Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Back to the Moon; Close Comets, Death of Sam Lyttle, Venus, Betelgeuse, ISS, Galway Astronomy Festival, NI Science Festival

Hi all,

 

1. IAA Double Public Lecture, Wednesday January  22, 7.30 p.m., Bell Lecture Theatre,  "Return to the Moon", by Dr Andy McCrea, and "The Closest Comet Encounters to Earth" by Terry Moseley.

A. Return to the Moon.

The Apollo 17 NASA astronauts blasted off from the Moon in December 1972, which concluded a curtailed programme of US Moon landings. Andy will review what has been going on in terms of lunar missions since then, and review the current situation, anticipating the NASA-led Artemis missions and proposed landing over the coming period.

B.  "The Closest Comet Encounters to Earth

It's widely believed that many comets have impacted Earth during its lifetime, but just how close have comets come to us in recorded history? We've seen a close pass to Mars, impacts on Jupiter, and a possible impact on Earth. We've also seen some very spectacular and bright comets in the sky, but how close did they come? This talk will review the known evidence, look at the mythological and historical background, and consider the effects of a possible future really close pass."

ADMISSION FREE, including refreshments

  NB: We'll be back in our usual venue of the Bell Lecture theatre, with light refreshments afterwards.

 

2. Death of Sam Lyttle. It's with great regret that I have to announce the death of long-term IAA member, Sam Lyttle. Sam had never fully recovered from a serious car accident several years ago, and had been out of circulation since then.

   Sam served on the council of the IAA for several years, including a spell of Curator of Instruments, and, I think, as Director of Observations.

   Sam started his career as a 'Researcher' at Armagh Planetarium in the Seventies, where I first got to know him, before buying a Starlab mobile planetarium, and striking out on his own, with shows to schools and other groups.

   His deep love of astronomy and desire to communicate it led to numerous other activities and enterprises, including his involvement in the setting up of the planetarium in the Maritime Museum in Greencastle Co Donegal.

  He donated his first large telescope, a 14" (355mm) Celestron SCT, to the IAA on the condition that it be housed in a proper observatory, and I'm glad to say that that will now be realised as that telescope will form part of a suite of instruments at the new observatory being set up at the Dark Sky Park in Davagh Forest, near Cookstown.

  The IAA was represented at his funeral on Monday by President Brian Beesley, John McConnell, and myself.

   Our sincere condolences and sympathy to his family circle and friends.

 

3. VENUS brilliant. The lovely 'Evening Star' is getting brighter and higher in the SSW evening sky, and is quite unmistakeable. Watch it slowly approach the Pleaides, which it will pass through on 3-4 April!

 

4. BETELGEUSE still faint.

   There  is considerable interest in the fact that Betelgeuse has faded since October by about 1 magnitude. Some conjecture that this is a prelude to a supernova explosion, but that is very unlikely. However, it's certainly worth watching. It's now about midway in brightness between Castor and Pollux.

My latest magnitude estimate, on Jan 06, makes it between +1.4 and +1.5, almost 1 magnitude fainter than its average of +0.5. That's the faintest I've ever seen it – and that's from 1963!

   Once the bright Moon is out of the way we'll be able to get better estimates again.

   You can compare it with Aldebaran (mag 0.87, but slightly variable itself), Pollux (mag 1.16), Castor (mag 1.58), Bellatrix (mag 1.64) or Al Nath / Beta Tau (mag 1.65). Only do it when Betelgeuse is at least 30 degrees above the horizon, and choose comparison stars at about the same altitude as it.

 

5. ISS The International Space Station will start a new series of evening passes on Jan 22 . Full details for your location, and lots of other astronomy information, on the excellent free site www.heavens-above.com

 

6. Galway Astronomy Festival

The Galway Astronomy Festival takes place on Saturday January 25th  2020.

The festival will take place in the Harbour Hotel, overlooking Galway Bay

 

7. IAA Astronomy Event, St Patrick's Academy, Dungannon, 31 January, 7.00.

More details later.

 

8. Vesta occults naked eye star, 11 February. More details of this rare event, visible from the N of the island, are in the January edition of STARDUST, and will be in later bulletins.

 

9. The NI Science Festival,10-23 February. The schools events run from 10 – 12 Feb, and the main, public, events from 13 – 23rd.

The IAA will be contributing several events, including an event at Marble Arch Caves VC in Fermanagh on Feb 14, and our public lecture on 19 February.

