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From: TerryMosel@aol.com
Date: Fri, 3 Oct 2003 19:46:22 EDT
Subject: IAA meet, Fireball, Mercury Occ, WSP in S&T

Hi all,

1. The next IAA meeting will be at 7.30 p.m. on Wed 8 October, in Stranmillis 
College, Belfast. Dr Ian Morrison of Jodrell Bank will speak on "Mapping the 
Big Bang". He's an excellent speaker, so don't miss it. Admission is free, 
invluding light refreshments, & all are welcome.

2.  Did anybody see a fireball last night (Thursday) at about 8.25 p.m., in 
the SW as seen from Co. Down?

3. Mercury will occulted by the Moon on Oct 25 as seen from Ireland, at about 
12.10 UT, but it lies only 1 from the Sun at the time, so DO NOT ATTEMPT TO 
OBSERVE IT! 

But - you might be able to see it live on the SOHO satellite images. It all 
depends on whether the Moon occults Mercury as seen from the position of the 
SOHO satellite. If so, you'll just see Mercury fade and disappear over a period 
of some seconds, and then reappear sometime between a few minutes & an hour or 
so later, depending on the 'depth' of the occulation. You won't be able to 
see the Moon, just the planet disappearing, or not, as the case may be. 

Any mathematicians out there with access to SOHO's orbital elements care to 
calculate whether there will be an occultation from SOHO (the satellite!) or 
not?

Obviously if the Moon occults Mercury as seen from SOHO, then it won't matter 
where you are on the Earth watching the live SOHO images! Even if there's no 
occultation, you should be able to see Mercury as a bright 'star' apparently 
'gliding past' the Sun. It will pass just less than 1 degree North of the 
Centre of the Sun (less than half a degree, or about 1 solar diameter, N of the 
edge of the Sun's disc) earlier that day. It should also be visible for a day 
or two on either side of that date.

4. There's a feature by Kelly Beatty on the recent WSP on the online S&T News 
Bulletin: http://SkyandTelescope.com/news/article_1067_1.asp

Clear Skies,

Terry Moseley

Last Revised: 2003 October 6th
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