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From: TerryMoselaol.com
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2006 19:59:03 EST
Subject: London Planetarium, Lectures, Suitsat

Hi all,
 
 
1. The sorry state of public education and awareness in science in  GB is 
evidenced by the announcement that London Planetarium is to change to  an 
'Auditorium', as a sort of 'Temple of Celebrities', with no astronomical  content at 
all. That will leave London as the only major city in the world with  no 
planetarium! It would be laughable if it wasn't so pathetic. At least we will  have 
a good one in Armagh again this summer, when it re-opens to the public  after 
its major upgrade and refurbishment.
 
2.   Prof Alan Fitzsimmons of QUB will give a lecture to the EAAS  in 
Thompson Primary School, Ballyrobert on Monday 6 February. Entitled,  "Deep Impact, 
the Story So Far", it will begin at 8.0. Admission 3.
 
3.  The next IAA public lecture will be on Wed 8 February, 7.30  p.m., 
Lecture theatre 5, Stranmillis College, Stranmillis Road, Belfast. It will  be given 
by Dr Neill Trappe, of NUI Maynooth, and is entitled "Far Infrared  Space 
Optics". All welcome; admission free, including light refreshments.
 
4. LAUNCH OF 'SUITSAT': One of the strangest ever satellites is to go  into 
orbit on 3 February, when astronauts on board the ISS will throw an  empty 
spacesuit overboard. 
Known as "SuitSat", the Russian Orlan spacesuit,  equipped with three 
batteries, a radio transmitter, and internal sensors to  measure temperature and 
battery power, will transmit its condition to the ground  as it orbits the Earth.
   As the ISS is currently making morning passes over Ireland  (see 
www.heavens-above.com), the  'suitsat' might just be 
visible in binocs, close to the ISS itself, soon  after it is thrown 
overboard. After all, Sputnik 1 was not as big as that, and  probably not as 
reflective, and I could see it with the unaided eye from Armagh!  (Young children have 
good eyesight, of course!)
FURTHER INFORMATION: NASA Science web site: science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2006/26jan_suitsat.htm 
 
Clear skies,
 
Terry Moseley


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