Monday, 7 October 2019

Lecture, Moon night, Interstellar comet's gas, Space Week, Name exoworlds last chance, ISS, much more

Hi all,

 

1. IAA Public Lecture, Wednesday October 9, 7.30 p.m. "Measuring the brightness of stars from space: flares, outbursts, exoplanets and the inside of stars."  by Dr Dr Gavin Ramsay (AOP)

Abstract:
The talk will outline how astronomers can answer important questions by carefully measuring the brightness of stars and how amateur astronomers have played an important part. It will also highlight the benefits of making such observations from space and will chart the capabilities and science which have come from satellites such as MOST, Corot, Kepler and TESS and look forward to the future Plato mission.

   Gavin has lectured to us before, and explains things in a clear an simple way, so everyone should be able to enjoy this talk.

Details; 7.30 p.m., Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building , QUB. Admission free, including light refreshments. See www.irishastro.org.

 

2 POSTPONED -  IAA Public Outreach event, (was Oct 5), Mullaghbawn, Co Armagh. Postponed because of adverse weather to another date, tba

  

3. International Observe the Moon Night, Oct 5. Events in various locations.

 

4.  Interstellar comet's cyanogen gas discovered by Prof Alan Fitzsimmons!

https://newatlas.com/space/first-gas-molecules-interstellar-comet-detected/

 

5. Space Week Ireland:
Oct 4th – 10th Nationwide
All over Ireland, space cadets are making preparations for Space Week 2019. Space Week is a week that encourages people to engage with Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) through the inspirational topic of space. Space Week is run by CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory in partnership with Science Foundation Ireland and ESERO Ireland. See info@spaceweekireland@bco.ie  

 

6. Space Careers Roadshow at University of Limerick:  

Friday Oct 4th 2019

One of the most exciting events planned for Space Week 2019 is a Space Careers Roadshow at University of Limerick. Featuring a whole host of speakers from the Space Industry including Space Architects, astronomers, and artists, the roadshow offers students the opportunity to see the exciting array of careers available to them in the space industry in Ireland. The roadshow will also feature special guest - NASA Datanaut, and Miss Universe Ireland, Fionnghuala O' Reilly.

Further info here: http://www.spaceweek.ie/events/space-careers-roadshow-university-of-limerick/

 

7.  NameExoWorlds Competition closes soon:
Ireland has been assigned the honour of giving a popular name to HAT-P-36, an exoplanet 1.8 times Jupiter's mass, in the Canes Venatici constellation. The planet's host star is comparable in age and mass to our Sun. Ireland's National Competition was launched in July and will finish during Space Week 2019. After final validation by the IAU100 NameExoWorlds Steering Committee, the global results will be announced in December 2019. The winning names will be used freely in parallel with the existing scientific nomenclature, with due credit to the persons that proposed them.

Further information here: https://www.sciencespace.ie/nameexoworlds-ireland/

 

8. ISS: The ISS continues its current series of evening passes until 9 October.. Details of both ISS and Starlink for your own location, and lots more info on space and astronomy, on www.heavens-above.com.

If you want to check for transits of the ISS across the Sun or the Moon which occur somewhere near you, visit http://transit-finder.com

 

9. Tuesday, Oct 8th -- DCUniverse

As part of Space Week, Dublin City Universe will host an evening of four talks by researchers at the University.  More details and booking at https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/dcuniverse-tickets-70013651717

   With astronomy becoming the domain of large international collaborations and of scientific consortia behind new instruments, telescopes and space missions, this INAM meeting will be an opportunity for Irish researchers to showcase projects carried out in partnership with international collaborators.

 

10. William Carleton and astronomy, 15 October, Valley Hotel, Fivemiletown.

As part of the celebrations of the Sesquicentenary of Wm Carleton's death, Professor Emeritus Mark Bailey (AOP), will give a talk entitled "Carleton's astronomy & how astronomers put stars in the sky, at 3.15.

This will be followed at 3.30 by "Traits and stories of the Irish on Mercury" by Jack Wright (resesarfcher in Planetary Geology, OU..

Full details of the whole event, and information re admissions etc at www.williamcarletonsociety.org; Twitter and Facebook @WlilliamCarleton. Email wcarletonsociety.org

 

11. Armagh Planetarium Dome Shows, Mon 28 Oct – Sat 2 Nov.

11am: Little Yellow Star (Toddler Show)
12noon: Perfect Little Planet (Family Show)
1pm: Beyond the Blue (Recommended older audience)
2pm: CapCom Go! (Recommended older audience)
3pm: Sun, Moon and Stars (Family Show)
4pm: We Are Stars (Recommended older audience)
Group Bookings welcome. Please contact reception@armagh.ac.uk or call 028 37523689 for more information

 

12. Armagh Observatory Tour with Planetarium Dome show
Tuesday 29 Oct, 1pm

Fancy something a little different? Have you ever wanted to peek inside our Observatory Building and learn more about the History and Heritage of our site?

