteor and comet orbit calculations. There is also a wide selection of Porter's published and unpublished papers, as well as published papers he received from colleagues and other workers in his field. The collection includes discussion documents and other papers relating to the changes to computational methods at the N.A.O. and B.A.A. There are also a few items from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California (which Porter visited during 1962), concerning comets and meteors.

RGO 45/1-81: Correspondence

RGO 45/82-136: Printed and published papers, with related material

Printed and published papers by Porter (82-116); Reviews from journals and periodicals of Porter's 'Comets and Meteor Streams' (117-121); Printed and published papers of colleagues and correspondents containing a dedication to Porter (124-135); Published papers by colleagues containing a foreword by Porter (136).

RGO 45/137-157: B.A.A. and other drafts

Draft papers by Porter for the B.A.A. Computing Section (137-140); Draft papers by Porter, probably for the B.A.A. Computing Section (141-143); Miscellaneous draft papers by Porter (144-157).

RGO 45/158-174: Material relating to H.M.N.A.O.

Papers regarding methods of comet orbit calculation (158-163); Notes from Porter to D.H. Sadler (164-174).

RGO 45/175-178: Material relating to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena

Technical memoranda for internal distribution at the J.L.P. (175-177); Computer printout (178).

RGO 45/179-190: Notes

Manuscripts lecture notes by Porter (179-188); Manuscript notes by Porter (189-190).

RGO 45/191: Miscellaneous papers

RGO 45/192-194: Draft papers by colleagues

RGO 45/195-232: Numbers unassigned

RGO 45/233-431: Scripts for B.B.C. Radio broadcasts

'The Night Sky' (233-385); 'General Science' (386-404); 'Citizenship' (405); 'For Country Schools' (406); 'Science and the Community' (407-409); 'Talks for Sixth Forms' (410); Untitled scripts for B.B.C. Schools Radio (411-412); 'Talks for Sixth Forms' (413-415); 'Science and Everyday Life' (416-418); 'Science Survey' (419-420); 'Thursday Roundabout' (421); 'Woman's Hour' (422); 'Calling West Africa' (423-426); B.B.C. Radio talk (427); Various parts of scripts (428-431).

RGO 45/432-447: Other material relating to B.B.C. broadcasts

Question and answer papers (432-438); Newspaper cuttings (439-440); 'Radio Times' extracts (441-447).

RGO 45/448-451: Miscellaneous

The majority of the collection was presented by Mrs Eileen Porter.

Access and Use

In English, Fre, Ger

Please cite as Royal Greenwich Observatory Archives, Papers of John Guy Porter, RGO 45

