Observatory Logo

From: TerryMosel@aol.com
Date: Sat, 1 Jun 2002 18:58:19 EDT
Subject: Jupiter, Venus, ISS, & Solar Day

Hi all,

The last of the spectacular planetary conjunctions this spring is almost upon 
us, when Venus & Jupiter, the two brightest planets at present, meet in the 
Western / Northwestern sky. Closest approach is on 3 June; after that Jupiter 
sinks rapidly into the summer evening twilight, and won't be readily visible 
until autumn mornings. One final pairing will be the slender crescent Moon 
and Venus on 13 June: at 11 pm (BST) the Moon will be just 40 arcminutes 
North of Venus - both visible in the same telescopic view with a wide-field 
eyepiece in most telescopes.

The ISS is still making spectacular bright passes in the late evenings and 
early mornings. In fact, as the Sun is rarely too low below the horizon to 
illuminate it, it can be seen at almost any time of night. The launch of the 
Shuttle Endeavour has been postponed again, until Tuesday, but if it launches 
then we may still get a chance to see it close to the ISS as they rendezvous 
for docking. Watch the news for launch details.

The first of two special IAA 'Solar Days' will be held as before at the WWT, 
Castle Espie, near Comber Co Down, at 2.0 - 4.30 on Sunday 9 June. (The 
second will be at Carnfunnock Country Park, near Larne, Co Antrim, on 
Saturday 15 June: more details later.)

We'll have a variety of telescopes for viewing the Sun, both by projection 
and through special solar filters to show the view in visible light, and also 
a special Coronado telescope to show the view in H-Alpha light, so you can 
see prominences etc. We'll also have Julie Thompson with her renowned show in 
Armagh Planetarium's portable dome, so there will be something even if it's 
cloudy. But we have a 100% observing record at this event so far, so here's 
hoping! Bring any telescopes you have, BUT ONLY if you have a proper filter, 
or a projection system, for observing. NEVER, NEVER attempt to look at the 
sun through any sort of optical instrument without special solar filters!

Admission is free for IAA members, so come along for a good day's observing & 

Hope to see lots of you there.


Last Revised: 2002 June 5th
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