If the answer is yes, then join us on Tuesday 29 Oct!

Begin with a Dome Theatre Show starting at 1pm then enjoy an inspiring tour of our Observatory. Only a small number of Tickets are available for this unique event so book early!
Time: 45mins
Please Note: Due to the nature of the grounds there will be uphill ascents and rough terrain.

 

13. Dark Matter Day: 31 October

 

14. Samhain agus Science, DIAS; 31 October - 01 November:
Our annual celebration will kick off with a talk by Peter Coles in 10 Burlington Road, with more events to be confirmed shortly. Once confirmed all details will be available on the Dias website.

 

15.  Armagh Planetarium Adults Only Takeover Friday 1 November, 6.30pm

Join the Planetarium "Adult Only Takeover" when adults get the chance to take over the facility for the night.

Grab a glass of bubbles, experience our dome theatre, be entertained with the Hubble Bubble Toil and Trouble live science show with Scientific Sue and take home an intergalactic space photo.

Book in for you preferred science show time, but arrive anytime from 6.30pm.

Hubble Bubble Toil and Trouble with Scientific Sue

Scientific Sue - the queen of entertaining science shows - will take a night off from teaching children for this special adults-only show. With her signature (sometimes explosive) experiments, she will perform her most playful science demonstrations to date. Her wacky combination of science and drama makes this show both funny and thought provoking.

This unique, exciting side of science will entertain, inform, and definitely take you on a scientific journey of discovery.

The performance will include dangerous dinner table tricks, sticky biology, explosive chemistry and dare-devil physics demos and plenty of innuendo for fun loving grown-ups; and, as always, Sue will be needing the help of brave volunteers from the audience.

Expect the unexpected and blow away the Autumn blues for this one time only adult science show which aims to stimulate curiosity and imagination whilst also highlighting the relevance and impact of science and engineering on our everyday lives.

Warning:  Danger!  Science Magic - Fun Guaranteed

 

16. Mayo Dark Sky Festival, 1- 3 November. Newport, Co Mayo.

   Latest news - Astronaut Dr. Robert Thirsk will speak at this year's festival, and we are delighted to confirm that Professor Mark McCaughrean will also be joining the line-up, which also includes Dr Niall Smith of CIT and Blackrock Castle Observatory, and Dr Niamh Shaw, aspiring astronaut.

   Also confirmed is DR. NORAH PATTEN is a faculty member at the International Space University and is a citizen scientist-astronaut candidate with Project PoSSUM. An award winning STEM advocate and ambassador. Norah has participated in several citizen science campaigns including microgravity research flights and spacesuit testing and evaluation. In September 2019, Norah will become a children's author with the publication of her book 'Shooting for the Stars' by The O'Brien Press.

   Norah was a recipient of the Emerging Space Leaders Grant and a Next Generation Plenary panellist at the International Astronautical Congress in 2015. Through a partnership with NanoRacks, Norah initiated and managed 'The Only Way is Up' project which launched Ireland's first student experiment to the International Space Station in 2014.  Norah participated in the International Space University Space Studies Program in 2010 and holds a PhD in aeronautical engineering. She currently works as the programme manager at the Irish Composites Center (IComp)Details at www.mayodarkskyfestival.ie

It will be followed by -

 

17.  European Symposium for the Protection of the Night Sky Mulranny,  Mayo, 3 - 5 Nov.
The14th European Symposium for the Protection of the Night Sky is to be held in Mulranny, County Mayo, from 3rd to 5th November 2019 (immediately following the Mayo Dark Sky Festival weekend).  Please share the dates and details on this event and would love to see you there.
   In particularly we are looking to promote the call for abstracts and would be grateful if you can help us share this international event for Dark Sky Ireland with colleagues in environmental /astronomy & scientific/ dark sky networks.   This event will be sanctioned by the International Dark Sky Association.  
    Information is available on our website
www.mayodarkskyfestival.ie/symposium and we will be updating this with more announcements, news and updates on the event as they happen.  

 

18. IAU 100 Astronomy Day in Schools, 10 – 17 November
As one of IAU100's goals is to foster communication and exchange of ideas for the global astronomical community, this also includes the exchange of knowledge and ideas with the next generation of astronomers. The IAU100 has launched the Astronomy Day in Schools Global Project. This initiative hopes to instil some interest and passion for space sciences to continue the momentum of IAU throughout the next 100 years.
   Any amateur or professional astronomer is invited to participate by organising astronomy activities in schools taking place around the week 10-17 November 2019, which includes the World Science Day for Peace and Development on 10 November as well as a Mercury transit on 11 November, which offers an exciting outreach opportunity for the visiting astronomers. This project is also a special opportunity for students to directly interact and engage with astronomers in their communities. Organisers of registered events will have the opportunity to win different prizes.