Further information

A handlist is kept in the Manuscripts Reading Room. Indexed

This description was created by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Index Terms
Porter, John Guy (1900-1981) astronomer
British Astronomical Association
Nautical Almanac Office
RGO Archives/RGO 45 contains:
1 Letter from J.R. Ainslie. A letter from John R. Ainslie offering to do work for the British Astronomical Association Computing Section.
2 pages.
16 Aug. 1959
2 Letters from G.E.D. Alcock. Two letters from George E.D. Alcock regarding his comet and nova discoveries, and thanking Porter for his congratulations on the award of Alcock's M.B.E.
6 pages.
12 Feb. 1959–4 Sep. 1959
3 Correspondence with A.F. O'D. Alexander. Correspondence with A.F. O'D. Alexander regarding an occultation of Iapetus, with a general discussion on the transits of the satellites of Saturn.
10 pages.
10 July 1947–14 May 1963
4 Correspondence with C.W. Allen. A letter from C.W. Allen, University of London Observatory, to Porter, 15 September 1961, and a copy of Porter's reply of 20 October 1961, regarding rates of cometary discovery and recovery.
2 pages.
15 Sep. 1961–20 Oct. 1961
5 Correspondence with Giovanni Balkain. A copy of a letter from Porter to Don Giovanni Balkain, 13 July 1966, and Balkain's reply of 24 June 1966, regarding their disagreement over the claim of van Gent to the discovery of Comet 670: van Gent 1941 VIII.
2 pages.
1966
6 Letter from C.O. Bartrum. A letter from C.O. Bartrum regarding a loan application for a B.A.A. Odhner Calculating Machine.
1 page.
28 July 1936
7 Letter from H.L. Batchelor. A letter from H.L. Batchelor, an alumnus of Rochester Technical College, recalling past times.
3 pages.
27 Apr. 1974
8 Correspondence with Dirk Brouwer. Two letters from Dirk Brouwer, Yale University Observatory, 24 May - 22 June 1965, regarding Brian Marsden's imminent departure from the observatory, with an undated draft of a reference for Marsden written by Porter.
3 pages.
1965
9 Letter from R.J. Buckley. A letter from Richard J. Buckley offering to calculate cometary ephemerides for Porter.
1 page.
28 Sep. 1959
10 Letters from W.J.B. Calway. Two letters from W.J.B. Calway regarding computing comet orbit schemes, mentioning the comet Faye and Russian work on its orbit.
2 pages.
14 Feb. 1960–28 Aug. 1960
11 Letters from Michael Candy. Letters from Michael Candy, Perth Observatory, regarding the orbits of comets, including Wilson Hubbard and Humason; the definitive orbits of various comets; and a method of photographing comets moving at high speeds. There are also six photographs of Comet Ikeya 1963, taken by A.J. Doig in February 1963, and forwarded by Candy:. 1. 13 February 1963: 10h 35m - 10h 40m U.T. 2. 18 February 1963: 9h 25m - 9h 55m U.T. 3. 18 February 1963: 10h 00m - 10h 03m U.T. 4. 25 February 1963: 9h 20m - 9h 35m U.T. 5. 26 February 1963: 9h 00m - 9h 20m U.T. 6. 27 February 1963: 9h 00m - 9h 30m U.T.
8 pages + 6 photographs.
8 Oct. 1961–18 Nov. 1976
12 Correspondence with C.M. Christison. Correspondence with Colin M. Christison regarding many aspects of computing cometary orbits, including the reduction of the orbits of Comets Borrelly, Encke and Slaughter-Burnham; the use of hand calculating machines; the errors arising from the use of standard equations; the solution of Kepler's Equation by electronic computer; and non-gravitational effects on comets, with special reference to Comet Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova.
33 pages.
11 Apr. 1960–20 Jan. 1968
13 Letters from T.C. Collocott. Two letters from Thomas C. Collocott, W. & R. Chambers Ltd, 11 April and 5 June 1973, regarding payment for Porter's work on the firm's 'Dictionary of Science and Technology', with a copy of the draft corrections for the astronomical parts of the volume.
15 pages.
1973
14 Letters from L.J. Comrie. Two letters from L.J. Comrie regarding a B.A.A. calculating machine and the fate of copies of Comrie's 1923 thesis on planetary occultations.
2 pages.
11 Aug. 1936–26 July 1948
15 Correspondence with T.A. Conely. Correspondence with T.A. Conely regarding the orbit calculations for Comets Schaumasse and Wirtanen.
5 pages.
17 Jan. 1960–26 June 1960
16 Letters from Douglas Cooke. A letter from Douglas Cooke to Porter, 10 October 1963, regarding the eclipse of Iapetus on 17 October 1963 and the mutual phenomena of Jupiter, with two related letters from Cooke to the Revd Dinwoodie, 11 July and 7 August 1963.
6 pages.
11 July 1963–10 Oct. 1963
17 Letter from F.R. Cripps. A letter from F.R. Cripps, 24 January 1945, enclosing the orbits of Comets Borrelly Brooks and Schwach-Wass (3), with four pages on Comet Borrelly dated 4 September 1944.
5 pages.
4 Sep. 1944–24 Jan. 1945
18 Letters from J.M.A. Danby. A copy of a letter from C. Frederick Peters, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, to Professor J.M.A. Danby, North Carolina State University, 14 November 1974, regarding Peters's paper on satellite eclipses, and two circular letters on family matters from Danby, December 1976 and January 1981. There is also an untitled family photograph, and an envelope from Danby addressed to Dr and Mrs J.G. Porter, March 1981.
3 pages, 1 envelope + 1 photograph.
1974–1981
19 Letter from I.P. Debono. A letter from I.P. Debono of the New South Wales Branch of the British Astronomical Association thanking Porter for information he has sent and discussing topics of astronomical interest.
1 page.
12 Jan. 1974
20 Correspondence with E.R. Delo. Correspondence with Ernest R. Delo regarding computations of the orbits of the satellites of Saturn; the mathematical treatment of the theory of these orbits; a 1973 paper by Porter on the phenomena of the satellites; and the rings of Saturn.
1 bundle.
23 Mar. 1972–4 Nov. 1977
21 Letter from D.W. Dewhirst. A letter from David W. Dewhirst, The Observatories, University of Cambridge, regarding the 'Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society' and Porter's manuscript on the comets.
1 page.
1963
22 Letter from P.A. Dewhirst. A copy of a letter from Porter to Paul A. Dewhirst, Blackwell Scientific Publications Ltd, 9 January 1967, and Dewhirst's reply of 11 January, regarding the errors in an report of the Royal Astronomical Society on comets and their correction.
2 pages.
1967
23 Correspondence concerning Cameroon Dinwoodie. Correspondence with Cameron Dinwoodie on many topics concerning the British Astronomical Association Computing Section, including the satellites of Jupiter and Saturn; the application of electronic computers to the calculation of planetary ephemerides; lunar and solar eclipse and lunar occultation calculations; the B.A.A. Handbook and the material to be used therein; the policy of the Computing Section and the division of the work amongst the computers; and the conferral of the Freedom of the Burgh of Langholm on Neil Armstrong on 11 March 1972. There are letters received from the Dinwoodie's family after his death, including Dinwoodie's notes on his life history, as dictated to Mrs Dinwoodie. There is also a draft of Porter's obituary notice for the 'Journal of the British Astronomical Association' (1979).
1 bundle.
1952–1979
24 Letter from Peter Doig. A letter from Peter Doig regarding an article in the 'Journal of the British Astronomical Association' on Struve and Oort's theories of cometary origin.
2 pages.
11 Feb. 1950
25 Correspondence with P.O. Dossett. Correspondence with Paul O. Dossett regarding the occultations and eclipses of Rhea (Saturn V), with some tabulated results of times of occultation and eclipse.
13 pages.
8 May 1972–30 May 1972
26 Correspondence with R.L. Duncombe. A copy of a letter from Porter to Ray L. Duncombe, United States Naval Observatory Nautical Almanac Office, 6 December 1972, and Duncombe's reply of 31 January, regarding Porter's paper on the satellites of Saturn.
3 pages.
6 Dec. 1972–31 Jan. 1973
27 Letter from Edgar Everhart. A letter from Edgar Everhart, University of Connecticut, regarding two of his papers and mentioning the proposed revision of Porter's 'Comets and Meteor Streams'.
1 page.
29 Nov. 1967
28 Letter from V.V. Fedynsky. A letter from V.V. Fedynsky, U.S.S.R. Academy, regarding International Quiet Sun Year (1964-1965) and meteor observations and measurements during this period.
4 pages.
1962
29 Letter from F.A. Franklin. A letter from Fred A. Franklin, Smithsonian Institute, regarding the eclipse of Iapetus on 16 October 1963.
1 page.
8 Aug. 1963
30 Letters from R.H. Garstang. Two personal letters from Roy H. Garstang, University of Colorado, including mention of the B.A.A. Handbook for 1967 and the receipt by Garstang of the 'Supplementary Catalogue of Cometary Orbits' in December 1966. There is also a small slip of paper containing Dr and Mrs Garstang's address.
2 pages + 1 slip.
22 Nov. 1966–15 Dec. 1966
31 Letter from P.W. Glover. A letter from P.W. Glover F.R.A.S. to 'Miss Brown' regarding a comet observation in native Samoan tradition dating from the early nineteenth century.
3 pages.
16 Apr. 1938
32 Letter from Richard Glynn. A letter from Richard Glynn regarding the calculation of cometary ephemerides.
1 page.
22 Oct. 1978
33 Letter from E.L. Hawke. A letter from E.L. Hawke, Royal Meteorological Society, regarding the correct definition of the seasons, written in response to Porter's radio broadcast 'The Night Sky in March'.
2 pages.
3 Mar. 1956
34 Correspondence with A.W. Heath. Correspondence with Alan W. Heath regarding the rings of Saturn, including details of observations of occultations and eclipses of Iapetus.
7 pages.
16 Apr. 1964–14 Jan. 1978
35 Letters from M.B.B. Heath. Four letters from M.B.B. Heath regarding the occultation and eclipse of Iapetus.
7 pages.
3 May 1963–29 Oct. 1963
36 Letters from Paul Herget. Letters from Paul Herget, Cincinnati Observatory, regarding electronic computing facilities in the United States in 1956, with a contemporary IBM-650 printout of a cometary ephemeris and a copy of a paper on 'Special Perturbations by Musen's Method Computed on IBM-650'. The letters also include reference to the modification of Stroemgren's Method by Musen and Porter and discussion of the International Astronomical Union Commission 20 comet work.
8 pages + 1 sheet.
1956–1966
37 Letter from Ernest Heslop. A letter from Ernest Heslop regarding a book he is going to send Porter for safe keeping. The volume contained two works: 'The Wonders of the Heavens' by Frederick S. Williams (John Cassell, London, 1852), and 'The History of the Steam Engine from the Second Century before the Christian Era to the Time of the Great Exhibition' by [R W] (John Cassell, London, 1852).
1 page.
circa 1964
38 Correspondence with K.B. Hindley. Correspondence with Keith B. Hindley, British Astronomical Association Meteor Section, regarding the 'fireballs' observed in the U.K. and U.S.A. on 24 and 25 April 1969 and Porter's assistance on this subject, with a copy of a paper from 'Nature' on comets and associated meteor streams. The letters also discuss Porter's proposed revision of his work 'Comets and Meteor Streams' and a computer program to ascertain meteor radiants based on the methods in Porter's book.
20 pages.
1969–1970
39 Letter from W.P. Hirst. A letter from W.P. Hirst regarding a paper on 'The Differential Correction of Orbits', based on a method by Porter. There is also a seven-page draft of the paper.
8 pages.
1953
40 Photographs and papers of E.A. Holmes. A letter from Porter to Mrs Holmes, 12 December 1950, accepting her offer of astronomical photographs left by her father-in-law, Edwin Alfred Holmes. The letter is accompanied by the aforementioned photographs, as well as several miscellaneous items and drawings:. 1) Comets. 1. Photograph of Holmes' Comet (discovered 6 November 1892), 21 November 1892; 2. Undated photograph of an unidentified comet; 3. Undated photograph of an unidentified tailed comet; 4. Undated photograph of an unidentified long-tailed comet in a French textbook. 2) The Moon. 1. Undated photograph of the Moon at first quarter; 2. Photograph of the Moon in gibbous phase, 10 March 1900; 3. Undated photograph of the full Moon. 3) The planets. 1. Photograph of an image of Jupiter made by D. Booth on 16 December 1894 at 10h 30m using a 9½" reflector at 200 power; 2. Photograph of a textbook drawing of Saturn attributed to Professor E.E. Barnard, 2 July 1894; 3. Postcard containing a photograph of a sketch of Saturn, dated 13, 19 and 23 October 1913, taken from a French textbook. 4) Galaxies and nebulae. 1. Undated postcard containing a photograph of M8, the Lagoon Nebula in Sagittarius; 2. Undated image of [M27, the Dumb-Bell Nebula in Vulpecula]; 3. Undated photograph of [M31, the Great Andromeda Galaxy]; 4. Undated postcard containing a photograph of the M66 spiral galaxy in Leo; 5. Undated postcard containing a photograph of the M94 spiral galaxy in Canes Venatici. 5) Observatories and telescopes. 1. Photograph of the back garden observatory at 'Telescope House', Hornsey Rise [London N19?], 3 May 1901; 2. Undated photograph of the observatory in No. 1, taken in summer, and probably in a different year; 3. Undated photograph of E.A. Holmes and a reflecting wooden telescope, which was sold to Holmes by Mr Upton; 4. Undated photograph of an unidentified man and the telescope in No. 3. 6) Biological photomicrographs. 1. Undated photomicrograph of various diatoms; 2. Undated copy of the previous photograph, pierced and numerated on the reverse; 3. Undated postcard containing an image of a scale from a haddock, in polarized light on a black background. 4. Undated postcard containing an image, apparently of a haddock scale; 5. Undated photomicrograph of a sheeptick; 6. Undated photomicrograph of the antenna of a cockchafer; 7. Undated photomicrograph of a fly's proboscis/tongue; 8. Undated postcard containing a photomicrograph of a fly's proboscis; 9. Undated postcard containing a photomicrograph of a fly's proboscis. 7. Portraits. 1. Undated postcard containing a photograph of ('the late') Edwin Alfred Holmes taken by the Revd T.E. Espin; 2. Undated photograph of an unidentified gentleman reclining in a deckchair. 8. Negatives. 1. Glass plate of a book illustration of Saturn printed by 'Woodburytype', 11 February 1884; 2. Undated celluloid negative of an unidentified lady with her dog. 9. Drawings. 1. Postcard containing a hand-coloured sketch copy of a telescopic drawing of Mars, sent to Edwin Holmes by Arthur Mee. The sketch is inscribed '- MARS - 1897 Jan 4. 10.45 -+ 250-400 on 8½ in Reflector. Definition very fair. Arthur Mee Cardiff To Edwin Holmes Esq: Please excuse absence of canals!'. 10. Spirographs. 1. Undated spirograph pattern in purple ink; 2. Undated spirograph pattern in dark purple ink; 3. Undated spirograph pattern in purple ink; 4. Undated spirograph pattern in black ink; 5. Undated spirograph pattern in black ink.
1 bundle.
1950
41 Correspondence with W.H. Julian. Correspondence with W.H. Julian on various topics, including perturbation calculations for Comets Harrington-Abell, Perrine-Mrkos and Neujmin, with discussion of Tutomi-Seki's orbit for Comet Harrington-Abell; the work involved and the calculations made in the B.A.A. Handbook; the difficulties in obtaining proofs of parts of the 'Astronomical Ephemeris' from the U.S. Nautical Almanac Office after 1960; discussion of the 'Yearbook of Astronomy' edited by Porter with associate editor Patrick Moore; Porter's working visit to the U.S.A.; the phenomena of Rhea, Tethys and Dione; and problems with the 1967 programme for the mutual phenomena of Jupiter.
18 pages.
10 Jan. 1960–10 Jan. 1972
42 Letters from Michael Kamienski. Letters and a postcard from Michael Kamienski, Polish Academy of Sciences, requesting the 'Catalogue of Cometary Orbits 1960' and acknowledgement its receipt, with a list of Kamienski's work on comets during 1961-1963. There is also a letter from Kamienski to the Revd Dinwoodie, 18 March 1963, which mentions a reference made to Kamienski's work by Porter in the 'Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society', a copy of which is included, and also refers to the historic returns of Halley's Comet.
7 pages + 1 postcard.
1961–1963
43 Letter to Mr Karmu. A copy of a letter from Porter to Mr Karmu enclosing the answers to two questions relating to astronomy.
5 pages.
12 Aug. 1956
44 Correspondence with the R.O.E. A letter from Porter to the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh, 30 June 1960, requesting a list of pamphlets on comets, and the reply from the observatory's librarian, D. Alasdair Kemp, 16 November 1962. There are also various accompanying lists.
5 pages.
1960–1962
45 Letter from P.H. Kiel. A letter from P.H. Kiel, Librarian of the Sterrewacht Te Leiden, requesting a copy of Porter's 'Catalogue of Cometary Orbits' for Professor Oort and Mrs van Houten-Groeneweld.
1 page.
1962
46 Correspondence with Robert Knight. Correspondence with Robert Knight concerned principally with calculations of the orbits of the satellites of Saturn, but also mentioning conjunctions and eclipses of these satellites; the Revd Cameron Dinwoodie and Brian Marsden; and older methods of calculation using tables, comparing these with the modern use of programmable scientific electronic calculators.
1 bundle.
20 Mar. 1972–23 Oct. 1980
47 Compliments card. An undated complements card containing the signatures of L. Kohoutek, J. Grygar, Z. Kvíz and J. Kvízová, apparently originally accompanying a paper of theirs.
1 card.
48 Letters from L'ubor Kresák. Two letters from L'ubor Kresák, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, regarding the work of I.A.U. Commission 20. Kresák also refers to observations and computations of the orbit of Comet P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák.
2 pages.
9 Oct. 1963–29 Oct. 1963
49 Letters from A.E. Levin. Letters from A.E. Levin on various subjects, including the reduction of meteor paths; calculations concerning the transits of Tethys (Saturn III) and the general phenomena of the satellites of Saturn; matters relating to the B.A.A. Handbook; an eclipse map of the Pacific Ocean for 1937; and the loan of a B.A.A. calculating machine.
18 pages.
23 Mar. 1936–7 Apr. 1938
50 Letter from Michael McLants. An undated letter from Michael McLants [1963] sending a computer listing of an ephemeris of Comet Alcock 1963 B.
1 page + 1 sheet.
1963
51 Correspondence with Brian Marsden. Correspondence with Brian Marsden of the Yale University Observatory, and subsequently the Smithsonian Institute, regarding many topics in the field of cometary orbits, including Comets Harrington-Wirtanen, Tempel-Swift, Halley and many others; cometary calculations by the IBM-650 electronic computer, with the program according to Väisälä's method; the Newton-Raphson method for the solution of Kepler's Equation; computer calculations of nearly parabolic orbits; the designation of comets by a Roman numeral or otherwise; non-gravitational forces on comets; working with Elizabeth Roemer at Flagstaff; Dr Marsden's membership of the International Astronomical Union; Porter considering passing on the responsibility for the Royal Astronomical Society's comet reports and Dr Marsden taking this work on; matters arising from the B.A.A. Handbook; the 'Comet Catalogue' proofs in 1961; the solar eclipse of 20 July 1963; the situation in Leningrad; and Russian and Chinese astronomy in December 1967.
1 bundle.
10 Jan. 1960–29 Oct. 1980
52 Letter to D.C. Martin. A copy of a letter to D.C. Martin regarding proposing M.P. Candy and B.G. Marsden for membership of the International Astronomical Union.
1 page.
4 Jan. 1961
53 Letter from Gerald Merton. A letter from Gerald Merton offering his assistance with the work of I.A.U. Sub-Commission 20a.
2 pages.
23 June 1958
54 Letter from Barbara Middlehurst. A letter from Barbara Middlehurst, University of Arizona, regarding proofs of an unspecified paper.
1 page.
1962
55 Correspondence with S.W. Milbourn. Correspondence with S.W. Milbourn regarding a variety of topics, including the calculation of an ephemeris for Comet Perrine-Mrkos; Olbers's method for the solution of the general orbits of comets; a series of astrophotographs from the Perth Observatory featuring Comet Bennett; the timing of an eclipse of Iapetus; and a comparison of the difference in old manual and new electronic methods of calculation.
10 pages.
28 Nov. 1966–21 Sep. 1977
56 Letter from Francis Narin. A letter from Francis Narin, Illinois Institute of Technology, regarding the quantitative estimate of the positional accuracy of comets.
1 page.
25 Aug. 1965
57 Card from Liisi Oterma. A card from Liisi Oterma thanking Porter for 'Comets (1962)'. On the front of the card is a picture of an unidentified long-tailed comet.
1 card.
58 Letters from J.E. Peacock. Four letters from J.E. Peacock giving an ephemeris for Comet Brooks (2) and Comet Harrington.
5 pages.
11 Jan. 1960–30 May 1960
59 Correspondence with C.F. Peters. Correspondence with C. Frederick Peters, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, regarding the eclipses of the satellites of Saturn. There is also a letter from G.A. Wilkins to Peters, 25 April 1974, copied to Porter.
10 pages.
25 Apr. 1974–31 Mar. 1975
60 Letter from W.D. Proctor. A letter from W.D. Proctor, Sidgwick & Jackson Ltd, publishers, on the occasion of the last payment to Porter of his fee for star charts in the 'Yearbook of Astronomy'.
1 page.
15 Oct. 1980
61 Correspondence with Elizabeth Roemer. Correspondence with Elizabeth Roemer of the U.S. Naval Observatory, and subsequently of the University of Arizona, Flagstaff, regarding, among other matters, Comet Pons-Winnecke, with reports on I.A.U. Commission 20, the working group on comets and the international composition of Commission 20.
17 pages.
15 Sep. 1961–20 July 1970
62 Letters from E.C. Rubidge. Three letters from E.C. Rubidge of the Royal Astronomical Society regarding the Royal Astronomical Society report on comets for 1964.
3 pages.
13 Jan. 1964–14 July 1965
63 Correspondence with D.H. Sadler. Correspondence with Donald Sadler, including copies of official correspondence between H.M. Nautical Almanac Office and the U.S. Navy N.A.O. The subjects include the use of 'Nautical Almanac' material in the B.A.A. Handbook, with some mention of the copyright position and reproduction fee; the recomputation of Crommelin's Perturbation Tables, mentioning the use of (human) computers in the N.A.O. and British Astronomical Association in September 1947; the use of 'National Machines' in this recomputation and the accuracy and use of Crommelin's Tables; the orbit of Comet Pons-Winnecke during 1939-1945 and a comparison of the Cowell and Crommelin methods; Gerald Merton and his interest in the recomputation of these tables; the change of working method from logarithms to machines; the work for the Connaissance des Temps; 'The Night Sky' broadcasts; an ephemeris for Vesta completed up to 31 January 1947; work to be done by Porter for W.H. Steavenson on Ariel (Uranus I); constellation name abbreviations used in the 'Nautical Almanac' and the B.A.A. Handbook; and the installation at the N.A.O. of the I.C.T. 1909 electronic computer. There is also miscellaneous correspondence with the U.S. Navy N.A.O. regarding the 'Nautical Almanac', the 'Air Almanac' and the 'Astronomical Ephemeris', including reference to changes to be made in the 1966 edition to the tabulation of information on Saturn's satellites and the subsequent revision of the 1970 'Astronomical Ephemeris'.
1 bundle.
23 Sep. 1943–20 Sep. 1971
64 Letter to G.E. Satterthwaite. A copy of a letter from Porter to G.E. Satterthwaite regarding Porter's paper on the satellites of Saturn.
1 page.
6 Aug. 1973
65 Letters from Grzegorz Sitarski. Two letters from Grzegorz Sitarski, Polish Academy of Sciences, acknowledging the receipt of Porter's 'Catalogue of Cometary Orbits 1965' and mentioning Comet Kopff and the death of Professor Felicjan Kepínski. There is an accompanying a list of Sitarski's work for 1961-1963.
3 pages.
25 Apr. 1966–29 Oct. 1966
66 Letter from W.M. Smart. A letter from W.M. Smart, 3 March 1964, acknowledging receipt of a list of comet/meteor shower associations, with Porter's draft of the list.
3 pages.
1964
67 Letter from D.S. Spence. A small letter from D.S. Spence regarding the shortest time after a new moon at which the crescent has been seen, written in response to Porter's radio broadcast 'The Night Sky in March'.
1 page.
1956
68 Letters to W.H. Steavenson. Copies of two letters from Porter to W.H. Steavenson regarding old style and new style calendar conversion and the position angles of Ariel (Uranus I).
3 pages.
31 Oct. 1947–5 May 1948
69 Letter from Peter Stumpff. A letter from Peter Stumpff, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Charlottesville, regarding Comet Brooks II and differences between the work of Dubiago and Porter.
3 pages.
23 Oct. 1968
70 Letter from M.G. Sumner. An annotated paper by M.G. Sumner entitled 'A Modification of Cowell's Method of Computing Perturbations' and an annotated letter from Porter to Sumner, 13 September 1944, containing critical comments on the paper.
5 pages.
1944
71 Letters from Donald Tattersfield. Three letters from Donald Tattersfield regarding the calculation of an ephemeris for Comet Wirtanen.
3 pages.
16 Feb. 1960–26 May 1960
72 Letter from K.A. Thirnöe. A letter from K.A. Thirnöe, Copenhagen Observatory, forwarding Brian Marsden's 'Roman Numeral Designations of Comets in 1961'.
1 page.
10 Dec. 1963
