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From: TerryMoselaol.com
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2004 17:12:39 EST
Subject: IAA Meeting, Connaught Star Party, Mars landing.

Hi all,

1. The next IAA meeting will be on Wed 21st.
   Public Lecture: "Astrophotography On A Budget", by Mark & Nigel Stronge. 
7.30 p.m., Lecture Room 5, Stranmillis College, Stranmillis Road, Belfast. 
Admission free, and all are welcome."

2. Another reminder about the forthcoming Connaught Star Party:
   The excellent & progressive Galway Astronomy Club's "Connaught Star Party 
will be on 24 January, @ 10a.m. (Registration 9.15-9.45), at The Westwood 
House Hotel, Newcastle, Galway City.
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  Edward Cooper, William and 
Charles Parsons, Wentworth Erck, William Wilson, 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, 
he discovered 'T Corona Borealis', 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 
Astro-photography, CCD  & Web cam imaging, Variable stars etc. If anyone has any ideas 
or suggestions please email galwayastroemail.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 from email.com>
[I don't know Lambourne, but I can highly recommend the other three speakers! 
T.M.]

I also hope to be bringing a large selection of S/H astronomy books & 
magazines for sale, including some rare & old items. Have your Euros ready.....

3. Another Mars lander event:
The Opportunity rover will land on Mars on Saturday afternoon (Jan. 24). More 
information on the Mars rover home page.  
   Let's hope this one is as successful as 'Spirit' 

Terry Moseley

Last Revised: 2004 January 19th
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