Saturday, 1 November 2014

Spaceship 2 crash, Lecture, Science week, Dias talk, IAA Dinner, Sl Gullion sky

Hi all,
2.  IAA LECTURE: The next IAA public lecture will be on Wednesday 5 November, at 7.30 p.m. It will be given by Prof Andy Shearer, of NUI Galway. Title: "Feeding the Giants - Astronomy with Extremely Large Telescopes".
Synopsis: "
Over the next ten years a number of new giant telescopes will come on line - these include the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and in X-rays, Athena. Each one of these will dramatically change our view of the universe. At a recent workshop in Galway, "Speed and Sensitivity: Expanding Astronomical Horizons with ELTs" the possibilities from the current generation of instruments as well as the next generation of instruments for ELTs were discussed. This talk will look at what science is possible with ELTs and what questions will be addressed and hopefully answered by ELTs."
  Some of the new horizons being opened up by these developments are mind-blowing, so this will be a fascinating 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.

3. Nov 8-9 Science Week events in Dublin:
The makers of The Festival of Curiosity are celebrating Science Week 2014 in Dublin by transforming Smock Alley Theatre into a curiosity filled hub with some very curious family events and shows, including Dr. Niamh Shaw with MY PLACE IN SPACE, a lively talk and show which is perfect for young curious minds to find their place in space! Also, on Thursday Nov 13th at 7.30pm: join us as we delve into the future of space travel with special guests including former NASA Astronaut Greg Johnson and Prof. Ian Robertson. More details later, when available. Smock Alley Theatre is on the edge of Temple Bar, just S of the Liffey.
You are cordially invited to attend the 2014 Statutory Public Lecture of the School of Cosmic Physics, DIAS which will take place in Trinity College on Thursday 13th November at 7:00pm.
   Registration is essential so if you are interested in attending this year's lecture, we would be grateful if you could please register in advance
  The lecture entitled "Cosmic Rays: One Century of Adventure and Mysteries!" will be given by Professor Etienne Parizot, Professor of High Energy Astrophysics, Université Paris VII, France.
 Location: Schrodinger Theatre, Physics Department (Fitzgerald Building), Trinity College Dublin. (Access can be gained via the Westland Row or Lincoln Place entrances
5. IAA 40th Anniversary Dinner: 28 Nov. ADVANCE NOTICE: As this year marks the 40th anniversary of the IAA in its present form (it was originally the Belfast Centre of the Irish Astronomical Society), we're having a special celebratory dinner. This will be on Friday 28 November, at the Stormont Pavilion. We have secured a VERY good value deal, for a 4-course dinner, plus wine if wanted, at an unbelievable price. We're still finalising the menu options, and then we'll know the final price.
   We also hope to have some nostalgic memorabilia, and an after-dinner speech by a VIP astronomer, so it promises to be a great evening!
   More details in next bulletin, but mark your diaries now. Provisional start time about 7.30 p.m.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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: up to 6.0 p.m. on each day. Dates for next session: If cloudy, we'll try again on the next date on the list.…

9. 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 You can also find out more details on the eclipse blog site:


10. TAMING THE ELEMENTS LECTURE SERIES, Ulster Museum  This lectures series continues on consecutive Tuesday evenings, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm in the Lecture Theatre on the ground floor. The next one will be on 4 November. Some of these talks will be of interest to astronomers.  This is a free event – but to secure your place please use the Buy Tickets button on the web page. For further information please ring 028 9044 0000. Opening hours are Tue-Sun 10am-5pm.

11. ROSETTA's probe to land on Comet on 12 November. The Rosetta spacecraft continues to 'orbit' round Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, sending back more jawdropping photos. After studying the 'binary' surface in great detail, the site to land a probe on the surface has now been chosen.
12. BBC Spotlight Invitation to IAA:
We are currently making enquiries to gauge interest from possible participants for our next Spotlight Special on Tuesday, 2nd December where people from grass roots communities will have the chance to engage with a panel of politicians and public figures about issues that are important to them. If any of your members would be interested in participating, please tell them to come back to me by the end of next week and I'll give them a call for further discussion.
   BBC Northern Ireland's flagship current affairs programme, "Spotlight" will be recording an audience special, presented by Noel Thompson, in Blackstaff Studios, Great Victoria Street, Belfast on Tuesday December 2nd 2014.
   The style of the programme is a Question & Answer format to a panel of politicians and we are looking for people of all ages who want to take part in the programme. We aim to feature a fair number of audience contributions - in the form of questions and comments - during the hour long programme.
    It's a busy night for the audience: people should arrive promptly between 6:30 and 6:45pm - this gives people time to submit questions, catch up on days events and have a cup of tea, before going into the studio and recording the programme between 8.15 & 9.30pm.  'Spotlight Special' broadcasts the same night at 10.35 on BBC1.
   While we realise that some people may want to come along to simply to watch the programme being made, audience participation is at the heart of a successful programme, so please do your best to encourage those types of who e.g. have something to say, are opinionated, are interested in the news and local affairs. If you would like more details about the programme, please e-mail or ring 0845 300 30 80. Angela Davison, BBC
Galway Astrofest: Feb 21, 2015, Theme: "New Worlds - New Horizons" Excellent speaker line-up already!  See 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
AI Starbecue: 15 August, Wicklow Mountains.


14: Interesting Weblinks: Does nobody check these stories before they go out? Two/Three times they refer to it being on Saturn (the last reference is ambiguous). Grrrrr!
Universe 1 bn years older? and  If Planck's Constant is not constant then the same could apply to all the other fundamental constants, e.g. speed of light, which would throw EVERYTHING back into the melting pot!
Wallops Island launch site aftermath and
15. TWITTER: Follow the IAA on Twitter: The account is now operational again as before: @IaaAstro.
16. 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 youYou can also make a donation via Paypal if you wish: just click on the 'Donate' button.  See also
Clear skies,
Terry Moseley

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