Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Lecture on habitable exoplanets, STFC, Davagh DSP, Gresham lectures, IAA Subs due, Planets, Observe the Moon Night BH imaging, Halloween at AOP, Teasers, more

Hi all,

(NB, all times are summer time when in force, for convenience)

 

1. IAA Lecture, Wed 13 October "Habitability beyond our solar system", by Professor Chris Watson, Deputy Head of the School of Mathematics and Physics,

Astrophysics Research Centre, QUB

Synopsis:

What do we mean by 'habitability' and 'habitable'? How do we define it? Do we even know what 'habitable' looks like? What's the problems with determining whether something is habitable? Why are we looking in the places we're currently looking? Actually, are we even looking in the right places? I'll talk about the current scientific thoughts surrounding these fundamental questions, what is driving these thoughts, and why it's so difficult for an astrophysicist like myself to answer these questions.

Professor Chris Watson

Details

https://irishastro.org/2021/10/06/iaa-lecture-weds-13th-october-1930/

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85214388350?pwd=a09KU2h5Z2NmcE45QW9sK0RJbkVLUT09

Meeting ID: 852 1438 8350
Passcode: 376019

2. STFC Events

 

Upcoming events

25 October, 19:00
Online astronomy: in pursuit of darkness.
The elements that affect astronomical viewing and their impact on the selection of sites to build modern telescopes.
Online. Free to attend. Click here to book.

 

 

3. Davagh Dark Sky Park and Observatory now open, with pre-booking, and some restrictions.

 See https://www.midulstercouncil.org/visitor/things-to-do/star-gazing/davagh-dark-sky-observatory , and https://www.facebook.com/omdarksky/ I'll post any updates here. Or phone 03000 132 132 for changing Covid-19 advice.

 

4. Series of astronomy lectures by Gresham College.

 A series of 6 lectures from now to June 2022, at 6 p.m.. See: Cosmic Revolutions (gresham.ac.uk)

 

 

5. PAYMENT OF IAA ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION: PAYPAL IS WORKING AGAIN ! Subscriptions were due on September 1. We're glad to be able to keep the amount unchanged for yet another year: £20 for individual membership, £25 for family membership (only one copy of STARDUST per family).

Anyone wishing to pay by bank transfer should contact the Treasurer, Pat O'Neill (pb.oneill@ntlworld.com, or treasurer@irishastro.org) for our bank details.

 

6. Catch Saturn and Jupiter while they are still well placed

SATURN: is still fairly close and bright, but it's very low from our latitude, so viewing conditions are not great. It's now mag 0.2, in Capricorn, with an apparent diameter of 18.2".

   The angle of the ring system to Earth has been steadily decreasing recently, so the rings no longer extend beyond the poles. Aesthetically, I think this angle, and down to an angle of about 10 degrees, is the most beautiful.

    Of the satellites, Titan is visible in any telescope, and Rhea is not too difficult. With the low altitude, it may be harder to see fainter Dione and Tethys, especially as they are closer to the planet. Big telescopes and good seeing are required for Enceladus and Mimas.

      I've seen them all, using the 10-inch refractor at Armagh Observatory, and my own 37cm Newtonian, but when Saturn was a lot higher up, and in much less light-polluted skies!

Jupiter is also still readily visible from UK & Ireland, after its Opposition on August 20. It's in Capricorn,  mag -2.8, some 20 degrees E of Saturn, and with an apparent diameter of 48". It's a bit higher up than Saturn, and that will gradually increase over the next few years.

   The four big Galilean moons are visible in even a modest telescope. This year, the Sun and Earth are almost exactly in the plane of Jupiter's equator, so the moons pass backwards and forwards almost exactly in the same plane. This means that sometimes they are so close together that they will appear as one, unless you use high magnification.

   The Moon will form a nice isosceles triangle below the pair on the evening of 14 October   

 

7. IAA is Go for  International Observe the Moon Night, October 16, at Delamont Country Park, near Killyleagh, Co Down, 7.30 p.m.

Meet in the main car park. We will provide some telescopes, but bring your own, or binoculars, if you can. We will be providing sanitising wipes for eyepieces and hand controls etc, and these will be wiped clean between users. We strongly advise that only those who are double-vaccinated, or who have had covid and recovered and with at least one vaccination, should attend.

   On October 16, everyone on Earth is invited to learn about lunar science and exploration, take part in celestial observations, and honour cultural and personal connections to the Moon. Attend or host a virtual or in-person event, or join in from wherever you are as an individual observer. Registration is now open.
  Read
more: https://moon.nasa.gov/observe-the-moon-night/ 

With the Moon as a very large gibbous phase, this is an odd date to choose. I have no idea why that date was picked, but there we are.

