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From: TerryMosel@aol.com
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 12:49:55 EDT
Subject: Observe the Five Planets

Hi all,

First, there is a moderate-level alert for auroral activity in our latitudes 
tonight & Sat night.

Following our frustrated observing attempts for the Saturn occultation, many 
members and visitors said they would like another attempt, so I suggested the 
planetary conjunctions now starting.

I had originally suggested having a go tonight, but while it's sunny here 
now, the forecast is bad for this evening, and there's already cloud moving 
in from the West. But the forecast for 2moro (Sat) evening is much better.

So if it is clear then, everyone is welcome to join us from about 9 p.m. on 
Saturday evening to see Mercury & Venus, and then the other 3 naked-eye 
planets Mars Jupiter & Saturn, plus Comet Ikeya-Zhang, and maybe even Comet 
Utsunomiya, plus of course the spectacular First Quarter Moon.

BUT we can't use our normal site at Cultra, as we weren't able to give them 
enough notice. So WE WILL USE AN ALTERNATIVE SITE AT HOLYWOOD. 

It's the public car park on the lough shore at Holywood Cultra, which has a 
very good horizon from West through North to NorthEast.

If coming from Belfast, take the first turn on the left after the third set 
of lights in Holywood on the bypass (i.e. after the two close sets of lights 
there's a third set in about 250 metres, and you turn left immediately after 
the third set). It's called SEAPARK ROAD. If coming from Bangor, there's a 
right hand filter lane after the (BP?) petrol station as you approach 
Holywood, just before the first set of the three sets of lights in Holywood 
on the bypass.

When you turn off the bypass onto SEAPARK ROAD you go under the railway line, 
then first right, then first left to the car park beside the playground. The 
map ref is J404798. 

IF IT IS CLEAR AT 9 p.m. TONIGHT, you can try your luck at that site anyway - 
we may have some members there just in case.

Members in the West might also like to note The Galway Astro Club lecture on 
Monday 22nd April, "Capturing starlight on film for your family album"; by 
Prof. Ray Butler, Astrophysics dept., NUIG, Galway.

Hope we'll be lucky this time.

Terry


Last Revised: 2002 April 22nd
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