Friday, 11 May 2012

God, Science & Global Warming, Giant sunspot, Solarfest, Rover awakes, News, BAA

Hi all,
1. "God, Science and Global Warming".  An Audience with Sir John Houghton CBE FRS. 7.45pm, Tuesday 15th May 2012, The Market Place Theatre, Armagh. (Prof Mark Bailey asked me to circulate this, which may be of interest even though it's not strictly astronomy)
    Sir John Houghton, former co-chair of the Scientific Assessment Working Group of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will speak on "God, Science and Global Warming". This will be followed by a discussion chaired by BBC Presenter Mark Carruthers with questions and contributions from the audience.
  Members of the Panel will include Father Timothy Bartlett (author of the pastoral reflection on climate change "The Cry of the Earth"), Professor Valerie Hall (Emeritus Professor of Palaeoecology at Queen's University Belfast) and Michael Nugent (Chairman of Atheist Ireland).  With Sir John as the keynote speaker and with such a group of experts this promises to be an enjoyable and enlightening evening.
   The ticket price of £7.50 (+ £1 online booking fee) includes light refreshments at 7.00pm and there are afternoon tours of Armagh City's main attractions, and packages for overnight stays.  Book online at
  To learn more about the event and opportunities to experience Armagh City visit, and
2. NEW GIANT SUNSPOT:  Huge sunspot AR1476 is crackling with M-class solar flares and appears to be on the verge of producing something even stronger. The sunspot's 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field harbours energy for X-class flares, the most powerful kind.  Radio operators are recording strong bursts of short-wave static from the sunspot as it turns toward Earth. Visit for sample recordings and forecasts. See:
3. Dunsink Solarfest, 23 June. Following on from the success over the last 3 years, IFAS in conjunction with Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) and Trinity College Dublin are organising a one-day event in Dublin to celebrate solar astronomy. Solarfest 2012 will take place on Saturday 23rd June at Dunsink Observatory, Castleknock, Dublin. IFAS are very grateful to DIAS and TCD for supporting the event and entry is FREE.
   The programme for the event is currently being finalised and will be updated in due course on the IFAS website However, the event will feature a number of lectures, a workshop, solar observing (weather permitting) and more. The lunchtime break will allow an opportunity to take in a tour of the facility to see the observatory and the 12" Grubb refractor. Tea/coffee will be provided, however please bring your own lunch.
  Spaces are limited to 60 seats. If you are interested in attending, please send an e-mail to Please state in the e-mail how many seats you would like to reserve.
  Regards & Thanks, Michael O'Connell

(I'll send directions later on how to get to Dunsink from the North - the new junction at the M50/N3(M3) is very confusing if you don't know it! Terry M)

4. Mars Opportunity Rover awakes after winter 'sleep': The amazing saga of Opportunity, designed for a 3-month lifespan, but still functioning on the Martian surface into its eighth year of operation, continues. See:


5. Light from ExoPlanet detected directly: Progress in instrumentation and techniques continues to produce amazing results. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has detected the light from a planet going around another star, directly - the first time that has ever been done. See:


6. ASTEROID / COMET OBSERVATION MEETING: Some of you are doing amazing work in the field of asteroid and comet detection and imaging, so you might be interested in the following BAA meeting: It's intended for BAA members, but I'm sure that visitors would be welcome - contact either Guy or Richard via the addresses at the end.
"OBSERVING PROJECTS WITH ASTEROID-COMET CONNECTIONS": A joint meeting of the BAA Comet Section and Asteroids and Remote Planets Section, at 10.00-17.00 hours on Saturday, 2012 October 6
at the Berrill Lecture Theatre, Berrill Building, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA
    Topics to include:
* Methods in common for observing asteroids and comets
* Discovering comets and asteroids
* Comets masquerading as asteroids
* Asteroids masquerading as comets
* Water ice in asteroids
* Short contributions from members
   In addition, there will be keynote lectures by
* Dr Simon Green, Senior Lecturer in Planetary and Space Sciences, Department of Physical Sciences,
The Open University, Milton Keynes
* Dr Stephen Lowry, Lecturer in Astronomy and Astrophysics, Centre for Astrophysics and Planetary Science, School of Physical Science, University of Kent, Canterbury,
* Dr Sam Duddy, Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Kent, Canterbury
    N.B. We are hoping to have a small display area for members' use. Any member wishing to contribute a short talk should contact Richard Miles or Guy Hurst.
Travel directions to the Berrill Building can be found at:
along with a map of the campus at:
  More details of the programme, catering arrangements for the day, etc. will be made available in August.
Richard Miles: E: arps [at], Guy Hurst: guy [at]


