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From: TerryMoselat signaol.com
Date: 17 August 2007 01:55:17 Aug 2007
Subject: Solar day, Mt Stewart; Newgrange Event; Seminar; PhD post;

Hi all,


The Irish Astronomical Association will be having a public astronomy
afternoon at Mount Stewart, near Newtownards, Co Down, on Sunday 19
August, from 2 to 5 p.m.

We will have a selection of special solar telescopes for viewing the Sun
safely, together with an exhibition, telescopes and binoculars on
display, and public lectures if the weather is too bad to operate
outside. You can also meet & hear a talk by Ireland's first prospective
astronaut, Derek Heatly, who has booked to fly into space with Virgin's
'Space Adventures'.

Armagh Planetarium will also be having a fun rocket-launching

See: www.irishastro.org


The IAA is delighted and honoured to have been asked to run a special
astronomy event at Newgrange, Bru na Boinne, Co Meath, to celebrate
their 'Heritage Week', which is actually 8 days, running from Saturday
25 August through to Sunday 2 September. Details are as follows:


The Irish Astronomical Association (IAA), together with the Armagh
Observatory and the Armagh Planetarium, are to mark Heritage Week with a
major event at Newgrange, Bru na Boinne, from Saturday 25 August to
Sunday 2 September.  The event will celebrate the ancient and modern
understanding of our Sun, the nearest star, and the ancient astronomy of

Newgrange is one of the most astronomically significant archaeological
sites in the world. The amazing effect of the midwinter sunrise shining
through the special roof-box into the passageway and illuminating the
inner chamber is an almost magical experience. However, the reason for
its construction more than 5,000 years ago, before both Stonehenge and
the Egyptian Pyramids, remains a mystery.  Its special astronomical
significance is that it marks the midwinter solstice, which occurs this
year on December 22.  This is the time when the Sun reaches its most
southerly point in the sky, marking the shortest day and the longest
night of the year.

During Heritage Week, the IAA is mounting an exhibition and a series of
talks about the Sun and its importance for us today and for the people
who built Newgrange. There will be a major exhibition related to the Sun
and ancient astronomy; interactive displays; real movies of the Sun from
spacecraft; images in wavelengths of light invisible to the eye;
hands-on experiments; safe viewing of the Sun with special solar
telescopes, if the sky is clear; a quiz with prizes for both adults and
children; free give-aways; and lots more.

There will also be a special exhibit, courtesy of Dr Miruna Popescu of
the Armagh Observatory, which was selected for the Royal Society's
Summerscience exhibition in London. This exhibit is part of the
worldwide programme of activities for International Heliophysical Year
2007/2008, and the special display will show how dependent we are on our
variable Sun.  This exhibition has recently begun a tour of the island
of Ireland with support from Discover Science and Engineering and the
Northern Ireland Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

And for the first Saturday and Sunday, the Armagh Planetarium will
provide special star shows in their mobile planetarium.

Admission to the Visitors  Centre is free during both weekends, i.e. the
first and second Saturdays and Sundays, although normal admission
charges apply to the guided tours of the chambers within the Newgrange
and Knowth mounds themselves.  But on the last Sunday, 2 September, even
those tours are free, too!

See: www.irishastro.org  and www.knowth.com or www.heritageireland.ie

3. SEMINAR in UCD:     There will be a seminar at UCD on Monday
afternoon, 20 August. Speaker: Professor Tsvi Piran, Racah Institute of
Physics, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem Title: Gamma Ray Bursts in the
post-Swift pre-Glast era. Date and time: Monday 20th August 3pm
Location: Room 1.28, School of Physics

4. PhD position in Astronomy Applications are invited for a PhD
Scholarship in the DIAS School of Cosmic Physics, to work with Prof.
E.J.A. Meurs on one of the following projects: (1) a multi-wavelength
study of Wolf-Rayet galaxies (2) distribution of stellar X-ray sources
in neighbouring galaxies (3) observations of Gamma Ray Burst afterglows
(4) low-level active nuclei in nearby galaxy groups    Applicants should
have a degree in Astronomy and/or Physics.  Remuneration is according to
standard DIAS scales, plus a provision towards fees (the successful
candidate has to register with one of the universities). Prospective
starting date is October 2007.    Applicants should include a CV, a
reasoned indication of possible preference for any of these projects,
and the names and contact details of two academic referees. Submissions
are requested by 31 August 2007, after which date the selection process
will start.    For further information contact Prof. E.J.A. Meurs,
ejameursat signgmail.com, to whom also applications are to be submitted. (See
also AAS Job Register advert No 23758.)

5. PERSEIDS: Finally, last but not least: a hardy & hungry band of IAA
members enjoyed a BBQ at Delamont Country Park on Sunday 12/8 (largely
thanks to Philip Baxter's cooking facilities), followed by about half an
hour of partially clear sky in late twilight, and then almost exactly an
hour of clear dark sky, from about 11 p.m. to midnight. Although the
radiant was still low, and conditions were not perfect, we all saw
between 20 and 30 meteors in that hour. And many of those were
magnificent fireballs, several brighter than Venus, and leaving nice,
though short-lived, trains. If it had stayed clear right through the
night, I'm sure that the display would have been dazzling!    So, next
really good display will be the Geminids in December, also moon-free -
though we may skip the BBQ for that one....

Clear skies,

Terry Moseley


Last Revised: 2007 Aug 17th
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