Subject: Perseid/Party, Comet ISON, P Moore Event, Go to Mars, Guides, EPSC, Pics, Links
Date: 12 August 2013 13:32:04 BST
1. PERSEIDS TO LIGHT UP THE SKY: 12-13 August: Maximum of Perseid meteor shower. The evening of 12-13 August sees the annual maximum of the Perseids meteor shower. Meteors (popularly known as 'shooting stars') are the bright streaks produced by small particles entering the atmosphere at high speed. The Perseids are associated with Comet Swift-Tuttle, which last passed near the Earth in 1992. These meteors appears to originate from a 'radiant' in Perseus, not far from the famous 'Double Cluster'. The best time will be on the evening of 12 - 13 August when up to 60 meteors per hour might be seen in a dark sky site. Some can still be seen on the following few nights as well, although the rate starts to drop off after the 14th/15th. Moonlight will not interfere on the 12th/13th this year, but will start to do so on subsequent nights.
You don't even need binoculars to see them - just your own eyes, and a clear dark sky. Although the radiant is in Perseus, the meteors can appear anywhere in the sky. Usually the best way to observe is to look at an area of the sky about 50 degrees above the horizon, and about 40 - 50 degrees on either side of the radiant - whichever of those gives the best view of a clear dark sky.
The radiant will be rising in the NE part od the sky as darkness falls. Send in your reports and photos to me, or the IAA website: www.irishastro.org
New research by NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office shows that the Perseids produce more fireballs than any other shower: See: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2013/26jul_perseids/
See: International Meteor Organisation: 2013 calendar, http://www.imo.net/files/data/calendar/cal2013.pdf
Also See: http://www.space.com/22133-summer-meteor-showers-2013.html?cmpid=529602
2. IAA PERSEID PARTY at DELAMONT, 12 August. The IAA will again celebrate the Perseids with a free BBQ and observing event for the maximum of the shower (see Item 1 above) on the evening of 12 August, at Delamont Country Park, between Killyleagh and Downpatrick, Co Down. This is obviously weather dependent, so check the IAA website www.irishastro.org for an update if the forecast is not too good. Bring your own food, drink, plates, eating implements etc, and your own BBQ if you have one: if not, you can probably use some spare space on someone else's. Bring a folding chair, or a waterproof rug, or best of all, a recliner, for comfortable viewing. There will be a waxing crescent Moon very low in the SW, with Saturn just above it, so we may glimpse these with a few portable telescopes, but it will be mainly a night for naked-eye viewing. DCP is well signposted just a few miles S of Killyleagh.
3. Patrick Moore Event, Leicester:
On 28 September 2013 the Royal Astronomical Society, in collaboration with the National Space Centre, will be holding an event to commemorate Sir Patrick Moore and celebrate his life and legacy. The event will be held at the National Space Centre, Leicester, and tickets (which must be booked in advance) will cost £25.
Further details, along with a booking link, may be found at: http://www.spacecentre.co.uk/special-events/patrick-night
4. COMET ISON - LATEST: This much-anticipated comet is currently unobservable, being too close to the Sun. But it should become visible by month's end, giving us a much better idea of how it is developing. It will be best seen from Ireland in late November, and in early December if it survives its extremely close passage round the Sun. Meanwhile, the debate and speculation continues:
5. Send your name to Mars on MAVEN: Deadline September 10th 2013. Everybody is welcome to participate! However, to create a log-in you must be 18 or older. If you are under 18 and you would like to enter, please ask your parent or teacher for help. Your name will be written to a DVD and sent into Mars orbit on the MAVEN spacecraft. See: http://lasp.colorado.edu/maven/goingtomars/send-your-name/
For the latest news on the Maven mission, see http://www.nasa.gov/press/2013/august/nasa-begins-launch-preparations-for-next-mars-mission/#.UgNhNG2Igp9
6. Guide to Resources for Teaching about Exoplanets. A new annotated guide to written, web, and audio-visual resources for teaching about planets orbiting other stars is now available for high-school and college instructors, their students, informal educators, and astronomy enthusiasts. Materials in the guide to this rapidly-changing branch of astronomy include video and audio files of lectures and interviews with leading scientists in the field, phone and tablet apps, a citizen-science website, popular-level books and articles, and much more. Published by the NASA Astrophysics Education and Outreach Forum and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the guide can be found as a PDF file at: http://www.astrosociety.org/education/astronomy-resource-guides/the-search-for-planets-around-other-stars/
7. UNAWE Universe in a Box DIY Guide. Do it Yourself Universe in a Box: For personal, non-commercial use, UNAWE also offers the possibility to build your own Universe in a Box. Please download the DIY guide and source files from http://unawe.org/resources/guides/universeinaboxdiyguide/
8. The European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) 2013 will take place at University College London (UCL) from Sunday 8 September to Friday 13 September 2013.
