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From: TerryMoselaol.com
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 16:17:58 EST
Subject: IAA Lectures, Leonids, Neil Armstrong, CSP

Hi all,

1. Reminder: The next Irish Astronomical Association meeting is tomorrow 
(Wed) night, 19 November. Two For The Price Of One!  
" IAA,  Public Lectures: "My Bulgarian Astronomy Trip", by Jacquie Milligan, 
and "My Amazing Geodesic Observatory" by xxxxxxxxxx. 7.30 p.m., Lecture Room 
5, Stranmillis College, Belfast. Admission free, all welcome."

2. Final chance for some Leonids: Some activity has already been reported 
from USA. The following is from WGN, the journal of the IMO, updated by Dr David 
Asher of Armagh Observatory: I have quoted only those significant additional 
'superimposed' maxima which will be visible from Ireland, or could be if the 
times are wrong by an hour or so:
Nov 19, 06.30 to 08.00 UT, from the 1533 trail: possible ZHR rates up to 100?
Nov 19, 16.50 UT: from the 1733 trail, ZHR rates up to 70?
Nov 20, 00.50 to 01.26 UT, from the 1333 trail, ZHR rates up to 20?
   The stream on the evening of Nov 19 is likely to be too early for us to 
observe, as the radiant doesn't rise until after 11 p.m., but these are likely 
to be the brighest meteors, as they come from the most recent of this set of 
perihelion passages.
   To observe, choose a fairly dark location, and look away from the Moon; 
ideally hide it behind a building or trees.

3. I'm sure that any of you who were at the Neil Armstrong "Face to Face" 
interview in the National Concert Hall in Dublin last night will agree that it 
was a very special occasion! About 2 1/2 hours of excellent professional 
interviews plus lots of questions at the end. And only one on the lines of 'you 
didn't really go, did you?'. He comes over much better in person than on TV. He's a 
real likeable ordinary guy, who just happened to be a brilliant test pilot, 
and a brilliant astronaut. I was very lucky to get a seat in the balcony just 
overlooking where he & Gay were sitting - better than most of the expensive 
seats except for those in the front few rows! He got a standing ovation just for 
walking on the stage, and an even longer one at the end, and had to come back 
for an encore. It was a privilege to be there.

4. Don't forget the Galway Astronomy Club's "Connaught Star Party" (CSP), on 
24 January, @ 10pm (Registration 9.15-9.45), at The Westwood House Hotel, 
Newcastle, and Galway City (BTW, that's Newcastle district in Galway City, near 
NUIG, not the village of Newcastle NE of Athenry! Terry)
Admission: 20 Euro inc. Coffee/tea break       (Free parking)
Official Opening by The Lord Mayor of Galway City: Ald. Terry O'Flaherty.
SPEAKERS: 
1. Dr. Robert Lambourne: Open University, Head of Physics and Astronomy 
Department. "The New Universe": This will be a review of recent developments in 
cosmology, with an emphasis on  supernova cosmology and the results from the MAP 
probe. 
2. Prof. Michael Redfern: NUIG, Department of Experimental Physics. "Black 
Holes": First discovered in the 19th century Prof. Alexander Anderson of 
University College Galway. Since then black holes have changed from being a 
theoretical concept to one, which is well established observationally. We can now 
observe small black holes in binary systems and super-massive black holes in the 
cores of galaxies including our own galaxy.
3. Dr. Andrew Shearer: NUIG, Department of Information Technology. "The Crab 
Nebula": The Crab Nebula in the Constellation of Taurus is the debris of a 
supernova explosion that occurred on July 6th, 1054. The explosion was seen by 
Chinese astronomers and recorded by Anasazi Indians in New Mexico. At its peak 
it was about four times brighter than Venus. Despite this, there are no known 
European sightings of this event. Since then, studies of the nebula have given 
us a detailed insight into the death of a large star. The name "Crab Nebula" 
comes from drawings made by the Third Earl of Rosse around 1844. Modern day 
photographs show the shape to be more like Ireland than a crab. This talk will 
describe the latest research by Dr. Shearer on the Crab Nebula & its Pulsar 
from observations at the William Herschel Telescope in La Palma and the 
Westerbork Radio Observatory in Holland.
4. Prof. Paul Mohr: Emeritus Professor, NUIG, Department of Geology. "A 
Feisty Tuam Amateur Astronomer in Exciting Times": - A rapidly expanding universe 
in mid-19th century astronomy received major input from amateur observers. In 
Ireland these included such as Agnes Clerke of Skibereen, Co. Cork, Edward 
Cooper of Markree, Co. Sligo, William and Charles Parsons (Earls of Rosse) of 
Birr, Co. Offaly, Wentworth Erck of Bray, Co. Wicklow, William Wilson of Daramona, 
Co. Longford, and John Birmingham of Millbrook, Co. Galway. It was in his 
fiftieth year that John Birmingham attracted the attention of astronomers the 
worldwide.  Shortly before midnight on 12 May 1866, his roving and knowledgeable 
eye perceived a star in the constellation of Corona Borealis (the Northern 
Crown) where no star was previously to be seen with the naked eye.  It was the 
brightest "nova" in the heavens since 1604, and its discovery astonished and 
excited the global astronomical community. Afterwards he focused astonishing 
energy in making a renowned catalogue of variable red stars and their spectra, but 
equally in disseminating critical reviews of the many frontiers of astronomy 
for the educated public.

The meeting may continue with informal meetings of workshops on 
Astrophotography, CCD  & Web cam imaging, Variable stars etc. If anyone has any 
ideas/suggestions please email galwayastro@email.com 

Observing will take place at the new NUIG Optical and Radio Observatory. 

Trade stands: North Down Telescopes, Armagh Planetarium

Also possibility of a small John Birmingham Exhibition with a collection of 
his work and his 4.5 inch Cooke Refractor."

More details later, or from galwayastroemail.com

Clear Skies,

Terry Moseley.

Last Revised: 2003 November 19th
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