Saturday, 8 May 2021

Online telescope clinic, see Mercury and Venus, ISS, Video sky guide, webinar postponed, Vote for astrophoto, New space book, Events and lectures, Teaser answered, more

Hi all,

 

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

 

1. IAA Zoom event, with Armagh Observatory & Planetarium, Wed 26 May, 7.00 p.m .

Online Telescope Clinic. A chance for you to learn all about telescopes, solve any usage problems you may have, and how to use them best, and what to see with them.

   The room will open around 19:15 to allow for a prompt start

This talk will also be Simulcast on our YouTube Channel

https://www.youtube.com/user/irishastronomy/videos

   More details in next bulletin

 

2. Mercury and Venus now visible in evening sky

Mercury is now readily visible, heading for its Greatest Eastern Elongation of 22º 01' on 17 May. Look low in the WNW evening twilight.  On the 13th it will lie 2º 47' to the lower left of the crescent Moon.

The crescent moon will then move on to lie just West of MARS on May 15,

   On the 28th Mercury will be very faint, but it will be joined by much brighter Venus'; at 22.45 that evening Mercury will lie just 29' to the left of Venus. That will be a chance for you to see it as a large diameter but very thin and faint crescent, with a diameter of over 10 arcseconds.

 

3. ISS. The ISS, currently with 9 astronauts on board, started a new series of morning passes on 30 April. These will gradually transition to evening passes, which will then continue until 29 May, so we're getting over 4 weeks of continuous passes!

 

4. Paul Evans has produced his latest excellent sky guide for May

https://youtu.be/MAiZCjHJbWk

 

5. SPACE and ASTRONOMY WEBINAR – postponed – more details later

NB: Note platform change. Since most people have been watching on YouTube, we are ceasing the presentation via Zoom, and it will now be streamed live on both YouTube and Facebook. This will also give us lots of added features in the presentation.

After a year of presentations, we're taking a break for April, and we'll be back on  'Star Wars Day' – May the Fourth be with you!

    Presented by me and the amazing Nick Howes, they are approximately 45 minutes long, every second Tuesday, at 7.30 p.m., covering whatever is topical in space and astronomy. The date of the next one will be announced asap: youtube.com/spacestorelive

  NB – So, from now on it will be Live streamed to YouTube SpaceStore Live! Channel and Live streamed to Facebook Live. I'll post any last minute news via Twitter.

 

6. Voting about to close for best astronomy photo competition

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has launched the online public vote to choose Ireland's best astrophotography images as part of the 'Reach for the Stars' competition.

   'Reach for the Stars' aims to find the best astro-photographs taken in Ireland over the past year. While a high-profile judging panel will select the overall winning entries, an online vote is running over the coming weeks, so members of the public can also have their say.

   During a private visit to DIAS's Dunsink Observatory, the Tánaiste reviewed a number of astro-photographs and officially launched the public vote. Members of the public can now view all images shortlisted for the competition and cast their vote for their favourite via an online gallery on the DIAS website. Over 170 images have been shortlisted this year – the inaugural year of the competition. The winning images selected by the judging panel and the public vote will be announced towards the end of May, and an outdoor exhibition will be staged by DIAS to showcase the best images.

   Voting closes on 09th May 2021 at 23:59 (Irish Summer Time).

You may only vote once.

All votes cast will need to be verified via an email confirmation. Votes that are not verified will not be counted.

For some very sensitive SPAM filters, the verification email may be detoured to your SPAM folder, so please check there just in case it doesn't appear when you think it should.

Thank you for participating!

To cast your vote, visit here: https://www.dias.ie/astrophotography-competition-public.../

    Since quite a few friends have entered photos for this competition, I have to stay neutral, but do have a look and cast your vote asap. Good luck to all! You can also try

   https://www.dias.ie/.../dias-reach-for-the.../ or

🗳https://t.co/Kr6KDrl5fP or

#getvoting #DIASdiscovers #Astrophotography #VoteNow https://t.co/NKMrS5Rlv3
(https://twitter.com/DIAS_Dublin/status/1389881401412042756?s=03

LATEST:

Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies - DIAS

Voting is well underway in our Astrophotography competition but there is still time to cast your vote.

Simply click the link below and browse some of the wonderful shortlisted entries showcasing the amazing night skies of Ireland.

⭐https://www.dias.ie/astrophotography-competition-public.../

Voting closes this Sunday 09 May at 23:59 Irish Time.

