Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Email probs, Astro Event, Lectures, Exhib, Shuttle, ISS, Astroarchaeology, GA/F

Hi all,

It appears that quite a few people did not receive my last email bulletin, containing 9 items, sent on 4 November, even though it showed up as 'Sent' on my account.

The following contains some of those items, even though they are now already started, plus some new items.

To give me some idea of whether this one is getting to you, I would be very grateful if any of you whose email address begins with a vowel (A,E,I,O or U) would reply just letting me know if you get this one, and also if you got the earlier one on 4 November. (Nothing significant in the letters - it's just an easy semi-random selection.)

1. NOV 18: IAA FREE PUBLIC LECTURE, BELFAST: The next lecture of the Irish Astronomical Association's new season will be given by Dr Simon Jeffery of Armagh Observatory.

His talk is entitled "Smoking Stars". (And it's not about Marlene Dietrich etc......) It's on WEDNESDAY 18 NOVEMBER, at 7.30 p.m., in the Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, Queen's University, Belfast. ADMISSION IS FREE, as always, and includes light refreshments. Everyone is welcome! Full details of the rest of the programme are on the website:

2. IYA 2009 Astro-Event, Roe Valley Country Park, Limavady, Co L'derry, on FRIDAY 20 NOVEMBER. THE NEXT IAA PUBLIC ASTRONOMY EVENT FOR IYA2009 WILL BE AT THE ROE VALLEY COUNTRY PARK, near LIMAVADY, to mark International Year of Astronomy 2009. The Country Park is well signposted off either of the roads joining Limavady and Dungiven, the B68 and the B192. It's about 3-4 miles South of Limavady, with only a little light pollution from that town.

We will show members of the public the wonders of the night sky, including mighty Jupiter, the largest planet in the Solar System, with its four big Galilean Moons, and lovely double stars, star clusters, nebulae and galaxies from far across the universe. We may even get a quick view of Mars, although not until late in the evening.

We will also have an exhibition, meteorites, and starshows in a mobile planetarium, so there will be plenty to enjoy, even if it's cloudy. Wrap up warm in any case, especially if the sky is clear.

There is a cafe on site, where light meals, hot snacks and drinks are available, and it will be open at least for the first part of the evening.

Time: 8 p.m until about 11 p.m.

No admission charge. All welcome

3. EXHIBITION, ARMAGH: An interdisciplinary exhibition bringing together science, education and art, named "Over us All is the SElfsame Sky" (OASES) opened on Monday 9 November in the Rotunda Gallery, St Patrick's Trian, Armagh. The exhibition is part of a series of Astro-Art events held to celebrate the UN International Year of Astronomy 2009 and it will be launched with a performance of music, poetry and dance by pupils from Mount St. Catherine's Primary School, Armagh and the Armagh Rhymers.

The astronomy-themed exhibition contains paintings by astronomer Miruna Popescu of Armagh Observatory and artist Dara Vallely of the Armagh Rhymers, as well as work done in Astro-Art Fun workshops by children from schools as far apart as Omagh, Armagh and Dublin. The launch is open to the public and everyone is welcome to attend.


Contact: Dr Miruna Popescu, Armagh Observatory, IYA2009-Ireland Coordinator,

4. EXHIBITION, CRAWFORD OBSERVATORY, UCC: A special exhibition for IYA 2009 entitled "Exploring the Universe: Our Next Steps", will open at the historic Crawford Observatory, University College Cork, from 9 to 11 November. Admission is free, and everyone is welcome.

See: and and

For further details contact Dr Paul Callanan, paulcat

5. PORTRAITS OF ASTRONOMERS EXHIBITION: The National Museums Northern Ireland and the Armagh Observatory announce the launch of the exhibition "Portraits of Astronomers", at 8.00pm on Thursday 19th November at Armagh County Museum.

This stunning exhibition consists of 38 black and white photographic portraits featuring some of the UK's leading astronomers including household names like Sir Patrick Moore, the first Director of the Armagh Planetarium. Other local astronomers include Professor Mark Bailey, Director of the Observatory and Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, the first woman to hold the title of the President of the Institute of Physics. Each photograph is accompanied by a short explanation of what it was that

inspired them to study the stars.

Among the invited guests will be Lucinda Douglas-Menzies who took the images

and whose book and exhibition is a fitting tribute to the United Nations International Year of Astronomy 2009.

The organsisers would be delighted if you could join them for the launch of this very

special exhibition.

