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From: TerryMosel@aol.com
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2003 18:07:08 EDT
Subject: Lecture Tickets, Aurora, Fireball, Perseids

Hi all,
 
The IAA has ten complimentary tickets, courtesy of Armagh Planetarium, to 
give away to members on a first-come, first served basis, to a double lecture 
event on Tuesday August 19th 2003 at 7 p.m. in the Market Place Theater, Armagh.  


Professor David Southwood, Director of Science at the European Space Agency, 
will give the first lecture entitled "Europe in Space". Then Dr Mark Doherty, 
Head of Earth Observations at ESA will give the second entitled "Observing the 
Earth from Europe".
 
Light refreshments will be served after the lectures.
 
Please send a sae (9" x 4") please, to Dr Andy McCrea, 4 Ailsa Park, Bangor, 
Co Down, BT19 1EA. Members in ROI who wish to attend might find it easier to 
apply directly to the Planetarium for a ticket, but if they have none left, you 
can send an addressed envelope plus 50 cents worth of loose stamps - we'll 
try to find a use for them somehow!
 
Having already met & heard David Southwood I can assure you this will be well 
worth attending! You should also go & see the excellent exhibition of 
spacecraft etc at the Planetarium which is running until August 29th: check the 
website for details.

I'm just back from a long w/end in Cork, attempting to spot Pluto for the 
first time (for me) since the late Sixties, but once again the clouds defeated us 
Although I did see the ISS pass overhead (!) at about mag -3!!. So I'm only 
now getting a chance to circulate the following:

There was an aurora on Sat Night/ Sun Morning: Keithy Geary (Kingscourt, 
Co.Cavan) sent this report (slightly edited):

".... I saw the Northern Lights in the early hours of Sunday morning - July 
27th from 1am to 1.30am (BST).
   From my vantage point, behind a low lying hill facing North, using the 
naked eye, I could see what I only could describe as 4 vertical pillars of light 
emanating from the northern horizon, white to a slight green colour, about 
5-7degrees wide each, and stretching about 50 degrees across the horizon, roughly 
equally spaced apart, and extending to about 30 degrees in height - all not 
equal in height, the 2nd pillar from left was the highest. Two pillars appeared 
under the right of the Plough, looking N-W.
    At about 0115 BST, they faded from view, but reappeared at 0120 in a good 
showing for about 10 minutes before dissappearing at 0130."

Gerry Moloney (who was clouded out) forwarded this report (slightly edited) 
from Bob Campbell in Tullamore:

"Bob Campbell rang me with a report of a possible aurora last night Sat/Sun 
which he observed at his home in Meelaghans, Tullamore at 01.30 BST approx. 
   He reports seeing  a glow with vertical banding covering approx 30 degres 
of sky centered on North. The glow reached about 50 degrees altitude in the 
sky. He observed this phenomenon for about 20 minutes before retiring for the 
night. No colour was discernable."

John McConnell (Maghberry) reports this fireball:
   "While out last night (27th) looking for aurora I just happened to catch a 
beautiful bright meteor in the NW. Time was 10.38UT.  It was coming straight 
down towards the horizon from the direction of the Plough, and I estimated 
it's brightness at -3 /-4.  What also struck me about it was the fact that it was 
bright green! It was a beauty, and I wonder if anyone else saw it?"
 
Don't forget to watch out for Perseid Metreors from now on - maximum on the 
12/13 August will be spoiled by a Full Moon, but activity slowly builds up from 
about now until then, so look for the next week or so, before the Moon gets 
too bright.

Clear Skies,

Terry Moseley

Last Revised: 2003 July 31st
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