73 Correspondence with R.L. Waterfield. Correspondence with Reginald L. Waterfield regarding problems relating to the measurements of photographic plates featuring comets and concerning the calculations connected to this; refraction corrections for stellar positions and the reduction of their coordinates as measured from photographic plates; the International Astronomical Union meeting at Brighton in July 1970 and Waterfield's desire to meet Brian Marsden and Elizabeth Roemer there; the fact that in November 1970 plates of Comet Encke had been taken two weeks before and that in January 1971 this comet was 'low down in the sunset'; various unnamed comets; the more practical aspects of astrophotography; and the methods employed by Eratosthenes and Herodotus.
1 bundle.
28 Oct. 1969–28 Nov. 1979
74 Letter from Fred Whipple. A letter from Fred L. Whipple, Harvard College Observatory, regarding I.A.U. Commission 22. The letter includes a handwritten note by Whipple concerning an article by Porter in 'Nature', No. 4055, 19 July 1947, a copy of which is included.
2 pages.
1947
75 Letter from J.L. White. A letter from J.L. White, British Astronomical Association, 9 August 1972, forwarding a letter from R. Eggermont to Porter, 19 July 1972, enquiring about the availability of his book 'Comets and Meteor Streams'.
2 pages.
19 July 1972–9 Aug. 1972
76 Correspondence with Joseph Witowski. Correspondence with Joseph Witowski regarding cometary statistics and a dispute with Dr Przbylski.
4 pages.
21 Mar. 1965–28 Apr. 1965
77 Letter from 'Wendy and Michael'. A letter from 'Wendy and Michael' regarding a proposed visit to the Royal Greenwich Observatory and describing a total eclipse of the Sun.
1 page.
1971
78 Letter from [J. Dartnell]. A letter from [J. Dartnell], an alumnus of Rochester Technical College, recalling Porter's 1923 prediction that men would go to the Moon 'in our lifetime', and making brief comments about 'The Night Sky' broadcasts and the Royal Naval Staff College, Greenwich.
3 pages.
20 Apr. 1970
79 Letter from Chapman & Hall Ltd. A letter from Chapman & Hall Ltd, 1 May 1951, regarding the publication of Porter's 'Comets and Meteor Streams', with Porter's copy of the contract for the book, 26 April 1951, and a copy of an earlier, now cancelled, contract of 13 April 1949.
9 pages.
13 Apr. 1949–1 May 1951
80 Letter on 'Comets for 1961'. Part of a letter from Porter to an unknown correspondent entitled 'Comets for 1961'.
2 pages.
circa 1960
81 Correspondence with the B.B.C. Correspondence with the B.B.C. and related papers regarding all aspects of radio talks and schools programmes, including the following subjects: a radio script on Galileo and the use of a Latin version of the Lord's Prayer, and rehearsal arrangements; a list of scripts for the series 'Great Discoveries about the Earth' and 'The Earth and its Neighbours'; Foucault's Pendulum as proof of the rotation of the earth; 1949 scripts entitled 'Other Worlds' being used for 'The Earth and its Neighbours'; comments and pamphlets for B.B.C. schools broadcasts; a revision of 'Other Worlds', including a note that a rocket-launching site should be 'a great open space' and on the east coast; 'The Sky at Night' radio programme for rural schools and ideas for subject matter; the 'Science and the Community' schools programme; the standard B.B.C. pronunciation of star and constellation names (provided in a letter to a school mistress); details of a fee paid to Porter, together with terms and copyright conditions; the 'Radio Times' billing for 'The Night Sky in December' (1952); the 'Percussion and the Stethoscope' script, together with a figure for the fee; the suitability of the content of schools science broadcasts for 8, 9, 10 and 11 year olds; the proposal for sixth form schools programmes in the International Geophysical Year and accompanying pamphlets; a press release announcing ten years of 'The Night Sky' broadcasts, together with a clearance from the Admiralty for Porter to continue broadcasting; the production of a pamphlet to accompany the I.G.Y. broadcasts; enquiries from the B.B.C. to Sir Harold Spencer Jones, D.E.R. Deacon, James Paton and R. Stonely regarding whether they have any interest in recording a programme in the I.G.Y. series; a schedule of programmes on astronomy for schools broadcasting; a mention by a B.B.C. programme assistant of a comet visible to the naked eye on 25 April 1956, and further reference to this comet in the context of schools broadcasting mentioning the comet's discovery by Belgian astronomers; alterations to proofs of Teachers' Notes; I.G.Y. talks, schedules and a draft of Porter's script for his I.G.Y. talk; a script by F.R. Elwell for schools broadcasting entitled 'The Night Sky', discussing Moon landings and the unknown far side of the Moon in January 1959; and the scripts of the Network Three broadcasts of 'The Night Sky' dating from after Porter had stopped giving these talks. The correspondents include Felicia R. Elwell, Dorothy Foulger and Felicity Kinross, Schools Broadcasting Department; James McCloy; Dorothy Ross, Copyright Department; Marguerite Scott, Talks Department; L.J. Lawler; Joan Dickens; Geoffrey S. Hall; Mary J. Reynolds; Archibald Clow; and David Edge.
1 envelope.
1948–1962
82 The Accuracy of Meteor Data. A reprint of 'The Accuracy of Meteor Data', 'Journal of the British Astronomical Association', Vol. 48, No. 9, pp. 337-344, a subsidiary paper for Porter's Ph.D. thesis, with an accompanying note.
9 pages.
1938
83 The Accuracy of Meteor Data (Part II). A reprint of 'The Accuracy of Meteor Data (Part II)', 'Journal of the British Astronomical Association', Vol. 49, No. 3, pp. 113-118, a subsidiary paper for Porter's Ph.D. thesis.
6 pages.
1939
84 Accurate Calculation of the Apparent Places of Stars. A reprint of Porter and D.H. Sadler's 'The Accurate Calculation of the Apparent Places of Stars', 'Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society', Vol. 113, No. 4, pp. 455-467.
1 booklet.
1953
85 An Analysis of British Meteor Data. A reprint of 'An Analysis of British Meteor Data', 'Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society', Vol. 103, No. 3, pp. 134-153, Porter's Ph.D. thesis. The booklet is bound in a volume which also includes Part 2 (RGO 45/86) and a note on subsidiary papers in the 'Journal of the British Astronomical Association'.
1 booklet.
1943
86 An Analysis of British Meteor Data. A reprint of 'An Analysis of British Meteor Data: Part 2 Analysis', 'Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society', Vol. 104, No. 5, pp. 258-272, Porter's Ph.D. thesis. The booklet is bound in a volume which also includes Part 1 (RGO 45/85) and a note on subsidiary papers located in the 'Journal of the British Astronomical Association'.
1 booklet.
1944
87 An Astronomer's Views on Interplanetary Travel. A reprint of Porter's 'An Astronomer's Views on Interplanetary Travel', 'Discovery', July 1955, pp. 292-296.
6 pages.
1955
88 Calculating Altitude and Latitude. A reprint of Porter's 'Calculating Altitude and Latitude', 'Hermes' (the Journal of the Junior Astronomical Society), Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 47-50.
4 pages.
1969
89 Calculations of Longitude and Time. A reprint of Porter's 'Calculations of Longitude and Time', 'Hermes' (the Journal of the Junior Astronomical Society), Vol. 16, No. 3, pp. 77-80.
4 pages.
1969
90 The Card-Controlled Typewriter. A reprint of Porter, A.E. Carter and D.H. Sadler's 'The Card-Controlled Typewriter in H.M. Nautical Almanac Office', 'Journal of the Royal Naval Scientific Service', Vol. 9, No. 6, pp. 243-248. There are duplicates of the first three pages.
9 pages.
1954
91 Comet Arend-Roland, 1956 h. A reprint of Porter's 'Comet Arend-Roland, 1956 h - A General Report', 'The Observatory', Vol. 77, No. 899, pp. 128-132.
1 booklet.
1957
92 Meteors, Comets and Meteoric Ionization. A combined paper by Porter, A.C.B. Lovell, J.P.M. Prentice, R.W.B. Pearse and N. Herlofson entitled 'Meteors, Comets and Meteoric Ionization', from 'Reports on Progress in Physics', Vol. 11, pp. 389-454, including Porter's 'Comets and Meteor Streams', pp. 402-409. There is also an 11-page typescript of Porter's piece.
78 pages.
1948
93 Comets and Meteors. A reprint of Porter's 'Comets and Meteors', 'The Scientific Journal of the Royal College of Science', Vol. 20, pp. 139-145.
1 booklet.
1950
94 Comets and their Relationship with Meteors. A photocopy of 'Comets and their Relationship with Meteors', a report on a lecture by Porter in 'Nature', Vol. 160, No. 4055, p. 77, with the first and second typescript drafts of the report.
5 pages.
circa 1947
95 A Definitive Orbit of Comet Pons-Winnecke. A reprint of 'A Definitive Orbit of Comet Pons-Winnecke', 'Journal of the British Astronomical Association', Vol. 54, No. 7, pp. 137-140, a subsidiary paper for Porter's Ph.D. thesis.
5 pages.
1944
96 The Differential Correction of Orbits. A reprint of Porter's 'The Differential Correction of Orbits', 'Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society', Vol. 109, No. 4, pp. 409-420. There are two copies, each containing different sets of annotations.
24 pages.
1949
97 The Discovery of Neptune. A photocopy of Porter's 'The Discovery of Neptune', 'The Listener', 3 October 1946, pp. 437-438.
2 pages.
circa 1946
98 Elementary Astronomical Calculations. A proof of Porter's 'Elementary Astronomical Calculations' from Patrick Moore, ed., 'Practical Amateur Astronomy' (Lutterworth Press), Chapter 20, pp. 235-247.
5 pages.
1963
99 The Gauss Method for Solving Kepler's Equation. A reprint of Porter, B. Benima, J.R. Cherniack and B.G. Marsden's 'The Gauss Method for Solving Kepler's Equation in Nearly Parabolic Orbits', 'Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific', Vol. 81, No. 479, pp. 121-129, 1 booklet. There are also original and revised typescript versions of the paper, 21 pages.
1 booklet + 21 pages.
1969
100 Interplanetary Orbits. A reprint of Porter's 'Interplanetary Orbits', 'Journal of the British Interplanetary Society', Vol. 11, No. 5, pp. 205-210.
1 booklet.
1952
101 Conditions for Launching a Cometary Probe. A reprint of Porter's 'Investigations of the Conditions for Launching a Cometary Probe', 'COSPAR-IAU-IUTAM. Trajectories of Artificial Celestial Bodies. Proceeding of a Symposium held in Paris, April 20-23, 1965', pp. 211-215.
1 booklet.
1965
102 The Minor Planets. A reprint of 'The Minor Planets', 'Journal of the British Astronomical Association', Vol. 61, No. 1, December 1950, pp. 2-15, Porter's British Astronomical Association Presidential Address of 1950.
1 booklet.
1950
103 Navigation without Gravity. A reprint of Porter's 'Navigation without Gravity', 'Journal of the British Interplanetary Society', Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 68-74.
1 booklet.
1953
104 The Night Sky. Porter's 'The Night Sky' (Winchester Publications Ltd), 94 pages, including his manuscript corrections.
1 volume.
1948
105 Osculating Elements. A reprint of Porter's 'Osculating Elements', 'Journal of the British Astronomical Association', Vol. 83, No. 6, pp. 432-438.
7 pages.
1973
106 The Palomar Sky Survey. A reprint of Porter's 'The Palomar Sky Survey', 'Discovery', 17 March 1956, Vol. 17, No. 3, p. 125.
2 pages.
1956
107 Phenomena of Saturn's Satellites. A reprint of Porter's 'Phenomena of Saturn's Satellites', 'Journal of the British Astronomical Association', Vol. 84, No. 3, pp. 209-216, with the original annotated typescript version of the paper.
21 pages.
1974
108 Porter's Solar Disk. Two copies of a card including a drawing of 'Porter's Solar Disk', with instructions on the reverse entitled 'The Heliographic Co-ordinates of Sunspots'. The card was issued by the British Astronomical Association, and printed by Sumfield & Day Ltd. One of the cards is labelled as a proof, and there is an accompanying note from the printers regarding the proof.
2 cards.
circa 1972
109 The Reduction of Meteor Observations. A reprint of Porter's 'The Reduction of Meteor Observations', 'Memoirs of the British Astronomical Association', Vol. 34, No. 4, pp. 37-64, a subsidiary paper for Porter's Ph.D. thesis.
29 pages.
1942
110 The Satellites of the Planets. A reprint of Porter's 'The Satellites of the Planets', 'Journal of the British Astronomical Association', Vol. 70, No. 1, pp. 33-59.
25 pages.
1960
111 Stellar Aberration. A reprint of Porter and D.H. Sadler's 'Stellar Aberration', 'Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society', Vol. 110, No. 5, pp. 467-476.
1 booklet.
1950
112 The Study of Meteor Velocities. A reprint of 'The Study of Meteor Velocities', 'Journal of the British Astronomical Association', Vol. 60, No. 1, December 1949, pp. 1-17, Porter's British Astronomical Association Presidential Address for 1949.
1 booklet.
1949
113 Transits of Mercury and Venus. A reprint of Porter's 'Transits of Mercury and Venus', 'Journal of the British Astronomical Association', Vol. 80, No. 3, pp. 182-189.
8 pages.
1970
114 20a Sub-Commission on Comets. A reprint of Porter's paper '20a Sub-Commission on Orbits and Ephemerides of Comets', 'Transactions of the International Astronomical Union', Vol. X, pp. 299-301, including Porter's manuscript notes.
1 booklet.
1960
115 The Two Bright Comets of 1957. A reprint of 'The Two Bright Comets of 1957', 'Vistas in Astronomy', Vol. III, pp. 128-132, including Part I, 'Arend-Roland (1956h) and Mrkos (1957d)' by Porter (pp. 128-132).
17 pages.
1960
116 A Very Extraordinary Man. A photocopy of Porter's 'A Very Extraordinary Man', 'The Listener', 31 March 1949, pp. 529-530, regarding Pierre Simon, Marquis de Laplace.
2 pages.
1949
117 Review of 'Comets and Meteor Streams'. An unattributed review of Porter's 'Comets and Meteor Streams' from the 'Times Educational Supplement'.
2 slips of paper.
22 Aug. 1952
118 Précis of 'Comets and Meteor Streams'. A very short, unattributed précis of Porter's 'Comets and Meteor Streams' from 'British Book News', November 1952, pp. 594-595.
2 slips of paper.
Nov. 1952
119 Review of 'Comets and Meteor Streams'. A detailed, typescript copy of a review of Porter's 'Comets and Meteor Streams' by A.C.B. Lovell, which appeared in 'Proceedings of the Physical Society of London', 65B, Part 12, December 1952, pp. 1011-1012.
2 pages.
Dec. 1952
120 Review of 'Comets and Meteor Streams'. A detailed review of Porter's 'Comets and Meteor Streams' by Fletcher G. Watson from 'Sky and Telescope', No. 136, 12, 4, February 1953, p. 105.
1 cutting.
Feb. 1953
121 Review of 'Comets and Meteor Streams'. A detailed typescript review of Porter's 'Comets and Meteor Streams', in German, by N. Richter, as printed in 'Die Sterne', 29 January 1953, Heft 11-12, pp. 248-249.
2 pages.
1953
122 Transit of Venus. 'Nickel News', Vol. 20, No. 6, June 1969, containing Frank William Cousins, 'Transit of Venus' (pp. 14-17), including corrections and annotations by the author. There is a dedication from Cousins to Porter on the front cover.
1 volume.
June 1969
123 Some Notes on Heliographic Coordinates. L.M. Dougherty, 'Some Notes on Heliographic Coordinates', from the British Astronomical Association, Solar Section, Handbook, September 1976, referring to reduction by Porter's method.
1 volume.
1976
124 Comet Discoveries and Observational Selection. A reprint of Edgar Everhart's 'Comet Discoveries and Observational Selection', 'Astronomical Journal', Vol. 72, No. 6, 1967, pp. 716-726, including a dedication to Porter on the first page.
11 pages.
1967
125 Intrinsic Distributions of Cometary Perihelia and Magnitudes. A reprint of Edgar Everhart's 'Intrinsic Distributions of Cometary Perihelia and Magnitudes', 'Astronomical Journal', Vol. 72, No. 8, 1967, pp. 1002-1011, including a dedication to Porter on the first page.
10 pages.
1967
126 Eclipse Maps. A reprint of Richard Gray's 'Eclipse Maps', 'Journal of African History', Vol. 6, No. 3, 1965, pp. 251-262, mentioning Porter's work.
12 pages.
1965
127 Annular Eclipse Maps. A reprint of Richard Gray's 'Annular Eclipse Maps', 'Journal of African History', Vol. IX, No. I, 1968, pp. 147-157, including a dedication to Porter on the first page.
1 booklet.
1968
128 Theoretical Radiant Points of Meteors. A reprint of Ichiro Hasegawa's 'Theoretical Radiant Points of Meteors Associated with Comets', 'Documentation des Observateurs', Bulletin No. 1, January 1958, Fascicule 3, pp. 1-14 (revised June 1962), with annotations in Porter's hand and a dedication to Porter on the front cover.
1 booklet.
1962
129 The Theory of Correctional Manoeuvres in Interplanetary Space. A reprint of Derek F. Lawden and R.S. Long's 'The Theory of Correctional Manoeuvres in Interplanetary Space', 'Astronautica Acta', Vol. VI, 1960, Fasc. 1, pp. 48-60, with a letter from the Lawden to Porter, 4 November 1960, referring to the latter's letter in the 'British Interplanetary Society Journal'.
1 booklet + 2 pages.
1960
130 One Hundred Periodic Comets. A reprint of Brian G. Marsden's 'One Hundred Periodic Comets', 'Science', Vol. 155, No. 3767, 10 March 1967, pp. 1207-1213, including a dedication from the author on the front cover.
1 booklet.
1967
131 A Modification of the Perturbations-of-Elements Method. A reprint of Gerald Merton's 'A Modification of the Perturbations-of-Elements Method', 'Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society', Vol. 109, No. 4, 1949, pp. 421-435, reprinted as 'Communications from the University Observatory', Oxford, No. 27, pp. 21-35. There are annotations to the text. On the front cover is a dedication to Porter.
1 booklet.
1949
132 Tables for the Perturbation-of-Elements Method. A reprint of Gerald Merton, 'Tables for the Perturbation-of-Elements Method', 'Memoirs of the Royal Astronomical Society', Vol. 68, Part 4, 1962, pp. 113-161, including annotations, possibly by Porter, with a dedication to Porter on the front cover.
1 volume.
1962
133 Catalogue of Bright Meteors. A reprint of Axel V. Nielsen, 'Catalogue of Bright Meteors', 'Meddelelser Fra Ole Rømer-Observatoriet', Nr. 39, December 1968, including a dedication by the author on the front cover.
1 volume.
1968
134 Some Remarks Concerning the Accuracy of Meteor Observations. A reprint of J.P.M. Prentice's 'Some Remarks Concerning the Accuracy of Meteor Observations', 'Journal of the British Astronomical Association', Vol. 49, No. 4, 1939, pp. 146-148, reprinted in a booklet with Porter's paper 'The Accuracy of Meteor Data (Part II)', on the cover of which is dedication by Prentice.
1 booklet.
1939
135 Mapping the Night Sky. Ian Ridpath, 'Mapping the Night Sky' (Wolfe Publishing Ltd), including a dedication from the author.
1 volume.
circa 1968
136 Papers on Saturn and Jupiter's satellites. A reprint of two published papers by Porter's colleagues from 'Memoirs of the British Astronomical Association', Vol. 30, Part 3, including forewords by Porter: L.J. Comrie, 'Phenomena of Saturn's Satellites' (pp. 97-106), and A.E. Levin, 'Mutual Eclipses and Occultations of Jupiter's Satellites' (pp. 149-183).
48 pages.
1935
137 Note on Differencing. 'Computing Note No. 2 - Differencing', an undated draft paper written by Porter for the B.A.A. Computing Section.
2 pages.
138 Oppolzer's Method by Machine. 'Computing Note No. 3 - Oppolzer's Method by Machine', an undated draft paper written by Porter for the B.A.A. Computing Section.
3 pages.
139 Oppolzer's Method by Logarithms. 'Computing Note No. 4 - Oppolzer's Method by Logarithms', an undated draft paper written by Porter for the B.A.A. Computing Section.
7 pages.
140 Perturbation Methods. 'Perturbation Methods', two copies of an undated draft paper written by Porter for the B.A.A. Computing Section.
12 pages.
141 Notes on machine computation. Undated notes on the computation of a cometary ephemeris by machine written by Porter for the B.A.A. Computing Section.
3 pages.
142 Notes on differencing. Undated notes on differencing written by Porter for the B.A.A. Computing Section.
4 pages.
143 The Variation of Elements Method. 'The Variation of Elements Method', an undated paper written by Porter for the B.A.A. Computing Section.
3 pages.
144 Clouds. 'Clouds', an undated draft paper by Porter on elementary meteorology.
3 pages.
145 Comet Arend-Roland 1956h. 'Comet Arend-Roland 1956h', a draft paper by Porter on the discovery and observation of this comet.
6 pages.
Mar. 1957
146 'Comet Giacobini-Zinner'. 'Comet Giacobini-Zinner', a draft paper by Porter on the returns of this comet, with a diagram.
3 pages.
circa 1946
147 Cometary Aphelia. 'Cometary Aphelia', an undated draft paper by Porter on cometary calculations.
2 pages.
148 Conjunctions of Neptune with a star. 'Conjunctions of Neptune with a star', a draft paper by Porter attempting to show the possibility of a five-fold conjunction of Neptune as seen from the Earth.
1 page.
Feb. 1959
149 The False Dawn. 'The False Dawn', a brief resumé by Porter of the observations of this effect and of the claims that it is not zodiacal light.
2 pages.
150 Gravitation Effects-Orbits and Escape. 'Gravitation Effects-Orbits and Escape', a draft paper by Porter on the various cases for the Earth orbit, lunar and planetary orbits and escape velocity.
6 pages.
circa 1957
151 Local Circumstances of a Partial Solar Eclipse. 'Local Circumstances of a Partial Solar Eclipse', draft instructions by Porter on calculations for eclipses.
2 pages.
152 Occultations and Eclipses of Iapetus. 'Occultations and Eclipses of Iapetus', a draft paper by Porter on the calculations of the phenomena of Iapetus.
13 pages.
circa 1963
153 Predictions of Periodic Comets. 'Predictions of Periodic Comets', a list of errors in cometary predictions, 1923-1945.
1 page.
circa 1945
154 On the presentation of elements of comets and ephemerides. 'On the presentation of elements of comets and ephemerides in the Journal [of the British Astronomical Association]', an undated draft paper by Porter.
1 page.
155 Refraction at Low Altitudes. 'Refraction at Low Altitudes', an undated paper by Porter on the calculation of refractions.
2 pages.
156 Sputniks and Space Travel. 'Sputniks and Space Travel', a draft paper by Porter on the recent launch of Russian satellites and the difficulties associated with reaching the Moon, 4 pages. There is also a note stating that the paper was for 'New Future', published by the Economic League.
5 pages.
1957
157 Transits of Earth as seen from Mars. 'Transits of Earth as seen from Mars', an undated outline by Porter of the general conditions of this phenomenon.
1 page.
158 Notes on the Bauschinger Method. Notes on the Bauschinger Method written by Porter in connection with his work on methods of comet orbit calculation at the N.A.O.
7 pages.
159 Papers on Hansen's method. Undated notes and tables on 'Hansen's method of special pert[urbation]s' written by Porter in connection with his work on methods of comet orbit calculation at the N.A.O.
18 pages.
160 Papers on Special Perturbations. Notes and tables on Special Perturbations written by Porter in connection with his work on methods of comet orbit calculation at the N.A.O.
14 pages.
161 Notes on Stromgren's Method. Undated notes on Stromgren's Method written by Porter in connection with his work on methods of comet orbit calculation at the N.A.O.
4 pages.
162 Notes on variation of elements. Undated notes on variation of elements written by Porter in connection with his work on methods of comet orbit calculation at the N.A.O.
7 pages.
163 Notes on the J.G. Porter Method. Notes on the J.G. Porter Method written by Porter in connection with his work on methods of comet orbit calculation at the N.A.O.
10 pages.
164 Notes on the Crommelin-Merton Method. Notes on the Crommelin-Merton Method produced by Porter in connection with his work at the N.A.O. and sent to D.H. Sadler.
8 pages.
July 1952-Aug. 1952
165 Notes on Comet N.A.O. I. Notes on Comet N.A.O. I. produced by Porter in connection with his work at the N.A.O. and sent to D.H. Sadler.
3 pages.
24 Oct. 1952
166 Notes on Comet N.A.O. I. Notes on Comet N.A.O. I. produced by Porter in connection with his work at the N.A.O. and sent to D.H. Sadler.
7 pages.
28 Oct. 1952–31 Oct. 1952
167 Notes on perturbations-of-elements methods. Notes on perturbations-of-elements methods produced by Porter in connection with his work at the N.A.O. and sent to D.H. Sadler.
16 pages.
1953
168 Notes on Comet N.A.O. I. Notes on Comet N.A.O. I. produced by Porter in connection with his work at the N.A.O. and sent to D.H. Sadler, 11 July 1953, including comments by Sadler, 13 July 1953.
2 pages.
11 July 1953–13 July 1953
169 Notes on methods for computing perturbations. Notes on methods for computing perturbations: 1. Bauschinger; 2. Merton; 3. Oppolzer; and 4. Hansen. The notes were produced by Porter in connection with his work at the N.A.O. and sent to D.H. Sadler. They include a note by Sadler.
19 pages.
1953–1954
170 Notes on perturbations by punched cards. Notes on perturbations by punched cards produced by Porter in connection with his work at the N.A.O. and sent to D.H. Sadler.
8 pages.
3 Mar. 1952
171 Notes on methodology and computing technique. Notes on methodology and computing technique produced by Porter in connection with his work at the N.A.O. and sent to D.H. Sadler.
3 pages.
24 Oct. 1952
172 Comments on Porter's notes. 'Preliminary comments on J.G.P.'s notes on "The Perturbation-of-Elements Method"', produced by Porter in connection with his work at the N.A.O. and sent to D.H. Sadler.
6 pages.
29 June 1953
173 Notes on Cowell's method. 'A modified technique for Cowell's method', notes produced by Porter in connection with his work at the N.A.O. and sent to D.H. Sadler.
3 pages.
12 Oct. 1953
174 Notes on Kepler's Equation on the 602A. 'Kepler's Equation on the 602A', notes produced by Porter in connection with his work at the N.A.O. and sent to D.H. Sadler, 26 April (no year).
2 pages.
175 The Orbits of Periodic Comets. Technical Memorandum 312-167 on 'The Orbits of Periodic Comets', written by Porter for internal distribution at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena.
