From: TerryMosel@aol.com Date: Tue, 1 Jan 2002 18:20:14 EST Subject: Meteors, Mercury, ISS + Party Hi all, Happy New Year, and Clear Skies, to all! The next chance for some decent meteors will be on 3 January, although the 20-day old moon will rather spoil the show. The Quadrantids, which can reach peak rates of 100+ per hour under good conditions, reach their brief sharp maximum on Thursday - at 16h according to Neil Bone, Director of the BAA Meteor Section, or at 23h according to the International Meteor Organisation. If the former is right we'll have a few hours of fairly high activity just after the peak before the Moon rises: observers in the extreme NE of Ireland will see darkness soonest that evening, and hence can observe closer to the predicted maximum, although the radiant will still be low. They will also have the radiant a bit higher above the horizon. If the latter is correct, maximum will occur in darkness for all of Ireland, with the radiant higher up, but the moon will rise as the shower peaks. But that will still give a few hours of good activity in moonless skies - if it is clear! The radiant lies in N Bootes, at RA 15 28m, Dec +50°, which is about halfway between the end of the 'Plough' handle and the head of Draco. And your first chance to see Mercury this year will be over the next wek or so: look low down in the SSW about 30 mts after sunset, with binocs if you have them, for a bright pinkish 'star'. It is brightest for the next day or two, though very low: after a few days it will get higher up, but fainter. And the ISS is starting another series of morning pases about now - details are available at: www.heavens-above.com Finally, there are still some places left at the IAA New Year Party, at the Tudor Private Cinema, just outside Comber, at 7.30 p.m. on Wednesday 2 January. We'll have a buffet supper with free bubbly, punch, mulled wine, soft drinks & hot drinks, plus a special showing of "THE DISH" with Sam Neill and other entertainment such as a very light-hearted quiz, with prizes for everyone - all for £10 per head with special family rates as follows: 2 adults + up to 2 children for £25, and 2 adults + up to 3 children (under 16). And there's plenty of free parking, so no excuses! We'll allow you to pay on arrival but you MUST let us know by 2 p.m. on Wednesday if you intend coming, so we can inform the caterers. Please contact me as below, or John Hall on (028) 9084 3109, or email: Jimmyaquarius@btinternet.com. Terry Tel (028) 9058 7658, or 9083 5392 (home, 1 to 2 p.m.), or (028) 9025 3637 (work, 9.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.), or mobiles: 07979 300842 or 07979 541622, or by email to this address. Remember: 2.p.m. is the absolute latest to book a place (or two - guests are welcome). T.
Last Revised: 2002 January 2nd
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