8. BEWARE STOLEN ITEMS: There has been a break in at the Astronomy Centre, Todmorden. Unfortunately a lot of kit has been stolen. This is a public outreach facility and is Peter Drew's life work. This is a big blow for the club.
   Please be on the lookout for new ads for Coronado scopes and Solar scopes that have been modified. Large refracting binoculars and large reflecting binoculars in particular. Please pass the word and inform the police and the Astronomy Centre if you have your suspicions. If you can help by putting up warnings on any of the Astronomy forums, that will be appreciated. Thank you,
David Dench, Rochdale
So far, the list comprises:-
Unique 6" F8 refracting Binocular telescope
Unique 6" F8 reflecting binocular telescope
12" Meade LX200 OTA
6" F8 black Helios refractor modified Ha scope
6" F8 blue Skywatcher refractor
3 Coronado PST bodies
2 black EQ6 mounts
1 white EQ6 Pro mount.

   Clearly there will be other genuine similar articles for sale, but please check carefully the provenance of such items.  If you have the slightest doubt, then you should refer this to the police.

Many thanks, John Axtell FRAS, Membership Secretary, Federation of Astronomical Societies,, 01932 341036

9. TWITTER: the IAA now has a twitter account. twitter@IaaAstro

10. BBC THINGS TO DO WEBSITE: See the forthcoming IAA events on  
11. JOINING the IRISH ASTRONOMICAL ASSOCIATION is now even easier: This link downloads a Word document to join the IAA. If you are a UK taxpayer, please tick the 'gift-aid' box, as that enables us to reclaim the standard rate of tax on your subscription, at no cost to you.  See also
Clear skies,
Terry Moseley


Anonymous said...

It's very trouble-free to find out any topic on net as compared to books, as I found this post at this site.

My web site - know more
My web page :: site

Anonymous said...

What's up to every one, the contents present at this web page are actually amazing for people experience, well, keep up the good work fellows.

Have a look at my website Diamond education

Anonymous said...

I enjoy what you guys are up too. This type of clever work and coverage!
Keep up the amazing works guys I've incorporated you guys to my personal blogroll.

Look into my webpage :: colic treatment
Also see my web site - colic

Anonymous said...

You should take part in a contest for one
of the best websites on the net. I am going to highly recommend this website!

My website ... caterers Cape Town
my web site :: halaal caterers Cape Town

Anonymous said...

of course like your web site but you have to check the spelling on
quite a few of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling
problems and I in finding it very troublesome to tell the truth however I'll surely come back again.

Feel free to surf to my webpage - institution Johannesburg
Also see my website :: weddings Johannesburg

Anonymous said...

Appreciate this post. Let me try it out.

Feel free to visit my web-site :: more info

Anonymous said...

Hi there, I discovered your website by means of Google at the same time as looking
for a comparable matter, your website got here up, it seems to be great.
I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
Hello there, simply become alert to your blog thru Google, and located that
it is truly informative. I'm gonna watch out for brussels. I'll be grateful if you continue this in future.
Many people will be benefited out of your writing. Cheers!

My webpage :: bmr calculator

Anonymous said...

I was suggested this web site by my cousin.
I'm not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my problem. You are wonderful! Thanks!

Here is my web-site; clear

Anonymous said...

Very descriptive article, I loved that a lot.
Will there be a part 2?

Feel free to visit my blog - get info

Anonymous said...

Greetings! This is my first visit to your blog!

We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new project in
a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us
beneficial information to work on. You have done a extraordinary

My web blog - visit us