Date: 30 October 2010 12:33:13 GMT+01:00
Subject: Lectures, Shuttle, Cassini Comp, IAA Observing, Hartleyid meteors? ISS, BCO
1. The next IAA Lecture will be on Wed 3 November, in the Bell Lecture Theatre, QUB, It will be given by Dr John Quinn, Senior Lecturer in the Astrophysics Department at UCD. TITLE: "Gamma Ray Astronomy - A New Window on the Extreme Universe"
Gamma Rays are the most energetic forms of electromagnetic radiation, and Gamma Ray Bursts (GRB) emit many times more energy than we see in even a Supernova explosion. Another very topical talk, with recent discoveries of ever more energetic, and ever more distant, GRBs. They may be associated with Black Holes, or collisions between White Dwarfs or Neutron Stars, so it's bound to be a fascinating lecture, with the very latest news.
Time: 7.30 p.m. Venue: Bell Lecture Theatre, main Physics Building, Queen's University, Belfast. Free parking is available on the main campus, right beside the lecture theatre, from 5.30 pm onwards. Admission free, including light refreshments: All are welcome. See www.irishastro.org for full details of the programme.
2. SHUTTLE DISCOVERY CLEARED FOR BLASTOFF NEXT MONDAY
After reviewing normal processing and weekend work to fix a small fuel
leak, NASA managers cleared the shuttle Discovery for launch on November 1 to begin a space station resupply mission, the orbiter's 39th and final flight. With the ISS currently making nice evening passes over Ireland (see next item), it may be possible to see the two craft approaching other for docking.
3. ISS: The ISS is currently making a good series of evening passes over Ireland. See www.heavens-above.com for full details for your location.
4. REMINDER - DEADLINE 5 NOVEMBER!
Cassini Scientist for a Day competition.
This is open to pupils aged 11-18 yrs old in all schools in Ireland.
Glenlola Collegiate in Bangor won one of the first prizes a couple of years ago so it would be good to get another great response.
The Cassini Mission to Saturn is one of the greatest robotic space exploration missions of our time. Now you have an opportunity to become involved and maybe put your school’s name on the map internationally.
How: By taking part in The Cassini Scientist for a day Contest 2010
Why: This contest increases awareness of space exploration, technology, engineering and science.
The Task: Write a 500 word essay on why the Cassini Spacecraft should target certain objects for imaging and investigation.
How do I do that? Watch three short videos, decide which is the most interesting for you, write your essay based on that.
The Cassini website would be your main source of reference for information. Watch this video for an introduction: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/education/scientistforaday9thedition/international/
Watch these videos to choose your essay subject Rhea, Titan or Saturn itself? You decide, its your adventure. http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/education/scientistforaday9thedition/targets/
There are three age groups: 11-13 years old, 14-16 years old, 17-18 years old
The Prizes: All winners will be given a copy of their chosen target image which will be taken by the Cassini spacecraft in October 2010. The youngest category winner will also get an iPod shuffle and books by Lucy Hawking. The middle category will win a Nintendo DS and books by Lucy Hawking. The oldest age category winner will be offered a one week research placement with Professor Carl Murray from Queen Mary University London.
Deadline 5 p.m. on November 5th Include your name, age, postal address, name of your school, name of teacher, teacher's email address.
5. SCIENCE WEEK IRELAND, 7 - 14 November. Kevin Nolan has sent me the following link to a major event he is running for Science Week Ireland: See: www.scienceweek.ie The web site for pointing to the event is: http://www.knect.ie/planetary
6. Public Lecture by Dame Prof Jocelyn Bell Burnell "Will the world end in 2012? - The astronomical evidence."
12 Nov, 7.30 p.m. in the Royal Irish Academy, Dawson St, Dublin. Admission free, but by ticket only. Book via www.ria.ie
I regularly get asked "What's all this about the world going to end in December 2012 (sometimes more specifically, on Dec 21, the winter solstice, 2012)?" I've been debunking that since I first learnt about this via the internet about 4-5 years ago, but the myth persists, and is growing. Of course it's rubbish, but it will be very interesting to hear what Dame Prof Jocelyn Bell Burnell FRS, former President of the RAS, and of the Institute of Physics, has to say about it. Jocelyn is a 'local girl', originally from Lurgan, Co Armagh, and I'm sure that there will be a lot of interest in this talk, so book early.
7. IAA OBSERVING NIGHTS: 12 or 13 November: Delamont Country Park. The Irish Astronomical Association will be holding another observing night for members, and for any members of the public who want to come along, at a nice dark sky site at Delamont Country Park, near Killyleagh, Co Down. The format is: we observe on the Friday night if it's clear; if not, we try again on the Saturday night.
Check www.irishastro.org on the afternoon of each of those dates for an update on whether we will be there or not, and for directions to the location, and other details.
It gets cold at night now these evenings, so wrap up REALLY warm, from head to toe, and bring along any portable telescopes or binoculars you may have.
8. PUBLIC LECTURE, ARMAGH, 18 November: The Biennial "Robinson Lecture" will be given by Prof Chris Impey of the University of Arizona, in the City Hotel, at 8 p.m. "Astrobiology: Implications of Life Beyond Earth"
Either we are alone in the universe or not; either way, the implications are staggering. This talk considers the prospects for and implications of life beyond Earth. Biological adaptation to extreme conditions makes it very likely that variations on biology will be present on moons and planets around many of the billions of Sun-like stars in the Milky Way. The nearly 500 planets already found around other stars are forerunners of Earth-like planets that astronomers expect to be finding in the next few years. With exobiology still a blank slate, consideration will be given to potentially unusual forms of life.
Attendance at the Robinson Lecture is free, but if you would like to attend the Robinson Lecture, please contact the Armagh Observatory in order to obtain tickets. Please write, telephone or send an e-mail to: Mrs Aileen McKee, Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG; Tel: 028-3752-2928; Fax: 028-3752-7174; e-mail: ambn arm.ac.uk.
9. 'HARTLEYID METEORS'? A pair of unusual fireballs over Canada and the south-eastern USA have experts wondering if Comet Hartley 2 might produce a meteor shower in early November. See http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/27oct_hartleyids/
10: BCO EVENTS:
First Fridays at the Castle Free Monthly Event
Friday 5 November 2010
www.bco.ie/firstfridays. Blackrock Castle Observatory hosts open nights on the first Friday of every month with inspired activities for visitors of all ages. The internationally award winning Cosmos at the Castle is open and free to the public, Stargazing from 7pm is in association with the Cork Astronomy Club and BCO's growing band of Astronomy Volunteers.
6-8pm: Hands on Workshops: Great World Wide Starcount - how to take part
Enjoy one of our family friendly workshops (every half hour) with Frances McCarthy, BCO's in house teacher and astronomer.http://www.windows2universe.org/citizen_science/starcount/
8pm: Ben Burress - Web of Stars
Meet Ben Burress, astronomer at the Chabot Space & Science Center, Oakland, California; live on a web link from the USA to learn about CSSC's magnificent telescopes. Ben will take us on a journey through the collection of astrophotographs taken with these instruments by Cork students and launch the image exhibit Web of Stars
For more information on these and future events at Blackrock Castle Observatory
call us 00 - 353 - 21- 4357917, email infobco.ie or visit www.bco.ie/upcomingevents
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