 

8. RAS Lecture, Tues 19 October, at 13,00. "What's in a Shadow? The past, present and future of Black Hole Imaging". By Prof Heino Falcke By Zoom, must be booked.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=4696985820313589&id=100000066530698&sfnsn=scwspmo
 
9. Halloween Events at Armagh Planetarium Pre-booking essential, at  www.armagh.space 

 

10. ISS: The ISS will start a new series of morning passes on 23 October. Full details for your location on www.heavens-above.com

 

11. New 'Easy' Teaser.

In a telescope without a drive, which First Magnitude star would move quickest through the field of view of any eyepiece?

A CLUE – no suggestions for this one yet, so here's a clue. Think about this -  Conversely, which bright star (about 2nd mag), would move most slowly in the field of view of a telescope without a drive?

 

12. New Difficult Teaser:  OK, No more Mr Nice Guy (Who said: Were you ever?!). From now on it's war with all you Smart Alecs (and Alices) out there!

Q: What's the connection between: a novena, a tax, and the last?

 

   Please send all answers to me at my aol address terrymosel@aol.com

                                                                                                     

13. 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.

 

ASTROPHYSICS

The oldest gamma-ray burst ever discovered was just a piece of space junk | Space Science at its best. (1) If you get it wrong, admit it. (2) Accept the most likely hypothesis, not the headline-grabbing most controversial or popular one. (3) Avoid selection bias.

ALMA animation of circling twin young stars -- ScienceDaily

 

COSMOLOGY

A better black hole laser may prove a circuitous 'Theory of Everything' -- ScienceDaily

 

EARTH & MOON

People have long claimed to hear the northern lights. Are the reports true? | Live Science

Melting permafrost in the Arctic could release radioactive waste and awaken sleeping viruses | Live Science

South Pole froze over in coldest winter on record | Live Science  It froze over? – It's always frozen there, even in the summer!

Nasa to crash spacecraft into asteroid in 'Armageddon' test of defences (msn.com)

Chang'e-5 samples reveal key age of moon rocks: Scientists share analysis of first fresh samples from the moon in more than 40 years -- ScienceDaily

Moon rocks brought to Earth by Chinese mission fill key gaps in solar system history | Space

 

EXOPLANETS

It's good to see Ernst de Mooij of QUB as one of the researchers on this Extreme exoplanet even more exotic than originally thought -- ScienceDaily

Scientists discover stars blasting out radio waves (aol.co.uk)

 

SOLAR SYSTEM

Scientists confirm decrease in Pluto's atmospheric density -- ScienceDaily

Nasa to crash spacecraft into asteroid in 'Armageddon' test of defences (msn.com)

Perseverance rover confirms existence of ancient Mars lake and river delta | Space

NOW I know why there's no advanced life on Mars at the moment – The Martian Noah didn't get his ark built on time! NASA's Perseverance Rover Finds Signs of Epic Ancient Floods on Mars - Scientific American

Dwarf planet Vesta a window to the early solar system -- ScienceDaily Vesta is not a Dwarf Planet. It's an Asteroid, or Minor Planet.

Mars' surface shaped by fast and furious floods from overflowing craters -- ScienceDaily

Rocks on floor of Jezero Crater, Mars, show signs of sustained interactions with water -- ScienceDaily

Highly porous rocks responsible for Bennu's surprisingly craggy surface -- ScienceDaily

Dwarf planet Vesta a window to the early solar system -- ScienceDaily

 

SPACE

Russian actors blast off to attempt a world first: a movie in space (msn.com)

United Arab Emirates to launch bold asteroid mission in 2028 | Space

Russian Crew Arrives at Space Station for a Historic Film Shoot - Scientific American

Axiom Space Names First Private Crew to Visit Space Station - Scientific American

Space Sustainability https://www.facebook.com/551070831/posts/10160246751310832/?sfnsn=scwspmo

3 years after tiny spacecraft made Mars history, where are all their successors? | Space

Not all Mars spacecraft might need such deep cleaning, scientists find | Space

The oldest gamma-ray burst ever discovered was just a piece of space junk | Space Science at its best. (1) If you get it wrong, admit it. (2) Accept the most likely hypothesis, not the headline-grabbing most controversial or popular one. (3) Avoid selection bias.

Is conflict in space inevitable? | TheHill

 

Telescopes, Instruments, Techniques.

Process leading to supernova explosions and cosmic radio bursts unearthed -- ScienceDaily

New measurement method promises spectacular insights into the interior of planets -- ScienceDaily

 

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

 

The Irish Astronomical Association is registered with The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC 105858

 

DISCLAIMER: Any views expressed herein are mine, and do not necessarily represent those of the IAA.