If you plan to attend, please RSVP to Sarah Millsopp, Secretary, Armagh

County Museum, The Mall East, Armagh, BT61 9BE. Tel: 028-3752-3070;

E-mail: acm.infoat

Mark E. Bailey, Armagh Observatory, Greer Ramsey, Armagh County Museum


NASA managers tentatively cleared the shuttle Atlantis for launch Nov. 16 on a three-spacewalk mission to deliver nearly 15 tons of spare parts and supplies to the

International Space Station. See:

7. The ISS will start another series of evening passes over Ireland on 11 November, so depending on the launch time of the Shuttle, it may be possible to see both passing over together, as the Shuttle closes in on the ISS for docking. More on that later.

8. ASTROARCHAEOLOGY: Martin Brennan to return to Ireland after a quarter of a century. PIONEERING AUTHOR TO HEADLINE WINTER SOLSTICE CONFERENCE (Adapted from Anthony Murphy)

Pioneering author Martin Brennan, whose work changed the way the world looked at Newgrange and the Boyne Valley monuments, is set to return to Ireland for the first time in a quarter of a century.

Brennan wrote "The Boyne Valley Vision" and "The Stones of Time", two books which radically altered thinking about Stone Age monuments and which challenged the widely-held academic view that Newgrange and its sister sites were just tombs. The author, who is living in Mexico where he is currently working on concluding his next book, will headline a conference at Newgrange on Sunday, December 20th, the eve of Winter Solstice. He will reveal fascinating new data from Mexico relating to ancient alignments and the Mayan calendar, and will reveal the resonance and the synchronicity between his discoveries in Mexico and those he made in Ireland in the 1980s.

The conference will be titled "The Boyne Valley Revision" in honour of his first ground-breaking book, The Boyne Valley Vision, and will outline how the theories he advanced over a quarter of a century ago have matured, and how new data from other parts of the world is supporting the idea that the ancient monuments were inspired by the Cosmos.

He will be joined at the conference, being held at The Newgrange Lodge in the heart of the Boyne Valley by Toby Hall and Jack Roberts, two members of his research team who helped him with his major discoveries, and Anthony Murphy.

His next book will be called 'Days of Power', to be published some time early in 2010. He has discovered fascinating alignments in Mexico, and his work also looks at the correlation between the beginning of the Mayan Long Count Calendar and the construction of Newgrange.

"The Boyne Valley Revision" will take place on Sunday, December 20th, at The Newgrange Lodge. Tickets are on sale now at 65 euro for the day, and can be booked by emailing saraat or by phoning The Newgrange Lodge on +353 41 988 2478.* To celebrate Martin Brennan's return to Ireland, a celebratory dinner will be held at the Lodge on the evening of the event. Spaces for this dinner will be limited. The dinner, which will be attended by Martin Brennan, will cost an additional 35 euro. Enquiries to the same email address and phone number as above.

It is hoped that on the morning of Winter Solstice, Monday 21st, Martin Brennan will be accompanied to Newgrange to watch the sunrise.

9. GALWAY ASTROFEST: Advance Notice. Latest programme:

Friday Feb 12th 7.30pm, two talks (free admission)
Philip Walsh: “The Drake Equation” (Probabaility of Extraterrestrial Life: T.M)
Professor Paul Mohr: “Cassini, Meridani nodding Ecliptic”. This will be an extensive account of astronomical work based on meridian instruments constructed in five European cathedrals, Santa Maria Novella and the Duomo in Florence, San Petronio in Bologna, Santa Maria degli Angeli in Rome, and Saint Sulplice in Paris. Measurements of the resulting solar images were useful to Cassini in enabling him to distinguish between the Ptolemaic and Keplerian systems. An additional bonus was the detection and accurate quantification of secular decline in the obliquity of the ecliptic
Observing afterwards at our Dark sky site 12 miles north of Hotel, Brigits Garden Park see
Saturday February 13th
1. Dr Aaron Golden NUI Galway: “Has Earth Contaminated the Solar System? – the Case for Life on Mars”
2. Brian Harvey: “The Asian Space Race”
3. Alastair Mc Kinstry NUI Galway: "Extra Solar Planets: Climates and Atmospheres"
4. Dr Deidre Coffey DIAS: “Investigating Protostellar Jets with the Hubble Space Telescope after Service Mission 4”
5. Dr Vitaly Neustroev NUI Galway: "Amateur Astronomers and Cataclysmic Variables"
6. Dr Neal Trappe NUI Maynooth: "ALMA: Exploring the Cool Universe" Title TBC
7. Professor Alan Smith, Director of Mullard Space Science Lab, University College London UK : “Space Science: The Next 20 Years”
8. After Dinner talk presented by Terry Moseley IAA: "Adventures with Heavenly Bodies"
Observing again at Brigits Garden and tour of NUI Galway Observatory and facilities

Clear Skies,

Terry Moseley

No comments: