1. SOLSTICE INTERVIEW: - Apologies to the few of you who were disappointed that my Solstice interview did not broadcast - it was edged out by a certain Graham McDowell winning the US Open!
2. COMET: Comet McNaught 2009 R1 continues to brighten slowly, but is very difficult to find in the bright all-night summer twilight. On the morning of the 22nd it was about mag 5.8, but not visible even in 10x50 binocs because of the bright background sky. Even in 30x80s and 25x100s it was unimpressive. Those further south in the island will have a darker sky background, but the comet will also be lower down in the N sky when twilight is at a minimum. It is expected to be brightest on July 1, but will then be even closer to the Sun. Try for it now if you want to see it at all. See: http://www.aerith.net/comet/catalog/2009R1/2009R1.html
3. NLCs: There have been some sightings, so keep a look out in the NNW sky as soon as it gets dark enough to see Capella in that region of the sky. Send any photos to the IAA website: www.irishastro.org
4. RARE BRIGHT OCCULTATION - for those on holiday in Europe! On the evening of July 8 there will be an occultation of the bright star Delta Oph (mag 2.7) by asteroid 472 Roma. The asteroid itself will only be visible in large telescopes, but as it will pass between us and the star, the star will suddenly disappear for a few seconds, and this will be visible even to the naked eye!
The occultation will occur around 21:57 U.T. (22.57 BST, but allow for local time in whatever country you are in, i.e. convert from UT, which equals GMT. The expected maximum duration of the occultation is 5.6 seconds.
The narrowish track of the occultation (like a 'mini-eclipse') runs from S Portugal (Algarve region) across NE Spain, France, the Low Countries, N Germany, S Sweden and Finland. If you happen to be on holiday anywhere near the track on July 8, do have a look for this extremely rare event.
See: http://www.astrosurf.com/eaon/phenomenon%20rare.htm. The darker central track is the expected path where the occultation will be visible: the closer you are to the centre, the longer the duration of the occultation. The shaded area on either side is the zone of 1-Sigma uncertainty: in other words if there is an error in either the position of the star or the path of the asteroid it's possible that the occultation could be visible in this zone. If there's an update on the track before the event it will be posted on that website.
5.CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory presents Space Camp 2010
At our third annual Space Camp we invite students ages 8 to 12 to use science and engineering to explore the universe. Find out about life as an astronaut, the solar system & the search for alien life. The highlight of the week is the day we build and launch our own rockets! Places are limited so call 021 4357917 to reserve your place now.
€95 per student. 10% members and second child discount.
There are 6 SESSIONS TO CHOOSE FROM:
JULY 5-9: MORNING (10am-12:30pm)
JULY 5-9: AFTERNOON (2pm-4:30pm)
JULY 19-23: MORNING (10am-12:30pm)
JULY 19-23: AFTERNOON (2pm-4:30pm)
AUG 9-13: MORNING (10am-12.30pm)
AUG 9-13: AFTERNOON (2pm-4:30pm)
Day 1: Astronauts and Moon landing
Day 2: Mars – The Red Planet
Day 3: Comets & Craters
Day 4: The Search for Alien Life
Day 5: Rockets
The development link: www.bco.ie/dev
6. EXPLORERS of the UNIVERSE at BCO: On July 2nd at the monthly open night First Fridays at the Castle CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory in Cork will launch Explorers of the Universe, an exciting photography exhibition by acclaimed photographer Max Alexander.
The photographic exhibition will be showing until September 2nd 2010 uniquely in Ireland at Blackrock Castle in association with the European Space Education Resource Office, ESERO Ireland. CIT BCO is a centre that provides space age technology and information in a 400 year old Castle. Images available
Clair McSweeney, Facilities Manager, Blackrock Castle Observatory, Blackrock, Cork. Tel: +353 21 4357917. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web: www.bco.ie. email: email@example.com
ADVANCE NOTICE FOR YOUR DIARIES - MORE DETAILS LATER:
8. Aug. 12/13: IAA Perseids BBQ, Delamont Country Park, Co Down. Thurs 12 or Fri 13 - watch IAA website for update: www.irishastro.org
9. Aug 15: IAA Solar day, WWT, Castle Espie, Comber, Co Down. www.irishastro.org
10. Aug 22: IAA Solar day, Mt. Stewart, near Newtownards, Co Down. www.irishastro.org
11. 31 August - two evening lectures on 'Pan Starrs', Physics Building, QUB.
12. Sep 16 - 19: IMO Meteor Conference, Armagh. There will be special rates for locals and IAA members - more details in next bulletin.