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From: TerryMoselaol.com
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2004 18:47:41 EDT
Subject: Sunspot, Comets, AGM, Rocks Around The North

Hi all,

1. Quite a good sized sunspot has just come into view on the Sun - the first 
for a while. Watch to see how it develops, and if it produces any CME's. 

2. Comet Bradfield (C2004/F4 (Bradfield) is the full title) has now almost 
disappeared from the SOHO Lasco C3 images - wasn't it brilliant? Only a trace of 
a tail now remains in view. Latest predictions are that the comet will soon 
become visible in the dawn twilight sky, just North of East, but it will be 
fading rapidly as it moves away from both Earth and Sun. It might be as bright as 
3rd magnitude on Thur morning (22nd), but still very low, and as already 
noted it will fade rapidly just as it climbs higher into a darker sky each 
morning. Here are positions (2000.0) for 0h UT each date:

              R.A.     Dec          Mag      Elong
Apr 22  01h 13m 11s   19o 26' 19"   3.8        13
Apr 24  01h 05m  43s  23o 44' 11"   4.8        18
Apr 26  01h 01m  04s  27o 13' 54"   5.7        22
Apr 28  00h 58m 23s   30o 06' 58"   6.4        25
Apr 30  00h 57m 01s   32o 32' 45"   7.0        28.

Better news is that Comet C/2002 T7 (LINEAR) is expected to reach magnitude 
0.3 - almost as bright as Capella, in mid May, although it will then be 
impossible to see for observers in our latitudes. But it might still be a good naked 
eye object in early June when it becomes visble again low in the evening 
skies, which unfortunately by then will never get really dark. But still, it might 
be quite nice in the late twilight at around 3rd to 4th magnitude. It might 
even just be visible very briefly, and very low down in the morning twilight, in 
late April & early May  -  more details on that soon.

Even Better News is that C/2001 Q4 (NEAT) is also expected to be quite bright 
when it zooms up above our SW horizon in early May: maybe visible by May 6 or 
7, if it's as bright as predicted: the latest BAA Circular predicts magnitude 
1 around May 7/8/9, which should be pretty good! More details on that one 
later too.

3. The IAA AGM will be on Wed 28 April, 7.30 p.m., Room 5, Stranmillis 
College Belfast. After the business, which shouldn't take too long, we'll have 
George Brannan's renowned Video highlights of the year! Not to be missed! Plus free 
light refreshments. All are welcome, but only paid up members can take part 
in any official business.

4. For you astronomer - geologists: Mike Simms asked me to circulate these 
Hi Terry,
Here are details of the Rocks Around the North events.  The Larne one is of 
most interest to IAA members I should imagine, but the others should all be 
Dr. Mike Simms, Curator of Palaeontology, Department of Geology, Ulster 
Botanic Gardens, Belfast BT9 5AB. Tel. 028-9038 3133, FAX 028-9038 3103
michael.simms.nics.gov.uk, www.burrenkarst.com

Rocks Around the North
Come along to these guided walks to discover more about the rocks of Northern 
Ireland. No previous knowledge is required and all of the events are FREE!
Bank Holiday weekend - 1st-3rd May 2004

LARNE - Saturday 1st May (afternoon)
Deserts, Drowning and Disasters (with Mike Simms)
Meet at 2p.m. in the car park on the seaward side of the Leisure Centre for a 
stroll along the promenade and onto the shore. See for yourself clues to an 
ancient desert, rising sea levels, and the impact of a giant meteorite 200 
million years ago.

BELFAST - Sunday 2nd May
Rocks Around the Docks (with Alan Bell)
Meet at 12.30 by the sheep outside the Waterfront Hall for a 90 minute 
walkabout to see the variety of rocks, from near and far, used in and around the 
docks. Aqualung not required.

Discovering Dinobirds (with Angela Milner, Natural History Museum, London) 
A half-hour talk starting at 3 p.m.. Hear a World expert on the subject speak 
about the latest amazing discoveries showing that birds are just small 
feathered dinosaurs.

CAVE HILL - Monday 3rd May (morning)
Walking With Imagination (with Tony Bazley)
Start at 10.30a.m. in the Lower Car Park [326810] at Belfast Zoo. A circular 
walk to McArts Fort and back, via 'the' cave, by about 1pm. See the landscape 
through the eyes of a geologist, taking you from the death of the dinosaurs 
through a fiery volcanic hell to vast landslides and ancient Man. The route is 
moderately difficult and strenuous in places; appropriate footwear is 

CULTRA - Monday 3rd May (afternoon)
Mudflats, Mountains and Magnesian Limestone (with Mike Simms)
Meet at 2 p.m. at the east end of the Seafront Road [opposite end from the 
Yacht Club] for an easy stroll along the shore to see the amazing evidence for 
ancient mudflats, salty seas and vanished mountains. And find out what 
Magnesian Limestone is. 

Clear Skies (and dry ground for the geologists!)

Terry Moseley

Last Revised: 2004 April 21st
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