22 pages.
2 Mar. 1962
176 The Statistics of Comets. An interoffice memo on 'The Statistics of Comets' written by Porter for internal distribution at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena.
37 pages.
7 Mar. 1962
177 The Minor Planets. Technical Memorandum 312-178 on 'The Minor Planets', written by Porter for internal distribution at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena.
11 pages.
28 Mar. 1962
178 Printout of elements of cometary orbits. A computer printout of elements of cometary orbits used by Porter when at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, including his handwritten annotations.
2 sheets.
circa 1962
179 Lecture notes on planetary motion. Manuscript notes for Lecture 1, on 'Planetary Motion', of a series of astronomical lectures given by Porter.
2 pages.
circa 1951
180 Lecture notes on reference frames. Manuscript notes for Lecture 2, on reference frames, of a series of astronomical lectures given by Porter.
3 pages.
circa 1951
181 Lecture notes on orbits. Manuscript notes for Lecture 3, on orbits, of a series of astronomical lectures given by Porter.
3 pages.
circa 1951
182 Lecture notes on orbits. Manuscript notes for Lecture 4, on orbits, of a series of astronomical lectures given by Porter.
2 pages.
circa 1951
183 Lecture notes on the Moon. Manuscript notes for Lecture 5, on the Moon, of a series of astronomical lectures given by Porter.
2 pages.
circa 1951
184 Lecture notes on the Sun. Manuscript notes for Lecture 6, on the Sun, of a series of astronomical lectures given by Porter.
2 pages.
circa 1951
185 Lecture notes on measurements. Manuscript notes for Lecture 7, on measurements, of a series of astronomical lectures given by Porter.
2 pages.
circa 1951
186 Lecture notes on projection methods. Manuscript notes for Lecture 8, on projection methods, of a series of astronomical lectures given by Porter.
3 pages.
circa 1951
187 Lecture notes on perturbation. Manuscript notes for Lectures 9-10, on perturbations, of a series of astronomical lectures given by Porter.
2 pages.
circa 1951
188 Lecture notes on Kepler's Laws. Manuscript notes for a student lecture given by Porter on 13 August 1956 on 'Kepler's Laws'.
2 pages.
Aug. 1956
189 Notes on hyperbolic orbits. Undated manuscript notes on hyperbolic orbits.
5 pages.
190 Notes on special perturbations. Undated manuscript notes on special perturbations.
14 pages.
191 Lines of poetry. A short, undated verse of tombstone doggerel quoted from William Pulleyn's 'Graveyard Gleanings' of circa 1829.
1 page.
192 Comet P/Gale 1927 VI (= 1938 I). 'Comet P/Gale 1927 VI (= 1938 I)', a draft paper by Cameron Dinwoodie, including handwritten annotations by the author and an acknowledgement to Porter.
14 pages.
1957
193 Eclipses of Natural Planetary Satellites. 'Eclipses of Natural Planetary Satellites', a draft paper by C. Frederick Peters, including handwritten annotations, corrections and a dedication to Porter.
24 pages.
1974
194 Comet Pons-Winnecke. 'Comet Pons-Winnecke. Methods of combining 1927 and 1933 apparitions', a draft paper by D.H. Sadler, dated 30 March 1938, with annotations by Porter.
3 pages.
1938
195 Numbers unassigned.
196 Numbers unassigned.
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198 Numbers unassigned.
199 Numbers unassigned.
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227 Numbers unassigned.
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232 Numbers unassigned.
233 Script for 'The Night Sky in December'. Two annotated copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in December' on Herstmonceux Castle and the Observatory in Sussex; the Pleiades, Orion and Gemini; the visible planets Venus, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn; and Herschel, Uranus and the town of Bath.
15 pages.
Dec. 1949
234 Script for 'The Night Sky in January'. Two annotated copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in January' on Herstmonceux Castle; Cygnus, the Milky Way and galactic structure; the use of field glasses, the Great Bear, the Little Bear, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Andromeda, Cetus and Perseus; Vega, Lyra, Aquila and star colours; and the beginnings of radio astronomy, sunspot interference, galactic radiation and space travel.
12 pages.
Jan. 1950
235 Script for 'The Night Sky in February'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in February' on Pevensey Marsh and the radar aerials; Mars, Saturn, Leo, Virgo, Corvus and Hydra; facts and fancies concerning the planet Mars; and the applications of radar in astronomy.
7 pages.
Feb. 1950
236 Script for 'The Night Sky in March'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in March' on Venus and Jupiter; the occultation of Spica by the Moon, 7 March, at 3 am, and occultations in general; the eclipse of the Moon, 2 April, and the occultation of part of the Pleiades, 23 March, at 8.30 pm; Orion and the Pleiades; Gemini and Auriga; Sirius, Procyon and their white dwarf companion stars; Betelgeuse and Aldebaran; Taurus and the Hyades; and star clusters, the Pleiades and Alcyone, and the cluster in Ursa Major.
15 pages.
Mar. 1950
237 Script for 'The Night Sky in April'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in April' on the predictability of astronomical events and the eclipse of the Moon, 2 April; Venus and Mercury as morning and evening stars; the transit of Mercury predicted for 14 November 1953; time-keeping, sidereal and mean time, and time zones; Capella and Vega, Arcturus in Bootes and Corona Borealis; the mythology of the stars and constellations; the proper motion of stars; Thuban as the Pole Star 4,000 years ago; Coma Berenice and a myth of Aphrodite; and comments on astrology.
7 pages.
Apr. 1950
238 Script for 'The Night Sky in May'. An annotated copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in May' on Cygnus, Lyra and Vega, Aquila and Altair, Delphinus, Equuleus and Sagitta, Vulpecula and the Milky Way; and planets around 61 Cygni, double stars, Epsilon Lyrae, Mizar and Alcor, 61 Cygni, eclipsing variables, Beta Lyrae and spectroscopy.
8 pages.
May 1950
239 Script for 'The Night Sky in June'. An annotated copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in June' on the lack of true darkness in the June night sky; the midnight Sun and Moon and the 19-year lunar cycle; Antares in Scorpio, Sagittarius and the centre of the galaxy; Libra and the equinox; Antares, Betelgeuse, Arcturus and Capella, stellar evolution and fusion reactions; sunspot activity, flares and spectrohelioscopes at Herstmonceux; and radio fadeout related to sunspot activity.
9 pages.
June 1950
240 Script for 'The Night Sky in July'. Two annotated copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in July' on the signs of the Zodiac and Isaac Watts's rhyme, the ecliptic, Leo and Regulus, and Mars in Virgo near Spica; Libra, Vega, Cygnus, Altair in Aquila, Capricornus, Sagittarius, Jupiter in Aquarius and Fomalhaut, and the Square of Pegasus; Venus, Jupiter and its moons' eclipses, Roemer and the velocity of light, 1676; and new satellites of Uranus and Neptune.
16 pages.
July 1950
241 Script for 'The Night Sky in August'. Two annotated copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in August' on comets and meteors, nebulae and the Andromeda Galaxy; Perseus, Andromeda and Cetus in mythology with Cepheus and Cassiopeia; Algol in Perseus (an eclipsing double star); the Perseid meteors of 12 August, the radiant of this shower, and meteors in general; and space flight in the future and navigation in three dimensions.
16 pages.
Aug. 1950
242 Script for 'The Night Sky in September'. Two annotated copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in September' on modern astronomy, regarding the Harvest Moon, sunrise and sunset, the equinoxes and the mechanics of the Harvest Moon; the lunar occultation of Antares and the Pleiades; Cygnus, Perseus and Capella in Auriga, and Taurus and Aldebaran; and the eclipse of the Sun and Moon, September 1950, and the appearance of the Moon when eclipsed.
14 pages.
Sep. 1950
243 Script for 'The Night Sky in October'. Two annotated copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in October' on ancient meanings of constellation names; the Royal Stars; Aldebaran, Regulus, Antares and Fomalhaut; the Plough and Cassiopeia; the setting of Vega and the rising of Capella, Perseus, Andromeda, Jupiter in Aquarius, Delphinus, Capricornus and Cetus; and the motion of the Sun, Moon and planets, the path of Venus, the retrograde motion of the planets and Jupiter at opposition.
10 pages.
Oct. 1950
244 Script for 'The Night Sky in November'. Two annotated copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in November' on the appearance of the winter stars; Orion, Taurus, Aldebaran and the Pleiades, Castor and Pollux in Gemini, and the path of the Milky Way; the Great Nebula in Orion, interstellar dust and atmospheric scattering; and the effect of dust in the Milky Way and the clarity of the intergalactic medium.
11 pages.
Nov. 1950
245 Script for 'The Night Sky in December'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in December' on the Christmas Moon, Orion, Sirius Gemini, Leo and Regulus, Betelgeuse and Procyon; Jupiter, Venus and Saturn, Uranus and its discovery by William Herschel; the star cluster Praesepe in Cancer and methods of measuring stellar distances; and the use of the photocell and chronometer to measure the time of extinction of a star at occultation.
10 pages.
Dec. 1950
246 Script for 'The Night Sky in January'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in January' on days and the division of the year; Arcturus in Boötes, Alcor, Mizar and the Pointers in the Great Bear, and the Little Bear; precession, varying pole stars and the motion of the pole; the night sky in 11,000 years' time, with the Southern Cross visible in England, but Orion and Sirius below the horizon; precession being noticeable in a very short time with very accurate measurements; and the Earth as a time-keeper, comparisons with crystal docks and seasonal fluctuations in the Earth's rotation.
5 pages.
Jan. 1951
247 Script for 'The Night Sky in February'. Two annotated copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in February' on William the Conqueror and the 1066 appearance of Halley's Comet; the conjunction of Venus, Mars and Jupiter on 7-16 February 1951; the planet Saturn; the seasonal variations in the visibility of the constellations; Cetus in mythology; and the variable star Mira, white dwarf companion stars, other variables and irregulars, and the star Betelgeuse.
10 pages.
Feb. 1951
248 Script for 'The Night Sky in March'. Two annotated copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in March' on superstitions, the Moon at the vernal equinox in relation to the ecliptic and planetary satellites; Saturn at opposition, 23 March; her rings, Phoebe and the behaviour of the outermost satellites of Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune and Uranus ('Phoebe, did not break away from the planet, as the Moon did from the Earth in the distant past'); Neptune in Virgo and Pluto near the Sickle of Leo; Adams, Leverrier and the discovery of Neptune; and Lowell, Pickering and the discovery of Pluto.
11 pages.
Mar. 1951
249 Script for 'The Night Sky in April'. Two annotated copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in April' on Arcturus, Capella, Vega and Venus; Phosphorus and Hesperus; Mercury and Saturn; Corona Borealis, Hercules and Draco, and Thuban as the Pole Star; the path of Hercules in the sky about six thousand years ago; and the globular cluster M13, Messier the French astronomer and globular clusters in general.
10 pages.
Apr. 1951
250 Script for 'The Night Sky in May'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in May' on spring flowers at Herstmonceux Castle; Venus (the evening star), the position of Saturn in relation to Denebola in Leo, and Libra; Ophiucus and Serpens (groups of Scorpio); Jupiter and Juno, the discovery of Ceres 1801, and the discovery rates of minor planets using photographic methods; and the close approach to the Earth of Hermes 1937 and Eros 1931, and the use of close asteroids to measure distances in the Solar System. The second copy of the script is annotated.
10 pages.
May 1951
251 Script for 'The Night Sky in June'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in June' on Capella and Capricornus (the goats of the sky); the stars Vega and Altair (the latter the brightest star in Aquila), Sagittarius and the centre of our galaxy; the apparent enlargement of the Moon at moonrise, parallax measurements of the Moon, planets and stars; distance finding methods in astronomy, Cepheid variables and the Andromeda Galaxy, from which it 'takes light three-quarters of a million years to reach us'; and the differing distances of stars and the time taken for light to reach us. The second script has annotations.
10 pages.
June 1951
252 Script for 'The Night Sky in July'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in July' on Chaucer's gift of an astrolabe to his son, early navigation, the Plough and the Pointers; Arcturus in Boötes, Spica in Virgo, and Regulus in Leo; lunar distance as a means of longitude determination, and occultations and appulses of Venus by the Moon from various positions on Earth; and the Moon and the tides, spring tides at new or full Moon, neap tides at first and last quarter, the tidal mechanism, the maxima and minima of tides and the power from the tides.
10 pages.
July 1951
253 Script for 'The Night Sky in August'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in August' on the Square of Pegasus, Andromeda, Perseus and Algol, Aries and Pisces; the precession of the equinox into Pisces and the First Point of Aries; Jupiter below Pegasus, the eclipses of the moons of Jupiter, solar eclipses and the annular eclipse of the Sun, 1 September 1951; the eclipse cycle and the saros; and the eclipse series dating from 1284 to approximately 2600 AD.
10 pages.
Aug. 1951
254 Script for 'The Night Sky in September'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in September' on Mercury, Venus and Mars as morning stars and Jupiter; Vega, the Southern stars, Cygnus, Altair and Aquila, Vulpecula and Saturn, Sagitta, Equuleus and Delphinus; the Revd T.W. Webb's solution to the mystery of the names Svalocin and Rotanev for Alpha and Beta Delphinus; the Milky Way, the proper motions of stars and the movement of Sirius, Aldabaran, Betelgeuse and Arcturus listed in Ptolemy's catalogue and noted by Halley; and the measurement of the distance of 61 Cygni, dust clouds in the Milky Way, radio astronomy and radio stars. The second copy of the script has annotations.
10 pages.
Sep. 1951
255 Script for 'The Night Sky in October'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in October' on the Roman names for the planets; Jupiter at opposition under the Square of Pegasus, Taurus, the Pleiades and Aldebaran, Auriga and Capella, and Venus, the morning star; Mars to be at opposition, 1 May 1952; the occultation of Venus in Leo by the Moon, as seen from Japan; Saturn in Virgo; the division of the planets; Mercury, Venus, the Earth and Mars having high densities; Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune being low density gas giants composed of hydrogen and ammonia; and the formation of the planets, the separation of rock and gas at that time and the evolution of life. The second copy of the script has annotations.
10 pages.
Oct. 1951
256 Script for 'The Night Sky in November'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in November' on bonfire night; Orion, Gemini, Taurus, and Rigel (a very bright high energy star); Eriadanus, Eratosthenes and the measurement of the size of the Earth; Venus in Virgo (in appulse with Saturn on 21 November), Mars waxing, Jupiter in the evening sky, and the discovery of a new moon of Jupiter; a new measurement of the path of Nereid (one of the moons of Neptune), some two years after its discovery; the measurement of planetary mass and the 31 known Solar System satellites; and our Moon in relation to the dimensions of the Earth and its orbit influenced by the Sun.
5 pages.
Nov. 1951
257 Script for 'The Night Sky in December'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in December' on the Festival of Britain exhibition, Orion, Sirius of Canes Majoris, Procyon in relation to Gemini, the triangle made by Betelgeuse, Sirius and Procyon; Monoceros, Puppis, Canopus in Carina, Jupiter and Venus; the conjunction of Mars and Saturn, 19 December; stars shining by their own incandescence, Hipparchus and the classification of stars by magnitude; and absolute magnitude, the Hertsprung-Russell diagram, the size of Betelgeuse and the constellations Orion and Lepus.
5 pages.
Dec. 1951
258 Script for 'The Night Sky in January'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in January' on knowledge of the Sun's motion in the heavens in antiquity; the flooding of the Nile when the Sun was then in Leo; the path of the planets in the ecliptic; Regulus, Castor, Pollux, and Praesepe (the 'Beehive' cluster in Cancer); Hevelius and Leo Minor; the occultation of the Pleiades; eclipses of the Sun and Moon in 1952; Jupiter, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Spica in the morning sky; the orbital period of Venus and the eight-year cycle of Venus's phenomena; oppositions of the superior planets at approximately yearly intervals and the optimum conditions for observation then; the oppositions of Mars in 1952 and June 1954; and a prediction that we shall travel to Mars before 679 years have passed.
5 pages.
Jan. 1952
259 Number unassigned.
260 Script for 'The Night Sky in March'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in March' on Mars, Saturn, Mercury and the spring Moon; the occultation of the Pleiades by the Moon in February; Taurus, Orion, Castor Pollux, Auriga and Sirius; Alvin Clark and his son and the discovery that Sirius is a double star; this companion star being a white dwarf and the density of matter in these stars; Procyon and eclipsing binary stars, such as Algol in Perseus; the constellation Auriga, Capella, and Epsilon Aurigae (thought to be an eclipsing binary star); the extrapolation of the size of Epsilon's companion; the partial transparency of such a large star due to the tenuous nature of the gases; Arcturus, Betelgeuse, Antares and Aldebaran - all giant stars; and the stability of the Sun.
5 pages.
Mar. 1952
261 Script for 'The Night Sky in April'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in April' on Virgo and Libra and distant galaxies visible in these constellations away from the dust clouds of the Milky Way; Saturn and Mars and the syzygy (a straight line joining planets at conjunction); the opposition of Saturn, 1 April 1952, and of Mars, 1 May 1952; Arcturus and Spica, the appulse of Saturn and Gamma Virginis; the brightness of Mars and Saturn, rings of Saturn and the composition of these planets; conditions on the surface of Mars and the possibility of vegetable life there; and the hope that the 200" Palomar telescope will further research on Mars.
5 pages.
Apr. 1952
262 Script for 'The Night Sky in May'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in May' on names of the minor planets, the orbits of the asteroids, the close approach of Hermes in 1937, and the size of asteroids; Mars in Libra and Virgo, life on Mars, travel to and from Mars and the view from the planet, with Earth as a morning star; the atypical rotation of Phobos and Deimos; and conditions on Mars, its temperature and pressure, and its views of sunrise and dust storms over gullies and red desert cliffs.
6 pages.
May 1952
263 Script for 'The Night Sky in June'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in June' on Mars, Saturn and Jupiter; Mercury occulted by the Moon, 23 June 1952; summer solstice and ancient time-keeping; Vega, Arcturus and Capella, Cygnus, and Draco, with Etanim near the zenith; time-keeping and the slowing of the Earth's rotation due to tidal friction; and the Photographic Zenith Tube, chronometers and seasonal differences in the rate of rotation.
5 pages.
June 1952
264 Script for 'The Night Sky in July'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in July' on the atmospheric twinkling stars, the greater apparent size of the rising Moon, Sun and constellations, and a psychological effect; the illumination of the Moon and the lunar eclipse, 5 August 1952; the constellations Sagittarius, Scorpio, Centaurus, Lupus and Ara; the Milky Way and the centre of the galaxy; Saturn, Cygnus, Vega and Altair; Mars, Saturn and Jupiter near the Pleiades; and further details of the lunar eclipse.
5 pages.
July 1952
265 Number unassigned.
266 Script for 'The Night Sky in September'. An annotated copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in September' on the Harvest Moon rising at the same time each evening; Jupiter's moons and the discovery of the 12th moon at the Mount Wilson Observatory in the previous year; the orbits of the four larger moons; Jupiter in Taurus near the Pleiades; the apparent retrograde motion of the planets; the epicycle theory and its overthrow by observation of Jupiter's moons; Milton and Galileo, Roemer and the velocity of light and its finite value.
5 pages.
Sep. 1952
267 Script for 'The Night Sky in October'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in October' on Orion, Jupiter near the Pleiades, the Hyades and Aldebaran; the occultation of the Pleiades by the Moon, October 1952; the Pleiades (a star cluster), its mythology and the missing Pleiad; the use to which the rising of the Pleiades has been put; and the movement of the cluster as a group, other clusters, and the Hyades at a different distance to Aldebaran.
5 pages.
Oct. 1952
268 Number unassigned.
269 Script for 'The Night Sky in December'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in December' on Orion, the stars at Christmas time, Sirius, the Pleiades, Gemini and Capella in Auriga; the occultation of the Pleiades by the Moon, 28 December 1952; the Milky Way drowned out by the light of the Moon; the albedo of the Moon and planets, Venus the evening star, Mars, and Saturn near Spica in Virgo; and an astronomy book review for children and adults.
5 pages.
Dec. 1952
270 Number unassigned.
271 Script for 'The Night Sky in February'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in February' on Leo, Virgo, Regulus and Spica; the north pole of the Milky Way; Saturn; the full moon at apogee, the motion of the orbit of the Moon, and Hipparchus and his discovery of the Moon's motion; the Earth and the Moon considered as a double planet system, with the effects of this on the Earth; Professor Brown's tables of the Moon, their use, and the gradual increase in residuals and the reasons for this; and the craters of the Moon and their causes.
5 pages.
Feb. 1953
272 Script for 'The Night Sky in March'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in March' on the relation of the ecliptic to the equator in the four seasons; spring being the optimum time for evening viewing of the planets, particularly Mercury and Venus; Moon rise at this time of year and viewing the Moon when only 30 hours old; earthlight shining on the dark part of the Moon; the lunar occultation of the Pleiades; Venus and its conjunctions with Mars, January, March and October 1953; the phases of Venus and Mars; and Jupiter near the Pleiades, Uranus and Neptune also visible, Saturn rising at 10 O'Clock.
5 pages.
Mar. 1953
273 Script for 'The Night Sky in April'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in April' on Coma Berenice; the Plough, Leo, Denebola, Cor Caroli, and the legend of Berenice's hair; Saturn, its rings and their composition according to James Clerk Maxwell; the 1933 discovery of the white spot on Saturn by Will Hay; the internal composition of Saturn, hydrogen in a metallic phase and the difference between the gas giants and terrestrial planets; and the mathematical nature of modern astronomy.
5 pages.
Apr. 1953
274 Script for 'The Night Sky in May'. An annotated copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in May' on points of similarity between the appearance of Saturn and Arcturus, Saturn near Spica in the sky, and Venus as a morning star; Saturn moving into Libra; Antares in Scorpio; Libra, the equinoctual zodiacal sign; and Alpha Librae, Zubenalgenubi, Nunki, navigational stars and the 'Navigation Today' exhibition at the Science Museum.
5 pages.
May 1953
275 Script for 'The Night Sky in June'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in June' on the permanent twilight of the June night sky; the inclination of the ecliptic to the equator, the seasons and the variable length of the day; starlight in the summer sky; Vega and Arcturus; Saturn and Spica; the distance of Arcturus and its proper motion; the motion of the stars in space about the galactic centre; and the Sun's motion and the passage of time.
5 pages.
June 1953
276 Script for 'The Night Sky in July'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in July' on the Milky Way, including its stars counted by William Herschel, its shape, and its centre situated in the direction of Sagittarius; the path of the Milky Way flowing through Aquila, Cygnus and Cassiopeia, and the number of stars in our galaxy; the resolution of stars in other galaxies established using red-sensitive photographic plates taken with the 100" Mount Wilson telescope; proof that our galaxy is a spiral, confirmed by Dutch radio-astronomers; the position of the visible arms in the sky; and contemporary ideas on distances in the universe being too low.