 

10. Dark Sky observing event, Cavan Burren Centre, 20 March. I've been asked to run another one of these events, in a very dark sky location, near Blacklion, just across the border from Belcoo. More details later.

 

11. INTERESTING WEBLINKS (Disclaimer - Use of material herein from various sources does not imply approval or otherwise of the opinions, political or otherwise, of those sources).  NB: If the title in the weblink does not indicate the subject matter, I give a brief simple intro before the link. I may also comment about the link afterwards.

 

ASTROPHYSICS

https://earthsky.org/space/ligo-gravitational-wave-burst-near-betelgeuse?utm_source=EarthSky+News&utm_campaign=0523eac157-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_02_02_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c643945d79-0523eac157-394571661

  Ancient cores of dying galaxies https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200117104750.htm

 

EARTH & MOON

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/oldest-impact-crater-on-earth-found-and-it-could-throw-light-on-ancient-climate-change/ar-BBZbAfy?ocid=spartandhp

  https://newatlas.com/environment/ocean-temperatures-highest-levels-record/?utm_source=New+Atlas+Subscribers&utm_campaign=168c3a2710-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_01_17_06_44&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-168c3a2710-92786061

 

IMAGES

https://earthsky.org/space/new-hubble-view-gigantic-galaxy-ugc2885-video?utm_source=EarthSky+News&utm_campaign=0523eac157-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_02_02_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c643945d79-0523eac157-394571661

 

SOLAR SYSTEM

Outbound comets were of alien origin https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200117094329.htm

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7907141/Prototype-plant-opens-exacts-oxygen-MOONDUST.html

 

SPACE

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/techandscience/spacex-faces-its-final-test-before-it-can-fly-astronauts-to-orbit/ar-BBZ3J5u?ocid=spartandhp

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7814893/Moving-Mars-Designers-reveal-visions-humans-live-Red-Planet.html

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7907141/Prototype-plant-opens-exacts-oxygen-MOONDUST.html

 

SUN:

Measuring a solar flare's explosive energy https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200117122105.htm

 

12. JOINING the IRISH ASTRONOMICAL ASSOCIATION. This link downloads a Word document to join the IAA. http://documents.irishastro.org.uk/iaamembership.doc
If you are a UK taxpayer, please tick the 'gift-aid' box, as that enables us to reclaim the standard rate of tax on your subscription, at no cost to you. You can also make a donation via Paypal if you wish: just click on the 'Donate' button. See also
https://irishastro.org/  

 

The Irish Astronomical Association is registered with The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC 105858

 

DISCLAIMER: Any views expressed herein are mine, and do not necessarily represent those of the IAA.

                                                                                                                             

Clear skies,

Terry Moseley


Saturday, 18 January 2020

Double lecture, Brilliant Venus, Betelgeuse, ISS, Galway astrofest, IAA at Dungannon, Vesta occultation, NISF, more

Hi all,

 

1. IAA Double Public Lecture, Wednesday January  22, 7.30 p.m. "Return to the Moon", by Dr Andy McCrea, and "The Closest Comet Encounters to Earth" by Terry Moseley.

A. Return to the Moon.

The Apollo 17 NASA astronauts blasted off from the Moon in December 1972, which concluded a curtailed programme of US Moon landings. Andy will review what has been going on in terms of lunar missions since then, and review the current situation, anticipating the NASA-led Artemis missions and proposed landing over the coming period.

B.  "The Closest Comet Encounters to Earth

It's widely believed that many comets have impacted Earth during its lifetime, but just how close have comets come to us in recorded history? We've seen a close pass to Mars, impacts on Jupiter, and a possible impact on Earth. We've also seen some very spectacular and bright comets in the sky, but how close did they come? This talk will review the known evidence, look at the mythological and historical background, and consider the effects of a possible future really close pass."

 

 

2. NEW IAA WEBSITE:

Everything is being migrated to this new and better link: https://irishastro.org/

Thanks to Paul for this sterling work

 

3. VENUS brilliant. The lovely 'Evening Star' is getting brighter and higher in the SSW evening sky, and is quite unmistakeable. Watch it slowly approach the Pleaides, which it will pass through on 3-4 April!

 

4. BETELGEUSE still faint.

   There  is considerable interest in the fact that Betelgeuse has faded since October by about 1 magnitude. Some conjecture that this is a prelude to a supernova explosion, but that is very unlikely. However, it's certainly worth watching. It's now about midway in brightness between Castor and Pollux.

