1. STARGAZING LIVE:
Most of you already know that the IAA will be the major local partner with the BBC in delivering the next Stargazing Live, on 8 - 10 January next.
A. On Tuesday 8 January, the IAA will be working with QUB to deliver another public 'Jupiter Watch', in the grounds just in front of the main Lanyon building of Queen's, starting at 6 p.m.. We will be bringing along as many telescopes as we can muster, as last year we had a lovely clear night, and there were 300-400 people queuing up to look through about 10 telescopes.
The local QUB lights will be controlled as much as possible, but Jupiter is so bright that light pollution doesn't really affect it. So if you can bring any sort of a telescope (the bigger the better) that night for public viewing, please do so. Please be ready to observe by 6.0 p.m. if possible. And please let me know by return so that we know how many will be there.
If it's cloudy there will instead be a public lecture by Dr Chris Watson of QUB, in the nearby physics building.
B. On Wednesday 9 January, our event will be our own fortnightly IAA lecture, by Prof Phil Dufton of QUB: "Forty-five Years in Astronomy". Prof Dufton, who has given us several fascinating lectures before, has had a long and varied career in astronomy, and has seen some amazing changes in what we know, or think we know, about the universe. That promises to be a very interesting an informative talk. It will be at 7.30 p.m. in the Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, QUB.
C. On Thursday 10 January, we will have the main event, once again at Lough Neagh Discovery Centre (LNDC), Oxford Island, just off the Lurgan Junction on the M1. This will be a major event, with schools activities in the afternoon, and the programme for the general public starting at about 6 p.m. There will be a much bigger and more varied programme even than last year, so this is something not to be missed. And we need as many volunteers, particularly those with telescopes, as possible. Even if it's cloudy, we will have the telescopes set up inside on display.
We are still finalising the exact details (to be circulated within the next few days), but we need to know asap how many people will be there to help, and how many telescopes and good binoculars, will be available for viewing. So please let me know by return if you will be available that evening, and what instrument(s) you will be able to bring.
(Some people may get more than one copy of this email, as your name may be on two different lists - apologies if you do.)
Please let me know, asap, as follows:
NAME: Telephone number: Mobile:
A: I will / will not be able to attend the Jupiter Watch at QUB on Tuesday 8 January, and I will / will not be bringing a telescope as follows:
B. I hope to attend the lecture on Wednesday 9 January.
C. I will / will not be able to attend the main S-L event at LNDC on Thursday 10 January, and I will / will not be bringing a telescope and/or binoculars as follows:
2. TWITTER: Follow the IAA on Twitter: @IaaAstro
4. JOINING the IRISH ASTRONOMICAL ASSOCIATION is easy: This link downloads a Word document to join the IAA. http://irishastro.org.uk/iaamembership.doc. 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 www.irishastro.org.