Clear skies,

Terry Moseley


 

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

WSW, Webinar, STFC events, Sustainable space, Davagh DSP, Other talks, Planets, IOMN, Black Hole imaging, Teasers, Web Links

Hi all,

(NB, all times are summer time when in force, for convenience)

 

1. Dark and Quiet Skies for Science and Society Workshop II, 3-7 October
Location: Virtual / La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain
Date: 3-7 October 2021
Website: 
http://research.iac.es/congreso/quietdarksky2021/pages/home.php

 

2. World Space Week, 4 – 11 October. Lots of events, including -

See Space Week 2021: 4-10 October (newsweaver.com)

And Daily Astro Challenge (newsweaver.com)

And Space Week Competition! (newsweaver.com)

And Space Image Lesson Plan (newsweaver.com)

And Sustainable Space - Oct 9th (newsweaver.com)

And ESERO Space Careers Roadshow - Oct 12th (newsweaver.com)

  World Space Week 2021 honors women in space: How to join the celebration online and in person | Space

 

3. My fortnightly webinar with Nick Howes for Space Store Live on Tue 5 October at 7.30 p.m, will feature a special section on women in space and astronomy. Watch the YouTube live stream here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDPyrYWNucQ

 

4. STFC Events

 

Upcoming events

5 October, 19:00
World Space Week: discover the James Webb Space Telescope.
Join Professor Gillian Wright and Professor Catherine Heymans to explore the mission and science of the soon-to-launch James Webb Space Telescope.
Online. Free to attend. Click here to book.

11 October, 19:00
Online astronomy: the ESA comet interceptor mission.
Launching in 2029, find out more about a mission that will meet a yet-to-be-discovered comet as it enters the inner Solar System for the first time.
Online. Free to attend. Click here to book.

25 October, 19:00
Online astronomy: in pursuit of darkness.
The elements that affect astronomical viewing and their impact on the selection of sites to build modern telescopes.
Online. Free to attend. Click here to book.

 

5. GoSpaceWatch online lecture: The NASA Lucy Mission to the Trojan Asteroids  by Dr Cathy Olkin, Wednesday 6 October 2021 at 19:30. Open to all. Everyone Welcome..  Register soon. Just £3.00 pp.

 

6. WSW – Lecture: The Weird and Wonderful World of Uranus - World Space Week Tickets, Fri 8 Oct 2021 at 09:00 | Eventbrite

 

7. Virtual Sustainable Space Event - Saturday, Oct 9th
The Rediscovery Centre's free, virtual Sustainable Space Event will be on Saturday, October 9th. The event's first half is geared towards kids and families, with multiple fun and interactive presentations, including one led by Dr. Niamh Shaw! The second half of the event is aimed at teens and adults, and the different speakers will investigate how we can guarantee the long-term sustainability of space as well as how space can help further sustainability at home on Earth.
Kids and Families
11.30-12.30: Rediscovery Centre Sensational Space Workshop
12:30-13:10: Armagh Planetarium Space Junk Talk
13:30-14:00: Dr. Niamh Shaw Interactive Space Talk
Teens and Adults
14:00-14:45: Dr. Niall Smith Head of Blackrock Castle Observatory - Q&A with Dr. Niamh Shaw at the end
15:00-15:45: ILOFAR and Dunsink Observatory Panel Discussion with Dr. Peter Gallagher of DIAS, second panellist TBD, moderated by Áine Flood
16:00-16:30: Dr. Peter Martinez Executive Director of the Secure World Foundation

You can learn more about the event and register for your free ticket on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sustainable-space-tickets-169456313395?keep_tld=1

8. Davagh Dark Sky Park and Observatory now open, with pre-booking, and some restrictions.

 See https://www.midulstercouncil.org/visitor/things-to-do/star-gazing/davagh-dark-sky-observatory , and https://www.facebook.com/omdarksky/ I'll post any updates here. Or phone 03000 132 132 for changing Covid-19 advice.

 

9. Series of astronomy lectures by Gresham College.

 A series of 6 lectures from now to June 2022, at 6 p.m.. See: Cosmic Revolutions (gresham.ac.uk)

 

 

10. PAYMENT OF IAA ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION: PAYPAL IS WORKING AGAIN ! Subscriptions were due on September 1. We're glad to be able to keep the amount unchanged for yet another year: £20 for individual membership, £25 for family membership (only one copy of STARDUST per family).

Anyone wishing to pay by bank transfer should contact the Treasurer, Pat O'Neill (pb.oneill@ntlworld.com, or treasurer@irishastro.org) for our bank details.

