Friday, 14 September 2012

Lecture, Jup. Impact, Book launch, IAA Obs Night, Dunsink, Moon, ISS, Meteorites

Hi all,
The opening lecture of the IAA's new season will be given by none other than the renowned space expert, broadcaster, lecturer, journalist & character, Leo Enright. It's entitled "Mountaineering on Mars".  Leo will take us into the canyon-lands of Gale Crater on Mars, to scale the summit of a mountain taller than Mont Blanc.  Using the latest pictures from the Curiosity rover, he will guide us through the most breathtaking scenery ever witnessed on the surface of another planet.  We expect that some of the pictures for this talk will have arrived on Earth just minutes before Leo speaks, so this will truly be the latest news from the surface of Mars.
VENUE: Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, Main campus, Queens' University, Malone Road, Belfast. Time: 7.30 p.m. Doors open from about 7.10. Admission Free, including light refreshments. All welcome.
2. Another Impact on Jupiter: This one was detected by an amateur astronomer. Check for images and updates.
3. IAA MEMBER'S ECLIPSE BOOK LAUNCH IN BELFAST, 15 Sep. Remember the official launch of "TOTAL ADDICTION: The Life of an Eclipse Chaser" by IAA member Dr Kate Russo, at 3 p.m. on Sat 15 September, at the Queen's Film Theatre, University Square, Belfast. 
   Kate is both a clinical psychologist and a highly enthusiastic eclipse chaser, and she has combined the two in this fascinating book about what drives people to travel halfway round the world to see a Total Eclipse of the Sun. The simple answer is of course that it's probably the most amazing, incredible, mind-blowing, emotional spectacle that anyone will ever see. But there's much more to it than that, with lots of different motivations for seeing one, and an even greater range of reactions to the event.
   The event is free, with a documentary being shown in the film theatre, followed by some presentations by Kate and others - even including myself - followed by refreshments and a chance to get a signed copy, chat to Kate, and mingle with other astronomers and eclipse chasers. And some psychologists to, but don't let that put you off - they won't be analysing anybody!
   Everyone is welcome to attend. Details at  - and look under events.
4. IAA OBSERVING NIGHT: The first IAA observing session for this season will be on 14th-15th Sept, at Delamont Country Park, weather permitting. See the IAA website for details, and check it just before the relevant date to check whether it is cancelled because of poor weather.
5. Dublin City Cultures Evening in Dunsink Observatory,  Dunsink Lane,    Castleknock, Dublin 15, on FRIDAY 21st SEPTEMBER, as part of their public outreach program.
The evening will be run as a meet and talk evening event throughout the whole evening. There will be an exhibition in each of the rooms on the ground floor plus the South Dome out in the grounds.
There will be three talks on the evening @ 19.00/20.00/21.00 hrs in The Meridian Room on different topics within the area of Astronomy.
Admission free, but you must pre-book a place:
Date: FRIDAY 21st SEPTEMBER 2012. Time: 17.00 - 23.00 hrs. (doors open from 16.30). Free Parking. Telephone ++353 1 66 21 333 or E-Mail:
    Please note there has been a lot of MAJOR ROAD WORKS in the area in relation to the restructuring of the Blanchardstown Roundabout, (J6) on the M50, and surrounding area, so allow extra travel time for the journey. Also, please note that there is very little signage in the area at the moment.
DIRECTIONS: We are situated just off the M50 at the Main Blanchardstown (J6) Roundabout / Intersection situated over the M50 itself.
    Come off that roundabout heading in the direction of the City Center, Going towards the NEW Main Auburn/Navan Road INTERSECTION, Dunsink Lane which is situated beyond the NEW RIVER ROAD beside The Travel Lodge Motel (now a traffic light junction), off the NEW Main Auburn intersection. SIGNPOSTED FINGLAS/DUNSINK, which appears very soon when coming off the Main Blanchardstown Roundabout over the M50.
   Please note that on Dunsink Lane it says that the lane is closed to through traffic, though Dunsink Obs is up that lane just before where the lane itself is blocked off.

6. International Observe the Moon Night, Sep 22:

Saturday, September 22nd, is when telescopes world-wide will be pointed at our lovely space neighbour for members of the public to observe the Moon. More details later.


7. The International Space Station (ISS) will commence another series of 'Morning Passes' over Ireland on September 18. See for details.


8. "Meteorites Tamed" Lecture Series, Ulster Museum, by Dr Mike Simms
Mondays at 7.30pm, 22nd October – 26th November 2012
Free. Booking for each lecture essential: Go to, Telephone 028 9044 0000
(Lines open Tue – Sun 10am – 6pm), Email:
SYNOPSIS: Every year visitors from Outer Space arrive on Earth. These are meteorites, messengers from beyond our planet. This series of six lectures from Dr Mike Simms will explain what meteorites are, where they come from, how they get here, and what they can tell us about the far reaches and earliest history of our Solar System.


'Dark Energy is Real', it is claimed: See
10. TWITTER: the IAA now has a twitter account:  @IaaAstro

11. BBC THINGS TO DO WEBSITE: See the forthcoming IAA events on  
12. 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


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