Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Lectures, I-Lofar on TV, Major local G/W discovery, Google space, Mayo DSF, DMD

Hi all,
1. IAA LECTURE,  Wed 18 October, 7.30 p.m"Space law: owning stars, mining asteroids and Asgardia"By Laura Keogh of InspireSpace. This fascinating talk will cover the traditional international legal regime, and then explain how it is beginning to change due to private entities and go on to explain what legal obligations would exist for a space nation under the current laws.
   With the ever-increasing pace of space exploration, and proposals for bases and mining on the Moon, capturing and mining asteroids, and eventually setting up bases on Mars, not to mention the new 'Space Nation Asgardia (of which I've been a member since May 2016; https://www.facebook.com/asgardia.space/ and twitter @AsgardiaSpace), just what are the national and international laws governing space?
NB: see the record  number of items under "Space" at Item 12 below
   Laura is a qualified barrister, with a passionate interest in space, so she is eminently qualified to tell us all about this intriguing topic.
Wed 18 October 7.30 p.m., Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, QUB. Free admission, including light refreshments.  Free parking on QUB campus after 5.30 p.m.
The DIAS School of Cosmic Physics Statutory Public Lecture 2017 takes place on Thursday 19th October at 6:30pm in UCD. (Theatre C (O'Connor Theatre - Room H2.22), Science Hub, University College Dublin.  Admission is free but advance booking is required on eventbrite here.
3. 19 October: I-Lofar at Birr on TV, 19 Oct:
Special 1-hour documentary on the new I-Lofar radio telescope at Birr, Thursday 19 Oct, 10.15 p.m. Presented by Jonathon McCrea and Prof Peter Gallagher of TCD. Not to be missed
2:  DIAS Lecture, 19 Oct:  "Brave new worlds: the planets in our galaxy" by Professor Giovanna Tinetti, University College London.
4. Major G/W Discovery, involving QUB & DIAS. Superb science! Congratulations to Profs Stephen Smartt at QUB, and Luke Drury and Felix Aharonian at DIAS and their teams!
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/10/gravitational-waves-discovered-neutron-stars-pictures-science/ Note the contribution by Gregg Hallinan from Sligo who worked at NUIG before moving to Colorado and Caltech.
6. Zodiacal Light

The best chance to see this faint cone of light along the ecliptic in the Eastern pre-dawn sky will be from Oct 18 to Oct 31 when moonlight will not interfere. You'll need to have a very clear dark sky to see it.

7. Mayo Dark Sky Festival 27-29 October.  "Our Place in the Cosmos" A great line-up of speakers again this year . See www.mayodarkskyfestival.ie 

Booking now open at https://mayodarkskyfestival.eventbrite.ie

Professor Brian Espey of Trinity College Dublin will give a talk on our dark sky heritage on Sunday at 12 noon in Mulranny.  Brian is a professor of astrophysics at Trinity College Dublin who has worked with both NASA and ESA. Since 2009 he has been working to raise awareness and to preserve our dark sky heritage. He has supported dark skies initiatives around the country, most recently that of the Mayo Dark Sky group.

   Also added to the programme is a second workshop by artist and astronomer Deirdre Kelleghan (Saturday at 2pm in Ballycroy).  This one is to complement the talk in Newport by Professor Susan McKenna-Lawlor on the Rosetta Mission to Comet 67P.  While Susan will be looking at the scientific discoveries of the mission (Saturday 3pm in Newport), Deirdre will help younger space enthusiasts learn about the comet by drawing it and also making little comet models for themselves.

Norah Patten has brought the winning designs from the recent Project Possum Mission Patch design competition all the way to Florida!


With yesterday's budget announcement that Ireland is to join the European Southern Observatory ESO, Professor Michael Burton of Armagh Planetarium and Observatory will now include some slides in his presentation (Saturday 11:30am) to elaborate more on this, explaining what ESO is and what this latest development means for Ireland (including all the amazing telescopes that are available to use).
#mayodarkskyfestival #projectpossum #mulrannytourism #newportmayo #

UPDATE: 1. Unfortunately, Niamh Shaw, who was to deliver a family friendly workshop in Ballycroy at 4pm on Sunday 29th October, has been in touch with us today to say she will be unable to attend as she has been invited to participate in a meeting of the Space Studies Programme planning committee in the Netherlands.  We apologise for this change to the programme, which is beyond our control, and hope that you still find plenty to entertain and inform you!

2.   On the PLUS side, we are now able to offer all events at the Ballycroy National Park Visitor Centre FREE OF CHARGE.  These include a fascinating talk on 'The Cultural Importance and Meaning of Dark Sky' with Dr. Frank Prendergast, as well as great art workshops with Deirdre Kelleghan and Pauline McSorley.  Places are limited, so we still advise you to book ahead!  Throughout the festival weekend, the visitor centre's Ginger and Wild Art Gallery will host an exhibition of works by photographer Brian Wilson and artists Pauline McSorley and Deirdre Kelleghan, so make sure to build in some time over the weekend to visit this wonderful spot in Mayo Dark Sky Park.


8. Vacancy: Chair of Management Committee of Armagh Observatory and Planetarium:

For details email dcn@arm.ac.uk or a pack can be downloaded from the following link http://star.arm.ac.uk/jobs/index.html. Closing date for applications is 4.00 pm on Monday 30th October 2017


9: Dark Matter Day: 31 October: This is a new event, aiming to raise awareness of the mysterious 'Dark Matter'. There will be a special show at Armagh Planetarium "Dark Matter: Phantom of the universe". I have seen this show, and it is excellent - highly recommended - book asap!

Other events are being considered. Watch this space for updates. See https://www.darkmatterday.com/events-list/?utm_source=STFC+Communications&utm_campaign=01c8168a8c-Fascination_autumn_2017_External_9_27_2017&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_4d3daa8d15-01c8168a8c-176556429&ct=t(Fascination_autumn_2017_External_9_27_2017)&mc_cid=01c8168a8c&mc_eid=64c015d338


10. Europlanet Astrobiology Educational Video. Europlanet launched its latest video: Astrobiology: Life in the Universe. Are we alone in the Universe? You have probably asked yourself this question at some point. The video shows how planetary scientists are looking for signs of life on other planets, using our very own Earth as a laboratory.
And don't miss UNAWE's article providing more information and educational resources to use with the video and other fun educational activities here: http://www.unawe.org/updates/2017-Europlanet-video-astrobiology/  



International Observe the Moon Night: 28 October 2017, Location: All around the world, More Information: http://observethemoonnight.org/ 


12. Interesting Weblinks: (Disclaimer - Use of material herein from various sources does not imply approval or otherwise of the opinions, political or otherwise, of those sources).  NB: If the title in the weblink does not indicate the subject matter, I give a brief simple intro before the link. I may also comment about the link afterwards.
New evidence on how stars form planets https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171013123205.htm 
Earth & Moon  
Solar System:
NASA rocket detects solar micro-flares which may explain coronal heating mystery https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171013140336.htm 
Generation of solar spicules and Alfven Waves https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171013123126.htm 
Parallax measurement extended to 66,000LY - the far side of Milky Way! https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171012143405.htm 
13. TWITTER Follow the IAA on Twitter: @IaaAstro.


14. JOINING the IRISH ASTRONOMICAL ASSOCIATION: This link downloads a Word document to join the IAA. http://documents.irishastro.org.uk/iaamembership.doc
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Clear skies,

Terry Moseley