 

11. Saturn and Jupiter are still well placed

SATURN: is still near its closest and brightest for the year, but it's very low from our latitude, so viewing conditions are not great. It's now mag 0.2, in Capricorn, with an apparent diameter of 18.2".

   The angle of the ring system to Earth has been steadily decreasing recently, so the rings no longer extend beyond the poles. Aesthetically, I think this angle, and down to an angle of about 10 degrees, is the most beautiful.

    Of the satellites, Titan is visible in any telescope, and Rhea is not too difficult. With the low altitude, it may be harder to see fainter Dione and Tethys, especially as they are closer to the planet. Big telescopes and good seeing are required for Enceladus and Mimas.

      I've seen them all, using the 10-inch refractor at Armagh Observatory, and my own 37cm Newtonian, but when Saturn was a lot higher up, and in much less light-polluted skies!

Jupiter is also still readily visible from UK & Ireland, after its Opposition on August 20. It's in Capricorn,  mag -2.8, some 20 degrees E of Saturn, and with an apparent diameter of 48". It's a bit higher up than Saturn, and that will gradually increase over the next few years.

   The four big Galilean moons are visible in even a modest telescope. This year, the Sun and Earth are almost exactly in the plane of Jupiter's equator, so the moons pass backwards and forwards almost exactly in the same plane. This means that sometimes they are so close together that they will appear as one, unless you use high magnification.

   The Moon will form a nice isosceles triangle below the pair on the evening of 14 October   

 

12. International Observe the Moon Night, October 16

   On October 16, everyone on Earth is invited to learn about lunar science and exploration, take part in celestial observations, and honour cultural and personal connections to the Moon. Attend or host a virtual or in-person event, or join in from wherever you are as an individual observer. Registration is now open.
  Read
more: https://moon.nasa.gov/observe-the-moon-night/ 

With the Moon as a very large gibbous phase, this is an odd date to choose. I have no idea why that date was picked, but there we are.

 

13. RAS Lecture, Tues 19 October, at 13,00. "What's in a Shadow? The past, present and future of Black Hole Imaging". By Prof Heino Falcke By Zoom, must be booked.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=4696985820313589&id=100000066530698&sfnsn=scwspmo

 

14. New 'Easy' Teaser.

In a telescope without a drive, which First Magnitude star would move quickest through the field of view of any eyepiece?

 

15: Difficult Teaser answered already: $*&$£&*@ ! Grrr! It's that man John O'Neill again! Next day, he emailed with the correct answer. The question was "What rare event happened in October 1862 and September 1988?" The answer is that Mars was in opposition in the constellation of Cetus then. Not only is Cetus not a zodiacal constellation, the ecliptic doesn't even run through it (unlike Ophiuchus, which is not an official Zodiacal constellation, even though the ecliptic runs through it for over 18 degrees)

 

16. New Difficult Teaser:  OK, No more Mr Nice Guy (Who said: Were you ever?!). From now on it's war with all you Smart Alecs (and Alices) out there!

Q: What's the connection between: a novena, a tax, and the last?

 

   Please send all answers to me at my aol address terrymosel@aol.com

                                                                                                     

17. 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.

 

ASTROPHYSICS

Exceptionally rare planet with three suns may lurk in Orion's nose | Live Science I wonder how stable such a system would be?

 

COSMOLOGY

Dark energy might be neither particle nor field - Big Think This is a very good summary of the biggest question in astronomy at present.

 

EARTH & MOON

32,000 mph fireball spotted soaring over North Carolina | Space The authors / editors of those stories are still using ridiculous illustrations of giant bodies burning up while they are still far out in space. That just does not happen.

Vanishing ice is warping Earth's crust | Live Science

Superbright aurora lights up Earth's night side in incredible image from space | Live Science

Our climate projections for 2500 show an Earth that is alien to humans (theconversation.com)

Chang'e-5 Returned an Exotic Collection of Moon Rocks - Universe Today

 

EXOLIFE

Baby planets marinate in a life-giving cyanide 'soup,' detailed maps show | Live Science

 

EXOPLANETS

Exceptionally rare planet with three suns may lurk in Orion's nose | Live Science And

Astronomers may have discovered first planet to orbit 3 stars: Potential discovery of a circumtriple planet has implications for bolstering our understanding of planet formation -- ScienceDaily  I wonder how stable such a system would be?