 

19. For Sale:  Pulsar Telescope Dome, with full control equipment.

The dome is around 5 years old in perfect condition and is currently fully dismantled and available for collection. The dome comes complete with the associated equipment;

·         Pulsar Observatory 2.2m full height observatory dome

·         Shutter drive kit (including solar panel module plus charger and 12V battery)

·         Dome Rotation Drive Kit

·         Shelyak Dome tracker kit

·         Dome security clamps

·         Rubber flooring kit

·         Associated cables and wiring and other extras.

Total Price NEW – c £6,500; Price as available £3,500

Contact Dr Andy McCrea of North Down Telescopes, email s.mccrea980@btinternet.com, mob 07799434030

 

20. 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://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7499619/New-type-Higgs-particle-caused-antimatter-nearly-VANISH-universe.html But what happened to the unbelievable amount of energy that such a mutual annihilation would have created?

The warped world of a Black Hole https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190925154031.htm and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7506715/Mesmerising-NASA-simulation-reveals-black-holes-distorting-space-time.html

   https://www.livescience.com/second-fastest-spinning-star-gamma-rays.html?utm_source=ls-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20190925-ls

  Jets go superluminal in GRBs https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190924152835.htm

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7508305/Unexpectedly-calm-cloud-halo-gas-revealed-galaxy-four-BILLION-light-years-away.html

Black Hole seen shredding star https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190926112638.htm

   Earliest galaxy protocluster, 13bn years old, forming round giant galaxy https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190927074941.htm

   https://www.msn.com/en-gb/video/science/nasa-image-reveals-massive-cosmic-bubbles-full-of-stars/vi-AAI4Tn1?ocid=spartandhp

   https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/techandscience/scientists-observe-mysterious-cosmic-web-directly-for-first-time/ar-AAIg0nw?ocid=spartandhp Fascinating. But a galaxy cluster is probably NOT the most tightly gravitationally bound structure in the universe. A single compact galaxy is more tightly bound. And a compact globular cluster is more tightly bound still, and a close binary star pair is even more tightly bound. But back to the observation: as the universe expands, these filaments must be getting more and more stretched out and rarefied. So they're probably only observable at great distances, and therefore very far back in time.

And see also this report on the same findings, which doesn't claim that galaxy clusters are tightly gravitational bound! https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191003141151.htm

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191003141151.htmBinary stars being born form a cosmic pretzel https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7537431/Astronomers-reveals-telescope-photo-two-stars-born-pretzel-like-swirl-dust.html

   Galaxies and their SMBHs grow old together https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190930101301.htm

   Tabby's star is not unique – about a dozen other similar mysterious stars found https://www.livescience.com/alien-megastructure-mysteriously-dimming-stars.html?utm_source=ls-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20190928-ls

 

COSMOLOGY

A weird explanation for a weird problem? https://www.livescience.com/strange-higgs-stole-antimatter-from-universe.html?utm_source=ls-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20190924-ls

Black  Holes and Dark Energy https://www.livescience.com/black-holes-may-not-exist.html?utm_source=Selligent&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=8200&utm_content=20191002_LS_Essentials_Newsletter+-+adhoc+&utm_term=3473357&m_i=he3hRNHOANhOyNs51DITLCIHi3YdTv5qnCTzDI_IiuSflT2yX_qPIISevKCjWFEE4GzsFkpFSb9fbXDYP%2BOEoSPzkgUfAnhhh7

   The early universe would have been different depending on whether Dark Matter is 'fuzzy' or cold or warm - https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191003130319.htm

 

EARTH & MOON

This is really scary https://newatlas.com/environment/united-science-climate-summit-report/

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7493981/Mysterious-gel-like-substance-far-MOON-studied-China.html I'm blaming tardigrades....