#DIASdiscovers #astrophotography #competition #votenow

 

7. New Book on Space by Brian Harvey

You may be interested in a new book by renowned Irish space expert Brian Harvey, just published by Praxis/Springer, European-Russian space cooperation, from de Gaulle to ExoMars. Brian is a well-known lecturer, as well an author, on space, and has given several fascinating talks recently on the Chinese Space programme, on which topic he also has a recent excellent book published.

More details on Brian and all his books at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Harvey_%28author%29

 

8. International Day of Light, 16 May

Join the IAU OAO for the International Day of Light

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is a partner for the annual International Day of Light on 16 May 2021 and the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach (IAU OAO) and the IAU National Outreach Coordinators (NOCs) will participate in various events in and around this day. The day honours the role of light in our lives and the IAU OAO will use the day to raise awareness on dark and quiet skies. In 2021, we also welcome people to participate in activities that promote scientific thinking in our lives.

Learn more here: 
https://www.iau.org/public/darkskiesawareness/

 

9. Public Lecture, by Prof Katherine Blundell, 19 May, at 13.00,  Cosmic Vision: Space-Quakes (gresham.ac.uk)

10. GoSpaceWatch Online Lecture Meeting

Meetings are open to all and cost £3.00 pp
Wednesday 26th May at 7:30 pm; Robin Hague (Skyrora)

"From Scotland to Space" Tickets on sale shortly

 

11. Registration Reminder for the CAP Conference, 24 – 27 May
Registration for the Communicating Astronomy with the Public Conference (CAP Conference) closes on 15 May 2021. The CAP Conference brings together individuals working or interested in the communication, informal teaching and outreach of astronomy to exchange ideas and discuss best practices. The virtual conference is free to registrants and will be held 24-27 May 2021.
Register here: https://www.communicatingastronomy.org/cap2021/

 

12. Davagh Dark Sky Park and Observatory will partially open on 3 June. More details soon.

 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.

 

13. TEASERS

Easy Teaser – Answers:

Q. Of the 12 official zodiacal constellations, what record is held by Scorpius? The answer was that Scorpius has the shortest length of the ecliptic passing through it, and therefore the Sun spends less time in Scorpius than in any other Zodiacal Constellation.

Two 'experts' answered it (Brian Beesley and Peter Millar), but the first correct answer from an eligible candidate was from Ross Currie, at his first attempt! Well done Ross!

OOPS – Sorry – I also got a correct answer from Colin Parkes – apologies to Collin!

 

HARD TEASER – Answered at last!

The question was - What connects – the Queen's Fiancetto, The Ark, Oscar, Lancaster, a singular lens, and an old British coin?

First correct answer came from CONN BUCKLEY, and a day later, regular winner PETER MILLAR also got it right. The answer is 'Sir Patrick Moore'. Well done to both.

   Patrick was an excellent chess player (he taught me, on cloudy nights in his study in Armagh), and his standard opening move was the Queen's Fiancetto; The Ark was the nickname he gave to his ancient upright Ford Prefect (in which I drove him from Armagh to Birr to meet Lord Rosse, and set in train the restoration of the Leviathan); Oscar was his nickname for his then favourite telescope, a 12.5" Newtonian; Lancaster was the type of bomber in which he flew as a Navigator for the RAF; a 'singular lens' was the monocle which he often wore; and an 'old British coin' was the clue for "Farthings", the name of the house he bought in Selsey when he left Armagh, and where he lived for the rest of his life (and where I visited many times, and observed with his latest telescope, a lovely wooden-tubed long-focus equatorial 15" Newtonian).

New Easy Teaser

What's the connection between – A type of singing, a Keeper of the Mint, a German musician, and a Buddhist monk?

"Rules for Easy Teasers: you're barred from entering if you (A) have already submitted a correct answer to any of the previous teasers, and/or (B) if you've been a member of any astronomy clubs or societies for 15 years or more. Obviously I have to trust your honesty on that latter point, but remember, if you're correct your name will be published here, and other members of your club will see it!"

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

 

14. June 8-11: Institutions of Extraterrestrial Liberty, hosted by U of Edinburgh. 4 days of webinars on Human Exploration of Mars.

