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From: TerryMosel@aol.com
Date: Thu, 3 Jul 2003 16:24:35 EDT
Subject: Sunspot, near-astronaut, Mars, STARDUST

Hi all,

(1.) Look out for activity from giant sunspot group AR 397, formerly AR 375 
on its previous passage, which, as I reported on 29 June has now come round for 
a second revolution. It's easily visible to the naked eye, with proper 
protection of course.

(2.) Best wishes to IAA member Derek Heatly, heading off on 8 July to Russia 
for his flight almost into space in a MIG 25! 
   On July 10 he will have ten zero G sessions in an Ilyushin airliner, with 
photographers taking photos to order. Derek says "I'll sell copies of the 
video for charity. Likewise signed prints of the best edge of space photo. On July 
11 I go to Zhukovsky AFB, for a 4hr.review of MIG25 systems, ejection seat, 
final medical. Then a thirty min. flight @ mach2.5 to 85-100000ft, when I'll be 
the third highest man in the world (after the crew of ISS, of course), and 
another brief time in zero G. On July 12 maybe I'll visit Buran in Gorky Park. 
Home late on 13th, I hope. Cheers, thanks for support."
  Derek has asked for suggestions of an unusual or entertaining  activity for 
him to try while in zero-G. Send your suggestions to Derek <
derekheatly@ntlworld.co.uk> & he will pick out the one/s he thinks are the most 
unusual/entertaining for him to try.
   Belfast City Beat (96.7 FM) rang me the other day for his phone number, 
and he will be on live tomorrow (Friday) at 3 p.m., so listen in for his own 
account of what he expects! Also look out for a feature on his trip in Sunday 
Life this Sunday.
   And he'll be giving a talk to the IAA on his experiences in our next 
lecture session starting in September. Don't miss that!
   I'm sure you'll all join me in wishing him well, and very enjoyable 
flights!

(3.) Mars Dust Clouds: I hope that the following, from the BAA, is not the 
start of a major dust storm, which could obscure detail on the planet during the 
imminent record-breaking close approach -
   "Visual and CCD observations for July 1 reveal considerable albedo changes 
since the previous day in the areas of Iapigia, Hellas and environs. Several 
small discrete dust clouds have been observed. Dr D.C.Parker reports as
follows in an email dated July 1:
   "Significant changes have occurred over the past 24 hours: 1. Mare 
Tyrrhenum, Syrtis Minor, and Crocea-Oenotria have lightened  considerably, appearing 
to be covered by a thin whitish cloud...... These features were dark and 
'normal' on June 30 ....and throughout June. 2. Bright ochre spots [were] rimming 
Hellas and obscuring  Deltoton-Iapygia....... Little detail noted on the floor 
of Hellas." But often these clouds disperse at this stage of an opposition, 
although there may be a bigger dust storm in September.

(4.) Finally, apologies for the lateness of the July - October issue of 
STARDUST, which is now nearly ready. 

Clear skies - on both Earth & Mars!

Terry Moseley

Last Revised: 2003 July 4th
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