In 1989 he applied as a cosmonaut candidate for the UK Project Juno programme with the Soviet Union (now Russia). The mission was to spend seven days in space aboard the space station Mir. Dave did not reach the final selection but progressed further than he expected. The mission was flown by Helen Sharman in May 1991. In support of his research Dave has visited NASA in the United States and the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in Russia, where visits to space training facilities and handling real space hardware has provided a valuable insight into the activities of a space explorer and the realities of flying and living in space. He is a friend of many former and current astronauts and cosmonauts, some of whom have accompanied Dave of visits to schools across the country. For over 20 years Dave has delivered space presentations and workshops to children and social groups across the UK. This lecture is part of the IAA's contribution to World Space Week.
Dave will have copies of some of his books available, and will sign one for you if you buy it.
VENUE: Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics building, QUB. Free parking on Campus after 5.30 p.m. Admission free, including light refreshments.
A just-discovered asteroid about 300 meters across (H=19.8), named 2015 TB145, will come very close to the Earth in late October. Only one object of that size is known to have ever come closer to the Earth (H=19.4) asteroid 2004 XP14 in 2006 at 1.16 LD,
The closest approach will be 1.26 lunar distances (485,000 km). The orbit is still uncertain, but it will likely brighten to about magnitude 10 or brighter on afternoon of October 31, then at declination +45. Magnitudes in the hours before closest approach:
29/10/2015 18 UT: 14.3
30/10/2015 00 UT: 14.0
30/10/2015 06 UT: 13.6
30/10/2015 12 UT: 13.2
30/10/2015 18 UT: 12.7
31/10/2015 00 UT: 12.0
31/10/2015 06 UT: 11.2
31/10/2015 12 UT: 10.2
31/10/2015 18 UT: 12.2
It will already be very close to the Sun on evening of October 31, making it unobservable.
See http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2848/1 and http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/2015-tb145-huge-halloween-asteroid-discovered-three-weeks-before-flyby-earth-1524720 This could have been a Halloween Rocky Horror Show!
Just letting you know that on Friday 25th September I launched a crowd-funding KICK-STARTER campaign to get Ireland's TWO Astronomy themed books published. Research shows that these may well be the first Irish Astronomy books (or at least Irish Authored) ... so am very excited about that.
The total needed to be raised is e6,700 in 40 days. NO MONEY is taken from anyone's account until ALL the money is raised, this protects the sponsorer. If the target cost isn't raised in the allotted time then these 2 books wont be published in the foreseeable future. PLEASE can you help by mentioning the campaign on all your media....computer, blog, email etc Acknowledgement of your help will be mentioned in the books.....Thank you so much. Julie 087 7845688
Astronomy clubs and non-profit organisations from 45 countries submitted 247 proposals for the names and so far the contest received more than 300 000 votes, becoming one of the largest outreach astronomy projects in the world. We, at the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach, would like to thank everyone that supported NameExoWorlds and to all participating institutions that sent special videos stating why their name proposals should win.
If you haven't voted yet, we urge you not to miss this chance.
And if you need any support from our team just let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best regards,The IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach team
Celebrate 51 Pegasi b's 20th anniversary by voting for its new name
October 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the announcement of the discovery of 51 Pegasi b; the first exoplanet to be discovered orbiting a Sun-like star. This is an exciting opportunity to celebrate the many discoveries that have been made since then. 51 Pegasi b is also one of the planets awaiting a new name as part of the IAU's NameExoWorlds contest. NameExoWorlds has been running since August, and the number of votes for the submitted name proposals have gathered more than 300 000 entries from all around the world. If you still haven't voted, don't miss this great opportunity, and vote before the closing date of 31 October.
You can find the details of the contest here: http://nameexoworlds.iau.org/.
Summary: Astronomy is the oldest science, with links stretching back more than 5,000 years to the construction of monuments such as Stonehenge and Newgrange, many of which contain remarkably precise astronomical orientations and alignments. This illustrated talk, which is linked to the Armagh Observatory's set of "From Earth To The Universe" (FETTU) posters, will take you on a journey in space and time from our Earth, through the Solar System, past nearby stars and our own Milky Way Galaxy, to the most distant parts of the known Universe until we reach the "Big Bang", the start of our known Universe some 14 billion years ago. The talk will also cover the work and recent discoveries of the Armagh Observatory; the principal components of our Solar System; and the sizes and relative distances of the planets and nearby stars.
17. Interesting Weblinks
"The Rainbow Gravity theory suggests that gravity's effect on the cosmos causes different wavelengths of light to behave differently.
This means that particles with different energies will move in space-times and gravitational fields differently.
The theory was proposed 10 years ago in an attempt to reconcile difference between the theories of general relativity and quantum mechanics.
One consequence of rainbow gravity is that our universe stretches back into time infinitely with no singular point where it started."
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