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From: TerryMoselaol.com
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2005 17:15:47 EST
Subject: Fireball, Lectures, Moon & Venus, Death of Endel Opik

Hi all,
 
1. Did anyone see any fireballs, or brilliant meteors on the night  of 
November 8-9 (Tuesday - Wednesday), around 23:20 or 23:35? Even if you  have already 
reported them, please send all relevant details again: Dr David  Asher of 
Armagh Observatory is interested to hear of anything that was  seen.
 
2. The next IAA public lecture will be by the very well-known amateur  
astronomer & ecdysiast (it's a long story....), Mr John Flannery, of Nenagh  and 
Dublin, on Wed 30th November, at 7.30 p.m., at Stranmillis  College, Stranmillis 
Road, Belfast. His subject will be "Voyages to the Moon:  2000 years of 
Journeys to the Moon in Legend and Science Fiction". Admission  free, including 
light refreshments, as always, and all are welcome.
 
3. Remember to book for the Public Lecture: "DEEP IMPACT", by Professor  Mike 
F. A'Hearn, University of Maryland. 7:00pm, Wednesday 7th December,   Larmor 
Lecture Theatre, (Physics Building) Queen's University  Belfast.
This summer the NASA Deep Impact mission spectacularly  achieved its primary 
goal of hitting comet Tempel 1 with a spacecraft at 22,000  mph. Prof. A'Hearn 
is the Principal Investigator for Deep Impact, in charge  of ensuring the 
mission achieves its objectives. In this lecture Prof. A'Hearn  will explain why 
the mission was important, what happened during the encounter  and what 
scientists have learned so far.
This lecture will be  free, but we expect interest to be high, so admittance 
will be through  registration with the Department of Physics and Astronomy at 
Queen's  University. If you wish to attend this lecture, please register 
either via  e-mail to physicsqub.ac.uk, or by phone on 02890 973941, giving your 
name and  the number who wish to attend.


4. In a telescope, Venus is now noticeably crescent in shape, being only  
about 40% illuminated as we see it from Earth. It's magnitude -4.5, almost as  
bright as it can get, but still quite low in the SSW twilight. 
   On the early evening of 4 December the 13% illuminated Moon  will pass 
only 3.4 deg South of Venus. What will be quite interesting is  that since the 
Moon is itself so low, and so far South, its 'horns' will be  pointing almost 
parallel to the horizon. You'll need a very clear view to the  SSW to see it: if 
you're not quite sure where to look, on that evening the  'Summer Triangle' 
of Deneb, Vega, and Altair will point down almost exactly to  Venus, forming a 
giant 'Y'. 
   If the sky is very clear, you should see the  Earthshine on the Moon, and 
if you get a nice foreground object such as  a leafless tree in the frame, 
along with Venus, it should make a lovely  photo.
   Next evening the Moon will be about 12 degrees left of Venus,  lying on a 
line from Vega through Altair. 
 
5. Death of Lembit Opik's brother. Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Lembit  
Opik, has spoken of his devastation at the death of his 37-year-old brother  from 
a suspected heart attack. Endel Ípik, a married father, died on Monday  
evening. Lembit, grandson of the late world-renowned astronomer &  cosmologist, Dr 
Ernst Opik, who worked at Armagh Observatory for many years, is  a champion of 
the 'Spaceguard' project. He has given lectures on the impact  hazard to v
arious astronomy clubs, including the IAA in Belfast. I'm sure that  many of you 
will want to express your sympathy.

Clear Skies,
 
Terry  Moseley

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