My latest magnitude estimate, on Jan 06, makes it between +1.4 and +1.5, almost 1 magnitude fainter than its average of +0.5. That's the faintest I've ever seen it – and that's from 1963!

   Once the bright Moon is out of the way we'll be able to get better estimates again.

   You can compare it with Aldebaran (mag 0.87, but slightly variable itself), Pollux (mag 1.16), Castor (mag 1.58), Bellatrix (mag 1.64) or Al Nath / Beta Tau (mag 1.65). Only do it when Betelgeuse is at least 30 degrees above the horizon, and choose comparison stars at about the same altitude as it.

 

5. ISS The International Space Station will start a new series of evening passes on Jan 22 . Full details for your location, and lots of other astronomy information, on the excellent free site www.heavens-above.com

 

6. Galway Astronomy Festival

The Galway Astronomy Festival takes place on Saturday January 25th  2020.

The festival will take place in the Harbour Hotel, overlooking Galway Bay

 

7. IAA Astronomy Event, St Patrick's Academy, Dungannon, 31 January, 7.00.

More details later.

 

8. Vesta occults naked eye star, 11 February. More details of this rare event, visible from the N of the island, will be in the January edition of STARDUST, and in later bulletins.

 

9. The NI Science Festival,10-23 February. The schools events run from 10 – 12 Feb, and the main, public, events from 13 – 23rd.

The IAA will be contributing several events, including an event at Marble Arch Caves VC in Fermanagh on Feb 14, and our public lecture on 19 February.

 

10. Dark Sky observing event, Cavan Burren Centre, 20 March. I've been asked to run another one of these events, in a very dark sky location, near Blacklion, just across the border from Belcoo. More details later.

 

11. INTERESTING WEBLINKS (Disclaimer - Use of material herein from various sources does not imply approval or otherwise of the opinions, political or otherwise, of those sources).  NB: If the title in the weblink does not indicate the subject matter, I give a brief simple intro before the link. I may also comment about the link afterwards.

 

ASTROPHYSICS

Galaxies emerging from the fog of the cosmic dawn https://www.livescience.com/galaxies-clear-cosmic-fog-epoch-of-reinoization.html?utm_source=Selligent&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=9160&utm_content=LVS_newsletter+&utm_term=3473357&m_i=Ji6eXUeRk2Je1BRCfMxjFwcqO0x5zIRHC75R9jfLm3Ys6JKxp49K0ckM2MOYySXWNoV_wt5qBNMbCoHsF8S1IMIluToW61ymWMzhPZJJJb

   https://www.livescience.com/magellanic-stars-inside-milky-way.html?utm_source=Selligent&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=9160&utm_content=LVS_newsletter+&utm_term=3473357&m_i=bj_Y3KvxIFTdiEXSOlwHqDXZXABb796j8IrD%2BJAVpihukOplfan1wLA5haVlbjwQ_wJJzgQsEsn1%2B97GSl2%2BH9PQ6BDeyyMe9HwBxurbbx 

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7881899/Natural-oscillations-ancient-star-reveal-age-galactic-collision.html If you heard this in the plot of a Star Trek movie, you'd say "That's stupid, how could they do that?" See also https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200115132313.htm

   How hot is Dark Matter? https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200115140512.htm

   Strange objects near our galaxy's SMBH https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200115132316.htm

   Source of High Energy particles discovered https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200114123529.htm

   Observing SMBH collisions in X-Rays https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200114101717.htm

   Focusing in on Dark Matter https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200113175646.htm

It takes a binary star to produce a GRB https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200113104201.htm

   Stripped helium star solves BH mystery https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200110101027.htm

Cosmic bubbles reveal the first stars https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200108074805.htm

FRB traced to nearby galaxy https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200106141612.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news%2Ftop_science+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Top+Science+News%29

TESS finds that Alpha Dra is an eclipsing binary! https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200107104938.htm

V Sagittae will explode as bright nova by century's end https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200107092601.htm

 

EARTH & MOON

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7870003/NASA-satellite-data-reveals-vegetation-expanding-20-000-feet-Mount-Everest.html

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7882235/Meteorite-crashed-Earth-half-century-ago-contains-oldest-matter-planet.html

  https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/breakthrough-gives-insight-into-early-complex-life-on-earth/ar-BBYZq4K?ocid=spartandhp

