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From: TerryMoselaol.com
Date: Sun, 11 Sep 2005 17:57:37 EDT
Subject: Aurorae, ISS, Broadcasts, IAA at Argory, Major Lecture

Hi all,
 
1. AURORA ALERT: Our amazing Sun continues to, well, amaze! Although  
supposedly approaching the minimum of its 11 year cycle, there's a huge  and very 
active sunspot, now on its second rotation, firing off  major flares, capable of 
causing aurorae tonight & over the next  few evenings. 
   Sunspot 798 / 808 has unleashed seven X-class solar  flares since Sept. 
7th. Forecasters say there's a 75% chance of more X-flares  during the next 24 
hours, possibly causing radio blackouts and radiation  storms.
Coronal mass ejections hurled into space by these  explosions could hit 
Earth's magnetic field in the days ahead.  Sky  watchers should remain alert for 
auroras. The best time to look is around  local midnight.
The sun's 27-day rotation is slowly turning  sunspot 798 / 808  to face 
Earth. Explosions in the coming week will be  increasingly Earth-directed, raising 
the possibility of geomagnetic storms and  auroras over northern latitudes, 
including Ireland. If you get any photos, send  them in to 
iaa2000btinternet.com for the IAA website.
 
2. ISS: The International Space Staion continues its series of evening  
passes over Ireland until 17 Sep. Check  
www.heavens-above.com for all the  details of these passes for your own location, plus 
of course Iridium Flares,  other satellites, sky viewing details etc.
 
3. Radio & TV. Some interesting programmes are promised for the week  ahead.
   
Mon, 12 Sep, 7.00pm, BBC4 TV: Reach for the Stars - Yuri Gargarin, first  man 
in space.
9.00pm, BBC4 TV: The Wild Blue  Yonder - an uninhabitable  Earth?
10.20pm, BBC4 TV: Space  Odyssey: The Robot Pioneers - history of space 
exploration.

Tue, 13 Sep,  3.00pm,    7.00pm, RTE2 TV: Naked Science - newly discovered  
planets.

Wed. 14 Sep, 7.00pm, BBC4 TV: Neil Armstrong's first step on the  Moon.
9.00pm - 10.00 p.m., BBC2 TV: Space Race  - First of a 4-part docudrama 
series on the race to put a man on  the Moon.

Thu, 15 Sep,   9.00pm, BBC2 TV: 'Horizon' on Stephen  Hawking's latest 
theory, in which he retracts from his last controversial  proposal, and attempts to 
develop his latest  one.

Fri, 16 Sep, 7.45pm, BBC R4: Short play about the first steps on the  Moon.
 
4. IAA at The Argory. On Sat 17 September from 13.00 - 16.00 the IAA is  
putting on another special telescope / solar afternoon as part of a charity  event 
at the National Trust property "The Argory", near Moy, on the  Armagh/Tyrone 
border, roughly in the middle of the Armagh - Portadown -  Dungannon triangle. 
It's well signposted from the M1, and other roads in the  region. If you have 
a telescope, particularly one with solar filters and/or a  solar-projection 
set-up, come along and help. If it's cloudy we'll have a static  display and 
show some Videos / DVDs. Admission free for IAA members with  telescopes, & 
you'll probably get some free grub & drinks too.


5. MAJOR LECTURE: 
The first lecture in the IAA's new season kicks off, appropriately enough,  
on Wed 21 Sep, in Stranmillis College as usual. 
   We are delighted to have world-famous astronomer and  world-leading 
astro-biologist Prof Chandra Wickramasinghe, Professor of Applied  Mathematics & 
Astronomy at Cardiff University of Wales, Director of the  Cardiff Centre for 
Astrobiology, FRAS, FRSA. 
   The title is "Where are we in our search for Origins?"  and will look at 
the evidence that life on Earth (and presumably on other  planets), came from 
space; most likely from giant comets.
His  astro-biology theories, developed in association with the late Prof Fred 
 Hoyle, have always been controversial, but seem to have got a boost from 
some of  the findings from the Deep Impact mission, which indicate that there may 
be a  lot of organic material inside some comets. Not to mention the ever 
increasing  number of large & interesting bodies being discovered in the Outer 
Solar  System!
  Come along and hear for yourself - this promises to be a highly  
interesting and challenging lecture!
  It starts at 7.30 p.m., Lecture Room 5, main building,  Stranmillis 
College, Stranmillis Road, Belfast. Come early to get a good seat.  Light 
refreshments will be served as usual. 
 
Clear Skies,
 
Terry Moseley

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