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From: TerryMosel@aol.com
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2002 16:27:36 EST
Subject: RockyRoadShow, J Mason,+ Fireball

Hi all,

Two reminders:

The Ulster Museum & Belfast Geologists Society are running the annual 'Rocky 
Road Show' at the Museum, Stranmillis Road, tomorrow & Sunday afternoons. 
(Sat 1-5, & Sun 2-5). It's mainly about rocks & fossils, but the IAA has been 
invited to put on an astronomical stand, with features on the other planets, 
comets, meteorites, etc, and we'll have a few telescopes to show the Sun if 
it's clear. Maybe the crescent Moon on Sunday too.

So come along & see a great collection of meteorites & share ideas with thos 
who study particularly our OWN planet.

2. Don't forget the next IAA lecture is the Ronnie Ormonde Memorial Lecture: 
it's on Wed 20th, at 7.30 p.m., Lecture Room 5, Stranmillis College, as 
usual. It's by Dr John Mason, well-known author, lecturer & broadcaster. He's 
also a past President of the British Astronomical Association. The Title is 
"What If We Had No Moon?". Now take it from Uncle Terry that that is a VERY 
interesting topic, and that John is one of the most knowledgeable, 
entertaining & informative lecturers you'll ever hear, so DON'T MISS IT! 
Bring along some friends too - if they have any interest in the world around 
them, they won't be disappointed. Admission is free, but come early as there 
will be a good crowd, and places are limited

Did anyone see a bright fireball on Wed, 13 Mar 2002? Prof Mark Bailey 
(Director, Armagh Observatory, reports as follows:

"Bright meteor seen from about 1.5 miles East of Auchnacloy at about 
19:54:30. Moved roughly from slightly north of East on a fairly steep, swift 
trajectory through Ursa Minor and Cassiopeia towards slightly south of West. 
Exploded in a shower of sparks, total magnitude about -6 to -8."

And Dr Bill Napier, also from the Observatory, and his wife, also saw it!
"I saw the fireball near Glaslough [Co Monaghan], from my car. I agree Mark's 
estimates of magnitude and background constellations (although there may have 
been 20 km between us at the time of observation). To me it had a distinctly 
greenish hue (this was also Nancy's impression). I'd have described the
motion as "slow"; and the trajectory as shallow, with an appreciable 

If there are any other observations of this, please let me know!

Comet Ikeya-Zhang is now about 4th magnitude, and still brightening as it 
heads North through Pisces towards Beta Andromedae, which it will pass very 
closely on 30 March. It has a tail several degrees long, easily visible in 
any binocs. Catch it over the next few days before the Moon gets too bright. 
Tonight it's just W of Eta Piscium, mag 3.6. Tomorrow evening (Sat) it will 
be 12 degrees NNW of the crescent moon - that's about 2 - 3 binocular fields 
of view apart.

Finally, following requests from some members to save them paper & ink, I'm 
cutting out the full copy address list on these emails! I hope everyone still 
gets their copies!


Last Revised: 2002 March 15th
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