   'It was the asteroid wot did it'! https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200116141708.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news%2Ftop_science+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Top+Science+News%29

   https://www.livescience.com/melting-everest-glaciers.html?utm_source=Selligent&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=9160&utm_content=LVS_newsletter+&utm_term=3473357&m_i=Y78bmme2MXzeojymNAinLlBWzwDtrWK7SUM6pqgm4ltatnPn7vIHFyQXt2SjRI6msYuHH5SnfMJrHzBbllxMFMQNQADt%2BFn8vPvzDhqYYn

  https://www.livescience.com/magnetic-storm-originate-close-to-earth.html?utm_source=Selligent&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=9160&utm_content=LVS_newsletter+&utm_term=3473357&m_i=woFdOXmTZjo4AUSGfr0QJ9pV2kTvk4nwZCwdstAQPvghmjOZsU4Gg8X1bhjrvGeeeNnm3vbMj_GJReRnhqCUM%2BzUPlg2QW4XALcpS2wwwc

  Japanese fireball traced back to its NEO source https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200115120609.htm

   How Phosphorus got to Earth https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200115075611.htm

Meteorite contains material 7bn years old – older than our SS! https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200113153306.htm

  Shocked meteorite provides clues to Earth's lower mantle https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200110155302.htm

 

EXOPLANETS

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/techandscience/a-cold-neptune-and-two-super-earths-are-among-newly-found-exoplanets-around-nearby-stars/ar-BBYXvfv?ocid=spartandhp  and https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200114090950.htm  It's going to be really big news if we ever find a star that DOESN'T have at least one planet orbiting it!

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7891157/A-SECOND-planet-orbiting-closest-star-Solar-System.html and

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/techandscience/proxima-centauri-the-suns-nearest-neighbor-may-host-a-2nd-alien-planet-meet-proxima-c/ar-BBYZv2p?ocid=spartandhp

Planet WASP 12B is on a death spiral https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200108131723.htm

TESS discovers planet orbiting TWO stars https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200107104907.htm

 

SOLAR SYSTEM

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7872995/Astronomers-discover-asteroid-stays-inside-Venus-orbit.html

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7872371/Jupiter-hurling-comets-Earth-physicist-claims.html

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7870125/Mars-losing-water-faster-previously-thought-study-suggests.html

   https://www.livescience.com/great-divide-separates-solar-system.html?utm_source=Selligent&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=9160&utm_content=LVS_newsletter+&utm_term=3473357&m_i=uxOt7JOo2HG1QhLln2vOXZgk8EP6nPrcEaaBSUJ1n4k_koaiXJetzEW5tlisl9rOVroBw6zKOVDVrVrgqSLwx6R4uqrNeiynx_CWswuuu3

  How the SS got its 'Great Divide', and why it matters https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200113111048.htm

   Mars losing water faster than expected https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200109141007.htm

 

SPACE

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7874779/A-group-new-astronauts-join-NASA-Artemis-program-step-Mars.html

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7869303/Most-powerful-rocket-built-emerges-hanger-loaded-BARGE.html

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7865463/Virgin-Galactics-spaceship-reaches-build-milestone.html

   http://www.anatravelunlimited.com/could-avatars-help-build-a-new-moon-base/?utm_source=Taboola&utm_medium=msn-uk&utm_campaign=Avatars+UK&utm_content=Avatar-Built+Moon+Base+Coming+Soon&utm_term=229633124

   https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/techandscience/sierra-nevada-eyes-2021-launch-of-dream-chaser-space-plane/ar-BBZ0QQw?ocid=spartandhp

 

12. JOINING the IRISH ASTRONOMICAL ASSOCIATION. This link downloads a Word document to join the IAA. http://documents.irishastro.org.uk/iaamembership.doc
If you are a UK taxpayer, please tick the 'gift-aid' box, as that enables us to reclaim the standard rate of tax on your subscription, at no cost to you. You can also make a donation via Paypal if you wish: just click on the 'Donate' button. See also
https://irishastro.org/  

 

The Irish Astronomical Association is registered with The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC 105858

 

DISCLAIMER: Any views expressed herein are mine, and do not necessarily represent those of the IAA.

                                                                                                                             

Clear skies,

Terry Moseley


Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Exoplanets lecture, New website, PPLE, Betelgeuse, ISS, GAF, NISF

Hi all,

 

1. IAA  Public Lecture, Wednesday January  8, 7.30 p.m. (NB, Note New temporary venue). "The Terra Hunting Experiment – finding alien Earthlike worlds" by Dr Chris Watson of QUB .

