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From: TerryMoselaol.com
Date: Sun, 7 Nov 2004 07:49:14 EST
Subject: TV Progs, Lecture, Leonid Radiant

Hi all,

You may be interested in the following:

TV PROGRAMMES
1. Monday, 8 Nov., 01.15am BBC1 TV: "The Sky at Night" on Death of stars and 
the formation of planetary nebulae.     Repeated at 8.30pm on BBC Four TV

2. "Space Odyssey: Voyage to the Planets". 
"From the makers of Walking With Dinosaurs, this magical new 
drama-documentary series, narrated by David Suchet, takes viewers on the ultimate space flight 
and, by pressing the red button on the remote control, transports them to the 
heart of the European Space Agency's mission control room."

Episode 1 will be on Thursday 11 November (repeat on Sunday 14 November) 
Episode 2 will be on Thursday 18 November (repeat on Sunday 21 November) 

There will be interactive tv features, a live broadcast from ESA mission 
control, & a supporting documentary on BBC Four about the real 'Robot Pioneers' - 
spacecraft which have already been to the planets such as Venera, Viking, 
Voyager & Galileo. 
BBCi will also have an interactive facility, accessed through the red button 
on your remote control. This enables you to access 'Mission Report' during the 
broadcasts, giving further information.
   
DVD: The programme will be released on DVD, duration 120 mts, Cat No. 
BBCDVD1500, price 15.99, on either 8 or 15 Nov (both dates are quoted in the Press 
Pack). The DVD will contain lots of other details, such as the Robot Pioneers 
documentary, Fact Files, Photo Gallery, and 'Behind The Scenes'.

Books: An accompanying BBC book, "Voyage to the Planets", by Tim Haines & 
Christopher Riley, was published on 14 Oct @ 19.99. Contact 
claire.scottbbc.co.uk or Stephanie.foxbbc.co.uk for more details. 
  Penguin Books/DK have also released 3 childrens books to accompany the 
series: Mission Report (ISBN 1405308931) @ 5.99
Sticker Book (ISBN 140530894X @ 3.99
3D Space adventures (ISBN 1405308958) @ 4.99, inc. 3D glasses.

But before you get too carried away, a word of caution! I've read the main 
storyline, and while it's not quite like 'Armageddon', it does take a few 
artistic/scientific liberties! The 6-year mission includes 'personned' landings on 
Venus, Mars, a close fly-by of the Sun, landing on Io, an EVA trip down to the 
Rings of Saturn, landings on Pluto & a comet, and return to Earth. In that 
order. All in 6 years.....  But I'm sure it will be spectacular & enjoyable 
nonetheless. 
   In fact, how about a little informal competition to see who can spot any 
scientific boobs or inconsistencies? - Even if only to concentrate your 
critical faculties....

LECTURE, DCU:
3. On Mon. Nov. 8,  Damian Peach, one of the world's leading amateur 
planetary astrophotographers will give a lecture entitled "PHOTOGRAPHING THE PLANETS"
Damian Peach lives in the U.K. but once moved to the Canary Islands so he 
could get even better images. He uses 9 to 12-inch sized telescopes but produces 
images only beaten by space craft and space telescopes! His website is 
littered
with stunning examples 
   It's at 8pm in the Henry Grattan Building, Dublin City University, and is 
being held in association with The British Council.
   Damian will speak about how you can getting stunning images of the planets 
with a simple digital camera and you own telescope. Special admission rates 
of 3 euro/2 for any member of any astronomy club in Ireland, plus 2 FREE 
tickets to every club's committee. Just state that you are a member of whatever 
club, at the door.

LEONIDS
BTW, the radiant (the point in the sky from which the meteors appear to 
radiate) for the 'new' Leonid shower is just inside the very top of the 'Sickle' of 
Leo, just S of the star Mu Leonis. It's actually very close to 22 Leonis, but 
as it is mag 5.3 you won't see it until later in the night when it has risen 
higher.
   In fact, you won't even see the Sickle of Leo at first, as it won't all 
rise until much later! So, how to find the radiant at first? - It will lie 27 
degrees left of, and a bit below, Saturn, which itself will lie below Castor & 
Pollux in Gemini. 27 degrees is just slightly more than the length of 'The 
Plough. 

If you want to try photographing them, use as fast a film as you can, as most 
are expected to be faint. Use a standard or slightly wide-angle lens at full 
aperture, mount the camera on a tripod, point it about 50 degrees above the 
horizon, above the radiant, and give exposures of about 3 - 10 minutes, 
depending on your film speed, lens aperture, & sky brightness. 
   Too long an exposure will fog the film, so you have to try to set off that 
risk against having to take loads of exposures! But if you have a very dark 
site you can probably take exposures of 10 minutes even with fast (say ISO 800) 
film & a fast lens (say F1.7 or F2). If you have a digital camera, you may 
just experiment beforehand to see how long you can expose before the sky 
background gets too bright.
   If you see a bright meteor (mag 1 or brighter) pass though the area of sky 
your camera is covering, note down the time to the nearest minute, stop the 
exposure, & then start another one. 
   If you do record any PLEASE send them in, as they will be very useful in 
determining the exact radiant for this stream.

Good Luck, & clear skies,

Terry Moseley

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