Monday, 4 February 2008

Lectures, Shuttle launch, Astrofest, Star Party, Petition


Hi all,

1. 5 February: EAAS Lecture, at Ballyclare High School, George Avenue (off Rashee Road), Ballyclare, Co. Antrim commencing at 8PM. Title: "Tree-rings provide clues to ancient cosmic events", by Professor Mike Baillie.

2. 6 February:  IAA PUBLIC LECTURE: Wednesday 6 February, 7.30 p.m. Dr Aaron Golden, NUIG: "Periodic Radio Flares from Brown Dwarfs: the missing link between planets and pulsars?" The Bell lecture Theatre, Physics Building, Queen's University, Belfast. Admission free, including light refreshments. All welcome.

   The IAA lecture programme is held in association with the School of Mathematics and Physics at Queen's University Belfast. See:

3. 7 February: Shuttle Launch. At 1945 GMT, the space shuttle Atlantis is set to launch on a 10-day mission to deliver the Columbus laboratory to the International Space Station (ISS). The Columbus laboratory is a European Space Agency module for the ISS and will be used by astronauts to carry out experiments in a weightless environment.

   ESA astronauts Leopold Eyharts from France and Hans Schlegel from Germany will be aboard Atlantis and will help commission the laboratory. Former fighter pilot Eyharts will then live on the ISS for the next three months. See: http://sci.esa.int


The 2008 Astrofest, hosted by Astronomy Now magazine, runs from 8 to 9 February, in the Kensington Conference and Events Centre in west London. Leading figures in astronomy and space science will speak on topics ranging from extrasolar planets to the MESSENGER spacecraft encounter with Mercury. Veteran astronomer and television presenter Sir Patrick Moore will close the conference with a look back at the last 80 years of advances in astronomy. See:

5. 11 February, 8 p.m., Astronomy Ireland Public Lecture "LISA - Gravitational Wave Mission", Physics Building, Trinity College Dublin (map on website), Admission: 5 Euro.  Tickets are available at the door, or on

6. 16 February: IAS Star Party in Wicklow National Park, Saturday February 16th, 8pm - 10pm
The park will provide two guides to help park cars. In the event of rain the park are offering Sunday February 17th as an alternate. The location is the Upper Lake Car Park Glendalough, Wicklow National Park. That is further up from the Round Tower to those who are not sure. The Park will negotiate with the council to get the car parking free like last time. See:

7. 18 FEBRUARY: last date for E-PETITION ON STFC CUTS.

More than 15000 people have so far signed the e-petition to the UK Prime Minister, initiated by physics postgraduate student William Panduro Vazquez of Imperial College London, which calls on the Government to reverse the £80m of cuts announced in the budget of the Science and Technology Facilities Council. The petition closes on 18 February. See:

8. 19 February. Armagh Observatory Public Lecture "The Life Story of a Star: from Birth to Death", 8.00pm, by Professor John Landstreet, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada. Rotunda Lecture Theatre, St. Patrick's Trian, Armagh, followed by tea and coffee.
    This public lecture is being given as part of the Observatory's Science in the Community programme, and is associated with an International Workshop on the Spectroscopy and Spectropolarimetry of A and B-type Stars being held at Armagh Observatory from 18-22 February 2008. 

   Synopsis: Most people who look up at the stars know that these are bodies much like our own Sun. But how are stars produced? Do they live forever? If not, what happens to them? This illustrated talk will answer some of these questions by describing how astronomers have come to understand the life stories of single stars, from the time they are born out of giant gas clouds somewhere in our Milky Way galaxy, through mature middle age, until finally they collapse to become tiny remnants of their former selves, possibly even a black hole.
   The lecture is free of charge, but owing to limitations of space, numbers may be limited. To obtain tickets,  please write, telephone or e-mail to: Mrs Aileen McKee, Armagh  Observatory,  College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG; Tel: 028-3752-2928; Fax: 028-3752-7174;  e-mail:

Clear Skies,

Terry Moseley


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