Chris has given us excellent lectures on this topic before, and with amazing new discoveries almost weekly, this is a talk not to be missed.

SYNOPSIS:

   Despite having found more than 4,000 planets around 'normal' stars since the initial Nobel prize-winning discovery in 1995, no true Earth-like planet (or Earth-analog) has yet been found. While Earth-size, Earth-mass, and Earth-density planets have been discovered, these are all in tight orbits around their host stars (e.g. Kepler-78b was, at the time of discovery, the exoplanet most similar to Earth in size and mass, but has a 'year' lasting just over 8 hours!).

    Why have we yet to find an Earth-analog? I will review both the technical and astrophysical challenges of finding another 'Earth' with humanity's current level of technical and scientific expertise. This will naturally explain how this spawned the 'Terra Hunting Experiment' - a bold 10-year long intense survey of a select number (~40) solar-type stars to look for the Doppler-wobble signature of an Earth-like planet orbiting in an Earth-like orbit around a solar-type star. Might this reveal, for the first time, some potential homes of E.T.? I'll finish by providing my own personal opinion on the prospects for the discovery of life - the ultimate goal of such work.

   SERENDIPITOUS DISCOVERY! TESS has just announced its first discovery of an Earth-sized planet in its star's habitable zone! See

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200106200012.htm

   As the Bell Lecture theatre will be closed for an IT upgrade, this talk will be in the Emeleus Lecture Theatre, in the main Lanyon Building. The entrance is just opposite the entrance to the Physics building, and will be signposted.

   Details; 7.30 p.m., EMELEUS Lecture Theatre, MAIN Building , QUB. Admission free.

See www.irishastro.org.

 

2. NEW IAA WEBSITE:

Everything is being migrated to this new and better link: https://irishastro.org/

Thanks to Paul for this sterling work

 

3.  Partial Penumbral Lunar Eclipse, Jan 10.  Many sources, including SkyHigh and even the BAA Handbook! describe this as a Penumbral Eclipse*. It's not, as the whole of the Moon does not enter into the penumbra. So it's a Partial PLE! The Moon will rise just before first Contact, which will be at 17.05. Maximum, when 89.6% of the Moon will be in the penumbral shadow, will be at 19.10.

  Penumbral eclipses are not obvious, but around maximum you may note that the Moon's S edge is a bit darker than the N edge.  The eclipse will end at 21.14.

   This is the first of 4 PPLEs this year, all of which will be at least partly visible from Ireland, but this is the deepest one, and the only one which is entirely visible from here. (The next Total Lunar Eclipse visible from here will be on 2022 May 16)

     * For the nerds, yes, the whole of the Moon can enter the penumbral shadow without any of it also entering the umbra. So we can have a 'full' Penumbral Lunar Eclipse, as happened on 2017 Feb 10/11. That was visible from here, and had a penumbral magnitude of 1.014. In other words, the width of the penumbral shadow was greater than the diameter of the Moon.

 

4. BETELGEUSE still faint.

   There  is considerable interest in the fact that Betelgeuse has faded since October by about 1 magnitude. Some conjecture that this is a prelude to a supernova explosion, but that is very unlikely. However, it's certainly worth watching. It's now about midway in brightness between Castor and Pollux.

My latest magnitude estimate, on Jan 06, makes it between +1.4 and +1.5, almost 1 magnitude fainter than its average of +0.5. That's the faintest I've ever seen it – and that's from 1963!

   Once the bright Moon is out of the way we'll be able to get better estimates again.

   You can compare it with Aldebaran (mag 0.87, but slightly variable itself), Pollux (mag 1.16), Castor (mag 1.58), Bellatrix (mag 1.64) or Al Nath / Beta Tau (mag 1.65). Only do it when Betelgeuse is at least 30 degrees above the horizon, and choose comparison stars at about the same altitude as it.

 

5. ISS The International Space Station continues its series of morning passes until 9 January A new series of evening passes will start on Jan 22 . Full details for your location, and lots of other astronomy information, on the excellent free site www.heavens-above.com

 

6. Galway Astronomy Festival

The Galway Astronomy Festival takes place on Saturday January 25th  2020.

