Monday, 19 April 2021

The Astronomy Show

 

The Astronomy Show


Join me, Martin Lunn tonight and every Monday evening from 7.00 pm-9.00 pm on the Astronomy Show, I will take my weekly look at the night sky and look at all the latest news in astronomy. There will be the astronomical anniversaries this week plus the A-Z of Constellations and the Messier Marathon.



The Astronomy Show every Monday evening only on Drystone Radio 102 and 103.5 FM the show can be heard live on line at www.drystoneradio.com and the show can be heard later on the Drystone Radio Podcast.




Friday, 16 April 2021

1868 Transit of Mercury seen from Liverpool with a Cooke

 

1868 Transit of Mercury seen from Liverpool with a Cooke.


George Williams using a 4.25 inch Cooke & Sons telescope observed the transit of Mercury on November 5th 1868 from 2, Devonshire Road, Prince’s Park, Liverpool.

Williams observed no apparent elongation or pear shape, or black drop at the egress of the planet; but the boiling of the limb, which was considerable, may account for the absence of these appearances.



Wednesday, 14 April 2021

A Cooke in Sunderland sees the Martian Moons

 

A Cooke in Sunderland sees the Martian Moons

On December 22nd 1881 John Watson of Sunderland (more accurately Seaham Harbour, which is about 5 miles south of Sunderland) reported seeing two small points of light near Mars using a Thomas Cooke & Sons 12inch refractor. The positions of the moons were determined by using the ephemeris of Mars is indicated where the two satellite should be.


Thomas Cooke & Sons 12 inch telescope

I have little more information regarding either this 12 inch telescope or observations made by it. Although it is mentioned in G F Chambers Handbook of Descriptive and Practical Astronomy vol. 2 Oxford 1890 page 297.

Watson had an 8 inch Wray telescope mounted on a metal pillar supplied by Thomas Cooke which he offered for sale in 1880 presumably to make room for the 12 inch Cooke.

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Zeta Cancri seen with a Cooke

 

Zeta Cancri observed with a Cooke

I have only a small number of details regarding J L Stothert of Audley Bath, who had a 6 inch Cooke, I know that zeta Cancer was observed on April 17th 1880.

I assume he died in either late 1880 or early 1881 because in an advertisement in April 1881 the executors of the late J L Stothert are offering an observatory with a 6 inch Cooke for sale.

 


Monday, 12 April 2021

A Cooke at the London Stock Exchange

 

A Cooke at the London Stock Exchange


In April 1865 William Bolger Gibbs (1834-1925) of Talford Road, Peckham purchased a 4 inch telescope from Thomas Cooke & Sons York, a little later he purchased a 5.5 inch refractor which he housed in an observatory, I cannot say if this was a Cooke telescope or not.

He was described as the “Father of the London Stock Exchange” but apart from his business he loved science and in particular astronomy.

He was friends with his near neighbour James Buckingham of Walworth who owned the 21 inch refracting telescope.

The Astronomy Show

 

The Astronomy Show

Join me, Martin Lunn tonight and every Monday evening from 7.00 pm-9.00 pm on the Astronomy Show, I will take my weekly look at the night sky and look at all the latest news in astronomy. There will be the astronomical anniversaries this week plus the A-Z of Constellations and the Messier Marathon.



The Astronomy Show every Monday evening only on Drystone Radio 102 and 103.5 FM the show can be heard live on line at www.drystoneradio.com and the show can be heard later on the Drystone Radio Podcast.



Saturday, 10 April 2021

The Mount Lookout Observatory

 The Mount Lookout Observatory

A report from an America

American Register Saturday 3rd July 1875

The equatorial telescope 12 inches in diameter, made in Munich for the Lookout observatory in Cincinnati arrived recently and will be placed in position immediately.

Mt Lookout Observatory c1880

My note

The original Cincinnati Observatory was located at a site called Mount Ida which was opened in 1843 with a telescope with a 11 inch lens made in Munich, Bavaria (this was before a unified Germany) by former President Quincy Adams, the mountain was subsequently renamed Mount Adams.