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7502445/NASA-pushes-ahead-plan-build-telescope-spot-potentially-devastating-asteroids.html

   https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/climate-change-ocean-acidification-rising-water-levels-the-ipcc-predicts-a-bleak-future/ar-AAHSMwl?ocid=spartandhp

  https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/techandscience/scientists-find-the-earliest-signs-of-life-from-35-billion-years-ago/ar-AAHSxwg?ocid=spartandhp

   https://www.livescience.com/ipcc-special-climate-report-oceans-ice.html?utm_source=ls-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20190925-ls

More possible evidence for a Younger Dryas impact https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191002110329.htm

    How long can anyone with a brain or a conscience go on denying this?  https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/09/ipcc-report-climate-change-affecting-ocean-ice/?cmpid=org=ngp::mc=crm-email::src=ngp::cmp=editorial::add=Science_20191002&rid=B44D5BDD89C3D2302973C899D2E91C40

 

EXOLIFE

Life's building blocks could be in interstellar gas https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190927074934.htm

 

EXOPLANETS

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7486457/Some-planets-form-giant-solar-systems-orbit-supermassive-black-holes.html

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/techandscience/astronomers-find-huge-world-that-should-not-exist-and-could-change-our-understanding-of-how-planets-form/ar-AAHVLZf?ocid=spartandhp I confidently predict that the only thing we can predict about the universe is that new discoveries are unpredictable.

    Many gas giant planets await discovery https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190927135157.htm

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7529499/Planet-travelling-24-miles-second-year-just-18-hours-long.html

 

IMAGES

Have a look at this! https://newatlas.com/space/esa-spacecraft-mars-mosaic/

   https://www.rmg.co.uk/whats-on/astronomy-photographer-year/galleries/2019/overall-winners

'Watch' the speed of light! https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7530843/Series-animations-just-fast-speed-light-actually-is.html

 

SETI

https://earthsky.org/space/alien-lurker-probes-co-orbital-asteroids-earth?utm_source=EarthSky+News&utm_campaign=a9eecc23f7-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_02_02_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c643945d79-a9eecc23f7-394571661 This is an interesting idea. But if the probe is monitoring us now, it will conclude that we are not yet ready to join the galactic civilization club.

   https://www.livescience.com/search-for-technosignatures.html?utm_source=ls-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20190924-ls

 

SOLAR SYSTEM

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7488729/Mysterious-Mars-nighttime-pulses-baffle-scientists.html NB, where the word "gorged" occurs, it should be "gouged".

  https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6505053/Tunnelbot-search-life-Jupiters-moon-Europa-drilling-hidden-ocean.html

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7500071/Experts-confirm-object-flying-solar-comet-visible-months.html NB, it will be 'in our solar system' for very many years (not just 1-2); just how long depends on how you define where it ends.

   https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/09/heavy-metal-iron-volcanoes-may-have-forged-gem-studded-meteorites/?cmpid=org=ngp::mc=crm-email::src=ngp::cmp=editorial::add=Science_20190925&rid=B44D5BDD89C3D2302973C899D2E91C40

The super-rotation of the Venusian atmosphere https://earthsky.org/space/study-venus-cloudtops-super-rotation-variety?utm_source=EarthSky+News&utm_campaign=a9eecc23f7-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_02_02_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c643945d79-a9eecc23f7-394571661

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7517149/Nasas-chief-scientist-Jim-Green-predicts-Mars-rovers-launching-summer-life.html

   https://www.livescience.com/venus-oceans-habitable.html?utm_source=ls-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20190924-ls

   https://newatlas.com/space/juno-probe-dodges-jupiters-shadow/

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/techandscience/saturns-ice-moon-is-spewing-organic-compounds-that-could-precede-life/ar-AAIeH0n?ocid=spartandhp Interesting. But an important factor is the age of Enceladus, and how long it has had the liquid ocean: long enough for amino acids to develop into something approaching life? And how long might that take anyway?

   https://newatlas.com/space/hayabusa-2-minerva-ii2-robot-asteroid-ryugu/

https://newatlas.com/space/space-exploration-soviet-union-venera-7-probe/

 

SPACE

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7478851/Official-casting-doubt-NASAs-ability-meet-2024-deadline-return-astronauts-moon.html

  New film Ad Astra seems to be good. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7470107/Brad-Pitt-asks-astronaut-Who-better-Clooney-Pitt.html

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7500781/NASAs-break-dancing-rover-goes-spin-help-engineers-center-gravity.html

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7496505/Elon-Musk-tweets-look-SpaceXs-Starship-Rocket-fins-ahead-upcoming-announcement.html

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7504247/Blue-Origin-not-send-humans-space-2020-postponing-goal-second-time-two-years.html

   https://newatlas.com/space/nasas-rolling-shapeshifter-robot-concept-two-drones/

   Feeding 1 million people on Mars https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190924125022.htm Well, that would leave only about 7,499 million back here on Earth, even if it happened now. And it's not likely to happen within the next 500 years, by which time our population may reach 11 billion if we don't take drastic action. So shifting 1 million to Mars would leave a mere 10,999 million back here. Never mind Elon Musk – there is no Planet B!

   https://www.msn.com/en-gb/video/viral/nasa-working-on-shapeshifting-robots-that-could-explore-alien-worlds/vi-AAHWYkY?ocid=spartandhp

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7514007/UK-Space-Agency-starts-hunt-Britains-astronaut-recruitment-drive-decade.html

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7513247/Microbes-earth-sent-colonize-Mars-make-habitable-human-life.html Very dangerous idea! Have they never heard of genetic mutations? Who knows what such microbes would be like after many years exposure to the high levels of radiation on Mars!

