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From: TerryMoselaol.com
Date: Thu, 18 Mar 2004 15:30:26 EST
Subject: ARTI, Mercury + 4, Cosmos

Hi all,

1. I have received an invitation to the official launch of the ARTI project, 
in the Royal Irish Academy, Dawson St, Dublin, on 25 March. Apparently I was 
thought to be a suitable representative of the amateur astronomical community!
   'ARTI' is "A Radio Telescope for Ireland: an official proposal to build a 
large (32m) fully steerable radio telescope in Ireland, to stand alone, and to 
add to, extend & complement the MERLIN & e-MERLIN UK & European 
Interferometry networks.
  There will be a lecture at 6 p.m. by Dr Phil Diamond, Director of the 
MERLIN & VLBI National Facility at Jodrell Bank, followed by the official launch at 
about 7 p.m.
   The invitation includes one guest, so to be as fair as I can, I'm offering 
that guest place to the first person to reply with the promise of a donation 
of 10 Euro to IAA funds, and the correct answer to the question - Where is ARTI to 
be built? On the other hand, a donation of 100 Euro to IAA funds would almost 
certainly secure the place...

;-)

2. On my way to Armagh last night for the excellent & challenging lecture by 
Prof Mike Baillie, I got my first glimpse of Mercury at this elongation, at 
19.10 UT, in the 8x40 binocs I always keep in the car! Once located, in a few 
minutes I could just get it without the binocs, but the sky was still quite 
bright. However, the best is yet to come, over the next week / 10 days. And a 
quick glance up to Venus, then Mars, then Saturn, then Jupiter, revealed all 5 
n**ed-eye planets at once. (Well, OK, I've seen Uranus with the n**ed eye too, 
but it needs better conditions than we get here!) This is quite a nice little 
'notch' on the astronomical log-book for anyone who hasn't done it before. The 
next 10 days provide an excellent chance: Mercury is gradualy getting easier to 
see, low in the SW about 30-40 mts after sunset, and of course the other 4 
are easy.

A final reminder about COSMOS this weekend. An excellent set of lectures, 
good craic, and a nice pass of the ISS on Saturday evening - what more do you 
want?  Details: The annual COSMOS event will be at Annaharvey, just outside 
Tullamore, as usual. Details of the Tullamore Ast Soc's excellent annual Cosmos 
event are now available; it's on 19 - 21 March (Friday evening - Sunday 
afternoon). It's always a good programme, and good craic, with dark skies for observing 
if it's clear. Here's the latest details, from Sean Morris: 
www.seanie-m.com/cosmos.htm for the programme and accomodation details.
  I can send you a much fuller accommodation list on request.

Clear Skies,

Terry Moseley

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