Observatory Logo


From: TerryMoselaol.com
Date: 3 May 2006 23:01:56 BDT
Subject: Great Value Binocs, Jupiter, Lecture,  Meteors

Hi all,
 
1. Lidl are repeating their amazing offer on the excellent Bresser 10 x
50 Binoculars at 13.99 pounds or 20 euro, starting on 4 May. These seem to be the
same as the ones they offered last year, and are essentially clones of
the Meade 10x50s. I have a pair of each, and am very pleased with both
of them. They are not absolutely 'First Grade', but they are certainly
'good to very good', and superb value.

2. Jupiter will be at 'Opposition'  tomorrow, 4 May. The Giant Planet
will then be due South at local midnight (about 01.20 - 01.30, allowing
for Summer Time, and our longitude West of Greenwich). It will then be
closest to Earth for this year, and biggest and brightest in a
telescope.   One thing that's less favoured for observing at the time of
opposition are the eclipses of Jupiter's 4 bright Galilean Moons, Io,
Europa, & Ganymede (Callisto does not undergo eclipses this year,
because of the tilt of the satellite orbits to Earth). Those three still
undergo eclipses of course, but as the shadow of Jupiter falls directly
behind the planet, because we are almsot directly between the Sun and
Jupiter, the satellite will be hidden by Jupiter itself during the
eclipse.    However, there's a very rare phenomena this time - but one
only for the real 'anoraks', with large telescopes!   There's a
'theoretically impossible' event on May 4/5, when Europa enters eclipse
on one side of the planet, and re-emerges from eclipse on the other
side, on the same passage! How can that be? Surely it must be an
occultation on one side and eclipse reappearance on the other? Well, not
if mid-event occurred exactly at the time of opposition! Well, it's
close, but not exact! Opposition occurs on May 4 at 15.36 BST, and the
Europa event occurs from 00.06 to 02.39 BST on May 5. But because Europa
passes South of the centre of the disc, since Jupiter's South Pole is
tilted a bit towards the Earth and the Sun, we can see it enter
Jupiter's shadow on one side of the disc, and emerge from the shadow on
the other side, only a few hours later. However, both these events will
be so close to the edge of Jupiter's disc that a big telescope and
exceptional seeing will be needed to show them: less than that, and
you'll only see what appears to be an occultation. The reappearance
event will be marginally the easier to see.

3.   Public Lecture "Space Science in Europe", Friday 5 May 2006, 8.0
p.m.  Rotunda Lecture Theatre, St. Patrick's Trian, Armagh. The Lecture
will be delivered by Professor David Southwood, Director of Science at
the European Space Agency. It is scheduled to end at 9.00 pm with
questions, followed by tea and coffee.    Abstract: "Space Science in
Europe". The last few years have brought back to public attention the
fact that Europeans are involved in space exploration. The results
returned from Mars and the successful landing on Titan are only part of
the story and much is still to come. The universe beyond our planet is
slowly being unveiled and space science has played and will continue to
play a primary part in this. Why should we all in Europe be involved?
One motive is basic, namely, to understand our Earth's part in the grand
scheme of things and how life (as represented by ourselves) came to
evolve. Is such inspiration the end of it or are there also more
down-to-Earth reasons for going into space?    Admission is free, but by
ticket only, so if you wish to go please contact Mrs Aileen McKee as
soon as possible, at ambnarm.ac.uk

4. MINOR METEOR SHOWER:  The Earth will pass through a stream of dust
from Halley's Comet on 6 May, and this will produce the annual eta
Aquarid meteor shower.  But this shower is not well-seen from our
latitudes, as the radiant is low in the SE morning twilight.  The shower
peaks on Saturday, May 6th, with up to 10 meteors per hour in the
northern hemisphere and as many as 60 meteors per hour in the southern
hemisphere.    The best time to look is during the hours immediately
before sunrise on Saturday morning.    If you are ever on holiday in
much more Southerly latitudes at this time of year, it's well worth
observing, since from the S. hemisphere this is maybe the best annual
shower each year.
Clear skies,
 
Terry Moseley
  

---------

Last Revised: 2006 May 4th
WWW contact:webmaster@arm.ac.uk
Go to HOME PageHome Page