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7511607/Plans-land-Europeans-Moon-place-end-year.html At first sight, this seems very ambitious, as ESA has not yet put a single astronaut into space, not even into Low Earth Orbit! It seems to be a prime case of wanting to run before learning to walk! However, it seems that they will simply be joining NASA, who will do the actual job of getting the astronauts to the Moon

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7513475/NASA-astronaut-space-station-posts-amazing-photo-colleague-blasting-rocket-join-her.html

   https://www.msn.com/en-gb/money/news/elon-musk-unveils-spacecraft-he-says-can-go-to-mars-and-return-to-earth/ar-AAI0VMj?ocid=spartandhp That's a FBR - a fairly big rocket!

   https://newatlas.com/space/ariane-6-engine-core-qualification-tests/ What does "aces the test" mean? Is that better than "passes the test"? If so, on what way?

   Elon Musk's starship ready for first flight in a matter of months https://newatlas.com/space/elon-musk-spacex-starship/

   https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/nasa-asks-for-proposals-to-develop-new-lunar-lander/ar-AAI6Vlb?ocid=spartandhp

   https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/raf-selects-fighter-pilot-for-new-space-programme/ar-AAIdoVo?ocid=spartandhp

   https://newatlas.com/space/virgin-galactic-signs-research-contract-italian-air-force/

 

SUN

https://newatlas.com/space/space-exploration-parker-solar-probe/

 

Telescopes, Equipment, etc.

How WFIRST will block starlight to reveal planets https://newatlas.com/space/wfirst-starglasses/

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7502445/NASA-pushes-ahead-plan-build-telescope-spot-potentially-devastating-asteroids.html

 

UFOs, Aliens etc

https://www.aol.co.uk/news/2019/10/04/nature-or-aliens-rocks-perfect-split-baffles-the-internet/?ncid=webmailb The alien theory presupposes that aliens have nothing better to do than land in the desert, take out a megawatt laser, & cut a big rock in half just because they were bored. Not intelligent aliens then.

 

21. 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
www.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



Virus-free. www.avast.com

Monday, 23 September 2019

IAA Opening Lecture: Space Rocks; another interstellar object; apologies; Equinox; Dark Sky Event in Fermanagh; Bennu, ISS, more

Hi all,

 

1. IAA Public Lecture, Sep 25. Dr Mike Simms (UM): "1969; A special year for space rocks (and not just from the Moon)" Mike is one of Ireland's leading meteorite experts, and has given us many fascinating lectures before. This one focuses on 3 very significant meteorite falls which, coincidentally, occurred in the same year as the first retrieved rocks from the Moon. One of those was the famous Bovedy Meteorite, that last one known to fall in N. Ireland. A fascinating talk is to be expected, delivered in Mike's inimitable style.

SYNOPSIS:

 "1969 was an auspicious time for rocks from Space. Meteorite falls at Bovedy in Northern Ireland, Allende in Mexico, and Murchison in Australia, all led to breakthroughs in our understanding of the early Solar System. Rocks brought back by Apollo's 11 and 12 gave us our first chance to find out if the Moon really was made of cheese. And a chance discovery down in Antarctica was to have a fundamental influence on the future of meteoritics for decades to come."

Details; 7.30 p.m., Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, QUB. Admission free, including light refreshments. See www.irishastro.org.

NB. Derek Heatly will be selling lots of books/dvds, including the 1999 BBC ''Planets'' series, quite hi-res, still worth a look, plus many of the 50s SF classics, e.g. Forbidden Planet, When Worlds Collide, etc..

 

2. Another Interstellar object! Ukrainian amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov discovered the object, now classed as a comet, and named C/2019 Q4 (Borisov), approaching from beyond the orbit of Mars on Aug. 30th.

   Based on observations gathered since Borisov's discovery, the comet seems to be following a hyperbolic orbit with an eccentricity greater than 3.5. This means the comet is unbound to the Sun. Indeed, it is moving at 30.7 km/s (68,700 mph), too fast for the Sun's gravity to hang onto it. Comet Borisov is a first time visitor to the inner solar system, and after this flyby it will return to deep space.

   The Comet will make its closest approach to the Sun (2 AU) around Dec. 7th. Three weeks later, near the end of December, it will make its closest approach to Earth (also 2 AU). At the moment the comet is very dim, around magnitude +18. We'll need more observations before we can estimate how bright it may become.

   Unlike 'Oumuamua, which seems to have been asteroidal, this object is currently classed as a comet.   Amazing that we should discover one of each in such quick succession!

