Friday, 15 February 2013

Major Russian Fireball / Meteorite, IAA at Bangor.

Hi all,
1. Major Fireball + Meteorites?
You've probably heard of the major fireball with probable meteorites, over Russia.
Here are some interesting links, with amazing photos and videos.
There are reports of Russian military personnel finding meteorite fragments and impact craters, but as they are not experts in meteorites, we need to await confirmation by experts.
But there is no connection to the asteroid 2012 DA14 which will fly past at 17,000 miles above Earth this evening. See e.g.
The Russian object, and 2012 DA14, were hundreds of thousands of miles apart, and in totally different orbits, so it's just a coincidence. But it's worth remembering that while the minor damage and injuries in russia are regrettable and unfortunate, they are absolutely insignificant compared with the damage that would be done if 2012 DA14 were to hit us!
ASTEROID 23012 DA14 Flyby. See

IAA members had an excellent lecture earlier this month by ProfLorraine Hanlon of UCS on the new GLORIA project: This is the latest from Lorraine.
"As you know, asteroid 2012DA14 will pass close to Earth (within ~28,000km) on Friday, February 15th. A number of GLORIA telescopes (including UCD's Wat
cher in South Africa) plan to observe the approach and (hopefully!) retreat of the asteroid. Images will be uploaded to the website: every 5 minutes or so (weather permitting).
   We have also created a Flickr group: and would love if you shared your own images through the group."

A final reminder:
The Irish Astronomical Association, in conjunction with North Down Borough Council, presents a public astronomy evening, at North Down Museum, Bangor Castle, on 16 February
FREE ASTRONOMY EVENING AT North Down Museum. The Irish Astronomical Association will be holding another of their very popular astronomy evenings at the Museum beside Bangor Castle, on Saturday evening, 16 February, at 6.30 p.m. Once again we'll have a selection of powerful telescopes and binoculars for viewing the night sky, an exhibition, short astronomy and space films, a selection of meteorites (rocks from space) which you can actually hold, and of course the Stardome mobile planetarium just in case of bad weather. And you'll have a chance to meet our own 'Ulsternaut', Derek Heatly from Groomsport, who is booked to fly into space with Virgin Galactic.
There will be free shows in the Stardome at 6.30, 7.15, 8.00 and 8.45, and these MUST be booked in advance by ringing the Museum at 028 9127 1200.
The highlight will be a spectacular Moon high in the sky, providing jaw-dropping views in the telescopes. In addition we will get a great view of giant Jupiter, the largest planet in the Solar System, with its four large Moons. And as a special treat we can watch the International Space Station, the largest, brightest and heaviest object ever put into space, blazing across the sky. All those of course are weather dependant.
These are always very popular events, so book early with the Museum. See:
3.  TWITTER: Follow the IAA on Twitter:  @IaaAstro

4. BBC THINGS TO DO WEBSITE: See the forthcoming IAA events on Look under 'Countryfile'.
5. JOINING the IRISH ASTRONOMICAL ASSOCIATION is easy: 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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