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From: TerryMoselaol.com
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2006 18:42:30 EST
Subject: Lecture, TV, Mercury, Rocky Road Show, IAA Event

Hi all,
 
1.  INAUGURAL PUBLIC LECTURE:  Professor Alan  Fitzsimmons will give his 
inaugural professorial public lecture as follows:  "Asteroids and Comets: Worlds 
of Fire and Ice", Thursday 23 February, 5 p.m.,  Larmor Lecture Theatre, 
Physics Building, Queen's University, Belfast. Admission  free. The Physics Building 
is the one immediately behind the Whitla Hall, on the  main campus on 
University Road. IAA members know Alan well (he is one of us!),  and the lecture will 
be well worth hearing!
 
2. LEO ENRIGHT EXPLORES THE MYSTERIES OF SPACE.  Leo Enright, Chairman  of 
Discover Science & Engineering, continues his television series exploring  the 
mysteries of deep space. Leo's Space Odyssey is on RTÉ One television on  
Sunday mornings at 9.45am. See: 

http://www.science.ie/content/content.asp?section_id=394&language_id=1&event_id=608 


3. 'Lunar Evening'; Mon.27 Feb. BBC4.   
'The Planets' 7pm.- 8pm. 
'Days that Shook the World' July 1969 and Apollo 11 mission 8.30 -  9.0pm.
Clangers 9.0 - 9.10
'The Moon'  9.10 - 10.10pm
'Wallace & Gromit' - on the Moon 10.10 - 10.35
The Sky at Night - A special  "Mapping the Moon" Sir Patrick's  guide to the 
celestial object. At 10.35 - 11.05pm. There might  be an image by IAA member 
Peter Paice on this programme. Then more  'astro films' until 3 am. (Thanks to 
PP for the info)

 
4. MERCURY: The 'mini evening star', is now very well placed for  
observation. Start looking from about 35-40 minutes after local  sunset. On Thursday 23 
Feb. at about 6.30 p.m. it will be  magnitude -0.5, which is brighter than any 
star visible to us except Sirius, and  just South of West, and about 9 degrees 
above the horizon, as  seen from Belfast & Dublin. 9 degrees is slightly less 
than the  distance across the top of the 'bowl' of the Big Dipper.  If  you 
are much further W, wait about 10 minutes for the same circumstances to  apply. 
   To locate it, find Rigel in Orion, and then  turn exactly 90 degrees to 
your right, and look about 1/3 as high above the  horizon as Rigel. Next night 
it will be in approximately the same position, but  over the next few evenings 
it will move slightly higher, and slightly further to  the left, of those 
directions.
   Binoculars will help you find it; once located it  should just be visible 
to the unaided eye.
 
5. 4th & 5th March: The annual Rocky Road Show, Ulster Museum,  Stranmillis 
Road, Belfast will, as usual, feature our very own planet, and the  IAA will 
have a stand showing the Earth, other planets etc, & as usual our  members' 
excellent collection of meteorites, including one of the largest pieces  of a 
Martian meteorite in private hands! The Museum is open from lunchtime on  Sat & 
Sun afternoon.
 
6. Moon, Planets, Mobile Planetarium at Castle Espie: The IAA's annual  
public observing & mobile planetarium evening will also be on 4 March, at  WWT, 
Castle Espie, near Comber, Co Down, from about 7.30 p.m. We'll have the  usual 
selection of telescopes & big binocs for viewing if clear, and I've  even 
arranged a pass of the ISS that evening specially for us. The  indefatigable, 
informative, energetic & entertaining Robert Hill will  be doing his usual shows in 
the portable planetarium; Derek Heatly, the IAA's  own 'Ulsternaut' will be 
talking about his upcoming flight into space; and we'll  have other talks, 
exhibition material etc as usual. Normal WWT admission  charges apply, except for 
IAA members bringing a telescope or binocs, or  helping with the event. So come 
along, even with just your binocs!
 
Clear Skies,
 
 
Terry  Moseley

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