                                                                                                     

15. European Astronomical Society Annual Meeting
Location: Virtual
Date: 28 June–2 July 2021
Website: 
https://eas.unige.ch/EAS_meeting/

 

16. Asteroid Day, 30 June. More details later.

 

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

Hubble captures giant star on the edge of destruction -- ScienceDaily

Primordial Black Holes could explain Dark Matter https://www.facebook.com/1642929092406128/posts/4224972160868462/?sfnsn=mo

 Not just for finding planets: Exoplanet-hunter TESS telescope spots bright gamma-ray burst -- ScienceDaily

Small galaxies likely played important role in evolution of the Universe: Researchers find first-ever galaxy observed in a 'blow-away' state -- ScienceDaily

You Thought Black Hole Event Horizons Looked Strange. Check out Binary Black Hole Event Horizons - Universe Today

Dark matter could be destroying itself inside the bellies of exoplanets | Live Science This doesn't seem any dafter than some other theories about DM

Black hole-neutron star collisions may help settle dispute over Universe's expansion -- ScienceDaily

'Oddball supernova' appears strangely cool before exploding: Never-before-seen scenario 'stretches what's physically possible' -- ScienceDaily

Watch a black hole tear a star to bits in epic new animation | Live Science

Astronomers chart invisible ocean of dark matter swirling outside the Milky Way | Live Science

Supernovae twins open up new possibilities for precision cosmology: Findings will enhance dark energy experiments at major telescopes -- ScienceDaily

 

COSMOLOGY.

Is there a pattern to the universe? | Space

 

EARTH & MOON

Asteroid that hit Botswana in 2018 likely came from Vesta, scientists say -- ScienceDaily – interesting follow-on from Alan Fitzsimmons's brilliant lecture.

Asteroid impact: NASA simulation shows we are sitting ducks - Big Think

New lunar map to help guide future exploration missions -- ScienceDaily

2°C more heat may mean catastrophic sea level rise | Climate News Network

 

EXOPLANETS

Astronomers detect hydroxyl molecule signature in an exoplanet atmosphere -- ScienceDaily – Great to see this finding, from Chris Watson and Ernst de Mooij (QUB), and Neale Gibson (TCD) among others!

 The youngest exoplanet found by the Hubble telescope is the size of Jupiter (and still growing) | Space

Geology helps astronomers find habitable planets: Findings will help better identify Earth-like planets that could sustain life -- ScienceDaily

Hubble watches how a giant planet grows -- ScienceDaily

 

EXOLIFE

A Recent Megaflare Shows that Proxima Centauri is not a Nice Place to Live - Universe Today

The fungus on Mars and the man who thinks he found life on other planets (msn.com) I'm reserving judgement!

 

SOLAR SYSTEM

Asteroid that hit Botswana in 2018 likely came from Vesta, scientists say -- ScienceDaily – interesting follow-on from Alan Fitzsimmons's brilliant lecture.

Scientists model Saturn's interior, explain planet's unique magnetic field -- ScienceDaily

Icy clouds could have kept early Mars warm enough for rivers and lakes -- ScienceDaily

Meteorite amino acids derived from substrates more widely available in the early solar system -- ScienceDaily

Some volcanoes on Mars may still be active, giving warmth to potential sub-surface life, scientists say (msn.com)

 

SPACE

Mars helicopter Ingenuity spots Perseverance rover from the air (photo) | Space

Huge Delta IV Heavy rocket launches US spy satellite to orbit | Live Science

Ingenuity helicopter lands new job as scout after "resounding success" (newatlas.com)

SpaceX's Crew Dragon splashes down, setting record for US spaceflight (newatlas.com)

Ingenuity Completes a Huge 50-Meter Flight on Mars - Universe Today

SpaceX has Given up Trying to Catch Rocket Fairings. Fishing Them out of the Ocean is Fine - Universe Today

NASA Picks SpaceX to Land Astronauts on the Moon! - Universe Today

What if Starship Didn't Do a Landing Burn at All? - Universe Today

Blue Origin's Latest New Shepard Flight is a Success, With Passengers Climbing on Board (and Getting off Again Before it Flew) - Universe Today

Perseverance Successfully Extracts Oxygen From the Martian Atmosphere. About 10 Minutes of Breathing Time for an Astronaut - Universe Today

Blue Origin will start selling seats on its New Shepard spacecraft next week | Space

International Space Station to go on tour with VR exhibit 'The Infinite' | Space

SpaceX Starship landing is first step in 'tech revolution' towards 'building city on Mars' (msn.com) and

SpaceX successfully lands its massive Starship for the first time (newatlas.com)

China rocket falling - latest: Spacecraft will crash sooner than expected, US Space Force predicts (msn.com)

NASA Astronaut Says Floating In Space Is Like Being a Superhero: 'It Is That Cool' (newsweek.com)

NASA's Mars helicopter Ingenuity will head to new airfield today on 5th flight | Space

Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos Both Want the Moon - The Atlantic