'Planet confusion' could slow Earth-like exoplanet exploration -- ScienceDaily

 

IMAGES:

Hubble telescope spots celestial 'eye,' a galaxy with an incredibly active core | Space

Mercury looks stunning in this 1st flyby photo from Europe and Japan's BepiColombo mission | Space   

 

SOLAR SYSTEM

Catastrophic floods shaped Mars more than previously thought, scientists suggest | Space

Jupiter's Great Red Spot is not only shrinking. Its winds are also speeding up. | Live Science

Future exploration of Mars by rotorcraft https://www.facebook.com/551070831/posts/10160231021170832/?sfnsn=scwspmo
Mars on the cheap: Scientists working to revolutionize access to the Red Planet | Live Science 
Space mission gets first glimpse of Mercury (aol.co.uk) 

After 3.5 million-year hiatus, the largest comet ever discovered is headed our way | Space Appalling journalism. It won't "strafe" the orbit of Neptune. Because of the orbital inclination, it won't get anywhere near the orbit of Neptune - not even within 100 million miles of it. And it's not 'barrelling' towards the Sun - at that distance, objects move comparatively slowly.

See also Astronomers size up biggest-known comet as it approaches solar system (newatlas.com) Yet another use of 'barrelling' – can anyone define just what it means? I presumed that it means that it is coming quickly, rotating forwards in the direction that it is approaching, like a barrel rolling downhill towards you. However, we have no idea of how, or in what plane, it is rotating. Or is it just a trendy word, like 'massive'?

Mercury looks stunning in this 1st flyby photo from Europe and Japan's BepiColombo mission | Space  and

"Flawless" flyby for BepiColombo turns up its first photos of Mercury (newatlas.com)

'Mini psyches' give insights into mysterious metal-rich near-earth asteroids: New research into metal-rich asteroids reveals information about the origins and compositions of these rare bodies that could one day be mined. -- ScienceDaily

Using dunes to interpret wind on Mars -- ScienceDaily

 

SPACE

Chinese satellite declared lost following back-to-back launches Monday | Space

Mars helicopter Ingenuity aborted latest flight attempt because of anomaly | Space

From poo politics to rubbish disposal: 5 big questions about the International Space Station becoming a movie set (theconversation.com)

Elon Musk scorns Jeff Bezos' lawsuit on NASA moon lander | Space

FAA clears Virgin Galactic to start flying again | Space

Mars on the cheap: Scientists working to revolutionize access to the Red Planet | Live Science

Beam me up, Bezos! Star Trek's Captain Kirk rocketing into space next week [Video] (aol.co.uk) (Not even 0.0000001% of mere Impulse Drive, but sure who's complaining?

Watch live: Russian film crew to launch to the International Space Station | Space

World View to start flying passengers on stratospheric balloon rides in 2024 | Space Not space, and not even close, but 100,000 feet is much higher than even the highest flying military fighters; higher even than the U2! You could probably see the brightest stars and planets even in daytime, and if they flew it at night it would give a spectacular view – unless the windows are heavily tinted.

Chinese company aims for suborbital space tourism with familiar rocket design | Space – start saving your Yen!

Air Force's X-37B robotic space plane wings past 500 days in Earth orbit | Space

UK Space policy announced https://www.facebook.com/groups/587442468465687/permalink/1028531831023413/

Sent from the all new AOL app for Android

 

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

 

The Irish Astronomical Association is registered with The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC 105858

 

DISCLAIMER: Any views expressed herein are mine, and do not necessarily represent those of the IAA.

Clear skies,

Terry Moseley


Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Lecture tonight, Subs due, Planets, Moon and ZL, ISS, WSW & other events, Dark skies, Other talks, Sustainable space, IOMN, Teasers. more



---------- Forwarded message ------

Hi all,

(NB, all times are summer time when in force, for convenience)

 

1.  IAA Public Lecture, Wed 29 September, 7. 30 p.m., by Zoom. "Astronomy, Ireland and UNESCO World Heritage" by Prof. Michael Burton, Director of Armagh Observatory & Planetarium.

Abstract: In 2019 UNESCO inscribed two astronomical sites for World Heritage based on their Outstanding Universal Values: Jodrell Bank & Risco Caido. Jodrell's nomination centred on its pioneering role in the development of radio astronomy and extant examples of scientific infrastructure from the discipline's origins to today.
  Ireland also has outstanding astronomical astronomical heritage through the pioneering role in development of the field of astronomy played by the observatories of Birr, Dunsink and Armagh. Birr with the Leviathan, the largest telescope in the world for 69 years, providing the seeds that led to the concept of other galaxies, as well as the birth of infrared astronomy. Dunsink and Armagh Observatories represent a key step in the development of the telescope itself, when the design of the building they are housed in became central to their function. Armagh has since continuously been occupied by astronomers, with three generations of telescopes from the 19th century within that illustrate the development of clock-driven equatorial telescope over that period.
   The new inscriptions of Jodrell Bank and Risco Caido to the UNESCO World Heritage list raise the question of whether Ireland's astronomical heritage may also be worthy of such recognition?
   This talk will overview the astronomical history of these Irish observatories and the possibility of seeking UNESCO World Heritage listing for them, as well as some of the issues that must be considered if doing so
.

