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The Life & Works of Edward Emmerson Barnard

Society Meeting

Thursday, 21st September 2017 (19:45 - 22:00)

Venue: Meeting Room, Swinton Bottom Club (Formerly Swinton WMC)


E E Barnard is mostly associated with the discovery of Barnard’s Star, a faint nearby star with the greatest observed proper motion. However, that was just one of many discoveries he made during a lifetime using the then-largest telescopes in the world. All the more amazing because he only attended school for two months in his whole youth. How did he rise to become the most prolific and respected practical astronomer of the late 19th and early 20th century? Find out with this talk.

Speaker: Rod Hine

About Rod Hine.

Born just after the war, I was about ten when my Aunt Florrie gave me a book for Christmas. It was “The Boys Book of Space” by Patrick Moore. I was already interested in anything to do with science and engineering and I devoured the book from cover to cover. Shortly afterwards, Sputnik I was launched and seeing it pass over London clinched my interest in physics and space travel. Pretty soon I was deeply involved in electronics and amateur radio. I passed the RAE in 1962 and later took the call-sign G8AQH.

I took physics, chemistry and maths at A-level and in 1964 went up to Churchill College, Cambridge to study Natural Sciences. I later switched to Electrical Sciences and after graduating I joined Marconi at Chelmsford working for several years on satellite communications. That job eventually took me to Nairobi, Kenya after which I worked there in Meteorological communications and later switched to teaching at the Kenya Polytechnic. In 1972 I married a Yorkshire lass I had met in Nairobi and we finally moved back to UK in 1976.

Since then I have had a variety of jobs in electronics and industrial controls. I was a co-founder of Bradford Instruments Limited which designed and supplied industrial control systems from 1982 and only finished trading in 2012. From about 2000 I have been lecturing part-time at University of Bradford although I now seem to have been retired as the Electrical Engineering Department has been wound right down. I got back into astronomy around 1992 when Josie bought me an astronomy book and I joined Bradford Astronomical Society. I’m currently Chairman of BAS, mostly because no-one else is prepared to do the job!

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