5 pages.
July 1953
277 Script for 'The Night Sky in August'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in August' on Pegasus, Andromeda, Perseus, and Capella in Auriga, with Jupiter below near Aldebaran and the Pleiades; Venus and Mercury as morning stars; meteors or 'shooting stars' and their association with comets; the August meteors (the Perseids) in the path of an 1862 comet, and the radiant effect; the recovery of Comet Pons-Winnecke; the work of Isaac Roberts at Crowborough; and the composition of comets, their 'tails', the incidence of meteoric material on the Earth, meteorites and meteoric dust.
5 pages.
Aug. 1953
278 Script for 'The Night Sky in September'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in September' on street lights spoiling the night sky; the Harvest Moon and an explanation of this phenomenon; Jupiter below Auriga, Venus as morning star, and Mars near Regulus; the difficulties of making a good star map, projections and Flamsteed's conical projection; the Bonner Durchmusterung, the photographic star survey started in 1887 and the Mount Palomar survey; and the new star map in the 'Radio Times' using Mercator's projection.
5 pages.
Sep. 1953
279 Number unassigned.
280 Script for 'The Night Sky in November'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in November' on Jupiter in Taurus; the transit of Mercury, 14 November 1953, and the next transit of Venus in 2004; Jeremiah Horrocks's prediction of the first observed transit of Venus, 1639; the observatory of Preston in Lancashire; the 1769 transit of Venus and James Cook; Legentil and the transits of 1761 and 1769; parallax measurements during a transit used to determine the scale of the solar system; other objects transiting the Sun; Leverrier's 'Transit of Vulcan'; and the Sun photographed on 173 days in a six-month period during 1953 at Herstmonceux.
5 pages.
Nov. 1953
281 Script for 'The Night Sky in December'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in December' on the winter stars, Orion with Jupiter above Mars and Saturn in the early morning, Jupiter in opposition and its moons, the albedo of Jupiter and the differences between the outer and the inner planets; the theories on the formation of the solar system by Swedenborg, Kant and Laplace, and Bickerton's idea of accretion; the 'planetesimal' theory of Moulton and Chamberlain and Jeans's theory; conditions within the Sun, our knowledge of the dimensions of the planets and the present theory of the formation of the solar system; and the question 'where does the dust come from?'.
5 pages.
Dec. 1953
282 Number unassigned.
283 Number unassigned.
284 Script for 'The Night Sky in March'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in March' on the high inclination of the ecliptic to the horizon on spring evenings with the spring crescent Moon 'lying on its back'; how the Moon appears if an observer moves south across the equator; Boötes, the Plough, Arcturus, Corona Borealis and Alphecca; superstitions, Saturn near Spica and bright comets; and the failure of Comet Padjusakova to become brilliant, the unpredictability of comets, their composition, and the Earth passing through cometary tails.
5 pages.
Mar. 1954
285 Script for 'The Night Sky in April'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in April' on Venus as an evening star and as an object of poetry; Orion sitting in the west with Jupiter above it, Saturn at opposition, and Mars; the composition of the clouds of Venus, its period of rotation and the difference between Venus and Saturn; the size and composition of the rings of Saturn and recent changes in theory on the rings; the temperature of Saturn, the similarity of its atmosphere to Jupiter's, the composition and density of Saturn and the possibility that gases in a solid metallic phase make up the planet; the moons of Jupiter, the composition of Callisto and differences in the surfaces of the moons; and the view of the rings of Saturn as frosted dust.
5 pages.
Apr. 1954
286 Script for 'The Night Sky in May'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in May' on Venus as an evening star, Jupiter, Saturn near Spica and Mars in Sagittarius; the orbit and brightness of Mars, its apparent size at closest approach and its southern declination then; the motion of planets as observed and their retrograde motion; the Martian year and the seasons there; and old ideas on the subject of Mars, the composition of the polar caps and conditions on the surface.
5 pages.
May 1954
287 Number unassigned.
288 Script for 'The Night Sky in July'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in July' on the solar eclipse of Wednesday, 30 June 1954, as witnessed by Porter from Stromstadt, Sweden, near the Norwegian frontier; the beauty of this west coast region of Sweden, chosen for the clarity of the weather; the site, with observers from the Royal Greenwich Observatory, on an islet named Coster; the morning overcast, the cloud clearing by 12.30 pm, but the incoming radio link to London going dead at the crucial moment; the rapidity with which the eclipse reached totality, the corona seen through high cirrus clouds, much brighter than expected, and the colours of the sky during totality; Venus visible at totality and the colours seen in the chromosphere at the end of the eclipse; the planet Jupiter in conjunction with the Sun at the time of the eclipse, the chances of this happening and the time that will elapse before these conditions are repeated; the eclipse of the Moon following this eclipse of the Sun, with the planet Mars quite close in the sky; Mars prominent in the sky in Scorpio, near Antares; the meaning of the name Antares and the special study of Mars being made by South African observatories at this conjunction, now that they are equipped with larger telescopes; and the canals of Mars and the climate and vegetation of Mars.
5 pages.
July 1954
289 Script for 'The Night Sky in August'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in August' on statistical methods in astronomy; the Plough and the movement of Arcturus over 1,800 years since the time of Ptolemy, which Edmond Halley called attention to in 1718; the proper motions of stars, including Arcturus, Sirius and Procyon, analysed statistically by William Herschel, giving similar results to modern measurements; stellar velocities determined by spectroscopic analysis, the velocities increasing towards the galactic centre; revolution about the galactic centre and variations of the movements, with star clusters such as the Pleiades and Hyades moving together; Sirius and the Plough also being part of a local cluster; and radio telescopes receiving signals from the centre of the galaxy.
5 pages.
Aug. 1954
290 Script for 'The Night Sky in September'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in September' on the Milky Way making spectacular viewing through field glasses; Vega, Cygnus and Lyra; Albireo, a double star, and other double stars, such as Alcor and Mizar and Epsilon Lyrae; studies of William Herschel and the parallax principal applied to double stars; the discovery that some double stars are not just line-of-sight phenomena, but stars physically related and revolving about one another; the universality of the law of gravitation; Bessel and the path of Sirius in space, the companion star Sirius B, spectroscopic doubles, the origins of double stars and the differences between them; multiple stars, Epsilon Lyrae, the Pole Star and Castor; the perturbation of stars and comets by other stars; the current neglect of double star work in Britain, Herschel's tradition and his dedication.
5 pages.
Sep. 1954
291 Script for 'The Night Sky in October'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in October' on cycles in nature and astronomy; Jupiter in Gemini below Castor and Pollux, its retrograde motion and opposition, and the three-fold conjunction with Uranus; finding Uranus in the night sky, the achievement of William Herschel, and the close conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus on 10 May 1955; Mercury, Venus and Saturn not visible, and the rising and setting of Mars at the time of a summer opposition; ancient astronomy and epicycles, the system of Aristotle, Copernicus, the discoveries of Galileo and the theories of Kepler; the exhibition of historic astronomical books at the Science Museum, Kensington, and the works of Newton, Aristotle, Tycho Brahe, Kepler, Galileo, Hevelius, Flamsteed, Halley, Herschel, Bessel and Struve; and the books of Peter Apian and Voltaire, Huygens's clock and Meyer's star atlas.
5 pages.
Oct. 1954
292 Script for 'The Night Sky in November'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in November' on stellar fireworks; Orion, Betelgeuse, Rigel, Jupiter in Gemini and Mercury in the morning sky; the Great Nebula in Orion, stellar formation and evolution, the companion stars to Sirius and Procyon, and novae; Nova Aquila (1918), the common occurrence of novae, occurrences in other galaxies, the 1885 supernova in Andromeda and the rarity of this type of event; the study of the Virgo cluster of galaxies, theories of the mechanism of novae, and the photographic study of near novae, such as Perseus 1901; the power of a supernova and the 'new stars' of Tycho (1572) and Galileo (1604), the Crab Nebula and the Chinese records of 1054 AD; and the use of radio telescopes in this research.
5 pages.
Nov. 1954
293 Script for 'The Night Sky in December'. An annotated copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in December' on the year in retrospect; Venus, a morning star; Jupiter near Castor and Pollux; the constellations of Perseus, the mythology of the Milky Way, the aspect of the stars near Mirfak and star clusters in Perseus; Algol and the Pleiades, Arabic star names, and the variability of Algol discovered by Goodricke; Goodricke's achievements, the explanation of eclipsing binaries and the timing of Algol's maxima; the light-time across the Earth's orbit, Roemer's work at Paris, the four moons of Jupiter and Roemer's achievements; and books on astronomy for Christmas.
4 pages.
Dec. 1954
294 Script for 'The Night Sky in January'. An annotated copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in January' on Venus (now the morning star), Saturn visible at dawn, Jupiter (the most visible planet in the evening sky), Mars below the Square of Pegasus, Mercury becoming visible, and Jupiter near Castor and Pollux in Gemini; Orion and Sirius, Uranus near Jupiter, and the Moon full when near Jupiter; the variable brightness of Mars; errors in the prediction of the brightness of Uranus; the brightness of stars and correlation of size, temperature and distance; Ptolemy and classification by magnitude, modern measurements of magnitude, human perception of the brightness of stars and the use of photographic and electronic methods; and the difficulties of exact comparison of stars in the southern hemisphere.
5 pages.
Jan. 1955
295 Script for 'The Night Sky in February'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in February' on Venus (the morning star), Saturn visible in the dawn, and Jupiter near Castor and Pollux; the Sickle of Leo, Regulus, the Zodiac, Gemini and Cancer; an occultation of a star in Cancer by Jupiter on 3 September 240 BC, ancient astronomers, the Greeks and the Zodiac; the precession of the equinoxes carrying the summer solstice from Cancer into Gemini, fixing the equinoxes in classical times, and Hipparchus demonstrating this precession in 120 B.C.; and the determination of the position of the spring equinox, the First Point of Aries in Pisces and changes in the orientation and visibility of the constellations over the centuries.
5 pages.
Feb. 1955
296 Script for 'The Night Sky in March'. An annotated copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in March' on the official beginning of spring on 21 March; Jupiter near Castor and Pollux, its retrograde motion, the brightness of Jupiter, Mars, Saturn and its rings, and Venus; the albedo of the planets, its measurement, the very high value for Venus, and the very low value for the Moon; albedos of the planets, information on the constituents of their surfaces, and values for the minor planets showing rocky surfaces; and the similar treatment of the satellites of Jupiter and Saturn, the value of the albedo of the Earth, the phenomenon of the 'old Moon in the young Moon's arms', and the measurement of albedo.
5 pages.
Mar. 1955
297 Script for 'The Night Sky in April'. An annotated copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in April' on the astronomers of the past and the discovery of the rings and satellites of Saturn; Leo, Spica in Virgo with Saturn to the east, and the appearance of Saturn in a telescope; the quality of early telescopes, such as those of Galileo and Huygens; Huygens's telescope, his observation of Saturn and discovery of Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, Cassini discovering four moons and Herschel discovering two more; the arrangement of the orbits of these satellites, Iapetus in captured rotation and Phoebe in retrograde revolution; and Huygens on space travel.
4 pages.
Apr. 1955
298 Script for 'The Night Sky in May'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in May' on Jupiter near Venus, Mars in the west, Mercury visible in the west at sunset, and Saturn to the south-east in Libra with its rings open; Cygnus, Arcturus, Vega and Spica, and the Milky Way in Cygnus; 61 Cygni, colliding galaxies in this area of the sky, the radio emission from there and the theories of the cause of this emission; the Network Nebula in Cygnus and the size of the Ring Nebula in Lyra; and novae giving similar gas shells.
5 pages.
May 1955
299 Script for 'The Night Sky in June'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in June' on our poor knowledge of the Moon, now south of the ecliptic, Saturn, and the motion of the Moon's orbit in relation to Antares; Hipparchus and the saros, the full Moon at apogee and observable irregularities of the Moon's motion; conditions for eclipses, eclipse seasons and the eclipse of 20 June 1955, the longest in duration for 1,000 years; the theory of the Moon's orbit, Brown's theory and tables, and the use of electronic machines to calculate the Moon's position from the theory; the effects of changes in the Earth's rotation on the Moon and the prediction of eclipses to an accuracy of a few seconds.
5 pages.
June 1955
300 Script for 'The Night Sky in July'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in July' on Comet Mrkos (1955), observations with field glasses and the composition of this Comet's tail; the Milky Way in the southern sky, Vega, Cygnus, Aquila and Altair, Saturn in Sagittarius and the centre of our galaxy; the shape and size of the galaxy; the Sun's position in the spiral arms, rotating about the galactic centre; the cases of other stars not sharing in this general motion, speculation on the nature of the galactic centre, and comparisons made with the Andromeda Nebula, showing many more non-uniform stars near its centre with no dust, the observations being carried out by infra-red and radio receivers; and the recent survey of intense radio sources at Cambridge showing some sources with invisible counterparts, the apparent non-proportionality of the fall off in power of the sources, and the distance of the sources providing a test to theories of the origin of the universe.
5 pages.
July 1955
301 Script for 'The Night Sky in August'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in August' on Saturn in the south-west, the sixth 1955 comet, Pegasus, Andromeda and Perseus; Pisces and the precession of the equinoxes observed and measured by ancient astronomers; the First Point of Aries, with the ecliptic remaining fixed in the sky; other movements of the Earth and the use of the minor planets to fix the position of the equinox; coordinates given in declination and right ascension and the position of the planets given with respect to the First Point of Aries; and Mars to be near the Earth next year.
4 pages.
Aug. 1955
302 Script for 'The Night Sky in September'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in September' on prediction in astronomy; the Dublin meeting of the International Astronomical Union; the Square of Pegasus in the east with Delphinus, Capricornus, Aquarius, Pisces and Cetus; Hydra, Virgo and Ursa Major (examples of large constellations), the regularisation of the boundaries of all constellations in 1930, and Bayer's star atlas of 1603; Mira in Cetus, first mentioned by Fabricius in 1590, which Bayer entered on his 1603 atlas; Holwarda showing Mira to be a variable star in 1638, and Hevelius describing it in 1658; Mira's cycle of 333 days and photographic analysis showing that the total radiation output over the whole spectrum is not as great as expected; Mira, a red giant star, and direct interferometric measurement showing that the Earth in its orbit would fit inside Mira if it was where the Sun is; Mira having a companion star - a white dwarf; and theories of 'pulsating stars'.
5 pages.
Sep. 1955
303 Script for 'The Night Sky in October'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in October' on autumn bringing the Pleiades, Orion, Taurus and Aldebaran; the Moon not occulting the Pleiades and two full Moons in October; Mercury visible in the morning with Jupiter and Mars; Venus becoming an evening star; the meaning of 'inferior planet' as a term applied to Venus and Mercury, and of 'superior planet' as applied to those that reach opposition and have a retrograde motion; our knowledge of Mercury and the difficulty in observing this planet; past theories of a planet inferior to Mercury; Le Verrier and the planet Vulcan, postulated to explain the precession of the orbit of Mercury, since explained by the General Theory of Relativity; Vulcan 'discovered' by Lescarbault, 26 March 1859; the observation of two small 'planets' near the Sun during an eclipse of 1878; other spots crossing the Sun's face; asteroids' paths inside the orbit of Mercury, such as Amor, Apollo and Icarus; and calculations of the planetary ephemeris up to 1980.
5 pages.
Oct. 1955
304 Script for 'The Night Sky in November'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in November' on the Sickle of Leo; Jupiter near Regulus, its retrograde motion and its slow movement in the skies; meteors or 'shooting stars'; November, the month of the Leonid shower, the connection with Tempel's Comet of 1866, and the radiant of the shower; the Leonids in the years 1833 and 1866, and radar detection of meteors; the fruitful new source of discoveries represented by radio astronomy, the recent discovery of radio noise from Jupiter and speculation on the source of this noise; the distinction between atomic physics and astronomy; the axial tilts of the planets, the phenomena of the satellites of Jupiter and the predictability of these phenomena; and the eclipse of the Moon, 29 November 1955.
5 pages.
Nov. 1955
305 Script for 'The Night Sky in December'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in December' on Jupiter rising in the east, near Regulus in Leo, Venus becoming prominent in the evening sky, and Mars and Saturn rising in the east before dawn, with Mars near Zuben-Al-Genubi in Libra; constellation boundaries, the old star atlases and Eugene Delporte drawing up the boundaries of the constellations; and the alteration in the orientation of these boundaries due to precession, the fixed stars, nutation, aberration and parallax of stars, proper motion of the stars, and the different aspect of the constellations in the centuries to come.
5 pages.
Dec. 1955
306 Number unassigned.
307 Script for 'The Night Sky in February'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in February' on Venus and Jupiter in the evening sky, with Jupiter at opposition near Regulus and Venus in the south-west; the difficulty of observing Venus because of its brilliance and cloud cover; the streaks in the clouds seen by observers and the work of Gerard Kuiper on the cloud belts of Venus at the McDonald Observatory; Leo, the Plough, Acturus in Bootes, Corona Borealis and representations given this asterism; Vega and Altair in the aspect of eagles; spiral galaxies near Corona Borealis in clusters, the double stars in the neighbourhood, and R. Coronae Borealis, its variability and the possibility that there is solid carbon in its atmosphere; and T. Coronae Borealis - the 'blaze star' of 1866, a nova not near the Milky Way, which reappeared in 1946.
5 pages.
Feb. 1956
308 Script for 'The Night Sky in March'. An annotated copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in March' on the first day of spring, the length of the year and the spring equinox opposite Virgo in the sky; Virgo and Leo, neighbouring constellations, Jupiter now close by; Denebola, Arcturus and Spica, and Saturn in Libra; the retrograde motion of Saturn, Mars rising in the morning, Venus in the evening sky and the steep angle of the ecliptic in the spring; the newest Moon seen, the possibility of seeing a very new Moon in the spring, the tilting of the Moon's orbit and the difference between our Moon and other satellites; and old superstitions and simple observation.
6 pages.
Mar. 1956
309 Script for 'The Night Sky in April'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in April' on debris in space; Venus in the evening sky, its phases, Jupiter and Saturn in the south and Mercury in a position to be seen; the 'emptiness' of space, dust in space, the solar corona at eclipse and the zodiacal light; the theory of the cause of this light; meteors, dust particles, fireballs and meteorites; meteor observations now better done by radar, meteor showers and the Lyrids, with their radiant near Vega; Cygnus and the Milky Way, meteoric dust originating from comets, or what will be comets, and meteors being detected in daylight by radar; and the dust settling on Earth, the methods used to collect it and micrometeorites.
5 pages.
Apr. 1956
310 Script for 'The Night Sky in May'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in May' on Venus, now an evening star, and its phases; Jupiter near Regulus, with Mars visible in the early morning; Saturn at opposition on 20 May; the brightness of the planet and the tilt of its rings, with 1958 to be a maximum for the visibility of the rings; the Milky Way with its centre in Sagittarius, dark lanes of gas and dust and bright and dark nebulae; the alignment of these dust clouds in the magnetic field of the galaxy; starlight obstructed by dust, but infrared and radio waves being unimpeded; and an estimated half the universe being made up of gas and dust, the density of the clouds, the clouds being in collision, the formation of glowing clouds and new stars.
5 pages.
May 1956
311 Script for 'The Night Sky in June'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in June' on the importance of the Sun; Jupiter in Leo; Mars in the morning sky, and to be 35 million miles from the Earth in September; Venus, the planet which comes nearest the Earth, at inferior conjunction on 22 June, 27 million miles from the Earth; close approaches by the minor planets Eros, Amor, Cupido and Icarus, with Hermes only 400,000 miles distant; Saturn in Libra, and in relation to the stars of Scorpius; Ophiucus and the light-time of Saturn; the motion of the stars, close stars in Centaurus and Ophiucus, proper and secular motion and the average light-time of the visible stars.
5 pages.
June 1956
312 Script for 'The Night Sky in July'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in July' on Saturn and Jupiter in the evening sky, Venus a very bright morning star, and Mars in the east below the Square of Pegasus in Aquarius; connections between the names of constellations and water; Mars to be at opposition in September, most and least favourable oppositions, the difficulties of observing Mars telescopically and requirements for good observations; the markings on Mars, the angular size of the planet, turbulence in our atmosphere leading to poor observations, photographs of Mars and the use of cinefilm on the Mount Wilson telescope, with the hope that the Mount Palomar telescope will use that technique; the colours of the planet and speculation on what causes the green and red colouring; and the McDonnell Observatory and Dr Kuiper challenging the nature of these colours.
5 pages.
July 1956
313 Script for 'The Night Sky in August'. An annotated copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in August' on the earlier sunset; Venus being a morning star and not an evening star again until November 1957; Mars, the retrograde motion of Mars at the time of opposition, the time between loops, and Mars being situated between Aquarius and Capricornus; Alpha Capricorni (a double star) and the difficulty of resolving fine detail under various conditions; the canals of Mars, Schiaparelli, Percival Lowell, the lack of water on Mars, and Lowell's methods and a criticism of them; and humans being deceived by fine detail, an analogy with newspaper pictures, the fact that the canals vanish when a really good telescope is used, and Dr Kuiper's opinion.
5 pages.
Aug. 1956
