Booking for the Belfast event at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1525789667672746/ and
7. Quadrantid Meteors The Quadrantids are expected to peak sharply at about 01h on 4 January, but the almost full Moon will spoil the view. Maximum rates only occur for a few hours. You could also try just before dawn on the morning of the 3rd, again avoiding the Moon which will be slightly less of a problem that morning, as it sets around 06.40
The radiant lies about halfway between the end of the handle of the Plough (or Eta UMa) and the head of Draco. It is circumpolar from Ireland, so you can observe as soon as the sky gets dark on the evening of the 3-4th, but the radiant will then be low in the North, dipping slightly below the Pole at lower culmination, before starting to rise again in the NNE and then NE, and the Moon will be a major hindrance. The ZHR in a dark sky would be expected to be about 80, but you'll be lucky to see even half that in the Moonlight. The best time will be just before dawn, when the Moon is low and not so bright. Find a spot where you are in the shadow of the Moon, and look away from that part of the sky.
The Zenithal Hourly Rate (ZHR) is the rate which would be seen by an experienced observer, in a VERY dark sky, and with the radiant in the zenith: actual observed rates very rarely reach the nominal ZHR for various reasons.
11. IAA Observing Nights at Delamont Country Park
12. 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.
There will be a feature on our eclipse trip to the Faeroes in the Irish Times on 10 January.
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/
13. Baader Astro-Solar safe visual viewing material available: Baader safe viewing foil now in stock ... just in time for the big eclipse! £19 for an A4 sheet delivered. Contact Dr Andy McCrea at firstname.lastname@example.org
14. The "Moon in 2015" is a complete annual guide to our natural satellite. A table gives you the dates for each of the Moon's phases: New, First Quarter, Full and Last Quarter. The Moon swings through these phases every 29 and 1/2 days, but did you realise the exact length of this period changes from month to month? On what dates are the "Super Moon's" for 2015? And what about the dates of Perigee and Apogee, Ascending/Descending Nodes, and Lunar Standstills? You'll find all of this as well as a recap of solar and lunar eclipse for 2015 in Jay's blog. http://www.astropixels.com/blog/2014/12/moon-in-2015/
15. 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.
COSMOS: April 17th to 19th 2015, Shamrock Lodge Hotel, Athlone.
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