In 1873 due to light pollution this new observatory was built about 5 miles outside of Cincinnati to allow for clearer skies and was called the Mount Lookout Observatory.

In 1904 a 16 inch Alvan Clark telescope would be installed.



Thursday, 8 April 2021

Edward Crossley buys a 9.3 inch Cooke Telescope

 

Edward Crossley buys a 9.3 inch Cooke Telescope

Edward Crossley 1841-1905 ran the massive Crossley Carpet mill in Halifax, he was also an MP for Sowerby in Yorkshire from 1885-1892 and a Lord Mayor of Halifax between 1874-1876 and 1884-1885. He was also a very passionate astronomer and together with his assistant Joseph Gledhil 1837-1906 they would be one of Yorkshire’ s best kept astronomical secrets.

In my talk Hidden Under the Carpet I tell the story of their time spent studying the sky in Halifax. But in this story we are looking at just one part of their story and one telescope. This was the 9.3 inch Thomas Cooke & sons of York Refractor telescope.

The Crossley observatory was first located at Park Road Halifax with the Cooke telescope and later the observatory was moved to Bermerside also in Halifax.

Edward Crossley ordered the 9.3 inch Cooke telescope on April 9th 1867, I know that 9.3 inch is a strange size but we must remember that at this time all the telescopes were made by hand a making an exact 9 inch telescope was always a difficult task.

Due to running his carpet business Crossley was not able to spend to much time following his hobby, astronomy. The serious observing was left to Gledhill. Using the 9.3 inch at the Park Road observatory Gledhill made incredible drawings of Jupiter and Mars. In fact his observations were so good that other astronomers and well known astronomers as well often waited for their observations to be confirmed by Gledhill.


9.3 inch Cooke 

Joseph Gledhill in 1879 after working in collaboration for several years with James Wilson at Rugby School and using the 9.3 inch Cooke produced the first Handbook on double stars. A publication that was ahead of its time as during the 19th century observing double stars was very popular. Today astronomers are realising just how important this book actually was.

Edward Crossley died in 1905 and Joseph Gledhill in 1906, the 9 inch was sold to the Rev David Kennedy of the Marist Seminary (a Catholic seminary for the training of Marist priests, this is where the church does not exist or is not very strong ) at Meeanee on the North Island of New Zealand Opened in 1907.

In 1910 some classic photos of Halleys comet re taken using the 9 inch Crossley telescope. In 1924 the telescope was sold to Wellington City Council in New Zealand where it languished until 1941.

A local farmer, businessman and politician Charles Rooking Carter who when he died in 1896 left a sum of £2,240 to fund an astronomical observatory. The new Carter observatory was opened on December 20th1941, but World War 2 meant that very little happened until 1945. Since then the telescope has seen extensive use including in 1968 an occultation of Neptune by the Moon. It was used for serious research work until 1971. Since this date modern telescopes have been used by astronomers at the Carter Observatory

In 1975 it was discovered that the chemicals in the photovisual glass would become unstable over a period of time and by 2000 it was clear that in its original form the lens was unusable. So in 2001 a new and slightly larger 9.75 inch lens was installed.

Today the Crossley telescope is used for public viewing and education projects. It is a testament to its construction that a telescope made in York in 1867 is still being used in the 21s century 11,500 miles away in New Zealand.,

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Joseph Baxendell and Nova Bootes 1860

 

Joseph Baxendell and Nova  Bootes 1860

On April 10th and 11th 1860 Joseph Baxendell at Mr Worthington’s observatory at Crumpsall Old Hall in Manchester using a 5 inch refractor, made the only definite observations of this enigmatic object. I do not know if this instrument was a Cooke or not.

He saw the nova at magnitude 9.75, by April 22nd it had fallen to magnitude 12.8, the following night it could not be seen with Mr Worthington’s 13 inch reflector.

Various other astronomers including Friederich Winnecke, Edward Pickering, Ernest Harding and Ernst Zinner searched for the star but without success.

Granting the reality of this object, the nova appears to have had an amplitude of at least 7 magnitudes, and an unusually rapid decline of about a magnitude in 4 days.