 

3. Re: Congratulations, belatedly, to Deirdre Kelleghan!

Sorry for an awful typo in my last bulletin – "selfish" should have course have been "selfless"! I hope it was clear that that was what I meant from the context, but I'm correcting it here for the record!

 

4. Autumn Equinox, Sep 23, The Sun will cross the celestial equator going southwards on Sep 23 at 07.49 UT, marking the start of autumn in the N. Hemisphere. That's the latest date and time for the autumn equinox for the next 100 years (and more), as the date and time are currently slowly moving back in our calendar (just as is happening with our spring equinox). In fact the last one on Sep 23 occurs on 2059 Sep 23 at 00h 02m. And we'll have our first (in recent history) equinox occurring on Sep 21 in 2092 at 23h 41m. It's all due to slow cyclical changes in Earth's orbit.

 

5. Dark Sky Evening Event, Sep 27. Lough Navar Forest, Co Fermanagh, I'll be leading this event, run by Marble Arch Geopark,

This area has the darkest skies in N. Ireland, and will provide unbelievable views of the night sky and in particular the Milky Way, if the sky is clear! Bring binoculars if you have them, but the event will concentrate on the naked-eye view.

We will also see an excellent pass over by the ISS, which will be the brightest object in the sky, assuming that the clouds stay away!

Time. 8.00p.m. - 10:00pm. Participants are asked to drive their own cars to Aghameelan Viewpoint for 8:00pm. We will view the Southern aspect of the sky from there, and then move onto Magho Viewpoint overlooking Lower Lough Erne for a view of the Northern sky. The event will finish from there.

   PLEASE – no white torches, particularly not LED head torches! Red ones, such as for bicycle rear lights, are acceptable, but the organisers will provide appropriate lighting

 Finish time is scheduled for 10:00pm and we will have tea and coffee for everyone afterwards.

More details at: https://www.marblearchcavesgeopark.com/event/dark-skies-at-lough-navar-forest/

 

6. Flyover the 4 shortlisted sample collection sites for Asteroid Bennu: https://mail.aol.com/webmail-std/en-gb/DisplayMessage?ws_popup=true&ws_suite=true

 

7. ISS: The ISS continues its current series of evening passes until 9 October.. Details of both ISS and Starlink for your own location, and lots more info on space and astronomy, on www.heavens-above.com.

If you want to check for transits of the ISS across the Sun or the Moon which occur somewhere near you, visit http://transit-finder.com

 

8. Saturday, Sept 28th -- Frontiers of Physics 2019, Waterford

Waterford Institute of Technology is the venue for this year's event organised by the Institute of Physics in Ireland.  More details at https://events.iop.org/frontiers-physics-2019

 

9. To the end of September -- Moon landing art

The Sporting Emporium in Dublin has been hosting an art exhibition on the theme of the Moon landings.  It is being run in conjunction with Balla Ban Art Gallery (in the Westbury Mall).  More details at https://visualartists.ie/events/50th-anniversary-of-first-moon-landing-at-sporting-emporium-dublin/

 

10. Monday, Sept 30th (to Oct 4th) RDS Library Booksale
The annual RDS Library book sale takes place during the above dates.  Everyone is welcome to browse and purchase out-of-date and duplicate books.  More details at https://www.rds.ie/Whats-On/Event/39313

 

11. Tuesday, Oct 8th -- DCUniverse

As part of Space Week, Dublin City Universe will host an evening of four talks by researchers at the University.  More details and booking at https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/dcuniverse-tickets-70013651717

   With astronomy becoming the domain of large international collaborations and of scientific consortia behind new instruments, telescopes and space missions, this INAM meeting will be an opportunity for Irish researchers to showcase projects carried out in partnership with international collaborators.

12. Spaceweek at BCO, 4-11 October   info at spaceweek@bco.ie)

 

13. IAA Public Outreach event, Oct 5, World Space Week Event.  Mullaghbawn, Co Armagh. More details later.

 

14. Dark Matter Day: 31 October

 

15. Samhain agus Science, DIAS; 31 October - 01 November:
Our annual celebration will kick off with a talk by Peter Coles in 10 Burlington Road, with more events to be confirmed shortly. Once confirmed all details will be available on the Dias website.

 

16. Mayo Dark Sky Festival, 1- 3 November. Newport, Co Mayo.

   Latest news - Astronaut Dr. Robert Thirsk will speak at this year's festival, and we are delighted to confirm that Professor Mark McCaughrean will also be joining the line-up, which also includes Dr Niall Smith of CIT and Blackrock Castle Observatory, and Dr Niamh Shaw, aspiring astronaut.

