Beer, Bread & Bolides: Alice Grace Cook (1877-1958)

Guest Speaker

Thursday, 8th April 2021 (19:45 - 21:00)

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Overview of Alice Grace Cook Presentation

The evening's talk will cover the following areas:-

Grace Cook’s birth and family background in rural Victorian Suffolk

Her early life

How she came to astronomy

Election to the British Astronomical Association

Her observatory

Observing career and the BAA Meteor Section

Election as one of the first female Fellows of the Royal Astronomical Society

Nova Aquilæ 1918

The other astronomical societies she joined

Summary

Speaker: Bill Barton

Bill Barton left Secondary School in 1979 with ‘O’ level qualifications. After a four year apprenticeship in Signal Engineering with British Rail he held multiple signal engineering positions in the until early retirement from Network rail in 2014.

He joined the British Astronomical Association in 1984 and contributed to their Solar Section between 1990 and 2000, also sharing his observations with the Solar Division of the American Association of Variable Star ObserversOther favourites are observing eclipses, transits and planetary conjunctions.

In 2002 he was a founder member of Society for the History of Astronomy and was also elected Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.The next year saw him licensed to operate the Orwell Park refractor (IAU observatory no. 582) on behalf of the Orwell Astronomical Society (Ipswich), which he had joined several years earlier.

In 2017 and 2019 he received the SHA Roger Jones award for contributions to their ‘County Survey of Astronomers’ (see photo).

An early foray into astronomical history was a biography Charles May, and more recent work has been on Fiammetta Wilson and Alice Grace Cook (the subject of this evenings talk).

Bill has a particular soft spot for classic refracting telescopes such as the Carl Zeiss Telementor and Questar Maksutov Cassegrains. He owns some astronomical antiques, usually eyepiecemicrometers, planispheres or similar teaching aids. He also has more old astronomy books than he likes to admit to.

In January 2020 he was appointed as the Deputy Director of the British Astronomical Association Historical Section.

Mexborough & Swinton Astronomical Society is a Registered Charity in England & Wales, Registered Charity No 1064103.

Registered Address: 147 Queen Street, Swinton, Mexborough, South Yorkshire, S64 8NG

Affiliated to the Federation of Astronomical Societies.

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