The festival will take place in the Harbour Hotel, overlooking Galway Bay

 

7. IAA Astronomy Event, St Patrick's Academy, Dungannon, 31 January.

More details later.

 

8. Vesta occults naked eye star, 11 February. More details of this rare event, visible from the N of the island, will be in the January edition of STARDUST, and in later bulletins.

 

9. The NI Science Festival,10-23 February. The schools events run from 10 – 12 Feb, and the main, public, events from 13 – 23rd.

The IAA will be contributing several events, including an event at Marble Arch Caves VC in Fermanagh on Feb 14, and our public lecture on 19 February.

 

10. Dark Sky observing event, Cavan Burren Centre, 20 March. I've been asked to run another one of these events, in a very dark sky location, near Blacklion, just across the border from Belcoo. More details later.

 

11. INTERESTING WEBLINKS (Disclaimer - Use of material herein from various sources does not imply approval or otherwise of the opinions, political or otherwise, of those sources).  NB: If the title in the weblink does not indicate the subject matter, I give a brief simple intro before the link. I may also comment about the link afterwards.

 

ASTROPHYSICS

Ancient burst of star formation in MW created 100,000 Supernovae https://earthsky.org/space/milky-way-center-star-formation-burst-100000-supernova?utm_source=EarthSky+News&utm_campaign=2e772ec56a-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_02_02_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c643945d79-2e772ec56a-394571661

   https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/techandscience/gravitational-wave-discovery-reveals-spectacular-crash-of-neutron-stars-the-2nd-known/ar-BBYGiDy?ocid=spartandhp

   FRB source identified  https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/techandscience/mysterious-radio-signal-is-coming-from-a-nearby-galaxy-scientists-announce/ar-BBYH2SA?ocid=spartandhp and

   https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200106141612.htm

   Wandering Massive Black Holes in dwarf galaxies https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200106103440.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news%2Ftop_science+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Top+Science+News%29

HST surveys 'local' gigantic galaxy. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200106141620.htm BTW, it's not "NASA's HST"! It's a joint collaboration between NASA and ESO!

   https://newatlas.com/space/sofia-infrared-panorama-milky-way-center/?utm_source=New+Atlas+Subscribers&utm_campaign=9dc4b836a8-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_01_06_09_23&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-9dc4b836a8-92786061 BTW, I derive FORCAST as an acronym for Faint Object infraRed CAmera for the Sofia Telescope. Simple, when you think about it.

 

EARTH & MOON

This is scary for UK/Ireland ! https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/12/191230084804.htm We could get a climate here like Eastern Canada!

 

EXOPLANETS

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7857343/Astronomers-develop-new-method-detect-oxygen-exoplanets.html and

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200106121945.htm

 

EXOLIFE

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/techandscience/aliens-exist-and-could-be-here-on-earth-first-british-astronaut-says/ar-BBYDN8Q?ocid=spartandhp Yes, it's possible that viruses, for example, are 'aliens'.

 

SOLAR SYSTEM

Evidence for active volcanoes on Venus https://earthsky.org/space/evidence-active-volcanoes-venus-olivine?utm_source=EarthSky+News&utm_campaign=2e772ec56a-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_02_02_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c643945d79-2e772ec56a-394571661

Update on Asteroid Belt https://earthsky.org/space/what-is-the-asteroid-belt?utm_source=EarthSky+News&utm_campaign=2e772ec56a-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_02_02_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c643945d79-  2e772ec56a-394571661

   Not trees on Mars! https://www.aol.co.uk/news/2020/01/06/trees-on-the-red-planet-nasa-spacecraft-captures-strange-landsc/?ncid=webmail

 

TELESCOPES, INSTRUMENTS, TECHNIQUES

Plans for the JWST:  https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7857343/Astronomers-develop-new-method-detect-oxygen-exoplanets.html

 

12. JOINING the IRISH ASTRONOMICAL ASSOCIATION. This link downloads a Word document to join the IAA. http://documents.irishastro.org.uk/iaamembership.doc
If you are a UK taxpayer, please tick the 'gift-aid' box, as that enables us to reclaim the standard rate of tax on your subscription, at no cost to you. You can also make a donation via Paypal if you wish: just click on the 'Donate' button. See also
https://irishastro.org/  

 

The Irish Astronomical Association is registered with The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC 105858

 

DISCLAIMER: Any views expressed herein are mine, and do not necessarily represent those of the IAA.

                                                                                                                             

Clear skies,

Terry Moseley