1. Time is running out to book for the IAA New Year Party & Film: Just to remind you: through the good efforts of Robert Hill of NISO, we have indeed been able to secure the first private viewing in Europe of the superb film "Shadow of the Moon" for our New Year Party on Saturday 5 January, at the Tudor Cinema, Drumhirk Road, Comber, Co Down! The film will not be officially released on DVD here until February, but Robert has special contacts..... Admission details as before: £10 per person, including excellent food & liquid refreshments, both alcoholic and otherwise. Also a great fun quiz with lots of prizes, and great craic for all. Be there 7.30 for 8.0 for this special preview, and a great evening.
NB: YOU MUST BOOK & PREPAY by 2 JANUARY: Cheques payable to the IAA (Sterling only please) - send to John Hall, 3 Vaddegan Avenue, Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, BT36 7SP.
A. Coming from the Greater Belfast area: follow signs for the A22 to Comber, proceed along the bypass (missing the town) to the roundabout, then turn right, still on the A22, towards Killyleagh and Downpatrick. Just 1 mile past the end of the 30mph speed limit zone in Comber, turn right into DRUMHIRK ROAD. After about 1/3 mile, look out for a row of cottages on the right, opposite which there is some 'ranch-style' fencing, with an entry to a laneway. There will be an IAA sign at this junction. Proceed along that laneway to the end where you will find the cinema and car park.
B. Coming from Downpatrick direction: proceed along A22 towards Comber, and look out for Drumhirk Road on your left, just 1 mile before you reach the edge of Comber.
C. Coming from the West or South: either go though Belfast and proceed as at A above, or turn off the M1 at Lisburn, taking the A49, then in a short distance turn left onto the B6, and then left again onto the B178, following signs for Carryduff and Comber. In Carryduff turn left, then right, following the B178 for Comber. Just before you reach Comber you join the A21: follow this into Comber, then follow signs for the A22 to Killyleagh and Downpatrick as at A above.
PARK AS NEATLY AS POSSIBLE PLEASE! We need to get as many cars in as possible.
2. Light Pollution Survey. (APOLOGIES: I forgot to attach the form last time......)
Albert White, Chair if ILPAC, the Irish Light Pollution Awareness Campaign, has asked me to pass this on. Please fill in and return, and circulate the attached survey further to anyone who might be interested. Martin will be feeding back the results to DEFRA in the UK; hopefully to get the exceptions to the law there changed.
3. EAAS Meeting: The next meeting will be on 7 January 2008 and will be a members night. Venue: Lecture Theatre, Ballyclare High School, George Avenue, Ballyclare, Co. Antrim, 8PM. Admission charge.
4. IAA: NEXT LECTURE: The next meeting will be on Wednesday 9 January, at 7.30 p.m. sharp, in the Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, Queen's University, Belfast (main campus). This will be a twin speaker 'Members' Night' aimed mainly at beginners: I will talk about and demonstrate using binoculars, and david Stewart will talk about astrophotography. Admission free, including light refreshments
5. Astronomy Ireland: NEW YEAR PUBLIC LECTURE, Monday January 14 2007, 8:00pm, Physics Building, Trinity College, Dublin 2. "METEORITES - NEW EVIDENCE UNCOVERED", BY, DR. IAN SANDERS, TCD. Admission Charge.
6. ANOTHER COMET: Comet 8P/Tuttle has returned to the inner solar system after an absence of over 13 years. On Jan. 1 and 2, it makes its closest approach to Earth, only 24 million miles away. The emerald-coloured comet will brighten to a predicted magnitude of 5.8, visible to the unaided eye from dark-sky sites and a fine target for backyard telescopes anywhere.
Just before closest approach, on Dec. 30th and 31st, Comet 8P/Tuttle has a close encounter with spiral galaxy M33. The comet and the galaxy may even overlap! A great opportunity for astrophotographers!
Visit http://spaceweather.com for sky maps, photos and more information.
I have now switched to a new PC, and had to transfer my address lists in a very awkward manner, so there may be some duplication of addresses. Hope to get that sorted soon, so if you get two copies of this, my apologies.
NEW ADDRESSES: Also, some new addresses have been added. As always, if you wish to be removed from this mailing list, just email me back saying so & I will gladly do so.
Finally, a very Happy New Year to everyone, with lots of clear dark skies for all.