ZOOM, etc, Details.

Time: Sep 29, 2021 07:15 PM London
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88343902455?pwd=UVlqQTdXU1MyNmFOSnFoMHplQmZuUT09
Meeting ID: 883 4390 2455
Passcode: 536349
One tap mobile
+13462487799,,88343902455#,,,,*536349# US (Houston)
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Dial by your location
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Meeting ID: 883 4390 2455
Passcode: 536349
Find your local number: 
https://us02web.zoom.us/u/keIrEKb83M

 

2. PAYMENT OF ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION: PAYPAL IS WORKING AGAIN ! Subscriptions were due on September 1. We're glad to be able to keep the amount unchanged for yet another year: £20 for individual membership, £25 for family membership (only one copy of STARDUST per family).

Anyone wishing to pay by bank transfer should contact the Treasurer, Pat O'Neill (pb.oneill@ntlworld.com, or treasurer@irishastro.org) for our bank details.

 

3. Saturn and Jupiter are still well placed

SATURN: is still near its closest and brightest for the year, but it's very low from our latitude, so viewing conditions are not great. It's now mag 0.2, in Capricorn, with an apparent diameter of 18.2".

   The angle of the ring system to Earth has been steadily decreasing recently, so the rings no longer extend beyond the poles. Aesthetically, I think this angle, and down to an angle of about 10 degrees, is the most beautiful.

    Of the satellites, Titan is visible in any telescope, and Rhea is not too difficult. With the low altitude, it may be harder to see fainter Dione and Tethys, especially as they are closer to the planet. Big telescopes and good seeing are required for Enceladus and Mimas.

      I've seen them all, using the 10-inch refractor at Armagh Observatory, and my own 37cm Newtonian, but when Saturn was a lot higher up, and in much less light-polluted skies!

Jupiter is also still readily visible from Ireland, after its Opposition on August 20. It's in Capricorn,  mag -2.8, some 20 degrees E of Saturn, and with an apparent diameter of 48". It's a bit higher up than Saturn, and that will gradually increase over the next few years.

   The four big Galilean moons are visible in even a modest telescope. This year, the Sun and Earth are almost exactly in the plane of Jupiter's equator, so the moons pass backwards and forwards almost exactly in the same plane. This means that sometimes they are so close together that they will appear as one, unless you use high magnification.

   The Moon will form a nice isosceles triangle below the pair on the evening of 14 October   

 

4. Very thin Moon, Earthshine, and Zodiacal Light, 5 October

There will be a nice photo opportunity on the morning of 5 October, when the thin waning Moon (2.3% illuminated), with prominent Earthshine, will be visible, along with the elusive Zodiacal Light, just before dawn in the E sky. The ZL is the faint cone of light along the ecliptic caused by sunlight reflecting off the myriad tiny particles concentrated in the plane of the solar system. It can be seen in spring at the end of twilight, and in autumn just as the first glimmer of dawn appears, but you'll need a very clear E horizon, and a very dark sky with no light pollution. From Belfast, look from about 05.40, although the Moon won't rise until about 05.55 BST: the further west you are, add a few minutes later for the best time.

 

 

5. ISS.  The series of evening passes continues until 4 October. Details at www.heavens-above.com

 

6. STFC Events

 

Upcoming events

5 October, 19:00
World Space Week: discover the James Webb Space Telescope.
Join Professor Gillian Wright and Professor Catherine Heymans to explore the mission and science of the soon-to-launch James Webb Space Telescope.
Online. Free to attend. Click here to book.

11 October, 19:00
Online astronomy: the ESA comet interceptor mission.
Launching in 2029, find out more about a mission that will meet a yet-to-be-discovered comet as it enters the inner Solar System for the first time.
Online. Free to attend. Click here to book.

25 October, 19:00
Online astronomy: in pursuit of darkness.
The elements that affect astronomical viewing and their impact on the selection of sites to build modern telescopes.
Online. Free to attend. Click here to book.

 

7. Davagh Dark Sky Park and Observatory now open, with pre-booking, and some restrictions.

 See https://www.midulstercouncil.org/visitor/things-to-do/star-gazing/davagh-dark-sky-observatory , and https://www.facebook.com/omdarksky/ I'll post any updates here. Or phone 03000 132 132 for changing Covid-19 advice.

 

8. Series of astronomy lectures by Gresham College.

 A series of 6 lectures from 29 September to June 2022, at 6 p.m.. See: Cosmic Revolutions (gresham.ac.uk)

 

9. 100 Hours of Astronomy, 1-4 October.

