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From: TerryMoselaol.com
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2005 16:06:41 EST
Subject: Lectures, IAA at Mount Stewart,  COSMOS

Hi all,

1. A final reminder about the IAA Public Lecture on Wednesday 16 March, by Dr 
Niall Smyth, of CIT: The title is "Blackrock Castle Robotic Observatory"; 
Lecture Theatre 5, Stranmillis College, Belfast, 7.30 p.m. Free admission, 
including light refreshments. All welcome.

2. IAA at MOUNTSTEWART:  The first of three public observing events this 
spring:  "JEWELS OF THE SKY AT MOUNT STEWART"

Come and see the 'jewels of the sky' at Mount Stewart House, near Greyabbey, 
Newtownards, on Friday 18 March, through the IAA's powerful telescopes and 
binoculars.
   If the sky is clear, this is what lies in store: Saturn, the most 
beautiful sight in the night sky, will be perfectly placed for viewing. See its 
magnificent Rings, and its largest, puzzling & fascinating moon Titan, recently 
visited by the Huyghens space craft.
   Later, we'll see giant Jupiter, the largest planet in the Solar System, 
big enough to hold over 1,000 Earths! Also its four largest Moons, discovered by 
Galileo about 300 years ago.
   Among the stellar jewels on display will be the beautiful Pleiades, or 
Seven Sisters, in Taurus. See how many you can count in high-power binoculars or 
a telescope - not just seven, but maybe seventy, or more!
   Not far away is Orion, the Mighty Hunter, the most magnificent 
constellation in the entire sky. See the brilliant white star Rigel, which is 50,000 
times brighter than our Sun. And giant Red Betelgeuse, a star so big that if 
placed where our Sun is, it would engulf not just Mercury, and Venus, and Earth, 
but almost Mars as well! Below the three stars forming Orion's Belt, you can see 
the Orion Nebula, a gigantic cloud of gas and dust where stars like our Sun 
are being formed right now!
   See the amazing Andromeda Galaxy, the big brother of our own Milky Way 
galaxy: a vast horde of two hundred thousand million stars, at the incredible 
distance of about 14 million million million miles!
   Much closer to home, we'll have a spectacular First Quarter Moon: an 
incredible sight in a good telescope, with hundreds of gigantic craters, mountains, 
valleys, and giant plains.
   And if you're there early, at about 7.30 p.m. you can join the very tiny 
minority of human beings who have seen the innermost planet, Mercury, always 
difficult to see because it's so close to the Sun.
   Closest of all will be the International Space Station, orbiting just over 
100 miles above our heads - we should see it cross the sky at an amazing 
17,000 mph, looking like a brilliant fast-moving star.
   We'll also have superb star shows in a mobile planetarium, telescopes on 
display, talks about the universe and the night sky, an exhibition of amazing 
photos of the wonders of the sky, a collection of meteorites from space, and 
you can meet the Ulsterman who has been weightless, and has already flown almost 
to the edge of space, and has now booked on the next available commercial 
flight into space! So there will be plenty to see and do even if it's cloudy.
    Remember: wrap up really warm, particularly head, hands & feet!
Refreshments available in Mount Stewart House Bay Restaurant open between 7pm 
- 8.30pm (this is not included in the admission price).
   Admission Adults 5 - Children 3. Book via Mount Stewart.

3. Here again are the details of the IME Public Lecture on the Beagle 2 and
Cassini-Huygens missions to Mars and Titan:

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers Public Prestige Lecture
   "From the Moon to Mars: The Story of Beagle 2 and Beyond"
7.00 pm - 21 March 2005, Main Lecture Theatre, Ashby Building, Stranmillis 
Road, Belfast. Refreshments available from 6.30.
   The lecture will be given by Dr G.H. Morgan (Planetary & Space Sciences 
Research Institute, The Open University).
   The Beagle2 mission captured the imagination of the country with its bold 
ambition of investigating our neighbouring planet for signs of present and 
past life.The talk will describe the scientific rationale behind the mission and 
in particular the development of the Gas Analysis Package (GAP).  
   GAP was the distillation of decades of work analysing meteorite samples in 
the laboratory, miniaturised in to a form suitable for inclusion in the 
Beagle2 lander.  The chronology of the design and build processes for GAP, 
including the development of the Rosetta instrument, will be described and illustrated 
with video footage from the period. 
   Following the events of Xmas 2003, the talk will conclude by suggesting 
solutions to the question...'where do we go from here?'  The solutions include 
proposals for a reflight, as part of the fledgling ESA Aurora programme, and 
the transfer of the technology to terrestrial applications.
   As a bonus the group's data from the successful Surface Science Package on 
the Cassini-Huygens lander will also be presented.

4. COSMOS: Don't forget the ever popular COSMOS 2005 event, at Annaharvey 
Equestrian Centre (no jokes about Pegasus & Equuleus, please: I've heard them 
all...), just outside Tullamore, Co Offaly. Annaharvey is about 3.5 miles from 
Tullamore, on the main R420 road to Portarlington & Portlaoise. It's on 1-3 
April (Friday evening to Sunday afternoon. See their website www.tullamoreastronomy.com
 I sent details of accommodation in the area with the last but one email, but 
can send them again on request.

If you wish to be removed from this emailing list, please just reply saying 
so.

Clear skies,

Terry Moseley.

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