EPSC is the major European meeting on planetary science and is expected to attract more than 800 scientists from Europe and around the World. The 2013 programme will include around 75 sessions and workshops. More than 1100 abstracts for oral presentations and posters have been submitted. Topics to be discussed will cover the range of planetary science, including comets on the eve of the Rosetta mission, the exceptional fireball over Chelyabinsk, direct imaging of exoplanets, and how planetary science will be affected by the NewSpace entrepreneurs. For the first time, EPSC will include an industry-themed day on Wednesday 11 September; speakers will include Alvaro Giménez, Director of Science and Robotic Exploration at the European Space Agency.
Details of the Congress and a full schedule of EPSC 2013 scientific sessions and events can be found at the official website: http://www.epsc2013.eu/. An overview of the sessions can be found at: http://www.europlanet-eu.org/images/stories/ep/EPSC/epsc2013/epsc_2013_sessions.pdf
To complement the scientific programme, there will be a festival of planetary-related public events held across London, organised by partner institutions including UCL, the Bloomsbury Theatre, the British Interplanetary Society, the Baker Street Irregular Astronomers, the Royal Observatory Greenwich, the Natural History Museum and Royal Astronomical Society. Events will include a special film showing of 'The Day the Earth Caught Fire', an exhibition and art installations at UCL, an observing night in Regent's Park and a 'Science Show-off' variety event at the Bloomsbury Theatre. Details can be found at: http://www.europlanet-eu.org/epsc2013. Further information will be circulated a few weeks before the meeting.
EPSC has a distinctively interactive style, with a mix of talks, workshops and posters, intended to provide a stimulating environment for discussion. EPSC 2013 is organised by Europlanet, UCL and Copernicus Meetings. The event is sponsored by the UK Space Agency, UCL, Astrium and the Science and Technology Facilities Council.
9. PICS FOR NEW IAA WEBSITE PHOTO GALLERY. President and webmaster Paul Evans has produced an excellent new photo gallery on the updated IAA website. See www.irishastro.org. We would love to have any photos from members showing past IAA events and activities for a "Pics from the Archive" section. Credits will be given to respective owners of course.
10. INTERESTING WEBLINKS:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2386974/Scientists-capture-Universe-looked-like-just-100-000-years-Big-Bang--provide-clues-occurred.html?ico=sciencetech^headlines (In Para 3 of main text - "Their analysis supports the theory that the Big Bang occurred between 13.798 and 0.037 billion years ago, creating our subsequent Universe" - I presume that should read "Their analysis supports the theory that the Big Bang occurred 13.798 +/- 0.037 billion years ago, creating our subsequent Universe. TM)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2386745/Could-humans-day-live-EUROPA-Nasa-experts-believe-Jupiters-moon-habitable.html (and 'Encelade' is spelled Enceladus)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2385338/Mars-Explorer-Barbie-Nasa-teams-Mattel-turn-red-planet-pink-doll.html (don't shoot the messenger!)
11. TWITTER: Follow the IAA on Twitter: IaaAstro
12. BBC THINGS TO DO WEBSITE: See the forthcoming IAA events on
http://www.bbc.co.uk/thingstodo. Look under 'Countryfile'.
13. NEW LINK! JOINING the IRISH ASTRONOMICAL ASSOCIATION is easy: This link downloads a Word document to join the IAA. http://documents.irishastro.org.uk/iaamembership.doc
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