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From: TerryMoselaol.com
Date: Sun, 28 Aug 2005 22:06:05 EDT
Subject: Armagh Observatory Event, ISS, Google Earth

Hi all,
 
1. Just a reminder about the event for Pat Corvan, who recently retired  
after many years at Armagh Planetarium, who was honoured with the naming of  
asteroid '8515 Corvan' earlier this year.  
On Tuesday August 30th there will be a special event, organised by  the EAAS, 
at Armagh Observatory starting at 7pm. This will be an  opportune time for 
friends of Pat who have never been to the observatory to  come along. There will 
also be a special formal presentation to Pat to celebrate  the naming of 
asteroid 8515 Corvan. A finger buffet will follow the formal  proceedings.
   Following the buffet there will be tours of the observatory by  the 
Director Professor Mark Bailey and members of his staff. If we are  lucky with the 
weather, we may even get to observe with the famous 10" Grubb  refractor just 
recently refurbished. 
If you plan to attend  please contact Mrs Aileen McKee at the Observatory on 
028 3752 2928 or ambnarm.ac.uk  so that they will 
know how  many to expect.



2. The ISS starts another series of evening passes over Ireland on 31  
August: details as always on the excellent www.heavens-above.com 
 
3. GOOGLE EARTH.  If you haven't seen it, be prepared to be amazed!  Look at 
'Google Earth'. You need a fast processor & a broadband  connection to get the 
best out of it, but if you do, it will blow your mind!  It's a complete image 
of the whole Earth using all the best satellite images.  You download a file 
(about 11 Megs?) first, them stream via the Internet.   You can go to any 
location by typing in the name of major cities etc, or by  latitude & longitude, 
or by just scrolling around, rotating, etc. You can  then zoom in to an 
incredible magnification! Some areas have more highly  detailed images than others. I 
zoomed in on the 'Ground Zero' site in New York,  and saw individual trucks & 
cars, and what I'm sure was a person with  his/her shadow! I looked at 
Hawaii, and the medium magnification view not only  showed the islands, but all the 
submarine land features too!
  Ireland isn't all imaged at the same scale - Belfast/N.I. is not as  
hightly detailed as some other areas such as Dublin & Cork, where you  can see 
individual streets, with cars & trucks on them!
   Best of all, it's in 3-d! You can vary the angle of view, and  zoom down 
the Grand Canyon as if you were in a helicopter! Zoom down close &  see the 
individual rapids with their white water.... Or tour round Mt Fuji in  Japan. Or 
Uluru (Ayer's Rock). Or down a main city street! And you can  click on the 
street & get its name! Tall skyscrapers don't image all that  well in 3-d, as it 
must have been hard to get really good stereo images of them  from space, but 
the effect is there. A scale gives your 'nominal' altitude for  any particular 
view. 
   If you get lost in your orientation, just click on the North  button to 
restore that orientation. You'll see as you zoom in that some areas  are darker 
than others - these are the areas with the most detailed imaging.  (I'm sure 
that all areas will eventually be imaged to the same  scale....)
   Then zoom out, and 'fly' off to somewhere else. Must have a  look at 
Turkey for the eclipse viewing......
   If your house lies in one of the areas that has been well  imaged, look - 
you might see your own car in your own driveway..... Fantastic -  and a bit 
scary! 
 
Clear skies,
 
Terry Moseley

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Last Revised: 2005 August 30th
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