Friday, 15 August 2008

Lunar Eclipse, Astronomy at Mount Stewart, BAA Meeting in Dublin, WSP

Hi all,
1. ECLIPSE OF THE MOON, 16 August: 
   Following the Solar eclipse on 1 August at New Moon, the next Full Moon on 16 August also provides an eclipse - a lunar one this time, of course. It will be a partial eclipse, but with a much greater magnitude than the solar eclipse as seen from Ireland. At maximum, almost 81% of the Moon will be in the Earth's shadow, and the rest will be dimmed by the outer fainter penumbral shadow. From Ireland, the Moon will rise already partially eclipsed, at about 20.45 from Belfast & Dublin, and a bit later the further West you go.
    Maximum eclipse will occur at 22.10 BST. The Moon's altitude then will be less than 10 degrees, so you'll need a good clear SE horizon to see the eclipse properly.
   The Moon will pass through the NNW part of the Earth's shadow, so it will be the SSE part of the Moon that will be deepest in the eclipse. The moon leaves the umbra, or the main part of the Earth's shadow, at 23.44.
    Eclipse Perseids?  Although the eclipse won't be total, the Moon will be dimmed enough for the 15-20 minutes or so centred on maximum eclipse for us to be able to spot some late Perseids if we are lucky. see
The Irish Astronomical Association and Armagh Planetarium will be jointly hosting another one of the very popular and successful astronomy days at the magnificent National Trust property at Mount Stewart, near Greyabbey, Co Down. It will run from 2 - 5 p.m., with just the normal National Trust admission charges applying, although IAA members bringing telescopes etc will get in free.
   The Planetarium will have the mobile stardome, and there may also be rocket-launching etc.
   The IAA will have the usual solar telescopes and filtered binoculars etc for safely viewing the Sun. (Amazingly, given the recent weather, we actually had a mainly sunny afternoon for our Solar day at Carnfunnock Country Park last Saturday, and though there were no sunspots visible, we had some nice views of a detached prominence, and I gave a tour of the dozen or so different sundials which are a feature of the Park).
   And our own 'Ulsternaut', Derek Heatly, will be doing his usual feature on his forthcoming trip into space.
   So there's something for everyone, and we hope to see lots of you there.
3. BAA Meeting in Dublin, 5-7 September: The BAA's Annual 'Out of London' meeting will this year be held in Dublin, co-hosted by the IAS: The weekend starts on Friday, September 5th with a visit to Birr Castle and concludes on Sunday, September 7th with a trip to Newgrange. The main meeting on the Saturday includes a wide range of speakers.

On Saturday September 6th if people wish to attend the talks only they can pay at the door.  IAS & BAA members, and University Students: 8 Euro each. All others 10 Euro.

If people wish to attend any other side events on this weekend they must book through the BAA immediately, at:
 4. WHIRLPOOL STAR PARTY, 26-28 September. Advance notice that Ireland's major annual astronomy festival, the Whirlpool Star Party, hosted by the Shannonside Astronomy Club, will be held once again at Birr, Co Offaly, home of the famous 'Leviathan', which was for 70 years the largest telescope in the world. It's always a great weekend of craic, great astronomy talks, exhibitions, 'scopes & accessories & books for sale, observing & socialising. Details on:
Clear skies,
Terry Moseley

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