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From: TerryMosel@aol.com
Date: Sat, 28 Jun 2003 19:24:31 EDT
Subject: ESO help, TV, Mars, NLCs, Big Sunspot

Hi all,

1. John Moore asked me to pass on this plea for pressure on the Dail re 
Ireland's ESO astronomy bid, which I'm happy to do. So get writing, emailing, 
texting, phoning, faxing etc!

2 "As you know we're having problems with the Government and Ireland's
membership in the ESO (see Thursday's 26 June IT). Moreover, you've
undoubtedly heard that Irish astronomers will no longer have access to the 1
metre JKT (Jacobus Kapteyn Telescope) on La Palma in autumn. Ray Butler of
NUI Galway tells me that perhaps if interested citizens concerned with
pushing our ESO membership, they could write to their Oireachtas
representatives. Maybe with your connections, you could suggest this to your
other email contacts and get them to do as above. Hope you can help?

Good wishes, John"

2. Two TV programmes which may be of interest:

Monday, Network 2, 20.05 "Averting Armageddon". I can't find any details, but 
I think it's about countering the asteroid / comet impact threat.

Thursday, BBC2, 20.30: "What the Stuarts Did For Us" covers the development 
of the microscope & telescope.

3. MAGNIFICENT MARS! Have you seen how bright it's getting? - And so much 
higher up than the last opposition.  Get your 'scope out now to see how much it 
will improve in size & visibility between now & closest approach (for any of 
you that don't know yet, the closest for almost 60,000 years - since 57,602BC, 
to be precise -  and a record that won't be broken again until AD 2287!). Also, 
just in case a Martian global dust storm develops, at least you'll have got 
some good views first! It rises in the SE just after midnight.

4. I've had one qualified report of some Noctilucent Clouds (NLCs) late on 
the night of 25/26 June, by Don Ferguson at Aldergrove Met Office. Any other 
sightings?

5. SUNSPOT WATCH: Earlier this month a large sunspot ("active region 375")
crossed the Earth-facing side of the sun and unleashed several powerful
solar flares. For the past two weeks it has been out of sight on the far
side of our star, but now sunspot 375 is back.  It reappeared this weekend
near the sun's northeastern limb.
   The active region, which is about 10 times wider than our entire planet,
is still an impressive sight through properly-filtered telescopes.  Visit
spaceweather.com for safe solar observing tips and to see recent images of
the emerging spot.

Good luck, Clear Skies,

Terry Moseley

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