From 1-4 October 2021, the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach will continue the legacy of celebrating 100 Hours of Astronomy. This year's event will be themed "Together Under One Sky" drawing inspiration from how our community has come together during a time where physical contact wasn't - and in many places still isn't - possible. We encourage our global community to host or participate in events over these 100 hours. There are numerous creative possibilities for activities during 100 Hours of Astronomy! Be safe, be inclusive and share your event in our IAU Global Outreach Event Calendar!

   We welcome astronomy projects involving everyone from young children to senior citizens! We encourage you to include professional-amateur astronomers meet-ups; activities instigating critical thinking, citizenship and global collaborations; dark and quiet skies awareness through virtual tours; astronomy talks; sky observations, lectures, art projects and more!

  The 10 activities that best connect communities will win a telescope kindly donated by our SSVI & Leiden University partners, in a special edition of the Telescopes for All programme.

  The first 100 events registered for 100 Hours of Astronomy will receive IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach goodies, including printed versions of Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal.

For your event to be eligible, you need to register it in our IAU Global Outreach Event Calendar and implement it during the 100 Hours of Astronomy from 1 to 4 October 2021. 
   To help provide ideas for your event we invite you to check our list of online global resources. If you wish to become more inclusive in your engagement initiatives go to our IAU Inclusive Outreach page.

  Read more: https://www.iau.org/public/oao/100-hours-of-astronomy/

   Check out the over 100 initiatives in 47 countries and find an event near you on our IAU Outreach Event Calendar: 
https://www.iau.org/public/oao-events/
Stay
tuned to our networks and channels as we release more information in the upcoming weeks. 100 Hours of Astronomy | IAU
 

10. ESERO Ireland Space Education Confluence (newsweaver.com), SAT 2 October

 

11. Dark and Quiet Skies for Science and Society Workshop II, 3-7 October
Location: Virtual / La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain
Date: 3-7 October 2021
Website: 
http://research.iac.es/congreso/quietdarksky2021/pages/home.php

 

12. World Space Week, 4 – 11 October. Lots of events, including -

See Space Week 2021: 4-10 October (newsweaver.com)

And Daily Astro Challenge (newsweaver.com)

And Space Week Competition! (newsweaver.com)

And Space Image Lesson Plan (newsweaver.com)

And Sustainable Space - Oct 9th (newsweaver.com)

And ESERO Space Careers Roadshow - Oct 12th (newsweaver.com)

 

13. My fortnightly webinar with Nick Howes for Space Store Live on Tue 5 October will feature a special section on women in space and astronomy.

 

14. GoSpaceWatch online lecture: The NASA Lucy Mission to the Trojan Asteroids  by Dr Cathy Olkin, Wednesday 6 October 2021 at 19:30. Open to all. Everyone Welcome..  Register soon. Just £3.00 pp.

 

15. Virtual Sustainable Space Event - Saturday, Oct 9th
The Rediscovery Centre's free, virtual Sustainable Space Event will be on Saturday, October 9th. The event's first half is geared towards kids and families, with multiple fun and interactive presentations, including one led by Dr. Niamh Shaw! The second half of the event is aimed at teens and adults, and the different speakers will investigate how we can guarantee the long-term sustainability of space as well as how space can help further sustainability at home on Earth.
Kids and Families
11.30-12.30: Rediscovery Centre Sensational Space Workshop
12:30-13:10: Armagh Planetarium Space Junk Talk
13:30-14:00: Dr. Niamh Shaw Interactive Space Talk
Teens and Adults
14:00-14:45: Dr. Niall Smith Head of Blackrock Castle Observatory - Q&A with Dr. Niamh Shaw at the end
15:00-15:45: ILOFAR and Dunsink Observatory Panel Discussion with Dr. Peter Gallagher of DIAS, second panellist TBD, moderated by Áine Flood
16:00-16:30: Dr. Peter Martinez Executive Director of the Secure World Foundation

You can learn more about the event and register for your free ticket on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sustainable-space-tickets-169456313395?keep_tld=1

16. International Observe the Moon Night, October 16

   On October 16, everyone on Earth is invited to learn about lunar science and exploration, take part in celestial observations, and honour cultural and personal connections to the Moon. Attend or host a virtual or in-person event, or join in from wherever you are as an individual observer. Registration is now open.
  Read
more: https://moon.nasa.gov/observe-the-moon-night/ 

With the Moon as a very large gibbous phase, this is an odd date to choose. I have no idea why that date was picked, but there we are.

 

17. RAS Lecture, Tues 19 October, at 13,00. "What's in a Shadow? The past, present and future of Black Hole Imaging". By Prof Heino Falcke By Zoom, must be booked.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=4696985820313589&id=100000066530698&sfnsn=scwspmo

 

18. New 'Easy' Teaser.

In a telescope without a drive, which First Magnitude star would move quickest through the field of view of any eyepiece?

