Saturday, 18 June 2011

TLE, IAA at Glenavy, & BBQ, Solarfest, Solstice, DIAS lecture

Hi all,
1. TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE MOON: well, the BBQ was good and so was the craic, at the IAA eclipse watch at Scrabo, but not even our hot air was enough to dispel the clouds in the SE. A good crowd turned up, as I had done radio interviews on CityBeat, U105, and BBC Evening Extra, and a radio and film crew from the BBC were there for the event. A radio interview by Natasha Sayee will be included on "What's New", on BBC Radio Ulster at 1.30 p.m. on Sunday 19th.
   Reports from other European observers confirmed what I had predicted - it was one of the darkest eclipses ever, probably because of all the ash from the recent volcanic eruptions.
   Oh well, roll on 28 Sep 2015 - at least the moon will be above our horizon for the whole of that eclipse.
2. IAA PUBLIC EVENT AT GLENAVY, Saturday 18 June. The Irish Astronomical Association will be running a public astronomy day at Glenavy, Co Antrim on Saturday 18 June, at the request of the Glenavy Development Commission. We will have a Stardome mobile planetarium, and lots of telescopes and binoculars and meteorites on display, and will be doing solar observing if it's clear. This event will run from 11.00 to 16.00. Full details are on the IAA website
3. Solarfest, Dunsink, 18 June. IFAS, in conjunction with Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) are organising a one-day event in Dublin to celebrate solar astronomy. Solarfest 2011 will take place at Dunsink Observatory, Dublin. We are very grateful to DIAS for supporting the event and entry is FREE. Speakers so far confirmed include:
John Flannery (SDAS): "The Story of Sunspots"
Dr. Ian Elliott: "Solar Activity and our Climate"
Steve Roche (Deise): Solar Photography Workshop
Trinity College Dublin will also be providing speakers at the event - details TBC shortly.
Weather permitting, we will have solar observing also. A tour of the facility will also take place for those who haven't seen the observatory and the 12" Grubb refractor.
   Spaces are limited to 60 seats. Applications for tickets must be sent to by June 5th.
Tickets are on a first come first served basis. Please state in the e-mail how many tickets you would like. After this date, seats will be opened up to members of the public.

The Sun will reach its most Northerly point on the ecliptic on
June 21 at 17h 16m (18 16 BST). At that time its distance from Earth will be 1.0162494 AU (152 million km), as the Earth will be approaching aphelion on 4 July.
5. IAA MIDSUMMER BBQ, Saturday 25 June: The Irish Astronomical Association's annual midsummer BBQ will be returning to one of its most popular locations this year - the beautiful grounds of Armagh Observatory.
   There will be a tour of the Observatory, which we hope will include the new 'State of the Art' robotic telescope, and the world-famous Human Orrery, and the fascinating Astropark and 'Hill of Infinity'. We may also have a quiz and or/other competitions.
  We will aim to eat around 4 p.m., and finish about 6 p.m.
   We will have at least one large gazebo to provide shelter if necessary.
   Admission is free to all IAA members and guests, but bring all your own food and drink, and eating items (cutlery, plates, glasses (preferably plastic), BBQ tongs etc if you have them) and folding chairs or waterproof rugs. We will provide the actual BBQs for cooking.
   Please let me know by 24 June if you are planning to attend, so we will have some idea of numbers.
   If the weather looks like being really bad, check the IAA website in advance to see if it will be going ahead or not.

6.  "The Dark Side of the Universe" Statutory Public Lecture of The DIAS School Of Cosmic Physics. The 2011 Statutory Public Lecture of the School of Cosmic Physics will take place in Room B004, University College Dublin, on Tuesday July 4th at 6:30pm. Room B004 is located in the Computer Science and Informatics building in University College Dublin, Belfield Dublin 4. All are welcome/Admission is Free.
   The Lecture entitled "The Dark Side of the Universe" will be given by
Prof. Malcolm Longair, Emeritus Jacksonian Professor of Natural Philosophy, Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge.
"The Dark Side of the Universe"
Black holes, dark matter and dark energy are among the most important ingredients of our Universe, but don't emit light and are therefore invisible. Former Astronomer Royal Malcolm Longair will describe why we're confident that all three exist, and discuss their importance for fundamental physics. The talk will be profusely illustrated with recent results from a wide range of Earth-based and space telescopes, simulations and movies.
Clear skies,
Terry Moseley

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