314 Script for 'The Night Sky in September'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in September' on Mars at opposition in Aquarius on 12 September; Mars and the Earth at the closest approach on 6 September and how this happens; the unfavourable angle of Mars for northern hemisphere observers and the best work being expected from southern hemisphere observatories; conditions for a really close approach being best in August and September, when it is mid-winter in the northern hemisphere of Mars, the southern hemisphere thus being the better observed; the measurement of right ascension eastwards, with reference to the First Point of Aries and the Greenwich Meridian, and the measurement of declination northwards or southwards from the equator; and the vernal equinox under the Square of Pegasus, the autumnal equinox, and the meaning of the word equinox ('equal night').
5 pages.
Sep. 1956
315 Script for 'The Night Sky in October'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in October' on ten years of 'The Night Sky'; the Pleiades in the east; the increase in the number of minor planets and comets known over the 10 years, three new satellites discovered, and the retrograde motion of the 12th Jovian satellite; Miranda (Uranus' moon) and Nereid (Neptune's second moon), both discovered by Dr Kuiper; the 200" Mount Palomar telescope, which began working in 1949, with the 48" Schmidt working in tandem; new instruments for studying the Sun; the doubling of our estimates of the size of the universe due to the 200" telescope, and the revision of the distance to the Andromeda Nebula, such nebulae now known to be independent galaxies; magnetic fields in space and their importance in the structure of the universe; and confirmation of the spiral nature of the Milky Way, radio astronomy, electronics in astronomy, the use of television with telescopes, and a prediction that more than 10 years will pass before the advent of the remote control of telescopes.
5 pages.
Oct. 1956
316 Script for 'The Night Sky in November'. An annotated copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in November' on Venus and Jupiter in the morning sky; an eclipse of the Moon on Sunday, 18 November; the attention given by the ancient astronomers to the Moon and planets, rather than the stars; the study of comets in the eighteenth century; the Messier catalogue of nebulae; M31 in Andromeda and how to find it with the naked eye; William Herschel's counting of stars and nebulae and the different types of galaxy; spectroscopy and photography applied to nebulae, the distances to and nature of nebulae, and the determination of the distance to M31; and galactic clusters, our local cluster and the possibility of other planets.
6 pages.
Nov. 1956
317 Script for 'The Night Sky in December'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in December' on Venus and Jupiter in the morning sky, with Saturn coming into view; Mars, an evening star; the 17th and 18th-century representations of Orion in the star atlases of Flamsteed and Bayer; judgement of size in the night sky; the types and distance of stars in Orion; Alnilan, Rigel and Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse being a red giant, and the very high energy output of the young star Rigel; the Orion nebula (a birthplace of stars), its incandescent gas and dust, and the appearance of two new stars in the nebula; and the recommendation of an astronomy book for Christmas. The first copy of the script is annotated.
10 pages.
Dec. 1956
318 Script for 'The Night Sky in January'. An annotated copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in January' on the comet discovered in November 1956, predicted to be a naked eye object by the spring; Venus drawing near the Sun in the morning sky, Jupiter to be the brightest planet, Mars fading in the early evening, and Saturn coming into view in the morning; International Geophysical Year; Robert Hooke observing that Gamma Arietis was a double star in 1664; other easily observable double stars: Polaris, Alcor and Mizar, Castor, and Gemini; Canis Minor, Procyon and Sirius; the discovery of 800 double stars by William Herschel and the 30,000 known today; the proof that double stars are in fact physically linked and not just line of sight phenomena, eclipsing variables, spectroscopic binaries and the tidal forces in very close binaries; multiple stars, such as Castor and Proxima Centauri; and the similarities and dissimilarities of binaries, such as Procyon and Sirius.
5 pages.
Jan. 1957
319 Script for 'The Night Sky in February'. An annotated copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in February' on Jupiter and Saturn in the morning sky, Venus at superior conjunction, and Jupiter's shape, clouds and satellites; Io and its orbit, and the information this gives about Jupiter; the artificial satellite to be launched later in the year as part of International Geophysical Year; the occultation of Mars, 6 February 1957; and a prediction that Comet Arend-Roland (1956) will be bright in April as a morning comet with its 'tail' before it.
3 pages.
Feb. 1957
320 Script for 'The Night Sky in March'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in March' on spring giving the best evening angle of the ecliptic for viewing the Moon and planets, with Earth light shining on the dark portion of the Moon; the Moon to pass close to Mars on 7 March, with Mars near the Pleiades and Hyades; Aldebaran, Taurus and the Crab Nebula, the nova of 1054 AD, the strong associated radio signals and the suggestions put forward to explain the huge amounts of energy emitted; an idea proposed in Russia, and supported by observations, of a synchrotron radiation source producing particles of cosmic-ray energies, with anti-matter annihilation as the energy source; Jupiter, a radio source with definite areas of the planet associated with the emission, and the discovery of this emission two years previously; Jupiter at opposition, 17 March, in Virgo near Spica, the lack of a climate on this planet, the cloud movement visible, and the comment that there are few 'professional observers of the planet these days'; and Saturn in the south-east before dawn. The first copy of the script is annotated.
8 pages.
Mar. 1957
321 Script for 'The Night Sky in April'. Two annotated copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in April' on a comet to be visible by mid-April, including Arend's and Roland's discovery of the comet 5 months before perihelion; the comet's closest approach to the Earth being on 20 April, and the perihelion on 8 April; the tails of comets, with Arend-Roland's probably to grow longer; the comet's presence in the constellation Cetus, visible by 14 April, and possibly visible just before sunrise on 15th, then in the north-west at sunset in a few days, visible all night by the 24th, and invisible to the naked eye by the end of May; Halley's Comet being a disappointment in this country in 1910, the earlier comet of that year, the constituents of a comet's tail, and the solid head of dust and stones; Whipple's theory; the light source of the tail and changes in comets related to solar activity; the inter-relation of I.G.Y. solar observations with observed changes in the comet; and the small number of astronomers interested in this field.
8 pages.
Apr. 1957
322 Script for 'The Night Sky in May'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in May' on the lunar eclipse, 13 May, when the Moon will be in Libra; the appearance of the Moon during eclipse; the temperature of the Moon's surface and its composition; the formation of lunar craters and the competing theories of volcanic and meteoric origin, the formation of the maria, and lunar dust; and the colour of the lunar dust, Urey's challenge to Gold's views, current doubts about meteoric crater origins and the reasons for this, the opposing volcanic theory, and meteor craters on the Earth.
3 pages.
May 1957
323 Script for 'The Night Sky in June'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in June' on the recent comet coming up to expectations, its unique features and the doubtful connection with solar activity; the 11-year sunspot maximum due in November 1956, the effect on the I.G.Y., the study of the Sun from high altitudes, problems with atmospheric turbulence, and balloon experiments and the ultimate aim of photography from outer space, the nearest approach to which has been achieved by the 'Rockoon' rocket; the detection of X-radiation from solar flares and speculation about the application of rockets to planetary studies; Saturn's rings open to their fullest extent, and the planet at opposition on 1 June, near Antares, with Jupiter in the south-west at sunset; spectroscopic observation of Saturn, the other planets, comets and stars; and the possibility of future observations in the ultraviolet.
6 pages.
June 1957
324 Script for 'The Night Sky in July'. Two annotated copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in July' on the centenary of the first use of photography in astronomy on 8 May 1857, the modern astronomer being a photographer; Venus, an evening star; Jupiter and Saturn being visible, Saturn near Antares with its rings wide open; the recent comet still being followed photographically, the difficulties of very long exposures, atmospheric turbulence and Dr Slipher's photographs of Mars at the Cape; the possibility of applying electronics to telescope images, red sensitive photographic plates being an advantage in regard to the reduced scattering of light, the minimisation of exposure times, the filtering out of background glow electronically and the use of television and electron cameras in lunar and planetary observation; the problems encountered by using this method and successes in this field by French astronomers; and the use by most observatories of photoelectric cells, and the exciting prospect of using electronic methods, with large star fields giving a large increase in sensitivity.
7 pages.
July 1957
325 Script for 'The Night Sky in August'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in August' on Venus, Mars and Jupiter close to the Sun; Saturn near Antares; Pegasus and Andromeda; the galaxy in Andromeda - M31, seen by Sufi and Simon Maius; the true nature of the galaxy first described by Isaac Roberts, modern large telescopes resolving stars within the galaxy, and contemporary photographs being taken at varying exposures to give detail in all parts; the galactic spiral arms, the revolution of the galaxy and Hubble's work; the increasing distance estimates for the Andromeda Galaxy, the increasing resolution of its constituent stars and the lack of gas and dust at the galactic centre giving it a transparency; Baade's work and the definition of 'Population I' stars as stars varying from blue to red super giants in the spiral arms, and 'Population II' stars as those red stars in the central areas of the galaxy where there is no gas or dust; the results obtained using the 200" telescope revealing the similarity between the Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way; and Immanuel Kant speculating on the nature of the Andromeda galaxy. The second copy of the script has annotations.
10 pages.
Aug. 1957
326 Script for 'The Night Sky in September'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in September' on the Harvest Moon; Comet Mrkos (1957) being visible after sunset, Mrkos's observatory, his comet being brighter than Arend-Roland in April, the location of the comet in the sky, and the singularity of two bright comets within 5 months; Vega in Lyra, Cygnus, the Milky Way, radio stars and radio sources in the sky, and the wavelengths received; the I.C.Y. study of 'twinkling' radio stars and Cygnus A; the resolving power of radio and optical telescopes, the reason for the large steerable dish at Manchester [Jodrell Bank]; the Cambridge static array of aerials, tracking by diurnal rotation and the Cambridge radio source catalogue; the difficulties in identifying visual counterparts to radio sources, the success achieved with Cygnus A using Mount Palomar photographs and the theory that the spectrum of Cygnus A indicates two galaxies in collision; the estimated 10 million years required for the galaxies to clear each other, and the interstellar gas thought to be causing the radio emission from this source, situated at an approximate distance of 300 million light years; and the potential of radio astronomy and the possibility of astronomy from rocket and satellite. The second copy of the script is annotated.
10 pages.
Sep. 1957
327 Script for 'The Night Sky in October'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in October' on Jupiter and Mars in the dawn sky, Venus (the evening star), meteors, meteor showers, fireballs, lingering trails and radar measurements; meteor showers named after the constellation where the radiant is situated; the Orionids, Taurids and Geminids; reservations about the theory that the dust that causes meteor showers follows a cometary orbit; photographic methods of measurement; Whipple's discovery of the small orbit of the Geminids, very unlike the large orbits of comets; the Taurids travelling approximately in the orbit of Encke's Comet and the two Taurid showers; the origin of meteoric dust, with the continual source of supply, the sizes of the dust grains, and micrometeorites and the possibility that these form the condensation nuclei for raindrops; and International Geophysical Year observations and the advantages to be expected from having an artificial satellite in orbit.
8 pages.
Oct. 1957
328 Script for 'The Night Sky in November'. Two versions of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in November'. The first version is labelled 'not checked in Talks Department with "as broadcast" script'. It covers the remarkable Aurora Borealis in October; Venus - a brilliant object in the evening sky; Sputnik, its period of revolution, regression of the orbit and its use in finding the physical properties of the Earth; regression in the orbits of the satellites of Jupiter, with Sputnik regressing at a greater rate than these; the brightness of the satellite, all observations from England being made by radio, and the best conditions for seeing the satellite being now at dusk; and the decay of the orbit and the behaviour of the booster rocket. The original script seems to have been changed at the last moment due to the launch of Sputnik II on 3 November 1957. The second version of the script, which is annotated, covers the remarkable Aurora Borealis in October; Venus - a brilliant object in the evening sky; detection of the Russian satellites by radio, an unusual astronomical pursuit; an illustration of how best to see these satellites and when visible, Sputnik I being too small to be easily seen, though its booster and Sputnik II are both big and bright; the orbital periods of the satellites, the regression of the orbits and the cause, the decay of the orbit and the mechanics of the orbits; and speculation on the possibility of the Russians reaching the Moon, with the inherent difficulties in this apparently insurmountable ('But after this last week or two, I'm certainly not going to say that it cannot be done').
7 pages.
Nov. 1957
329 Script for 'The Night Sky in December'. An annotated, incomplete copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in December' on the seventh comet of the year, Dr Roemer's second recovery of a comet this year, the Flagstaff Observatory, and a review of the 1957 comets (Encke, Mrkos, Reinmuth and Harrington), as well as Arend-Roland (a comet dated 1956); Venus very conspicuous in the south-west at sunset and visible at midday for an observer who knows where to look; the brilliance of this planet, its phases and its elongations; its clouds, with the cloud belts shown by ultraviolet photographs being not dissimilar to Jupiter's; and the axial tilt of Venus, the day length on the planet, the 8-year cycle of repetitions of its phenomena and the energy incident on Venus and the Earth from the Sun.
3 pages.
Dec. 1957
330 Script for 'The Night Sky in January'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in January' on Venus becoming a morning star, as are Jupiter, Saturn and Mars; Orion, the Hyades and the Pleiades, clusters, Aldebaran (not a physical part of the Hyades cluster), and the common motions of the Pleiades and the Hyades; studies of these two clusters in modern years photometrically, the true luminosity of the stars, and the main sequence progression being established by use of observations of the Pleiades; the gas clouds around the Pleiades; the Hyades stars being cooler and less luminous, with some red giants representing a different part of the main sequence, with other clusters not in the main sequence at all; and the ages of clusters, the nuclear reactions within the stars, the formation of new stars within the Orion nebula and the series of different stages of development through the Perseus double cluster, the Pleiades, the Hyades to Praesepe in Cancer, and clusters of red stars.
3 pages.
Jan. 1958
331 Script for 'The Night Sky in February'. A annotated copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in February' on the disappearance of Venus as an evening star and its reappearance as a morning star, Jupiter rising at midnight near Spica, and Saturn and Mars in the sunrise; Mars to be at opposition in November, the plotting of planetary positions, and the 'Nautical Almanac' and the tables of Simon Newcomb and George Hill; the advent of electronic machines for calculations of these ephemerides; the high degree of accuracy of the tables required for comparison with observations given that time is now available to a 1000th of a second; older theories of planetary motion being badly in need of revision, with this being done in the U.S.A.; and the method of calculation, firstly for the five outer planets, and then the four inner ones, by a general theory giving new tables to allow for the errors becoming noticeable.
4 pages.
Feb. 1958
332 Script for 'The Night Sky in March'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in March' on Jupiter in the evening sky near Spica, Venus at its brightest as a morning star with Mars and Saturn still in the dawn sky, and Mercury visible as an evening star; the inclination of the ecliptic varying through the year, the spring being the best time for evening viewing of very new moons, Mercury, Venus and the zodiacal light; the derivation of this name, the faintness of the light with the best viewing from the tropics, and the difficulty in seeing this in English latitudes; the origin of the light being a reflection of sunlight from dust in the ecliptic plane, thought to be an extension of the solar corona, though this difficult to prove; Dr Blackwell's experiment from an aircraft in the South Pacific; and the gegenschein and various explanations for this, the 'Earth's Tail' and other theories being discredited, and the more powerful observational technique required to solve this problem.
4 pages.
Mar. 1958
333 Script for 'The Night Sky in April'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in April' on Jupiter at opposition on 17 April near Spica in Virgo, south of the equator; the moons of Jupiter (the four Galilean moons and the eight discovered since Galileo's time), grouped into three parts: the first group comprised of five regular inner satellites (like Saturn's), the second group containing three moons orbiting in eccentric paths, and the final group orbiting in a retrograde fashion; Melotte's discovery of one of these moons from Greenwich, the large perturbations in its orbit, the likelihood of the capture of these moons by Jupiter and the possibility that there was once a break-up of two captures giving two groups; the different types of satellite found in the solar system, the case of Neptune (in opposition this month near Jupiter), Triton's retrograde orbit and Nereid's eccentric orbit; and the new interest in orbital work aroused by artificial satellites leading to attempts to produce an orbital theory for the outer moons of Jupiter, this made possible by modern electronic calculating machines.
3 pages.
Apr. 1958
334 Script for 'The Night Sky in May'. An annotated copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in May' on the Plough overhead, Arcturus in the south, Leo in the west, and Jupiter below Arcturus near Spica in Virgo; the retrograde motion of the planets, the difficulty in observing this motion and the lack of perspective in the sky; the misleading impression of distance given if apparent brightness is relied on, the proper motion of stars, and the importance of their distribution in this galaxy and their movements; the difficulties and errors of these measurements and the improvement in accuracy attained over the years; Edmond Halley and the motion of Arcturus since Ptolemy's catalogue, Arcturus being a 'high velocity star', stars which generally do not move in the galactic plane, and the actual motion of the Sun about the galactic centre; the astronomy of the nineteenth century; the contemporary vogue for astrophysics; the modern astronomer's attitude to figures in astronomy being due to the figures involved; and the 'Cosmic year'.
5 pages.
May 1958
335 Script for 'The Night Sky in June'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in June' on Jupiter and Saturn in the evening sky, with Saturn at opposition on 13 June near Antares in Scorpius; Sagittarius; Ophiucus not being a zodiacal constellation but penetrating the zodiacal belt, where Saturn is to be next year; the continual twilight of the June night in England, the rings of Saturn at their greatest angle with respect to us, visible all round the planet, the conditions for this apparition and the brightness of oppositions in June and December; the brightness of Venus and Mercury and their phases, the outer planets showing no phase and varying only a little in brightness, except Saturn, where there are other variables; the assumptions made in determining absolute brightness, the different brightness at each side of the orbit and the captured rotation of Iapetus and other moons; the variation in light from the minor planets showing their irregularities and indicating a similarity between their surfaces and the surface of the Moon, the satellites of Saturn and Jupiter being much more reflective, as are the rings of Saturn; and the prediction that many man-made moons will be orbiting in 30 years' time. The first copy of the script is annotated.
9 pages.
June 1958
336 Script for 'The Night Sky in July'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in July' on astrobiology and the question of the possibility of life on Mars, with the position of Mars under the Square of Pegasus; the five naked eye planets all being visible this month - Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn as evening stars, Venus as a morning star, and Mars being visible for 6 months; the period of revolution of Mars meaning that it does not appear every year, whilst Jupiter and Saturn moving more slowly appear every year; Venus and Mercury as inferior planets, with Mars coming to opposition in November, more than two years after the last opposition; the relative speed of the Earth and Mars and the great range of brightness due to the distance changes involved; Mars being only worth study when it is greater than 10 seconds of arc in diameter, and even then only giving a small image, providing only a fleeting chance to study the planet at opposition; our better knowledge of the southern hemisphere of Mars, as this face is towards us at favourable oppositions; our inability to follow whole Martian days or years, the seasonal changes inferred, and the infrared studies showing that dark areas on Mars are not Earth-like vegetation, unless they are lichens; and the disappointing 1956 opposition, with haze and cloud on Mars of a white or yellow colour, Dr Slipher at Bloemfontein taking 38,000 photographs, Dr Kuiper in Texas studying Mars at the red and blue ends of the spectrum again showing no vegetation, and Dr Opik's argument that inert material would remain covered in dust, whilst growing plants would show through again.
9 pages.
July 1958
337 Script for 'The Night Sky in August'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in August' on the meaning of the word 'star' and its use in the term 'morning star', as Venus now is, and in 'evening star', as applies to Jupiter, Saturn and Mars at present; Mars growing brighter as the Earth moves towards it, the direction of motion of the Earth in space, the point in the sky towards which we are moving and the increase in the number of shooting stars after midnight; the motion of the solar system as a whole around the galactic centre in Sagittarius and our movement towards Vega; the Milky Way being visible running through Capella, Cassiopeia and Cygnus, whilst Vega and Lyra do not lie in its path; Epsilon, Gamma and Beta Lyrae, the Ring Nebula, its formation, and planetary nebulae; other gas shell stars, such as Beta Lyrae, which is a variable star first reported by John Goodricke, and is an example of an eclipsing binary, and something of a mystery because of its very complex spectrum; the theory of binary stars revolving rapidly in a shell of luminous gas; and the 10th General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union in Moscow. The second copy of the script is annotated.
9 pages.
Aug. 1958