   Also confirmed is DR. NORAH PATTEN is a faculty member at the International Space University and is a citizen scientist-astronaut candidate with Project PoSSUM. An award winning STEM advocate and ambassador. Norah has participated in several citizen science campaigns including microgravity research flights and spacesuit testing and evaluation. In September 2019, Norah will become a children's author with the publication of her book 'Shooting for the Stars' by The O'Brien Press.

   Norah was a recipient of the Emerging Space Leaders Grant and a Next Generation Plenary panellist at the International Astronautical Congress in 2015. Through a partnership with NanoRacks, Norah initiated and managed 'The Only Way is Up' project which launched Ireland's first student experiment to the International Space Station in 2014.  Norah participated in the International Space University Space Studies Program in 2010 and holds a PhD in aeronautical engineering. She currently works as the programme manager at the Irish Composites Center (IComp)Details at www.mayodarkskyfestival.ie

It will be followed by -

 

17.  European Symposium for the Protection of the Night Sky Mulranny,  Mayo, 3 - 5 Nov.
The14th European Symposium for the Protection of the Night Sky is to be held in Mulranny, County Mayo, from 3rd to 5th November 2019 (immediately following the Mayo Dark Sky Festival weekend).  Please share the dates and details on this event and would love to see you there.
   In particularly we are looking to promote the call for abstracts and would be grateful if you can help us share this international event for Dark Sky Ireland with colleagues in environmental /astronomy & scientific/ dark sky networks.   This event will be sanctioned by the International Dark Sky Association.  
    Information is available on our website
www.mayodarkskyfestival.ie/symposium and we will be updating this with more announcements, news and updates on the event as they happen.  

 

18. For Sale:  Pulsar Telescope Dome, with full control equipment.

The dome is around 5 years old in perfect condition and is currently fully dismantled and available for collection. The dome comes complete with the associated equipment;

·         Pulsar Observatory 2.2m full height observatory dome

·         Shutter drive kit (including solar panel module plus charger and 12V battery)

·         Dome Rotation Drive Kit

·         Shelyak Dome tracker kit

·         Dome security clamps

·         Rubber flooring kit

·         Associated cables and wiring and other extras.

Total Price NEW – c £6,500; Price as available £3,500

Contact Dr Andy McCrea of North Down Telescopes, email s.mccrea980@btinternet.com, mob 07799434030

 

19. 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/mystery-green-blob-ulx-4-fireworks-galaxy?utm_source=EarthSky+News&utm_campaign=2c588cf93e-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_02_02_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c643945d79-2c588cf93e-394571661

Densest possible neutron star discovered https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190916114030.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news%2Ftop_science+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Top+Science+News%29

Has the mystery of Tabby's Star been solved? https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190916114028.htm

Rare molecule helps weigh a protoplanetary disc. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190913080746.htm

Newborn Black Hole rings as Einstein predicted https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190911121948.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news%2Ftop_science+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Top+Science+News%29

   Six galaxies are undergoing major rapid changes https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190918131518.htm

   https://www.livescience.com/whats-killing-universe-extreme-galaxies.html?utm_source=ls-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20190920-ls Poor galaxies, RIP. Except that they won't be dead for billions of years yet - most of their existing stars will continue to shine for that long. But they needed a good headline, right?

 

COSMOLOGY

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7457829/Study-finds-universe-2-billion-years-younger.html

New hunt for Dark Matter using lasers https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190918112433.htm

Artificial Intelligence looks for Dark Matter & Dark Energy https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190918100223.htm

 

EARTH & MOON

STEVE is NOT a form of aurora https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190905090942.htm

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7451873/Almost-900-asteroids-risk-hitting-Earth-100-years.html Why is that asteroid on fire while it's out in deep space? Who is responsible for that stupid image? 1. Rock doesn't burn. 2. There's no oxygen out there even if it did. 3. If it was heating up by ablation, it's the front surface that would be hot and glowing or molten. 4. The night side of the Earth should be almost completely dark, apart from any city lights. Four major points wrong out of four. Are there any scientists there at all?

   Ancient asteroid break-up may have caused early ice age https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190918142025.htm But there must have been many asteroid collisions and breakups. What effect did they have?