 

TELESCOPES, INSTRUMENTS, TECHNIQUES

Physicists net neutron star gold from measurement of lead -- ScienceDaily

Roman Space Telescope Will Also Find Rogue Black Holes - Universe Today

New application of AI just removed one of the biggest roadblocks in astrophysics -- ScienceDaily

 

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, 28 April 2021

Meteorites lecture, ISS, Space and astro Wewbinar, Quiz, Space art deadline, Astro lectures, Int'l Day of Light, Teasers, Davagh DSP, Weblinks

Hi all,

 

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

 

1. IAA Zoom Lecture, Wed 28 April, 7.30 p.m .

Prof Alan Fitzsimmons "Meteorites - Revealing the history and evolution of our Solar system."

Abstract:

The recent fall of the Winchcombe meteorite reminded everyone that meteors and meteorites are exciting to see. Studies of meteorites have revealed the history of our Solar system, while telescopic studies have helped understand their sources. Combined, they have shown us evolutionary processes currently happening to asteroids. In this talk I will describe the main types of meteorite, and how they allow us to date the origin of our Solar system. I will show how telescopic studies have revealed their origins, and how scientists have uncovered processes affecting them today. I will conclude with a brief discussion of the current golden age of asteroid exploration - the source of most meteorites - and mysteries still to be solved.

   Alan Fitzsimmons is a Professor in the Astrophysics Research Centre in QUB, and a renowned expert on all the small solar system bodies: comets, asteroids, dwarf planets, moons, EKBOs etc. He has given us so many excellent lectures that I've lost count, and this one promises to be just the same.

ZOOM Details

Topic: Prof Alan Fitzsimmons
Time: Apr 28, 2021 07:15 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81554740686?pwd=dkc2THEwYzlvODFEOEhCRnBnTHZ6UT09

Meeting ID: 815 5474 0686
Passcode: 932867

The room will open around 19:15 to allow for a prompt start

This talk will also be Simulcast on our YouTube Channel

https://www.youtube.com/user/irishastronomy/videos

 

2. ISS. The ISS, currently with 9 astronauts on board, will start a new series of morning passes on 30 April. These will gradually transition to evening passes, which will then continue until 29 May, so we'll get over 4 weeks on continuous passes!

 

3. SPACE and ASTRONOMY WEBINAR – Next is May 4

NB: Note platform change. Since most people have been watching on YouTube, we are ceasing the presentation via Zoom, and it will now be streamed live on both YouTube and Facebook. This will also give us lots of added features in the presentation.

After a year of presentations, we're taking a break for April, and we'll be back on  'Star Wars Day' – May the Fourth be with you!

    Presented by me and the amazing Nick Howes, they are approximately 45 minutes long, every second Tuesday, at 7.30 p.m., covering whatever is topical in space and astronomy. The next one will be on Tuesday 4 May: youtube.com/spacestorelive

  NB – So, from now on it will be Live streamed to YouTube SpaceStore Live! Channel and Live streamed to Facebook Live. I'll post any last minute news via Twitter.

Or else, just go to dias.ie, the host website, and you should see it flagged in the announcements.

 

4. Connemara Ast Club Quiz, 4 May. To celebrate Star Wars Day, 4th May @ 8 pm we're going to have a quiz! There will be prizes and best of all it'll be great craic.  All you need to do is download Kahoot! App to your phone - https://kahoot.com/home/mobile-app/.

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85953528722?pwd=dHpOQ0d6YU5HRjNWaFpnU2NwdlVuUT09

Meeting ID: 859 5352 8722

Passcode: 860777

 

5. Space for Art Foundation Requesting Space Art from Children, deadline 1 May
The Space for Art Foundation invites children from anywhere in the world to contribute artwork to their next project: a space suit called BEYOND. Submissions can be emailed to the foundation or posted to the foundation's Facebook page. Entries should be submitted by 1 May 2021.
Learn more here: 
https://www.spaceforartfoundation.org/projects

 

6. Astrobiololgy Lecture, 6 May BHLS: Astrobiology 2021 - Prof. Karen Olsson-Francis Tickets, Thu 6 May 2021 at 12:00 | Eventbrite

 

7. GoSpaceWatch Online Lecture Meetings

Meetings are open to all and cost £3.00 pp


Wednesday 5th May at 7:30 pm
Dr Hannah Sargeant
(Post-doctorial Researcher at the Open University)