338 Script for 'The Night Sky in September'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in September' on Mars near the Pleiades and the Hyades close to Aldebaran at its stationary point on 9 October; its retrograde motion south of the ecliptic in an orbit tilted with respect to that of the Earth; the orbit of the Moon also swinging round in space so that occultations of Aldebaran will occur in 1959 and 1960, but in 9 or 10 years will be occulting the Pleiades; the orbit being elliptical so that the Moon appears larger or smaller depending on its distance, a distance which varies by 30,000 miles; the phases of the Moon occurring at varying intervals due to the inconstancy of its speed, its very complex motion and Newton's comment; the evection of the Moon discovered by Hipparchus, Tycho Brahe discovering other small variations in the Moon's motion, and the 150 periodic terms which we now take into account with hundreds of smaller terms; the captured rotation and libration meaning that 41% of the Moon is never seen from the Earth; and the chances of success of the projected rocket viewing this hidden side of the Moon reckoned to be worse than 1 in 10.
9 pages.
Sep. 1958
339 Script for 'The Night Sky in October'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in October' on the space age and the open spaces over which the eclipse of the Sun of 12 October will be visible, the Pacific Ocean, Argentina and coral islands in the Pacific which will be used for observations; the only observable solar eclipse in the International Geophysical Year, radio and optical observation being made with rockets sent up to 150 miles; the emptiness of the sky, the rarity of occultations by Mars, and Mars now bright and only 6 weeks from opposition, situated between the Hyades and Pleiades; the Milky Way being a white band through Auriga, Perseus, Cassiopeia, Cygnus and Aquila; stellar brightness and the 'magnitude' measure introduced by Hipparchus in 120 B.C.; the number of stars visible to the naked eye and the vast numbers in the Milky Way, with catalogues of stars down to the 10th magnitude showing 300,000; the number visible in the Mount Wilson and Palomar telescopes and electronic star counting; the effects of gas and dust clouds on our appreciation of the size of the Milky Way, the separation of the stars and the spiral arms visible in Taurus and Auriga; and the clear interstellar space away from the Milky Way making other galaxies visible and speculation on the size of the universe.
8 pages.
Oct. 1958
340 Script for 'The Night Sky in November'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in November' on Smoky Joe, the cat; the orbits of the Earth and Mars elliptical, giving the time of closest approach on 9 November, with opposition on 16 November; Mars being a bright object in the south, in comparison with Betelgeuse in Orion, Aldebaran or Sirius; Uranus being visible with a telescope between Praesepe in Cancer and the Sickle of Leo; the fallibility of astronomers; the meteor shower of 12 November 1833, known as the Leonids, with records dating back to 902 AD showing November showers in a 33-year period; the 1866 return and the complete failure of the 1899 prediction due to perturbations; the Geminid meteor shower of 2 December, the Geminids in an elliptical orbit of a 20-month period, unlike the comet type orbit of the Leonids; daylight meteor showers seen by radar showing that the total number of meteors falling each day is many millions; and a discussion of the erroneous figures given regarding the Moon rocket. The first copy of the script is annotated.
9 pages.
Nov. 1958
341 Script for 'The Night Sky in December'. Two annotated copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in December' on the Pleiades and the Andromeda Nebula and Mars near the Pleiades; Pegasus, Cassiopeia, Andromeda and Cepheus; the stars Alpheratz, Merach and Almach in Andromeda, and the position of the nebula; its discovery attributed to Simon Marius in 1612, although early Arabian astronomers called it 'the little cloud'; the spectroscopic proof that the light from the nebula is starlight, though there was no telescope capable of resolving individual stars when this was done; early speculations about the distance to the nebula; Herschel's insight in his opinion that it was outside our own galaxy, with his distance estimate; the first photograph of the Andromeda Galaxy taken from Crowborough by Isaac Roberts in 1888, Eddington's opinion of the extragalactic nature of nebulae, and distance determination using novae observations; the 100" Mount Wilson telescope's ability to resolve individual stars in the galaxy, our local cluster of galaxies, the distance determination by variable star measurements and the fact that galactic clusters are common, with 3,000 listed in a current catalogue; and the Virgo cluster of 500 galaxies and its use in other distance determinations, with the current estimate of the distance to the Andromeda Galaxy, which it is predicted will soon change.
10 pages.
Dec. 1958
342 Script for 'The Night Sky in January'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in January' on the winter stars - Orion, Sirius and Mars near Orion, with Mars getting more distant and fading; the fact that when Mars is in Leo next June it will be 200 million miles distant and will next be at opposition at the end of 1960; the approximately constant brightness of Jupiter, its 12-year orbital period, and the planet currently being visible as a morning star and at opposition in May; the rings of Saturn, causing variable brightness due to the tilt of the rings, to be 1,000 million miles from the Sun in May; Mercury and Venus being inferior planets always near the Sun, Venus, so bright that it can cast shadows, being visible at midday; the names given by the Greeks to Venus as a morning and evening star, and their name for Mercury; Venus being currently an evening star, its elongation and conjunction, and the relation of phase and distance to brightness; Mercury's brightness related closely to its phase, the difficulty in observing Mercury with the best viewing conditions, and the problems likely to be encountered; and this year's apparition of Venus as a morning and evening star being one of the best possible. The second copy of the script is annotated.
10 pages.
Jan. 1959
343 Script for 'The Night Sky in February'. Two annotated copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in February' on the spate of sightings in England of sunspots seen through the recent mists and the high sunspot activity during International Geophysical Year; Venus as a morning star; Mars between the Pleiades and the Hyades, when it can be compared with Aldebaran; the retrograde motion of the planets; Uranus at opposition this month and its position in Cancer between Praesepe and Regulus; the present day use of photography in the search for minor planets; observations of Uranus, its satellites and their discoverers, and the orbits of the satellites in the plane of Uranus's equator, tilted at right angles to the ecliptic plane; and the view of Jupiter and Uranus through a telescope.
10 pages.
Feb. 1959
344 Script for 'The Night Sky in March'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in March' on a favourable time of year for viewing the Moon and planets, locating Mercury in the sky, Venus being occulted by the Moon and Mars between the Pleiades and Aldebaran, and Jupiter and Saturn being morning stars; Jupiter in Scorpio and Saturn in Sagittarius; the Moon's orbit at an angle to the ecliptic, so that it is south of Mars and north of Jupiter and Saturn; eclipses occurring at the Moon's nodes six months apart, the lunar eclipse of 24 March, the following solar eclipse of 8 April, and the solar eclipse of 2 October; how to view the lunar eclipse; the prediction of eclipses being difficult if solar but easier if lunar; and ancient attitudes to eclipses and the lunar eclipse cycle.
5 pages.
Mar. 1959
345 Script for 'The Night Sky in April'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in April' on the formation of stars in clusters; the Pleiades and the Hyades, with Venus the evening star nearby; Mars entering Gemini; Jupiter being visible after midnight; Capella in Auriga, Mirfak in Perseus, and the star clusters in Perseus; open and globular clusters; the 400 open clusters identified near the Milky Way orbiting round the galaxy and breaking up within two galactic revolutions, this break-up showing that clusters cannot be dated from the time of the star's formation many millions of years ago; distant clusters in Perseus, very luminous and therefore short-lived and recently formed; the Pleiades - an older cluster, but still tightly packed; the Hyades - the nearest cluster, not so tightly packed, with all stars moving in the same direction; associations of stars, as in the Orion constellation, flying apart rapidly and thus indicating recent formation; and all this evidence indicating that stars are formed in clusters. The second copy of the script is annotated.
10 pages.
Apr. 1959
346 Script for 'The Night Sky in May'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in May' on comments on the lack of enthusiasm for space flight; the recent postponement of the launch of a rocket to Venus; Venus as an evening star entering Gemini and near Castor and Pollux, with Mars nearby; the Zodiac and the constellations Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo and Libra; Jupiter in opposition in Libra this month, Saturn in the morning sky and the retrograde motion of Jupiter; Arabic star names, Alpha Librae (known as Zuben-al-genubi) and Beta Librae (known as Zuben-el-chamali); the planet Jupiter, its size and satellites, its cloud structure, the work of amateur astronomers on the planet, and its constituents, very unlike those of the Earth; the theories of Jupiter's structure, earlier models postulating a rocky core and the more recent ideas; and the view of Jupiter from its nearest moon.
10 pages.
May 1959
347 Script for 'The Night Sky in June'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in June' on Venus (the evening star) being near Mars on 14 June, near Praesepe; Jupiter and Saturn in the evening sky; Saturn being at aphelion and not at its brightest, because it can be 100 million miles closer; Saturn being at opposition on 26 June in Sagittarius; the origins of the zodiacal constellations, the difficulty in viewing Sagittarius and Scorpius from England, and the presence of Ophiucus in the zodiac, although it is never so classified; the relative sizes of the constellations Scorpius and Ophiucus and other constellations touched by the zodiacal belt; Cetus, Sextans and Orion; and the definition of constellation boundaries by the International Astronomical Union in 1928, and star atlases before and since then.
10 pages.
June 1959
348 Script for 'The Night Sky in July'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in July' on modern astronomy compared to early astronomy; Saturn in Sagittarius a week past opposition, close to the Milky Way in Scutum; Altair, Aquila and Cygnus; Jupiter in Scorpius, Mars and Venus (now the evening star); the occultation of Regulus by Venus on 7 July (a unique event) and the variation in the orbits of the planets; the Moon at present passing north of the ecliptic, the variation in the Moon's orbit, the occultation of star clusters and Aldebaran by the Moon, and the Moon's parallax; and the four-year cycle of occultations of Aldebaran and predictions of occultations.
10 pages.
July 1959
349 Script for 'The Night Sky in August'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in August' on meteors originating in outer space, rather than as an atmospheric phenomenon, and Thomas Jefferson's opinion on this idea; Venus being at inferior conjunction on 1 September, Mars being also at conjunction, Jupiter and Saturn being visible in the evenings, and Mercury being visible in the mornings at the end of the month; Pegasus, Andromeda, the Pleiades and Aldebaran; Perseus and the Perseids, and the shift in the date of the Perseid shower - an ancient meteor stream traced back over 830 years; the relation to Comet Tuttle of 1862 and the assumption of direct relationships between comets and meteor streams; the showers caused by Comet Giacobini, the recent recovery of this comet by Dr Roemer at Flagstaff, dust in space falling on the Earth and detection of meteors by photography and radar; and the possible risk to space craft from meteors, the density of meteors and the probability that meteorites are debris from the asteroid belt.
9 pages.
Aug. 1959
350 Number unassigned.
351 Script for 'The Night Sky in October'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in October' on Mr Alcock's two comets, both now fading; Saturn in the south-west at sunset; Venus a brilliant morning star and its eight-year cycle; the total solar eclipse of 2 October 1959, the circumstances of eclipses and the path of this eclipse, as seen from Britain; the Canary Islands and expeditions from Britain visiting the Islands on the track of totality; recent improvements in ways of studying the Sun, the solar corona, the composition of the corona and the ionic nature of the inner corona, at a much higher temperature than the solar surface; and other mysteries of the solar corona and the importance of dust in the solar system. The second copy of the script is annotated.
10 pages.
Oct. 1959
352 Script for 'The Night Sky in November'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in November' on the Pleiades, Aldebaran and the Hyades, Cetus and Andromeda; Venus as a morning star, the occultation of Aldebaran by the Moon on 16 November, the dimensions of Aldebaran, and astrophysics and its origin as part of astronomy; Gustav Kirchoff and the laws of radiation, published in 1859; studies of light by Newton, Wollaston and Fraunhofer; Kirchoff and Bunsen showing the presence of sodium in the spectrum of the Sun; the development of the theory of absorption lines, the spectra of other stars leading to the spectroscope as an astronomical instrument and the first use of photography with spectroscopy in the 1880s, spectroscopy now having superseded other methods; the difficulty in interpreting stellar spectra and the spectrum of the variable star Mira Ceti; Mira noticed by Fabricius in 1596 and still a puzzle, with many variations in its spectrum; other stars of this kind, probably supergiants; the composition of red giants, with Mira also being a double star with a blue companion; and the fascination of astrophysics leading to professional astronomers being unexcited about the back of the Moon. The second copy of the script is annotated.
10 pages.
Nov. 1959
353 Script for 'The Night Sky in December'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in December' on the stars of Christmas, Orion, Sirius, Castor, Pollux, Procyon, Taurus and Aldebaran; Betelgeuse and Bayer's star atlas and the atlases of Flamsteed and Bode; Camille Flammarion on the winter constellations, the size and brightness of the various stars and the centenary of spectroscopy in astronomy; the work of Father Secchi and William Huggins; Secchi's division of stellar spectral types into four groups, the development of this classification subsequently by Harvard astronomers, with each classification given a letter according to surface temperature, the range of such temperatures within these groups, and the groups of stars in Orion and the Pleiades; Betelgeuse and Rigel, the dimensions of Rigel, and type A stars (Sirius, Vega, Altair, Castor and Deneb) and metallic elements in their spectra; metallic elements increasing with spectral group; Procyon, the Sun and Capella G type stars; Aldebaran, Arcturus and Pollux, class K; class M, including some supergiants such as Betelgeuse; nuclear fusion being the source of the energy in stars, the age of stars being related to spectral group and the implications of these findings in theories of stellar evolution; and galactic spiral arms being the place where new stars are born. The second copy of the script is annotated.
10 pages.
Dec. 1959
354 Script for 'The Night Sky in January'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in January' on the year ahead, two solar and two lunar eclipses, and a transit of Mercury in November; Jupiter and Saturn being low in the southern sky, with Mars growing gradually brighter, and Venus changing from a morning to an evening star; the phenomena of Venus, its synodic period and its eight-year cycle, in comparison with the 79-year cycle of Mars; infrared photography of Mars, the photoelectric detection of carbon, observations of Mars by the Palomar telescope and the possible presence of vegetation on the planet; statistical methods in astronomy; the reflection of radio waves from Venus at Jodrell Bank, which has been carried out previously with the Moon; the statistical analysis of a return signal otherwise lost in background noise; all five naked eye planets being in the morning sky at present, with Venus and Jupiter in conjunction on 21 January; and the movements of the planets in the year ahead, with Mars to be in Gemini at the end of the year.
10 pages.
Jan. 1960
355 Number unassigned.
356 Script for 'The Night Sky in March'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in March' on stellar colours, Betelgeuse and Aldebaran being red stars, and Sirius, Arcturus and Vega being instantly recognisable by colour; Jupiter and Saturn (easily identified because of their steady lights) being found in the south-east before dawn; the similarities in the colours of the stars in Orion's belt, the difference between Castor and Pollux, close double stars sometimes giving contrasting colours and the numbers of double stars in the sky, greater than can be attributed to chance alignment; the recognition of systems under mutual gravitational attraction by William Herschel, who showed by observation that they actually revolve about one another; Herschel's work having started as an attempt to measure stellar distances, but shifting in emphasis to binary systems; orbit measurements yielding mass and separation of the systems, the limits to measurable separation using optical telescopes, spectroscopic double stars and eclipsing binaries; hundreds of orbits having now been calculated; half the stars in the vicinity of the Sun being double or multiple systems, a proportion probably holding for the rest of the universe; the varying separations of binaries, varying star sizes and periods of revolution, tides on close binary stars and the cases of Capella, Sirius and Procyon; and multiple systems, such as Proxima and Alpha Centauri, with a huge orbital period, the Castor system of three binaries and the formation of binary systems. The second copy of the script is annotated.
10 pages.
Mar. 1960
357 Script for 'The Night Sky in April'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky' on star clusters, the Pleiades and the Hyades, and Perseus; globular clusters, M13 in Hercules and M92; finding Hercules in the sky, the history of Hercules as a constellation and its position relative to the pole in 3,000 BC; the appearance of M13, discovered by Edmond Halley in 1714, the number of stars in this cluster, and its distance, diameter and the red giant stars therein; globular clusters, older parts of the universe and Shapley's analysis of their distribution, showing that they surround the centre of the Milky Way in the direction of Sagittarius; globular clusters compared to galactic spiral arms, with the orbits of stars in spiral arms and in globular clusters analogous to planets' and comets' orbits; and the lack of dust and gas in these clusters indicating their great age, the questions arising from the study of clusters, the density of stars in clusters, their separation and the use of clusters in modern astronomy.
5 pages.
Apr. 1960
358 Script for 'The Night Sky in May'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in May' on the planet Venus being invisible, Mars becoming a morning star, and Jupiter and Saturn being bright in the night sky, both in retrograde motion, with Jupiter at opposition on 20 June, and Saturn on 7 July; Jupiter and Saturn coming close together in the sky, so that in February 1961 Jupiter will pass Saturn in a conjunction happening only once in 59 years; optical observations of the planets having reached their limit, with new lines of research in radio astronomy now open; the mystery of radio emission from Jupiter; the composition of Jupiter's atmosphere - hydrogen, ammonia and methane, with clouds of these gases being the only part visible; the similarity of Jupiter and Saturn, Saturn's size and the brightness of its rings, recent theories on the core sizes of these planets and the optimum size and temperature of a planet to maintain life; the impossibility of discovering planets outside the solar system with present day equipment, although very massive dark bodies have been detected; the likelihood of finding other planetary systems even within 100 light years; the possibility of finding other intelligent life, present American efforts to detect intelligent radio signals, the logic behind this experiment, the signal strength and type of receiving aerial required, with Green Bank being a steerable dish, and the directionality of this receiver; and the types of nearby stars which are suitable for inhabited systems, the 42 possibilities within 15 light years, and the two similar to the Sun - Tau Tauri and Epsilon Eridanus.
10 pages.
May 1960
359 Script for 'The Night Sky in June'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in June' on Jupiter and Saturn at opposition, low in the sky; the poor conditions for stargazing in June and the possibility of 'Sputnik watching'; Vega and Altair bright enough to be seen, as is the constellation Cygnus; the appearance of the Milky Way, our view of our galaxy, our position therein and the direction of the centre of the galaxy; one spiral arm of the galaxy in Cygnus, the galactic revolution about the centre, the motion of our Sun, and the Sun's circular galactic orbit and the calculation of the mass of the whole galactic system from this; the remarkable objects in Cygnus and Lyra; Albireo in Cygnus - a double star with one blue component and one yellow; Epsilon Lyrae (also a double star); the Ring Nebula in Lyra - an example of what is known as a planetary nebula; the composition of planetary nebulae; other violently expanding gases in the galaxy; the Crab Nebula supernova, which is also a very strong radio emitter, thought to be two galaxies in collision, and the effects of such a collision; the future of astronomy lying not in optical telescopes but with radio telescopes; and the possibility of sending 'cameras out into space'.
9 pages.
June 1960
360 Script for 'The Night Sky in July'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in July' on the constellation of Aquarius; Jupiter and Saturn in the south at opposition in Sagittarius; the Square of Pegasus in the east, Andromeda, the Pleiades, and Mars rising later in the evening, when it can be compared with Aldebaran; Capricornus; Alpha Capricorni being a double star by alignment and bearing the proper name Geidi; the high proportion of true doubles in the sky, about 1 in 2 in the neighbourhood of the Sun, and including Sirius, Procyon, Capella, Alpha Centauri and Castor; modern catalogues listing some 25,000 examples; periods of visual binaries, spectroscopic binaries where Doppler shifts are used to give stellar velocities, and eclipsing binaries and other variable stars; the historical proof of the universality of the theory of gravitation using eclipsing binaries, this giving the masses of the stars, though the observation of visual binaries is now out of fashion; the 25,000 double stars in the catalogue having only 300 which have had orbits accurately computed; eclipsing binaries giving 300 more computed orbits from the 1500 known, due to their much shorter period; the twisting of the orbits of eclipsing binaries and artificial Earth satellites, the cause of this twisting and the opinion that we shall never be able to explore binaries in any other way than by distant observation; the information derived regarding the rotation of stars, the high rotation of very young stars, the separation of very close binaries, and the tackling of these problems in Britain and America by computer; and fashions in astronomy and the current use of electronic machines in addition to telescopes.
9 pages.
July 1960
361 Script for 'The Night Sky in August'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in August' on Mercury in the morning sky; Jupiter and Saturn in the evening sky; Mars becoming the most interesting planet over the next few months, its path between the Pleiades and the Hyades, its path in coming months and its similarity in colour to Aldebaran, which it already exceeds in brightness; star clusters in Taurus, Auriga and Perseus, the advantages of the study of clusters, their common origin and distance, the Hyades cluster, and Aldebaran being unconnected with the Hyades, which have a common recession, seen as an eastward movement from the Earth; the use of this movement to determine the size and distance of this cluster, a method which cannot be applied to the Pleiades, which is a reflection nebula; the possible origin of the gas and dust causing this nebulosity, Pleione being a shell star, and the intermittent spectroscopic evidence for this; the stars making up the Pleiades, their great variation in size and temperature and their similarity to the Hyades, although the stars of the Hyades are much older; the majority of all stars being like the Sun, and not giants, although the giants such as Capella and Aldebaran are prominent; Capella being also a double star and unusual in that both stars are similar; and the supergiants of Auriga, Epsilon and Zeta Aurigae, both double stars, and the sizes of each component compared to the solar system.
10 pages.
Aug. 1960
