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From: TerryMoselaol.com
Date: 18 November 2006 13:29:55 GMT
Subject: IAA Leonid watch, AP on RTE, Structure of Matter, Armagh lecture

Hi all,

1. OBSERVING EVENING + LEONID WATCH: The Irish Astronomical Association
will be holding an observing evening tonight, weather permitting, at
Delamont Country Park, just South of Killyleagh on the road to
Downpatrick, Co Down. It's a great dark-sky site, with plenty of room
for parking & observing. The barrier at the entrance will be open until
9 p.m. this evening, so be there before 9 if you want to get in. The
barrier opens automatically on exit, so you can get out any time you
want. There will be ordinary telescopic & binocular observing first,
followed by a session on the Leonid meteors, hopefully lasting right
through to the "Asher - McNaught Peak" at about 04.45. This is expected
to be a brief but intense burst of activity of faint meteors, when
hourly rates of up to 120 or 150 might be seen. But note that the main
burst of activity won't last long: one prediction is that the 'Full
Width Half Maximum" will last about 40 minutes; in other words the level
will be at least half of the maximum rate for a period of 40 minutes
centred on 04.45. Extending that prediction slightly might indicate a
rate of at least 40 per hour from about 04.15 to 05.15, and over about
30 per hour from 04.00 to 05.30. But please note that most of the
meteors are expected to be faint, so you will need to have a very dark
sky to see that rate! You can get a final check on whether it's going
ahead by checking the IAA website,  Bring a flask of hot tea or coffee
to keep you going, and wrap up REALLY warm!

2. ARMAGH PLANETARIUM ON RTE: Have a look at the Armagh Planetarium
interview that was aired on Irish RTE prime time news. The interview
covers the latest imagery from Mars, ESA missions, meteorites and lots
more. Link

3. "String theory, fermions and field theories" A lecture for those
interested in the fundamental structure of matter, which may eventually
lead to a 'Theory of Everything', linking gravity to the other three
fundamental forces of nature. I imagine that this is one for those with
a good grounding in physics and maths!

"Award-winning Dutch physicist,  Prof Robbert Dijkgraaf, is giving a
specialist public lecture in Dublin on Wednesday, November 22nd.
Dijkgraaf, who studied for his PhD under Dutch Nobel laureate, Gerard 't
Hooft, is now a professor at the University of Amsterdam, having
previously worked at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study.  In
2003 he received the highest scientific award in the Netherlands, the
NWO Spinoza Prize.

Dijkgraaf's Dublin talk is entitled: Gauge Theories and Free Fermions
(the abstract below). Admission free, all welcome.

Wednesday 22nd November at 3.30 pm (NOTE time), DIAS, 10 Burlington
Road, Dublin 4

For more information on DIAS and its events, see

Abstract: Many exact solutions of 4d supersymmetric gauge theories can
be formulated in terms of 2d free fermion systems. This talk will show
how ideas from string theory naturally lead to such a description that
connects instanton computations, conformal field theories, and
integrable systems.

4. ROBINSON LECTURE, ARMAGH: A reminder: The 2006 Robinson Lecture will
be delivered by Professor Eric Priest FRS, of the School of Mathematics
and Statistics at the University of St. Andrews. The lecture, entitled
"Our Enigmatic Sun" will begin at 7.30 pm on Friday 24 November 2006 in
The Synod Hall, Abbey Street, Armagh, and is scheduled to end at 9.00
pm, followed by light refreshments.

The abstract of the lecture is: "For centuries mankind in societies such
as the ancient Egyptians worshipped the Sun, and today modern
observations from space have shown that the Sun is much more puzzling
than we realised. Indeed, most of the fundamental properties of the Sun
(which have important implications for the rest of astronomy) are not
yet understood. The lecture will introduce you to the main properties of
the Sun and will describe many of the modern puzzles, using the latest
images and movies. It will also describe a trip the author took to Egypt
to watch a solar eclipse, and will describe observations of huge
ejections of mass from the Sun and their effects on the Earth.
Attendance at the Robinson Lecture is free, but if you would like to
attend, please contact the Armagh Observatory in order to obtain
tickets. Please write, telephone or send an e-mail to: Mrs Aileen McKee,
Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG; Tel: 028-3752-2928;
Fax: 028-3752-7174; e-mail: ambnarm.ac.uk. Further information about
the 2006 Robinson Lecture is available at:

In addition Professor Priest is delivering the Robinson Schools Lecture
in the Royal School, College Hill, Armagh, at 2.00 pm on Thursday, 23
November 2006. Teachers and pupils who would like to attend should
contact Warren Fowles, The Royal School, College Hill Armagh. Tel.: 028
3752 2807; e-mail: sfowles830royalschool.armagh.ni.sch.uk. Further
information about the Robinson Schools Lecture is available at:

Clear skies,

Terry Moseley


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