"Mining the Moon"
To enable crewed exploration of the Moon and beyond we must utilise local resources on the Moon, this is known as in situ resource utilisation (ISRU). ISRU is a rapidly growing research field with teams investigating what resources are available, how to extract them, and how best to utilise them. In this talk I will outline some of the ISRU projects I have been involved in related to the extraction of water on the Moon, one of the most crucial resources needed for future space exploration.
Tickets: https://moonmining.eventbrite.co.uk


Wednesday 26th May at 7:30 pm

Robin Hague (Skyrora)

"From Scotland to Space"

Tickets on sale shortly

 

8. International Day of Light, 16 May

Join the IAU OAO for the International Day of Light

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is a partner for the annual International Day of Light on 16 May 2021 and the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach (IAU OAO) and the IAU National Outreach Coordinators (NOCs) will participate in various events in and around this day. The day honours the role of light in our lives and the IAU OAO will use the day to raise awareness on dark and quiet skies. In 2021, we also welcome people to participate in activities that promote scientific thinking in our lives.

Learn more here: 
https://www.iau.org/public/darkskiesawareness/

 

9. Public Lecture, by Prof Katherine Blundell, 19 May, at 13.00,  Cosmic Vision: Space-Quakes (gresham.ac.uk)

 

10. Registration Reminder for the CAP Conference, 24 – 27 May
Registration for the Communicating Astronomy with the Public Conference (CAP Conference) closes on 15 May 2021. The CAP Conference brings together individuals working or interested in the communication, informal teaching and outreach of astronomy to exchange ideas and discuss best practices. The virtual conference is free to registrants and will be held 24-27 May 2021.
Register here: https://www.communicatingastronomy.org/cap2021/

 

11. TEASERS

Easy Teaser – Answered at last!:

Q. Of the 12 official zodiacal constellations, what record is held by Scorpius? The answer is that Scorpius has the shortest length of the ecliptic passing through it, and therefore the Sun spends less time in Scorpius than in any other Zodiacal Constellation.

Two 'experts' answered it (Brian Beesley and Peter Millar), but the only correct answer from an eligible candidate was from Ross Currie, at his first attempt! Well done Ross!

 

New HARD TEASER:

No answers yet, so I've added one more clue, added to the list below:

   What connects – the Queen's Fiancetto, The Ark, Oscar, Lancaster, and an old British coin?

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

 

12. June 8-11: Institutions of Extraterrestrial Liberty, hosted by U of Edinburgh. 4 days of webinars on Human Exploration of Mars.

                                                                                                     

13. European Astronomical Society Annual Meeting
Location: Virtual
Date: 28 June–2 July 2021
Website: 
https://eas.unige.ch/EAS_meeting/

 

14. Davagh Dark Sky Park and Observatory closed until further notice. I hope to have some news on this soon.

 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.

 

15. 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

Fast radio bursts shown to include lower frequency radio waves than previously detected -- ScienceDaily

Surprise twist suggests stars grow competitively -- ScienceDaily

Stellar feedback and an airborne observatory; scientists determine a nebula younger than believed -- ScienceDaily

 

EARTH & MOON

Climate has shifted the axis of the Earth, study finds: Loss of water on land through ice melting and human-caused factors is changing the movement of the North and South poles -- ScienceDaily

  Meteorite that landed in Botswana tracked to its birthplace in the asteroid belt | Live Science

 

EXOPLANETS

A new super-Earth detected orbiting a red dwarf star -- ScienceDaily

Amounts of organic molecules in planetary systems differ from early on -- ScienceDaily

 

EXOLIFE

Study warns of 'oxygen false positives' in search for signs of life on other planets -- ScienceDaily

 

SOLAR SYSTEM

Icy clouds could have kept early Mars warm enough for rivers and lakes -- ScienceDaily Interesting. But why would the high icy clouds not have also reflected sunlight away from the planet?

Seismicity on Mars full of surprises, in first continuous year of data -- ScienceDaily

What Would Raindrops be Like on Other Worlds? - Universe Today

 

SPACE

See amazing video of Mars helicopter Ingenuity's boundary-stretching 3rd flight | Space

 Ingenuity helicopter makes first controlled horizontal flight on Mars (newatlas.com)

 

TELESCOPES, INSTRUMENTS, TECHNIQUES

Quantum Astronomy Could Create Telescopes Hundreds of Kilometers Wide - Scientific American

Searching for the Universe's Most Energetic Particles, Astronomers Turn on the Radio - Scientific American

On the pulse of pulsars and polar light: Reimagined telescopes may fill the void left by Arecibo's collapse -- ScienceDaily

 

16.  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