Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Date correction, Scope4sale, Dinner, Philae latest, IAA events, Xmas at AP, more

Hi all,
(Apologies for error in last bulletin re the date of the first item - the perils of cut & paste!)
1. IAA LECTURE: The next IAA public lecture will be on Wednesday 19 November, at 7.30 p.m. It will be given by Dr Mike Simms, of the Ulster Museum. Title:  "What Meteorites Tell Us About The Early Solar System".
   NB: We are aware that there have been problems hearing the speaker from the back of the lecture theatre, partly due to the noise from the twin data projector cooling fans. We will ensure that all future speakers use a microphone to prevent this problem recurring.
   Our knowledge of the formation of the Earth and what conditions were like in the protoplanetary nebula surrounding the Sun, from which Earth and the other planets formed, is largely derived from the study of the various types of meteorites.
   Mike is an expert on meteorites, and always gives an entertaining and well-presented and informative talk.
 This lecture will as usual be in the Bell Lecture theatre, Physics building, main QUB Campus.
   The lecture is free and open to all, including free refreshments. Venue: the Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, Queen's University, Belfast, at 7.30 p.m. 
   Thanks to the Astrophysics Research Centre, QUB, for help in hosting these lectures.
2. Ultimate amateur telescope available: From Dave McDonald
I signed up for an AstroPhysics Riccardi-Honders astrograph (305mm) over 5 years ago.  I just got called up for one of these 'scopes.  Unfortunately, I'm not in the position to buy it myself – but someone else might.  The price is just over $20,000 and shipping/insurance is extra but is probably only a few hundred dollars.
   This is not a case of me 'flipping' the scope by the way – there are no add-ons, margins, markups etc.  If anyone were interested, they would only pay whatever I would pay if were able to afford it.
   This is a pretty special scope and they are probably as rare as hens' teeth. And will almost certainly remain so.  Yes, it's pricey, but I bet its worth every cent. And someone could have it without having to wait 5+ years.
   If you know of anyone or would like to post it to any boards etc. feel free. There is only one slight catch.  A 50% deposit has to be paid to AP by 20th November.
Contact Dave on dmcdona@eircom.net

3. IAA SUBSCRIPTIONS: Subscriptions for the current year (2014 - 2015) are now overdue. If you do not renew your subscription, your membership will cease, and you won't get the next copy of our excellent magazine, STARDUST. See last item below for details of how to pay.
4.  IAA 40th Anniversary Dinner: 28 Nov. REPLY DATE EXTENDED Bookings are still open for this event, with some places still available. It's excellent value, and there will be free entertainment included:
(1) An amusing and light-hearted after dinner speech by the ever-popular Prof Alan Fitzsimmons of QUB (you may have heard him on radio being interviewed about Rosetta and Philae)
2. Memorabilia and photo-gallery (aka Rogues gallery!)
3. A free fun quiz, with spot prizes.
Booking form attached.
5. SUNSPOT RETURNS: Back for a second trip across the face of the Sun, old sunspot AR2192 is growing again and crackling with M-class solar flares.  The active region has an unstable magnetic field that harbours energy for even stronger X-flares. Future eruptions could affect Earth as the sunspot turns toward our planet in the days ahead.  Check http://spaceweather.com for updates.

6: ISS: The International Space Station has started another series of morning passes over Ireland. See www.heavens-above.com for details for your own location.

7.  IAA Observing Nights at Delamont Country Park
These very popular weekend observing sessions have started again with some very successful viewing. Delamont is well signposted off the A22 just South of Killyleagh, (North of Downpatrick) Co Down. They are suitable for anyone, but are aimed especially at beginners.
We bring our own large telescopes; bring your own if you have a portable one.
  The events work like this: If it's clear on the Friday night, the event goes ahead. If not, we try again on the Saturday night. If both are cloudy, we try again on the following weekend, same procedure. To check if it's going ahead, check the IAA website: www.irishastro.org up to 6.0 p.m. on each day, and for dates for next session: If cloudy, we'll try again on the next date on the list.…
8. ROSETTA Mission to Comet 67-P See:
9. Public Astronomy Night at Slieve Gullion, 30 November 
The IAA will be holding another public astronomy outreach event, this time at a new dark sky venue, the visitor's centre at Slieve Gullion Forest Park, near the village of Meigh, SW of Newry. More details in next bulletin, but mark your diaries now.

