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From: TerryMoselaol.com
Date: 25 July 2006 18:48:09 BDT
Subject: NLC Photos, Mark Bailey, Next TSE, Perseid BBQ, Scope 4 sale, Armagh Planetarium

Hi all,

1. NLC PHOTOS Congratulations to two local amateur astronomers, Paul
Evans from Larne, and Christopher Blair from Antrim, who had photos of
the recent lovely Noctilucent Clouds (NLCs) published in the August
issue of the BBC Sky at Night Magazine. In fact Christopher's was the
"Hotshot Photo of the Month". (Sorry I wasn't able to issue any alerts
about the NLCs: I was away from my PC at the relevant times)

2. PROF. MARK BAILEY: I've only just found out that Prof Mark Bailey,
Director of Armagh Observatory, was the featured 'star' in "A Week in
the Life of...." in the Belfast Telegraph's Jobfinder Section last
Tuesday, 18 July). There's a 2-page feature on him & his job. It must
have covered at least a few days, as he's wearing three different shirts
& three different ties in the photos! You might be able to rescue a copy
from the recycling bin, or read it online.

3. NEXT TSE: Just over 2 years to go to the next Total Solar Eclipse, on
1 August 2008! For those of you who don't know, the track starts high in
the remote Canadian Arctic, touches the N tip of Greenland, passes
across Novaya Zemlya in the Russian Arctic Ocean, then sweeps SE across
Russia, briefly touches extreme W Mongolia, and ends in W China.   
Probably the best observing option is Novosibirsk in S Russia (3rd / 4th
largest city in Russia), which is almost on the centre line, and can be
reached in two flights from Ireland. It also has quite good weather
prospects. A small sub-group in IFAS is looking at the observing &
travel options. (What news, folks?)  For those of you who are thinking
of waiting until the East Asia eclipse the following year (22 July
2009), do a Google search on Typhoon Bilis and Typhoon Kaemi, or see the
note at the bottom. While these areas are not exactly on the eclipse
track of 2009, they are not far away, and the whole Eastern seaboard of
China is liable to be hit by typhoons at that time of year!

4. PERSEIDS BBQ, CULTRA: The Perseids, the 'Old Faithful' of meteor
showers, reaches maximum on 12th August. But the waning gibbous Moon is
a nuisance this year, being a bright lamp in the sky that night,
drowning out all but the brighter meteors. So it's not worth seeking out
an exceptionally dark site to observe from, 'cos you can't escape the
moonlight! So the IAA has chosen a moderately dark, but easily
accessible, site for a fun / observing night. We'll be having a BBQ,
followed by meteor observing, and whatever else you fancy, such as
Jupiter if we can get it low down in the SW twilight, or even the Moon
(we may as well turn adversity to our advantage!) - weather permitting
of course!  We'll be at the lower car park (between the main road and
the sea) at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum, Cultra, between Belfast
and Holywood on Saturday 12 August, at 8 p.m. We'll provide the BBQ to
cook on - bring your own food & drink, plates, cutlery, glasses, chairs,
etc. Come earlier if you want to bring your own portable BBQ & set it
up. We should be ready to start cooking by about 8.30, finishing about
9.30, to give us time to clear things away, & then set up the
telescopes.  We'll then start observing as soon as it gets dark
enough. Bring your own telescope & binocs if you can. If you want to do
some proper meteor observing, bring a lounger or tilt-back chair so that
you can look up comfortably at the sky for long periods.  And wrap up
warm - it can get quite cold late on, even in August!  Of course if
it's raining, or totally cloudy, the event will be cancelled. But if
there's any reasonable amount of clear sky, we'll be there.

(Next year the moonlight conditions for the Perseids are nearly perfect,
so we'll be going to a good dark sky site such as Big Collin in Co
Antrim, or Drumkeeragh in Co Down, or maybe both.)

5. SCOPE FOR SALE: Meade 10" LX200GPS with UHTC coatings. See
http://www.meade.com/lx200gps/ for details. It comes with: Field Tripod
8x50 Finder Microfocuser 1.25" Diagonal 26mm Meade Super Plossl Eyepiece
9.7mm Meade Super Plossl Eyepiece Meade Autostar Suite (Lunar Plantetary
Imager & Autostar Suite Software) External heavy-duty 12V power supply
(i.e. rechargable portable car battery)  All items are "as new"
and telescope is in original packaging. Cost approx  £2,850 so offers
somewhere in the region £2,000 or about €3350.  Contact: Neil
Kelleher, 49 Seabury, Sandymount, Dublin 4, Mobile: +353 85 174 4542

6. ARMAGH PLANETARIUM: Yes, at last, Armagh Planetarium will be
re-opening to the public on 31 July, after its major revamp and
refurbishment. Should be well worth seeing, and the shows presented with
the new Digistar 3 are supposed to be superb! Advance booking is
required. See details on www.armaghplanet.com.

Clear Skies,

Terry Moseley


Last Revised: 2006 July 26th
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