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From: TerryMosel@aol.com
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2003 02:25:55 EST
Subject: N.E. Sunspot, Lecture, Comet, Columbia

Hi all,

The Sunspot maximum may be over, but there have been a few giant sunspots 
lately! The latest one is also visible to the unaided eye. NEVER look at the 
sun through any sort of optical aid: alwyas use a special modern 
purpose-designed solar filter, or project the Sun's image onto a piece of 
white paper or card.

The next Irish Astronomical Association meeting will be on Wednesday 19th, 
7.30 p.m., in Stranmillis College, Stranmillis Road, Belfast. Mr Gerry 
Moloney will give a public lecture entitled "Time for HRT", which will 
discuss the importance of the Hertzprung-Russell, or HR, diagram. Admission 
is free and all are welcome.

As soon as the Moon has left our evening skies, have another look for Comet 
Juels Holvorcem, moving from Lacerta into Andromeda. It hadn't maintained its 
fast brightening rate at the time of my last view, but you never know....

Finally, I have just received the following email from Leo Enright about the 
Columbia investiagtion. 

"Terry,  Thanks for your note about Heather's C4 programme.  I didn't see it
because I'm in Houston for a series of public hearings of the Columbia
Accident Investigation Board.

You might be gratified to hear that the amateur astronomy community came in
for some very major praise at today's (Monday) hearing.  "Heroes" was how
one NASA official described them, and that was echoed by the Board Chairman.

This followed a presentation (below) of video shot mainly by amateur
astronomers which is now central to the investigation.

One breathtaking sequence shows Columbia eclipsing Venus!"

[I haven't included the video sequence to keep the size of this email to 
reasonable proportions]
Clear Skies,

Terry Moseley

Last Revised: 2003 March 18th
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