This strange star was given the designation of T Bootes



Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Photography with a Cooke in Newcastle

 

Photography with a Cooke in Newcastle


In 1890 Lawrence Richardson of Newcastle on Tyne using a 4.5 inch Thomas Cooke & Sons telescope undertook some research into astronomical photography using his telescope which was an achromatic. He was not that hopeful of getting really sharp images, the Cooke & Sons photo visual telescope would not be available until he mid 1890s.

Richardson found that he could take a photograph of Orion which would show hundreds of stars and which would take around about an hour. He went on to say that he thought that astrophotography was a very good field for amateur astronomers to work in and obtain good results.

Monday, 5 April 2021

The Astronomy Show

 

The Astronomy Show


Join me, Martin Lunn tonight and every Monday evening from 7.00 pm-9.00 pm on the Astronomy Show, I will take my weekly look at the night sky and look at all the latest news in astronomy. There will be the astronomical anniversaries this week plus the A-Z of Constellations and the Messier Marathon.



The Astronomy Show every Monday evening only on Drystone Radio 102 and 103.5 FM the show can be heard live on line at www.drystoneradio.com and the show can be heard later on the Drystone Radio Podcast.



Even a Cooke cannot see through Trees

 

Even a Cooke cannot see through trees


Mt T H Waller of York in 1865 using a 4.75 inch Cooke telescope was trying to observe the satellites of Jupiter when unfortunately the planet was obscured by some trees and he was unable to see the immersion of the second satellite or the transit of the third. Fortunately by the time that the fourth satellite was passing in front of Jupiter it had cleared the trees.

Mr Waller was also a very keen double star observer he would often the double star catalogue of Mr Brothers of Manchester and the Bedford Catalogu

Sunday, 4 April 2021

Comet Wells seen with a Cooke

Comet Wells seen with a Cooke 

Bradford Observer Tuesday 11th April 1882

The Comet Wells

Mr. J. Rand Capron writes from the Observatory, Gildown :- This object is now within the power of small telescopes, and was seen with the 6-inch Cooke Equatorial here at 9h. 35min G. M. T. on Thursday, the 6th (just before the moon rose), in a position between Lyra and Draco, closely corresponding to that given in Lord Crawford’s Circular No. 50 R.A. (18h. 28m. 035.; D.N. 44.33). The object was rather faint, and had a tail north preceding. The brightness of the small condensed nucleus was judged about equal to a star of the seventh magnitude. It is increasing in brightness nightly, and as the moonlight departs it will soon become an easy object even for small apertures.

Saturday, 3 April 2021

A New Moon Map from Manchester

 

From Knowledge & Scientific May 1908

A New Moon Map from Manchester

A new map of the chief lunar features has been issued by Mr W Porterhouse of Manchester. The disc is 12 inches in diameter, and represents the formations as seen in an inverted telescope. Each feature is numbered, and in an index giving the corresponding name is appended on the side of the same sheet.

The whole is very distinct and easily readable by a small lamp. It would probably have added materially to the usefulness of the map if the chief dark features of the moon’s surface, such as the seas, had been either shaded or indicated, with a dark wash; when this is done it provides more definite landmarks for the recognition of the smaller features.

Friday, 2 April 2021

Mr Tetley and a Cooke in Leeds

 Mr Tetley and a Cooke in Leeds

In October 1930 Mr Tetley of Headingley, Leeds used his 4 inch Thomas Cooke & Sons telescope to observe the Sun. He took some photographs of the great sun spot group of October that year. In particular on October 10th the photographs very clearly showed the changes which took place in the groups which crossed the central meridian


I am not sure if the telescope had a photo visual lens or not.

Thursday, 1 April 2021

A Cooke in Sunderland and a spot on Saturn

 A Cooke in Sunderland and a spot on Saturn

Observed the spot on Saturn that had been seen by Dr Terby in March 1890.  Dr Haswell from Grange Terrace, Sunderland saw the spot on several nights in March , and he described it as being very obvious on March 30th, though not so noticeable as it had been last spring.

Haswell used a 4.25 inch Thomas Cooke & Sons telescope which was of short focal length.