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From: TerryMoselat signaol.com
Date: 21 July 2007 00:13:21 Jul 2007
Subject: IAA at Carnfunnock, ISS, Perseids, Research post

Hi all,

1.  SOLAR DAY AT CARNFUNNOCK:   The next in the Irish Astronomical
Association series of 'Solar days' will be held at Carnfunnock Country
Park, Drains Bay, on the A2 N of Larne, on Saturday 28 July, from 2.0.
pm. to 5 p.m. There will be the usual selection of special telescopes
for solar viewing, including H-alpha views, which are always
spectacular. Has the Sun passed Solar Minimum yet? There was a good big
spot recently, but it was part of the old cycle. Will there be any spots
of the new cycle visible?    Other attractions will be available too,
including our intrepid Ulsternaut, Derek Heatly, in case of bad weather.
If you have any sort of telescope capable of showing the Sun safely,
bring it along. IAA members bringing telescopes or otherwise assisting
at the event get in free. All are welcome.

2. ISS PASSES OVER IRELAND: The International Space Station is now
starting another series of morning passes over Ireland. Most of them are
at rather an inconvenient hour, in the small hours of the mornings, but
some of them are forecast to be particularly bright. Details as usual
are on the excellent, free, www.heavens-above.com

3. PERSEIDS COMING: The most popular, if not the best, of the annual
meteor showers is the Perseids, which will start to grace our skies
soon. Maximum will be on the night of 12/13 August, but some can be seen
from 23 July to 20 August. Conditions this year are good, with no
moonlight to interfere on the night of maximum, and the actual time of
maximum, at 03h BST on the 13th, coincides with the time when the
radiant, in Northern Perseus, will be highest in the sky for observers
in the UK/Ireland. In good dark sky conditions an experienced observer
should see an average rate of about 80 per hour at around that time.   
But beware of some uninformed predictions! Just because the shower
'starts' on 23 July, and has a quoted rate of about 80/hour, does NOT
mean that you'll see lots of meteors from 23 July onwards! A meteor
shower is defined as beginning when the rate of meteors from that shower
rises above 1/4 of the normal background sporadic meteor rate. In other
words, when about 1 in 4 of every meteor seen is a member of that
shower. Since there are about 10-12 sporadic meteors per hour visible in
good conditions at this time of year, that means that you might see
about 3 Perseid meteors per hour on July 23. (The converse applies to
define the end of a shower).    So, like all meteor showers, the level
of activity starts slowly, and gradually builds up to the peak. You
won't see a significant number of Perseids until near the end of the
first week in August. However, it IS worth looking any time from early
August onwards.    The IAA will be holding a special 'Perseids BBQ' on
the evening of 12-13 August, weather permitting. More details on that
soon.

4. RESEARCH POST, TALLAGHT. Kevin Nolan and Eugene Hickey at IT
Tallaght, Dublin, have a fully funded two year research M. Sc (with
possible extension to a PhD) on an exoplanet computing search algorithm.
For details, please see the advert in the Irish Times on 20 July, or the
attachment.

Attachment - MS Word format

Clear skies, Terry Moseley

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Last Revised: 2007 July 23rd
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