From: TerryMoselat

Subject: AGM, ISS, Robotic Obs, COSMOS, Amateurs for Rosetta, ESO, Trip to Newgrange

Date: 15 April 2015 03:28:55 BST

Hi all, 


1: IAA AGM: Next IAA meeting: April 15, 7.30 p.m. Annual General Meeting + Bring & Buy, Telescope Fixit, Virtual reality show. Tony Kempston will have his amazing new version of Oculus Rift, the 3-D Virtual Reality Universe. You have to try it! 

The meeting is free and open to all, including free refreshments. However only paid-up members may participate in the official business.

Venue: Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, Queen's University, Belfast, at 7.30 p.m. 

Thanks to the Astrophysics Research Centre, QUB, for help in hosting these lectures. 


2. ISS The ISS continues its series of evening passes over Ireland until 18 April. We got a great view of it at our IAA event at Cullyhanna last Saturday. Full details for your own location, along with lots of other up to date astronomical information, on the excellent FREE site Also try the ISS Spotter by Mediapilot 


3. Amateur's Robotic Observatory Visit 17 or 18 April

Andy Newman has invited IAA members to see his fully robotic observatory near Belfast . This will replace our usual observing session at Delamont Country Park on those nights.

He has a fully robotic Pulsar observatory in an excellent site in the Castlereagh hills South of Belfast with an 11 inch Celestron CPC 1100. He has had the telescope fitted with wide angle and viewing cameras which can be operated from the TV in his living room.

Dates: Friday 17th and/or Saturday 18th April (ie as per Delamont observing nights). Those attending should meet at Hillmount Garden Centre - at 8.30pm. If you intend to go, please contact Dr Andy McCrea at s.mccrea980at so we have an idea of numbers

Andy Newman is happy to host IAA visitors if both nights are clear.


4. COSMOS: April 17th to 19th 2015, Shamrock Lodge Hotel, Athlone.

Speakers include - Professor John Zarnecki, Director, International Space Science Institute, Switzerland.

- Mr. Brian Harvey, Spaceflight Writer and Broadcaster.

- Mr. Nick Howes, Astronomer and Freelance Science Writer.

- Ms. Kate Russo, Author, Psychologist and Eclipse Chaser.

- Mr. Keith Geary, Astronomer and Astrophotographer.

- Mr. Steve Richards, Author, Astronomer and Astrophotographer.

- Ms. Deirdre Kelleghan, St. Cronan's Stargazers and Irish Federation of Astronomical Societies.

- Mr. Emmett Mordaunt, Midlands Astronomy Club.

The programme also includes an all-inclusive trip on Sunday morning to Birr Castle and stand in the shadow of the Leviathan, once the world's largest telescope.

5. Amateur Rosetta Mission Project: A great summer project? Thanks to Colin Devine for the alert.

6. IAA Public event at St Patrick's Academy, Dungannon (was 24 April). This event has been postponed until the autumn because the teacher involved is currently unavailable. 


7. Petition for Ireland to join ESO: 

The UCD Physics Society has started a petition for the Government to apply for Ireland to join the European Southern Observatory: .

All recipients are encouraged to sign. (Per Prof Lorraine Hanlon) 

8. ARCHAEOASTRONOMY TRIP TO NEWGRANGE and KNOWTH, 9 May 2015, These trips have proved so popular that as soon as I got back from the last one, Stranmillis University College Institute of LifeLong Learning asked me to lead another one next spring! Like the last one, the next trip will include a visit to the Knowth Tomb as well. It has the largest collection of Megalithic art anywhere in Europe in one single site, some of which is reckoned to be astronomical. Booking for thus very popular, non-technical trip will open later, but if you want to go, note the date in your diary: Sat 9 May. More details when the new brochure comes out.

9. Precession Adjustment. Some of you immediately realised that this item in the last bulletin was an April Fool joke, but for those of you who didn't catch on, let me put the record straight now!


10. IAA Telescopes for loan: The IAA has telescopes available to borrow, for any paid up member Enquiries to David Stewart david.stewart22at or Andy McCrea s.mccrea980at 



SOLARFEST 2015: Saturday 20 June, Dunsink Observatory, Dublin. 

SKELLIGS Star Party: 14-16 August, Ballinskelligs, Co Kerry. This is a Gold Medal winning Dark Sky site. see 

AI 'Star-B-Q': 15 August, An Tochar GAA Grounds, Roundwood, Co. Wicklow. 


12. Interesting Weblinks: At last! Other people (including Buzz Aldrin!) agree with me that there's little point on visiting and/or capturing an asteroid as a stepping stone to Mars! Hooray! And it would be good to test some new technologies on the Moon, before trying Mars. We have "What Car?", "What laptop", "What smartphone" etc. When will we get "What spaceflight"? 

The origin of the Moon This is a slight but important change from the previous theory which was that Theia only struck Earth a 'glancing blow', in which case - what happened to Theia? Where is it? But if Theia merged with the Earth, then that problem no longer exists.

See also: Some Like It Hot! But they should also have shown lots of bright nearby stars! Ignore the reference to 'amateur astrologers' !

The only screws here are the loose ones inside the UFOlogists! For a start, it's not even a 'screw': the grooves are rings - they do not form a continuous spiral!

Spinning a space station is an excellent idea, made popular by Arthur C Clarke in "2001 A Space Odyssey", but why go for this daft mushroom design, instead of Clarke's giant spinning double wheel? Also, I don't understand the point about the two parts spinning in opposite directions 'so that one remains stationary for docking by a space shuttle'. If one is spinning at 6 rpm relative to the Earth, giving the artificial gravity, then either the other part is 'stationary' - fair enough - or it's spinning in the opposite direction at a certain rpm. If so, why? Surely all they need to say is that one part is stationary and the other is spinning? "Could" is an 'open' word! We could find it tomorrow - or not for 100 years. 

Wishful thinking? - they might be able to support themselves (barring meteorite impacts!) but it's very unlikely any as big as this exist! 

Asteroid Juno seen traveling through space:

Complex organic molecules found in infant star system

Hubble finds phantom objects near quasars 

Watching massive stars form 

Glaciers on Mars 

Origin of Annama meteorite

Accelerating Universe? not so fast

Limit of the knowable universe: Q's - 

1. Does the amplitude of a gravitational wave decrease with distance from source? If so, according to what parameters?

2. If there are multiple GW sources, their waves will all interfere with each other, causing small chaotic 'choppy wavelets' instead of smooth regular contiguous waves. Think of the videos of lots of large hailstones falling into a swimming pool & you get the picture. Or lots of people jumping into a pool at once. How would those wavelets show up?

The Sun was late

Real time onset of stellar jets 

Dangerous small solar eruptions 

Flip-flopping Black holes

Star age mystery 

Inside GRBs

Synthetic muscle for space robots:

When you land, can you stand?

Dark Matter may not be completely 'dark' after all: see

Meteorites are key to earth's crust

Mars may have salty liquid water

Dark Energy Survey reveals Dark Matter

Violent methane storms on Titan


13. TWITTER Follow the IAA on Twitter: at signIaaAstro. 


14. JOINING the IRISH ASTRONOMICAL ASSOCIATION is easy: This link downloads a Word document to join the IAA.

If you are a UK taxpayer, please tick the 'gift-aid' box, as that enables us to reclaim the standard rate of tax on your subscription, at no cost to you. You can also make a donation via Paypal if you wish: just click on the 'Donate' button. See also 

Clear skies, 

Terry Moseley 

mob: (0044) (0) 7979 300842 

I'm now back on Twitter (occasionally - I don't have enough time!), after some temporary hiccups: at signterrymoseley2