362 Script for 'The Night Sky in September'. Two copies of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in September' on the lunar eclipse of 5 September and the partial solar eclipse of 2 September, both unseen from England; Mars rising before midnight, between Aldebaran and Capella, and growing brighter; the mystery of the moons of Mars; Jupiter setting before midnight, the eclipse sequence of its moon Callisto commencing once more, and the four large moons of Jupiter discovered by Galileo in 1610, their eclipses visible in a small telescope; Callisto being able to miss the shadow of Jupiter, but now entering a new eclipse cycle; the appearance of the five visible moons from Jupiter's surface; the size of the four large moons, the distance and period of Io and the dependence of this period on the mass of Jupiter; the brightness of Jupiter's moons being much less than our Moon due to their greater distance from the Sun, the first three satellites never having a full moon phase as they are always eclipsed, and Callisto (the fourth satellite) now entering a three-year period when it will be eclipsed every 16 days; the predictions of these phenomena found in the 'Nautical Almanac' (now the 'Astronomical Ephemeris') since 1767, with diagrams or graphs, and the international cooperation involved in this work; the fifth moon (the closest to Jupiter) being the fastest moving satellite in the solar system; the discovery of seven other moons by photography and their arrangement in groups, with the outer four in retrograde motion; the effect of the Sun on the satellites, their highly complex orbits just now being calculated from theory; and the return to fashion of satellite astronomy.
10 pages.
Sep. 1960
363 Script for 'The Night Sky in October'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in October' on the winter constellations now becoming visible to the east before midnight - Orion, Taurus and Aldebaran with the Pleiades, Gemini with Castor, and Pollux; Mars being in Gemini, as bright as Capella; Sirius rising after midnight to rival Mars in brightness; the eleven comets discovered in 1960, three new and eight returned, six of the total found by Dr Elizabeth Roemer at the Flagstaff Observatory; this Observatory, the unpopularity of comet-hunting, the bias against women astronomers in the U.S.A., and Dr Roemer's recovery of Encke's Comet; Encke's Comet being related to two meteor showers - the Taurids of October and November and of June, the latter shower being detected by radar as it occurs in daylight; recent American work showing that these meteors had the same orbit as the Comet 5,000 years ago, breaking away then and spreading out over time; the difference between meteorites and shooting stars, meteorites not originating in comets, their probable origin and the mystery of the origin of the tektites; the restricted areas in which tektites are found, the old theory of tektites, the new theory of tektites being meteors, the problem of the clustering of the tektites, the possibility of a lunar origin and the agreement of results calculated 'using one of the big electronic machines' with the observed distribution; and a prediction that it will not be long before we have a sample of the Moon's surface to give the answer.
5 pages.
Oct. 1960
364 Number unassigned.
365 Number unassigned.
366 Number unassigned.
367 Number unassigned.
368 Script for 'The Night Sky in March'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in March' on the spring equinox on 20 March, Venus as an evening star, the paradox of Venus as a morning or an evening star, and Mars between Gemini and Auriga, fainter than Capella and brighter than Castor and Pollux; the future course of Mars in the sky, the ecliptic's position in the sky during the year, the optimum time for viewing the planets being on spring evenings, and the effect known as the crescent Moon 'on its back'; the Zodiac, the zodiacal light and where to look for this in the sky; tropical latitudes being the best places to see the light and the Revd Jones' drawing of the zodiacal light from the U.S.S. 'Mississippi' in the Far East; later American observations of the light, the subsequent unfashionability of this study and the new importance of the subject as it is related to the matter in interplanetary space; the lens of gas, dust and electrons around the Sun, perhaps spreading out as far as Jupiter; the connection between the Sun's corona and the zodiacal light, the gap in observations of the two some 10 years ago, and the work done during eclipses by Dr Blackwell of the Cambridge Observatories at the Shetlands (1954), Fiji (1955) and Chacattaya, Bolivia, in the Andes (1958); and the density of electrons in free space being lower than predicted and the variations in the brightness of the zodiacal light.
5 pages.
Mar. 1961
369 Number unassigned.
370 Number unassigned.
371 Number unassigned.
372 Number unassigned.
373 Number unassigned.
374 Number unassigned.
375 Number unassigned.
376 Number unassigned.
377 Number unassigned.
378 Script for 'The Night Sky in November and December'. A copy of Porter's script for 'The Night Sky in November and December' on there being two full Moons in the 30-day month of November and no full Moon in February 1934; the singular lunar events of early 1866; the aspect of the evening sky being static at this time of year; Capella, the Pleiades, Perseus, Andromeda and the Square of Pegasus; Jupiter being visible all night below the Square of Pegasus; Saturn in Capricornus fading and setting earlier; Mars and Venus, with Venus moving to become an evening star by Christmas; the shooting stars of this time of year - the Leonids and Geminids; the Leonids being high speed meteors, with a radiant in the Sickle of Leo associated with the 1866 Comet; the Geminids being always plentiful, with a radiant near Castor, and slow meteors with no known associated comet; the number of meteors falling on the Earth each day, early discussions on the danger to spacecraft from meteoric dust, and the Mariner II trip to Venus recording two impacts in 1700 hours, a figure much lower than expected; Mariner's discovery of the solar wind and the effects of the solar wind being radio fadeout, aurorae and magnetic storms; the study of the Van Allan belts, several years after their discovery, and the extent of the belts; Pioneer V, the first space vehicle to go beyond these belts, out to 20 million miles, studying the magnetic fields in space, the growth of plasma physics in relation to this study, and the explanation of the behaviour of cosmic rays; the Sun's effects, the extension of the corona out from the Sun into the zodiacal light, and the Earth being a planet moving in the atmosphere of the Sun; modern changes in ideas about material in space, the dust being unimportant and the plasma and magnetic fields of much greater importance; and each new space probe giving more information on these subjects.
8 pages.
Nov. 1963
379 Script for 'The Night Sky in January'. A copy of the script for 'The Night Sky in January' by Vincent Reddish on 'The Birth of a Star', regarding stellar formation and gas clouds, radio astronomy, current estimates for the age of the galaxies and the steady state theory.
6 pages.
Jan. 1961
380 Script for 'The Night Sky in August'. A copy of the script for 'The Night Sky in August' by H.C. King regarding the lunar eclipse of 26 August, the lunar surface, and the Perseid meteors and meteor streams.
6 pages.
Aug. 1961
381 Script for 'The Night Sky in November'. A copy of the script for 'The Night Sky in November' by David Dewhirst on 'I.A.U. Report No 2 - GALAXIES', reporting on a recent I.A.U. meeting, types of galaxies and stages of development, galactic clusters, and Ryle and Baum on evidence against the steady state theory.
6 pages.
Nov. 1961
382 Script for 'The Night Sky in December'. A copy of the script for 'The Night Sky in December' by F.G. Smith on 'I.A.U. Report No 3 - "Needles and Nebulae"', reporting on the recent I.A.U. meeting, the investigation of nebulae by radio and optical telescopes, types and ages of the galaxies and the age of the universe, and protests about Project West Ford - the experiment on radio reflection from metal needles.
6 pages.
Dec. 1961
383 Script for 'The Night Sky in February'. A copy of the script for 'The Night Sky in February' by R.C. Jennison on 'Satellite Astronomy', regarding the possibilities of satellite astronomy, electromagnetic wavelengths available at the Earth's surface and the possibility of other intelligent life seeing other wavelengths, and satellite astronomy over the whole spectrum.
7 pages.
Feb. 1962
384 Script for 'The Night Sky in April'. A copy of the script for 'The Night Sky in April' by John Baldwin on 'The Surface of the Moon', regarding the Moon and conflicting lunar theories, the temperature of the Moon's surface and interior, measurements with radio instruments, and recent Russian observations of volcanic activity on the Moon.
7 pages.
Apr. 1962
385 Script for 'The Night Sky in May'. A copy of the script for 'The Night Sky in May' by Roger Griffin on 'An Application of Automation in Astronomy', regarding the automation of repetitive jobs in everyday life and astronomy, measurements on stellar photographs being a prime candidate for automation, computers used for the arithmetic, and digitised measuring machines and direct linking to computers.
7 pages.
May 1962
386 Script for 'Galileo Galilei'. An annotated copy of the script for 'Galileo Galilei', a talk by Porter for the B.B.C. Schools Radio series 'General Science', which includes a short illustrative play.
13 pages.
Apr. 1948
387 Script for 'Volta and his battery'. A copy of the script for 'Volta and his battery', a play with narration by Porter, the second part of the series 'Great Discoveries' for the B.B.C. Schools Radio series 'General Science'.
11 pages.
Sep. 1949
388 Script for 'The Earth from Outside'. An annotated copy of the script for 'The Earth from Outside', a play with narration set on an imaginary rocket journeying from the Earth, the first part of the series 'Other Worlds' for the B.B.C. Schools Radio series 'General Science', including some material written by Porter.
11 pages.
Oct. 1949
389 Script for 'Our Neighbour the Moon'. An annotated copy of the script for 'Our Neighbour the Moon', a play with narration, the second part of the series 'Other Worlds' for the B.B.C. Schools Radio series 'General Science', including some material by Porter.
10 pages.
Nov. 1949
390 Script for 'A Journey to the Sun'. An annotated copy of the script for 'A Journey to the Sun', a play with narration, the third part of the series 'Other Worlds' for the B.B.C. Schools Radio series 'General Science', including some material written by Porter.
11 pages.
Nov. 1949
391 Script for 'Out into Space'. An annotated copy of the script for 'Out into Space', a play with narration regarding the solar system, the fourth part of the series 'Other Worlds' for the B.B.C. Schools Radio series 'General Science', including some material written by Porter.
10 pages.
Nov. 1949
392 Script for 'How to Study the Stars'. Three copy of the script for 'How to Study the Stars', a talk by Porter for the B.B.C. Schools Radio series 'General Science'. The first two copies are annotated.
25 pages.
Nov. 1949
393 Script for 'Any Questions?'. A copy of the script for 'Any Questions?', a broadcast of the B.B.C. Schools Radio series 'General Science', including Porter's answers to questions relating to astronomy. There is also Porter's original annotated typescript of his answers.
12 pages.
Dec. 1949
394 Script for 'Bending Light'. An annotated copy of the script for 'Bending Light: the Story of Galileo and his Telescope', a narrated play by Porter, the fourth part of the series 'Great Discoveries about Light' for the B.B.C. Schools Radio series 'General Science'.
10 pages.
Oct. 1950
395 Script for 'What Is Heat'. An annotated copy of the script for 'What is Heat', a play on Benjamin Thompson's (Count Rumford) experiments written and narrated by Porter, the first part of the series 'Great Discoveries about Heat' for the B.B.C. Schools Radio series 'General Science'.
11 pages.
Sep. 1951
396 Script for 'Fire and Flame'. An annotated copy of the script for 'Fire and Flame', a play regarding Humphrey Davy written and narrated by Porter, the second part of the series 'Great Discoveries concerned with Heat' for the B.B.C. Schools Radio series 'General Science'.
10 pages.
Sep. 1951
397 Script for 'The Earth and the Sun'. An annotated copy of the script for 'The Earth and the Sun', a talk by Porter on Copernicus and Galileo, including an illustrative play. The talk was the second part of the series 'Great Discoveries about the Earth' for the B.B.C. Schools Radio series 'General Science'. There are several duplicate pages from the script.
21 pages.
Sep. 1952
398 Script for 'The Earth from Outside'. An annotated copy of the script for 'The Earth from Outside', the first part of the series 'The Earth and its Neighbours' for the B.B.C. Schools Radio series 'General Science', containing astronomical data revised by Porter.
11 pages.
Oct. 1952
399 Script for 'Our Neighbour the Moon'. An annotated copy of the script for 'Our Neighbour the Moon', the second part of the series 'The Earth and its Neighbours' for the B.B.C. Schools Radio series 'General Science', containing astronomical data revised by Porter.
10 pages.
Nov. 1952
400 Script for 'How You Can Study the Stars'. An annotated copy of the script for 'How You Can Study the Stars', a talk by Porter, the fifth part of the series 'The Earth and its Neighbours' for the B.B.C. Schools Radio series 'General Science'.
9 pages.
Nov. 1952
401 Script for 'The Salt Sea'. A copy of the script for 'The Salt Sea', a play by Porter on the production and uses of salt for the series 'Water' for the B.B.C. Schools Radio series 'General Science'.
13 pages.
May 1955
402 Script for 'Measuring Temperature'. A copy of the script for 'Measuring Temperature', a narrated play by Porter, the sixth part of the series 'Heat' for the B.B.C. Schools Radio series 'General Science'.
11 pages.
Oct. 1956
403 Script for 'The Sun's Family'. Two annotated copies of the script for 'The Sun's Family', a talk by Porter, including a short illustrative play. The talk was the tenth part of the series 'Our Own and Other Worlds' for the B.B.C. Schools Radio series 'General Science'. The second script is a revised version.
21 pages.
Oct. 1957
404 Script for 'Star Gazing'. An annotated copy of the script for 'Star Gazing', a talk on astronomy by Porter, the eleventh part of the series 'Unit II. Our Own and Other Worlds' for the B.B.C. Schools Radio series.
8 pages.
Dec. 1957
405 Script for 'Time and its Measurement'. Three copies of the script for 'Time and its Measurement', a talk narrated by Porter, including two illustrative plays, one of which features Charles II and John Flamsteed. The talk was the second part of the series 'International Services' for the B.B.C. Schools Radio series 'Citizenship'. The first two copies of the script are annotated.
35 pages.
June 1950
406 Script for 'The Sky at Night'. Two annotated copies of the script for 'The Sky at Night', a play by Porter for the B.B.C. Schools Radio series 'For Country Schools', featuring Stanley MacKenzie.
24 pages.
Jan. 1953
407 Script for 'Clean Milk'. Two copies of the script for 'Clean Milk', a play by Porter featuring Philip Brown, the fourth part of the series 'Man Versus Microbes' for the B.B.C. Schools Radio series 'Science and the Community'.
18 pages.
Nov. 1948
408 Script for 'What's Going on Inside?'. An annotated copy of the script for 'What's Going on Inside?', a talk by Porter on the invention of the stethoscope, including a short illustrative play. The talk was the first part of the series 'Science Helps the Doctor' for the B.B.C. Schools Radio series 'Science and the Community'.
10 pages.
Jan. 1949
409 Script for 'Clean Milk'. An annotated copy of the script for 'Clean Milk', a narrated play by Porter, the seventh part of the series 'The Fight Against Germs' for the B.B.C. Schools Radio series 'Science and the Community'.
9 pages.
Nov. 1958
410 Script for 'The Importance of the I.G.Y.'. Two annotated copies of 'The Importance of the I.G.Y.', a talk by Porter on science, the Earth and the Sun, the fifth part of the series 'The International Geophysical Year' for the B.B.C. Schools Radio series 'Talks for Sixth Forms'.
26 pages.
Oct. 1957
411 Script for talk on the Sun and planets. A copy of the script for a talk by Porter on the Sun and planets for B.B.C. Schools Radio, including a short play to illustrate the workings of the orrery and the dimensions of the solar system. The title of the talk is unknown.
11 pages.
circa 1957
412 Script for a talk on astronomy. Part of the script for a talk by Porter on astronomy and the constellations for the B.B.C. Schools Radio series 'General Science'. The first two pages are missing.
8 pages.
Oct. 1957
413 Script for 'The Inside of the Earth'. An annotated copy of the script for 'The Inside of the Earth' by Robert Stoneley, the second part of the series 'The International Geophysical Year' for the B.B.C. Schools Radio series 'Talks for Sixth Forms'.
12 pages.
Oct. 1957
414 Script for 'Wind and Water'. A copy of the script for 'Wind and Water' by H. Charnock, the third part of the series 'The International Geophysical Year' for the B.B.C. Schools Radio series 'Talks for Sixth Forms'.
11 pages.
Oct. 1957
415 Script for 'The Sun's Influence'. An annotated copy of the script for 'The Sun's Influence' by James Paton, the fourth part of the series 'The International Geophysical Year' for the B.B.C. Schools Radio series 'Talks for Sixth Forms'.
8 pages.
Oct. 1957
416 Script for 'Looking at the Sky'. An annotated copy of the script for 'Looking at the Sky', a talk by Porter on general astronomical topics, the first part of the B.B.C. radio programme 'Science and Everyday Life'.
9 pages.
Aug. 1949
417 Script for 'The Moon and Tides'. Two copies of the script for 'The Moon and Tides', a talk by Porter for the B.B.C. radio programme 'Science and Everyday Life'. The first copy of the script is annotated.
14 pages.
Sep. 1949
418 Script for 'Up Among the Stars'. Two copies of the script for 'Up Among the Stars', a talk by Porter on general astronomy for the series 'Exploring: By Proxy' for the B.B.C. radio programme 'Science and Everyday Life'.
18 pages.
July 1952
419 Script for 'The Problem of Mars'. Two annotated copies of the script for 'The Problem of Mars', a talk by Porter for the B.B.C. radio programme 'Science Survey'.
17 pages.
Dec. 1950
420 Script for 'The Eclipse of the Sun'. Two copies of the script for 'The Eclipse of the Sun', a talk by Porter on the African eclipse of 25 February 1952 for the B.B.C. radio programme 'Science Survey'. The first copy of the script is annotated.
17 pages.
Feb. 1952
421 Script for 'Navigation'. Two annotated copies of the script for 'Navigation', a talk by Porter for the B.B.C. radio programme 'Thursday Roundabout: Science Spot'.
4 pages.
Feb. 1950
422 Script on the night sky. A copy of the script for a talk by Porter on the night sky for the B.B.C. radio programme 'Woman's Hour'.
2 pages.
Jan. 1958
423 Script for 'The Stars'. A copy of the script for 'The Stars', a talk by Porter on our nearer stellar neighbours, the fifth part of the series 'Looking at the Sky' for the B.B.C. World Service radio programme 'Calling West Africa'.
5 pages.
circa 1952
424 Script for 'Beyond the Stars'. A copy of the script for 'Beyond the Stars', a talk by Porter on the wider universe, the sixth part of the series 'Looking at the Sky' for the B.B.C. World Service radio programme 'Calling West Africa'.
5 pages.
circa 1952
425 Script for 'Watching the Sky'. An annotated copy of the script for 'Watching the Sky', a talk by Porter on general astronomy in equatorial regions, the first part of the series 'Astronomy' for the B.B.C. World Service radio programme 'Calling West Africa'.
4 pages.
June 1954
426 Script for 'The Sun'. An annotated copy of the script for 'The Sun', a talk by Porter, the second part of the series 'Astronomy' for the B.B.C. World Service radio programme 'Calling West Africa'.
5 pages.
June 1954
427 Script for 'Some Recent Astronomy Books'. A copy of the script for 'Some Recent Astronomy Books' by Porter for the B.B.C. World Service radio programme 'Calling West Africa'. There is also the first page only of a second copy of the script.
6 pages.
Jan. 1956
428 Paper on eclipses. A part of a piece on eclipses of the Sun and stars, including particular reference to the eclipse of 20 May 1947, probably part of a B.B.C. radio script.
1 page.
circa 1947
429 Paper on planets and satellites. An annotated, untitled piece on conjunctions of the planets, the retrograde motion of the planets and the phenomena of Jupiter's and Saturn's satellites, probably part of a B.B.C. radio script.
2 pages.
Nov. 1949
430 Paper on comets. A fragment from a piece on comets, probably part of a B.B.C. radio script.
1 page.
431 Paper on Venus and Mars. An undated page from a piece on Venus and the cycle of its phenomena, and on the orbit of Mars, probably part of a B.B.C. radio script. There are various notes and calculations on the reverse.
2 pages.
432 Question and answer paper. QA 1020, 'What is the material of which the sun is constituted, and how does it apparently go round the earth and produce the four seasons', and a detailed answer, undated, possibly relating to B.B.C. radio programmes.
2 pages.
433 Question and answer paper. QA 1095, 'Do the stars move in the sky and how many are there?', and a detailed answer, undated, possibly relating to B.B.C. radio programmes.
2 pages.
434 Question and answer paper. QA 1230, 'What is the eclipse of the moon and why does it become red?', and a detailed answer, undated, possibly relating to B.B.C. radio programmes.
5 pages.
435 Question and answer papers. Three undated questions, with detailed answers, possibly relating to B.B.C. radio programmes: QA 1765, 'Is there any life on the Moon, Mars or other planets? If not, why not?'; QA 1766, 'What is the Moon's structure? What is its size and how far is it from the Earth?'; and QA 1767, 'What is the nature of comets? Is it true that they shower meteorites and that they go round the Sun in their particular orbits?'.
3 pages.
436 Script for 'About Comets'. An annotated copy of the script for 'About Comets', a question and answer discussion with Porter about comets, with particular reference to the recent apparition of Comet Arend-Roland', possibly relating to B.B.C. radio programmes.
7 pages.
circa 1957
437 Question and answer paper. 'How do we know what conditions are like on Mars?', an undated question and answer paper, possibly relating to B.B.C. radio programmes.
2 pages.
438 Question and answer paper. 'Why do stars twinkle, while the Moon does not?', an undated question and answer paper, possibly relating to B.B.C. radio programmes.
2 pages.
439 Review of 'The Night Sky'. Two cuttings from 'The Times Educational Supplement': a short review of 'The Night Sky' broadcasts and the 'Radio Times' announcement for the broadcast 'The Night Sky in February'.
1 page.
8 May 1947
440 Notice on 'The Night Sky'. A cutting from 'The Spectator' of a notice by L.C. Lloyd on the 'The Night Sky' broadcasts.
1 page.
14 Mar. 1947
441 Radio listing for 'The Night Sky'. A cutting from the 'Radio Times' containing a listing for 'The Night Sky in February' on the constellation Draco, broadcast at 6.20pm on Network Three.
1 cutting.
29 Jan. 1960
442 Radio listing for 'The Night Sky'. A cutting from the 'Radio Times' containing a listing for 'The Night Sky in March' on double stars and Gemini, broadcast at 6.50pm on Network Three.
1 cutting.
26 Feb. 1960
443 Radio listing for 'The Night Sky'. A cutting from the 'Radio Times' containing a listing for 'The Night Sky in April' on globular clusters, broadcast at 6.20pm on Network Three.
1 cutting.
1 Apr. 1960
444 Radio listing for 'The Night Sky'. A cutting from the 'Radio Times' containing a listing for 'The Night Sky in May' on Jupiter and Saturn, broadcast at 6.20pm at Network Three.
1 cutting.
29 Apr. 1960
445 Radio listing for 'The Night Sky'. A cutting from the 'Radio Times' containing a listing for 'The Night Sky in June' on Lyra and Cygnus, broadcast at 6.50pm on Network Three.
1 cutting.
27 May 1960
446 Radio listing for 'The Night Sky'. A cutting from the 'Radio Times' containing a listing for 'The Night Sky in July' on double stars, broadcast at 6.50pm on Network Three.
1 cutting.
24 June 1960
447 Radio listing for 'The Night Sky'. A cutting from the 'Radio Times' containing a listing for 'The Night Sky in August' on Taurus and Auriga, broadcast at 6.50pm on Network Three.
1 cutting.
29 July 1960
448 B.A.A. Comet Catalogue. A proof copy of the 'British Astronomical Association. Comet Catalogue' (Perth, 1925) by A.C.D. Crommelin, containing many annotations, probably made by the author. Attached to the back cover is a paper in French entitled 'Comètes et Météores' - an extract from 'L'Annuaire Astronomique et Météorologique Camille Flammarion' for 1934, including a dedication to Crommelin by the author, F. Baldet.
1 volume.
circa 1925–1934
449 Constants for Comet P/Encke. A typescript of 'Tables of Constants for Comet P/Encke' by Rudolf Luss, dated by hand 24 May 1949.
12 pages.
1949
450 Photograph of Perseid meteors. A photograph of three faint Perseid meteors in Cassiopea by E.H. Collinson.
1 photograph.
11 Aug. 1950
451 Photograph of a sunspot and the Sun. A photograph of a sunspot and the Sun's surface by W.M. Baxter.
1 photograph.
27 Sep. 1970
452 Papers on a Russian radio station. Notes and calculations by Porter regarding the bearing of a Russian radio station.
1 folder.
1947
453 Paper on Mars. An undated paper regarding Mars. The first page is missing.
7 pages.

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