10. Xmas shows at Armagh Planetarium. Join Armagh Planetarium this Christmas as we journey back more than 2000 years to Bethlehem, and seek to discover an explanation for the star the Wise Men followed to find the baby Jesus in "Mystery of the Christmas Star".  
  The Star of Bethlehem is an iconic astronomical event whose true origin remains unknown even today, in spite of years of speculation and research.  The show will guide the viewer through some of these investigations and the most likely causes of this interesting cosmological object which was remarkable enough to make the wise men travel across the desert from
Babylon to Bethlehem
to see the new born baby.  
   You will also explore possible dates for the birth of Christ and look at the historical records of significant astronomical events which occurred at this time.
 The show opens on Monday 1 until
Tuesday 23 December 2014
 Show Times:
Monday – Friday (1-19 Dec) at 2pm
Saturday/School Holidays at 1pm and 4pm
Evening shows every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 2-18 December at 7:30pm

Booking is essential


11. FAEROES ECLIPSE TRIP: The next Total Solar Eclipse visible on Earth will be on 20 March, 2015. This total eclipse track will only cross land on Earth in two places: the Faeroes, and Svalbard in the far North Atlantic. IAA member and eclipse author Dr Kate Russo will be leading a tour to observe this eclipse in the Faeroes. I have the honour to be the 'eclipse/astronomy/aurora expert' on the trip, on which we hope to be able to get good views of the aurora as well as the eclipse itself. See  http://www.independenttraveller.com/experiences/photography/astronomy/total-solar-eclipse-2015-faroe-islands. You can also find out more details on the eclipse blog site: http://independenttraveller.com/blog/


12. UKSEDS National Conference: The 27th Annual UKSEDS National Student Space Conference will be held on the weekend of 28 February - 1 March 2015, and hosted by Surrey EARS at the University of Surrey. Early bird tickets are now available. 

  The UKSEDS National Student Space Conference is the premier event for space students, bringing together students, academics, and professionals from across the country to share knowledge of space, discuss the challenges facing the sector, and to create new links between groups. It features talks by leading space science and industry figures, a careers fair, and opportunities to take part in discussions and networking events.

  The Conference is run and organised by UKSEDS, the UK's student space society, which unites space-enthusiasts at universities across the country. A different UKSEDS branch hosts the conference each year, and next year it will be hosted by Surrey Electronic and Amateur Radio Society (EARS), at the University of Surrey. UKSEDS' founding conference was held in 1988 at the Science Museum, London, making this year's event our 27th.

  There are expected to be upwards of 200 attendees, primarily undergraduate and graduate engineers and scientists with a strong interest in the space industry who are looking to learn more about space projects and potential employers. 

  Special early bird rate tickets are now open on our conference minisite at ukseds.org/nssc2015 and will be available until 31 December. One-day tickets, and tickets for the evening social will become available after that point. Your ticket grants you access to the conference and includes lunch. Saturday tickets include the evening networking reception.

   We also offer a number of different sponsorship packages which can be tailored to your requirements. These include having a stand in our exhibition hall, presenting a talk as part of the conference, sponsoring coffee, lunch, a networking reception, or an evening social event. If you are interested in exhibiting or sponsoring contact conference@ukseds.org. Due to the nature of some of these opportunities we are only able to offer a limited number, so please get in touch soon to avoid disappointment.   Meanwhile follow the hashtag #NSSC15 on social media and join our Facebook event here.

CONTACTS: Ryan Laird, Vice-Chair of UKSEDS conference@ukseds.org

13. ARCHAEOASTRONOMY TRIP TO NEWGRANGE and KNOWTH, 2015, These trips have proved so popular that as soon as I got back from the last one, Stranmillis University College Institute of LifeLong Learning asked me to lead another one next spring!  Like the last one, the next trip will include a visit to the Knowth Tomb as well. It has the largest collection of Megalithic art anywhere in Europe in one single site, some of which is reckoned to be astronomical. Booking for thus very popular, non-technical trip will open later, but if you want to go, note the date in your diary: Sat 9 May. More details when the new brochure comes out.

Galway Astrofest: Feb 21, 2015, Theme: "New Worlds - New Horizons" Excellent speaker line-up already!  Latest news on speakers: To provide detailed insight into space missions one of the agency's senior scientific advisors;  Professor Michael Perryman will talk about the GAIA mission, while Professor Susan McKenna Lawlor will look at the Rosetta Comet mission for which her team built an instrument for the Philae lander.  See http://galwayastronomyclub.ie/ Check for latest updates.
 COSMOS: April 17th to 19th 2015, Shamrock LodgeHotel, Athlone.
Skelligs Star Party: 14-16 August, Ballinskelligs, Co Kerry.  This is a Gold Medal winning Dark Sky site.  see www.skelligstarparty.com
AI 'Star-B-Q': 15 August, An Tochar GAA Grounds, Roundwood, Co.Wicklow.


15: Interesting Weblinks:
16. TWITTER: Follow the IAA on Twitter: The account is now operational again as before: @IaaAstro.
17. JOINING the IRISH ASTRONOMICAL ASSOCIATION is easy: This link downloads a Word document to join the IAA. http://documents.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 youYou can also make a donation via Paypal if you wish: just click on the 'Donate' button.  See also www.irishastro.org
Clear skies,
Terry Moseley

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