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From: TerryMosel@aol.com
Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2002 13:53:57 EST
Subject: Comet Ikeya-Zhang + John Mason

Hi all,

For those of you with astronomy software here are the latest orbital elements 
for this comet, which are being refined all the time! Thanks to Dr Alan 
Fitzsimmons of QUB for the update. 

e = 0.991207
q = 0.507200
i = 28.1110
peri (small omega) = 34.5777
node (Capital Omega) = 93.4156
TP = 2002 Mar 18.9388.

It now appears that the comet may be identical to one which appeared in 1532, 
implying a period of 470 years. So it's not just fresh in from the Oort cloud.

This evening it lies just North of a point three fifths of the way from Eta 
to Iota Ceti. It should be almost 7th magnitude tonight. On 9 March it will 
pass very close to the position where Mars is now.

I'll circulate a table of RA & Decl positions later - I'm now going out for a 
look from a dark sky site!

Good luck!

 Terry

______________________________________________________________________________

From: TerryMosel@aol.com
Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2002 18:06:29 EST
Subject: John Mason lectures!

Hi all,

Just realised I forgot to include the John Mason details in the last message, 
as I was hurrying out to observe the Comet! (Estimated magnitude 7.2, no tail 
visible in 30x80 binocs, though it was very low down by the time local clouds 
cleared).

Dr John Mason, past President of the British Astronomical Association, and 
one of the best astronomy lecturers around, will be giving a series of public 
lectures next month, as follows:

Wed 20 March, 7.30 p.m., Lecture Room 5, Stranmillis College, Belfast to the 
Irish Astronomical Association: title:  "If We Had No Moon". Admission free.
Thurs 21st, (8 p.m.?) EAAC, Ballyclare: title: "The Life & Times of Stars"
Mon 25th, IAS, Dublin (8 p.m.?): title: "Destination Mars"
Tues 26th, (UCC, 8 p.m.?): to the Cork Ast Club: title "Destination Mars".
Wed 27th, in Limerick (8 p.m.?), to the Shannonside AC (+ the Galway AC): 
title: "If We had No Moon".
I guarantee that each of these will be well worth hearing!

Contact the host club in each case for more information:
EAAC: contact John McConnell 
CAC: contact Tom Bonner bonnert@indigo.ie
SAC: contact David Bell 
GAC: contact Ronan Newman < galwayastro@email.com

You might also like to note the following programme:
BBC2,  Tue/Wed 19/20 February, 00.30 to 01.00, (Open University) "Asteroid 
Hunters"

Cheers,

Terry

Last Revised: 2002 February 18th
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