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From: TerryMoselaol.com
Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2005 18:27:58 EST
Subject: Lectures, IAA New Year Party, Geminids, Venus, 'Scopes

Hi all,
 
1. The final IAA lecture of 2005 will be on 14 December, when well-known  
broadcaster and writer, Mr Leo Enright, will give a lecture entitled:  "Following 
the Space Shuttle - Future Plans for Manned Spaceflight". 7.30 p.m.,  Lecture 
room 5, Stranmillis College, Stranmillis Road, Belfast. Admission free,  
including seasonal refreshments!
 
2. The EAAS lecture which was unable to take place last Monday has been  
rescheduled for Thursday 15 December. The meeting will be held, as usual, in the  
Thompson Primary  School, Ballyrobert and begins at 8pm sharp. Dr. John Butler from Armagh  
Observatory will speak on "The Transit of Venus in 1769, Charles Mason in  Donegal 
& the Development of Astronomy in Ireland in the 18th Century".  Everyone is 
welcome, admission £3.
 
3. Details of the IAA's Xmas / New Year Party. Saturday 7 January.  approx 
7.30 p.m. (exact time will be confirmed later) Price 10, as before for adults;  
family: 2 adults two  children 25, children 5. Cut off date 31 December, 
money must be with  treasurer John Hall on or before that date.  George Brannan 
will  be doing the quiz.  Prizes will be awarded. Film: "War of the  Worlds". 
The price includes the film, and lots of lovely seasonal eats,  plus a 
selection of hot & cold drinks of varying strength! Best value  anywhere! If you're 
going to the IAA lecture on 14 December, you could pay  him then.
 
4. GEMINIDS  
The Geminid Meteors, usually the year's best meteor shower, begin about Dec  
8, and start building towards maximum on Dec 13/14. Maximum this year will  be 
spoiled by moonlight, but you may still see some nice meteors, though nowhere 
 near the 100 per hour quoted in at least one source! Even away from light  
pollution, and looking away from the Moon, you'll be lucky to see 30-40 per  
hour! The problem is that by the time that the almost full moon (nearby, in N.  
Taurus), has set, the maximum has passed, and dawn twilight has started! So  
there's no dark period at all on the night of maximum! The radiant lies just  
above Castor.

 
5. VENUS: Our sister planet is now showing a bit less shyly above the SSW  
horizon in the evening twilight. For the next two weeks or so, it's about as  
good as it gets, in terms of height above the horizon vs sky darkness.
 
6. Lidl Telescope Offers. Re the Bresser 70mm refractor, beginning on  Monday 
12 Dec: Note that the offer in GB is different from that in Ireland  (both 
N&S, which are the same for this, except for the /€ difference). In  GB, 
the cost is 10 more (49.99), but it includes a 3rd eyepiece (12mm, as  well 
as 20mm & 4mm), but does not appear to include a 3x Barlow lens, which  is 
included, by implication, in the advert for the telescope in Ireland (look at  the 
magnifications quoted). Also, in GB, the offer only begins on Thursday 15  Dec. 
   One other caveat: the GB advert specifically states  "equatorial mount", 
whereas the Irish adverts do not. All three advert  photos show what is 
apparently the same telescope, on apparently the  same tripod, but in the 2 Irish 
advert photos it is impossible to tell if the  mount is equatorial or not. Better 
check that before buying, if it's  important to you. It will probably say on 
the box, or show up on one of the  photos on the box, but if not don't 
hesitate to open a box and check inside!  Still, for 39.99, it's great value, 
even if on an altazimuth mount!
 
 
Clear Skies,
 
Terry  Moseley

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Last Revised: 2005 December 8th
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