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From: TerryMoselaol.com
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 2004 19:49:50 EDT
Subject: Fitzgerald Awards, Eclipse at Carnfunnock

Hi all,

Congratulations to Danny Collins and Derek Heatly, who were each awarded the 
'Aidan P Fitzgerald Medal' at the IAA AGM on Wednesday evening. This Award is 
named after a former noted & very illustrious member of the IAA, and is 
normally awarded once per year. But we didn't award any last year, so this year we 
gave two!
   The Award is made by the Council for "Outstanding Service to the 
Association", and both recipients certainly qualify. Danny does a huge amount of work 
for every meeting in preparing, collating, photocopying & stapling the 
voluminous Newsheets which are given out free to everyone attending (not forgetting 
the excellent work now done by Ken Doyle in preparing the 'Skynotes' section). 
That's usually about 65 or 70 copies of about 12 - 16 pages each! He's been 
doing the bulk of that for several years now, and I couldn't count the number of 
pages he has produced. As I used to do it all myself - a much smaller version, 
I hasten to add - I know exactly how much work he has been putting in to it. 
   And on top of that he's now doing a really excellent job as Honorary 
Secretary.

Derek is well knowm to many as Ireland's first 'quasi-astronaut', or our own 
'Ulsternaut', as I have dubbed him. He went to Russia for a series of 
weightless flights, to experience zero-G, in the special aircraft used to train the 
Cosmonauts. Then he went on a flight in a special Mig 21 high-performance jet, 
almost to the edge of space - over 85,000 feet, as far as I remember. This is 
high enough to make the sky appear almost black in the daytime, and to reveal 
the curvature of the Earth. His next trip will be a full sub-orbital flight 
into space, if Space Adventures get approval to fly them! Watch this space!
   But that's not why he got the Award. Derek attends almost every meeting, 
and almost every special event run by the IAA, and freely and unstintingly 
communicates to the public ( & IAA members) all about the space programme, & puts 
on displays of his amazing collection of space memorabilia, not to mention his 
fantastic collection of meteorites - one of the best in Ireland. He has 
genuine lunar, and even Martian, meteorites! All in all, he's an excellent and very 
willing volunteer at all our events, and his talks & displays attract a huge 
amount of interest. 
   So, well done to them both.

For the record, the new IAA Council is: President, Dr Andy McCrea;  Vice 
Presidents, George Brannan & Mrs Jacquie Milligan;  Secretary Danny Collins;  
Treasurer, John Hall, and members: Philip Baxter, Ken Doyle, Robert Hill, Terry 
Moseley, Dr Seamus Quinn; Ex Officio: Prof Mark Bailey, and Dr Tom Mason.

Don't forget the 'Bad Moon Rising' eclipse event at Carnfunnock Country Park, 
just North of Larne, on 4 May. The Moon will be rising in Total Eclipse - 
something I have never seen before, and I don't think any of our other members 
have either!
   We chose Carnfunnock because it has a clear view to the SE over the Irish 
Sea, so we'll be able to see the actual moonrise, if it's clear, and if the 
eclipse isn't too dark! Mid eclipse occurs just after Moonrise, so it will be 
fascinating to see just how it will appear! 
  We kick off at 8.0, with views of Venus in the meantime, and there'll be a 
mobile Planetarium, & Derek Heatly will be doing his stuff once again (see 
above). Hope to see you all there!

Clear Skies,

Terry Moseley

Last Revised: 2004 April 30th
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