 

19. Difficult Teaser answered: Peter Denman (again) cracked this one

Q. What links: a flightless bird, a man with a heavy load, a brand of jewelry, a rocket, and an American bird? Answer:   They are all names of moons of Saturn.

Flightless bird = Rhea; Man with heavy load = Atlas;  Brand of Jewellery = Pandora;  Rocket = Titan; American bird = Phoebe (a flycatcher).

   Well done again, Peter.

 

20: New Difficult Teaser:

What rare event happened in October 1862 and September 1988? 

 

   Please send all answers to me at my aol address terrymosel@aol.com

                                                                                                     

21. 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.

 

ASTROPHYSICS

Scientists pinpoint age of molten 'Einstein ring' | Live Science I don't see in what sense it is 'molten'
How neutron star collisions flooded Earth with gold and other precious metals | Space
This is what it looks like when a black hole snacks on a star: Astronomers documented a fatal encounter between an unlucky star and an intermediate-mass black hole -- ScienceDaily 
Gamma rays and neutrinos from mellow supermassive black holes -- ScienceDaily 
Finally an Answer to why Gamma Rays are Coming From Seemingly Empty Space - Universe Today 
Using Quasars as Standard Candles to Measure Distance (universetoday.com) 
Astronomers Discover an Intermediate-Mass Black Hole as it Destroys a Star - Universe Today 

 

EARTH & MOON

How neutron star collisions flooded Earth with gold and other precious metals | Space

In photos: NASA launches Landsat 9 Earth observation satellite | Space

Chinese commercial satellite has been spotting meteors and aurora | Space

Louisiana's missing moon rock found in Florida thanks to broken gun | Space

32,000 mph fireball spotted soaring over North Carolina | Live Science Fireballs only appear as such when they enter our atmosphere! Out in space, as in the headline image, they are just small cold lumps of rock and/or ice, as there's nothing there to make them 'burn up against'. That image is ridiculously misleading.

Brilliant dashcam fireball videos help scientists find 3 meteorites in Slovenia | Live Science

The Moon was Pummeled Even Harder by Asteroids Than it Looks - Universe Today

NASA's VIPER Rover Will Hunt for Water Near Nobile Crater at Moon's South Pole - Universe Today

3,600 Years ago, a 50-Meter-Wide Meteor Exploded in the Sky and Destroyed a City Near the Dead Sea - Universe Today (there's some controversy about this…)

Peering into the Moon's shadows with AI -- ScienceDaily

World's biggest clean energy project to power Singapore from Australia (newatlas.com) One way to save the planet. So why not from also from the Sahara to Europe? From Arizona to Los Angeles? Etc, etc.

 

EXOPLANETS

Astronomers reveal strange clouds on 'fluffy' alien planet | Space

Astronomers See Carbon-Rich Nebulae Where Planets are Forming - Universe Today

 

IMAGES:

https://www.space.com/14526-dead-mars-spacecraft-photos-spirit-phoenix.html 

 

LIGHT POLLLUTION

How Could we Light our Cities and Still See the Night Sky? - Universe Today

 

SOLAR SYSTEM

Mars on the cheap: Scientists working to revolutionize access to the Red Planet | Space

Jupiter's winds of change show increased storm speeds in Great Red Spot | Space

Astronomers Thrill at Giant Comet Flying into Our Solar System - Scientific American

NASA's InSight Experiences its Most Powerful Marsquake so far: Magnitude 4.2, Lasting 90 Minutes - Universe Today

ExoMars Will be Drilling 1.7 Meters to Pull its Samples From Below the Surface of Mars - Universe Today

Accurately Forecasting the Weather on Mars and Titan - Universe Today

Although it's Quiet Today, Mars Once had Thousands of Volcanic Eruptions on its Surface - Universe Today

 

SPACE

Congress to NASA: What comes after the International Space Station? | Live Science

Blue Origin sets date for next crewed space trip, names 2 passengers | Space

William Shatner releases new album, may reach space with Blue Origin | Space

Do space tourists really understand the risk they're taking? | Space

Russian film crew set to launch to International Space Station next week | Space

3 astronauts move Soyuz to new space station dock ahead of film crew arrival | Space

Mars on the cheap: Scientists working to revolutionize access to the Red Planet | Space

Louisiana's missing moon rock found in Florida thanks to broken gun | Space

 

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

 

The Irish Astronomical Association is registered with The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC 105858

 

DISCLAIMER: Any views expressed herein are mine, and do not necessarily represent those of the IAA.

Clear skies,

Terry Moseley