Asteroid near miss was nearly not spotted. https://www.aol.co.uk/news/2019/09/20/nasa-emails-reveal-how-agency-didnt-see-large-sneaky-near-mi/?ncid=webmail and

https://www.msn.com/en-ie/news/techandscience/huge-asteroid-that-narrowly-missed-earth-slipped-through-the-net-nasa-emails-reveal/ar-AAHCIFk?ocid=spartandhp

2019 joint hottest on record for N. Hemisphere, and 2nd hottest for S. Hemisphere https://earthsky.org/earth/summer-2019-tied-hottest-on-record-northern-hemisphere?utm_source=EarthSky+News&utm_campaign=3da293b3ea-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_02_02_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c643945d79-3da293b3ea-394571661

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/moment-fireball-meteor-size-of-a-football-lights-up-night-sky-over-southern-australia/ar-AAHDExn?ocid=spartandhp

 

EXOLIFE

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7448231/Is-anybody-Men-enthusiastic-talking-aliens.html

 

EXOPLANETS

https://newatlas.com/space/exomoon-dimming-alien-megastructure-tabbys-star/

 

IMAGES

Beautiful image of Saturn from the HST https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/techandscience/nasa-snapped-a-new-image-of-saturn-and-its-a-real-stunner/ar-AAHdvpe?ocid=spartandhp NB, although the image is credited to NASA, the HST is a multinational venture, with ESO as the 2nd major partner.

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7458539/Breathtaking-shot-skies-Britain-showing-Mars-Saturn-wins-photo-prize.html

   Debate on age of Saturn's rings continues https://mail.aol.com/webmail-std/en-gb/DisplayMessage?ws_popup=true&ws_suite=true

 

SOLAR SYSTEM

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7448285/Lakes-Saturns-moon-Titan-explosion-craters-caused-warming-nitrogen-NASA-suggests.html

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7430601/NASAs-Mars-Reconnaissance-Orbiter-captures-massive-avalanche-red-planet.html

   3D models of the next Mrs Rover landing site https://mail.aol.com/webmail-std/en-gb/DisplayMessage?ws_popup=true&ws_suite=true

   Asteroid strike on Jupiter imaged and analysed. https://mail.aol.com/webmail-std/en-gb/DisplayMessage?ws_popup=true&ws_suite=true

   Comet's collapsing cliffs and bouncing boulders! https://mail.aol.com/webmail-std/en-gb/DisplayMessage?ws_popup=true&ws_suite=true

  Solar eclipse on Jupiter https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/techandscience/nasa-juno-orbiter-captures-solar-eclipse-on-jupiter/ar-AAHv1Eh?ocid=spartandhp

   Mysteries of speeds of winds at Venus's cloud tops https://mail.aol.com/webmail-std/en-gb/DisplayMessage?ws_popup=true&ws_suite=true

   Saturn's rings may be as old as the Solar System https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190918105635.htm

Venus may once have been habitable https://mail.aol.com/webmail-std/en-gb/DisplayMessage?ws_popup=true&ws_suite=true and more details at https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EPSC-DPS2019/EPSC-DPS2019-1846-1.pdf

Amazing dunes on Mars https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/techandscience/mars-north-pole-looks-so-bizarre-in-new-photo-by-exomars-orbiter/ar-AAHs1b7?ocid=spartandhp

A stony-iron asteroid smashed into Jupiter https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/techandscience/we-now-know-what-smashed-into-jupiter-last-month/ar-AAHs1am?ocid=spartandhp

   Mars Insight Lander is a star! https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/techandscience/nasas-insight-lander-just-won-an-emmy/ar-AAHq9ct?ocid=spartandhp

 

SPACE

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7458277/SpaceX-asks-permission-fly-Starship-prototype-12-MILES-air-vehicle-completed.html

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7442837/Indian-space-agency-Chandrayaan-2-Vikram-lander-surface-moon.html So close to being a success!

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7448641/Astronauts-make-cement-space-time-raising-hopes-construction.html

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7433287/Silicon-Valley-nonprofit-reveals-plan-build-3-billion-settlement-moon.html

   https://newatlas.com/space/first-earth-observation-satellite-ai-ready/

   https://newatlas.com/space/spacex-starship-first-orbital-flight-preparation/

The menu on Mars will feature crickets! https://www.msn.com/en-gb/foodanddrink/foodnews/how-humans-could-survive-on-mars-by-eating-insects-colonies-would-need-lab-grown-meat-tunnel-grown-crops-and-cricket-farms-a-study-finds/ar-AAHAqCo?ocid=spartandhp  At least with a cricket you get six legs - a chicken has only two! Kovalsky Fried Cricket, anyone? (Kovalsky is a crater on Mars...)

   https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/techandscience/nasa-will-fire-a-tiny-satellite-into-the-lunar-orbit-planned-for-gateway/ar-AAHqdlJ?ocid=spartandhp

   https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/techandscience/nasa-astronauts-are-preparing-for-the-moon-in-a-big-water-tank/ar-AAHlyD4?ocid=spartandhp

 

SUN

Fascinating new theory about the Sun https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190919095224.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news%2Ftop_science+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Top+Science+News%29

 

Telescopes, Equipment, etc.

Space laser being developed for LISA https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190918124529.htm 

 

20. 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
www.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