Full details at http://www.dias.ie/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6773:dias-event-solarfest-2015&catid=184&Itemid=106&lang=en
You can book for the Public Open Night on Friday. A certain Mr Terry Moseley is the guest speaker: title: "Our Sun: Friend or Foe?"; and/or the main event on Saturday. Tea & coffee available throughout the day but bring sandwiches, etc for your lunch. It is about 10 mins drive to the Halfway House pub at the Ashtown roundabout on the Navan Road if you fancy something a bit more substantial during the lunch break. There will also be a Special Sunday event (all free ): Sun 21st June Rathbeggan Lake, Dunshaughlin, Co Meath.
An excellent podcast exploring Rosetta's results to date can be found at http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/podcasts/astronomy/space-boffins/
Friday 26th June, 7pm in the Larmor Lecture Theatre, Queen's University Belfast
There is no attendance fee for this presentation, but as we expect this talk to be very popular we are requesting that all people who will attend to register at the following website: https://star.pst.qub.ac.uk/wiki/doku.php/public/outreach/mccrea2015
11. 26 June: Launch of Falcon 9 (Space X CRS 7) to International Space Station. The latest resupply mission for the International Space Station (ISS) is scheduled for 26 June, when a Dragon cargo spacecraft will launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket. The mission, run by the SpaceX corporation, will deliver an adaptor to enable future spacecraft to dock more easily with the Station. After a number of launch failures, many Russian rockets are grounded, so the SpaceX system is an important route for supplies to reach the ISS and its crew. http://www.spacex.com/
http://www.asteroidday.org/ Asteroid Day is a global awareness movement where people from around the world come together to learn about asteroids and what we can do to protect our planet, our families, communities, and future generations. Asteroid Day will be held on the anniversary of the 1908 Siberian Tunguska event, the largest asteroid impact on Earth in recent history. See
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3123772/Rocker-Brian-stars-backing-project-scientists-warn-real-risk-humanity-small-asteroid-hits-Earth.html The second illustration makes the usual mistake - an asteroid does not 'trail flames and fire' while it is still out in space - that happens only when it enters the denser part of the Earth's atmosphere
16. Science Foundation Ireland: The latest SFI Open Call for funding proposals is looking for submissions on engaging the Irish public with science. The deadline is July 28th and you can read more about applying at http://www.sfi.ie/funding/funding-calls/open-calls/sfi-discover-programme-call-2015.html
17. Lights out for LightSail http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3126839/LightSail-goes-blaze-glory-Mission-ends-fiery-entry-pushing-boundaries-space-propulsion.html. This technique is of little use within our solar system, as it's 'one-way only' - there's no way to stop, or even slow down, once you reach, say Jupiter, or Neptune. And the acceleration is so slow that it would take ages to get there. But at least as you move out, the pull of the Sun's gravity lessens by the inverse square ratio of the distance.
But if you want to send an unmanned probe to other stars or planetary systems, it has some slight potential. Say you want to travel to the nearest sun-like star, Alpha Centauri, 4.3 LY away. The actual acceleration the spacecraft will get from sunlight depends on the mass of the spacecraft, and the size of the sail, but it is basically VERY slow. But it gradually builds up, and the fuel is free. However, as you move further away from the Sun, the solar radiation also falls off as the inverse square of the distance. So by the time it gets to Neptune's orbit, the pressure of sunlight is only 1/900 of that at Earth! You would need a HUGE sail to get any propulsion at all. By the time it gets to a distance of 100 AU (say the edge of the Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt, it's only 1/10,000 of the energy here. And after that, the energy available is negligible.
18. July 13 - 15: UK Space Conference, Liverpool. The UK Space Conference 2015 will take place from 13-15 July, at the Arena and Convention Centre in Liverpool. Expected to attract more than 800 delegates, the biennial conference will have the theme of 'Space Enabled Futures'. Sessions will take place on a range of topics including space, society and culture; space and the surveillance society; opportunities for business; earth observation; spaceports and spaceplanes, and space and life and biomedical sciences. See http://www.ukspace2015.co.uk/
Cosmic Light EDU kit
A. The Cosmic Light EDU kit has been launched! The main goal for this project is to involve schools around the globe in awareness campaigns for light pollution and to discover the nature of light. The project has assembled an educational kit, with simple resources and activities to support teachers. There are many and varied networks involved in this project so participants can benefit from many opportunities for a rich cultural interchange. The project aims to target diverse social and cultural audiences, and there is a special component designed for children with visual impairment incorporated in the kit to promote inclusivity. The kit will have printable materials, several digital tools and resources and training efforts will be implemented in order to empower teachers to make full use of the kit The campaign will reach teachers and students in 100 countries around the world.
Take a closer look at all the resources featured in the Comic Light EDU kit here: http://nuclio.org/cosmiclightedukit/
B. Cosmic Light IYL2015: Dark Sky Meter app
The IAU Cosmic Light programme has just released the Dark Sky Meter (DSM) app for iPhones free of charge! All you have to do is point your phone at the night sky, and it measures the night sky brightness for you. Then, you can use the IYL DSM app to submit your measurement easily. All measurements will be entered into the Globe at Night database and be used by researchers.
The DSM IYL2015 app is already available for free on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/app/dsm-lite/id626796278?mt=8
25. Interesting Weblinks (now arranged by subject matter):
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. You can also make a donation via Paypal if you wish: just click on the 'Donate' button. See also www.irishastro.org.