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From: TerryMosel@aol.com
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2002 19:31:35 EST
Subject: Comet at COSMOS

Hi all,

COSMOS 2002 was another very enjoyable event, graced by good talks, a 
naked-eye comet, a magnitude -8 Iridium Flare, an inch of snow, some very 
good entertainment (wait till the video comes out....), and two nights (well, 
one and a quarter) of viewing under the most transparent skies I have seen in 
ages! All the rain on Friday cleaned up the air, and that night was 
particularly clear. I could see the Orion Nebula within 2 degrees of the 
horizon - with the naked eye!

Comet Ikeya -Zhang was about mag 4.5 on the Friday, and noticeably brighter 
on Sunday evening, with a tail at least 3 degrees long. It was easy in 
binocs, and once located was just visible to the naked eye, although still 
lowish. Earlier tonight I estimated it as mag 4.2, and it should reach about 
mag 3 before the end of the month.

And on Saturday evening Pat O'Neill & I observed a predicted Iridium Flare 
peak at magnitude -8 just watching from the front door of the Annaharvey 
Centre! And we also observed a shadow transit of Io.

The three winners of the quiz - David Bell, Sean Morris & yours truly, were 
treated (?) to an hour's horse-riding tuition as the prize! That must be a 
first for an astronomy quiz! Frankie Dettori - watch out!

Some folks complained that they did not get enough notice of this year's 
event, SO NOTE YOUR DIARIES NOW: Next year it will be on March 28-30, again 
at Annaharvey, Tullamore. So don't say you didn't know!

Thanks again to all the TAS members, particularly Maire, Girvan, Tom, 
Grainne, Sean, Sean & Sean, for another very enjoyable event! And 
particularly my personal thanks once again for the very thoughtful and 
totally unwarranted presentation which they made to me!

See you there next year - I hope!

Terry


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