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From: TerryMoselat signaol.com
Date: 3 December 2007 18:28:40 GMT
Subject: Events, Lectures, TV

Hi all,

Firstly, 2 lectures  tonight - Sorry for the short notice!

1. EAAS: 8 p.m.: Lecture Theatre, Ballyclare High School, December 3rd.

Mr Dave Grennan (Astronomy Ireland & South Dublin Astronomical 
Society): Digital  Astrophotography: Equipment and Techniques Dave
Grennan is probably one of the most accomplished  astro-photographers in
Ireland. He has had an interest in Astronomy since  childhood, and his
special interest is in using modified web-cameras and digital  SLR
cameras to capture stunning vistas of the night sky. For many years the 
'black art' of high resolution deep sky astrophotography was confined to
 professional observatories and very advanced amateur astronomers using
very  expensive equipment. The advent of consumer digital cameras has
resulted in  imaging devices being made available to the general public
at far more  reasonable cost. Many of these devices are well suited to
taking wonderful  images of the treasures of the night sky. In his talk,
Dave Grennan will uncover this revolution in digital  deep sky
astrophotography and will show how very detailed images of far flung
galaxies, clusters, and nebulae can be recorded using equipment which
many amateur astronomers may already possess. Last year he set up his
own website at link along with his friend Jed Glover to
share their  collection of images. Small admission  charge.

2. IAS: Derek Heatly will give a public  lecture on his space
adventures, 8pm, Dec 3rd, Dunsink Observatory,  Castleknock, Dublin.
"Stop the World and Let me Off" a  talk/movie presentation about Derek's
training to go into suborbital flight on  board Virgin Galactic's
Spaceship 2. Derek, unofficially christened the  "Ulsternaut" of the
Irish Astronomical Association by yours truly, has already experienced
weightless flights in the Russian plane used  to train cosmonauts, and
has flown to the edge of space in a Mig 27. He expects  to fly into
space itself in a couple of years, if Virgin Galactic maintain their
planned schedule. Space memorabilia & Lunar Meteorites will be for  sale
in aid of  Leukaemia Research. Admission Free. All  welcome.

3. RIA Public Lecture: The  Galileo Affair: By Professor Ernan 
McMullin, Emeritus Professor, University of Notre Dame. 6 p.m., Academy
House,  19 Dawson St, Dublin 2. Admission free, but by Ticket only. tel.
01 676 2570, or www.ria.ie

4. Dunsink Public  Night: Wednesday December 5th, 8pm. Dr  Brian Espey
of Trinity College will  speak on Space Science and Astrophysics. This
is a good talk for Secondary School  pupils, so come along and ask
questions. If it's a clear  evening there will be observing afterwards. 
Admission Free.

5.  ISS + SHUTTLE LAUNCH: The  International Space Station starts
another series of evening passes over Ireland  on 6 December, and that
is also the scheduled date for the launch of  the next Space Shuttle
mission, STS-122, carrying the  European Columbus laboratory to the ISS.
If it launches on time, we should  see the ISS plus the Shuttle crossing
the sky together for an orbit or two, before they dock. Check
www.heavens-above.com for the latest details.

6.  TV: Sunday 9th Dec  2100-2200 repeated 10th Dec 0100-0200, BBC4. a
re-run of "Sky at Night -  A Journey Through Space and Time" the
extended retrospective programme. In fact  the whole BBC4 schedule from
1900 to 2200 is space/astronomy  related.

7.  A.I. Christmas Lecture - Dec. 10 "The Search for Extraterrestrial
Intelligence",  by Dr. Tim O'Brien of Jodrell Bank Observatory. The talk
will be in Dublin but made available on DVD for everyone in Ireland. You
are advised  to book your places online now for the Christmas Lecture at
(where you can also order the DVD in advance). The Christmas Lecture is always a
special event, with a great subject and a brilliant speaker this year to
 boot. Admission charge.

8. IFAS ASTRONOMER of the YEAR - Deirdre  Kelleghan: Many
congratulations to Deirdre who has just been voted as "Astronomer of 
the Year" by the Irish Federation of Astronomical Societies. Deirdre,
who is  currently President of the IAS, is a tireless campaigner for
astronomy outreach,  particularly promoting it to young people, and is
also a keen sketcher of the  sky, with some of her astronomical sketches
featuring on the Astronomy Sketch of  the Day website. Well done
Deirdre, very well  deserved.

9. IYA 2009 - Robert Hill has been officially confirmed as a member of
the International Astronomical Union Executive Committee Working Group
for the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA09)!  Many of you know
Robert  from his excellent work at Armagh Planetarium, and more recently
the NI Space  Office, and he is of course a Council Member of the IAA. 
If you don't  already know, the United Nations full Assembly has
designated 2009 as  International Year of Astronomy to commemorate 400
years since Galileo's first  telescopic observations of the sky. As a
member of the International Astronomical Union  Executive Committee
Working Group, Robert will be working closely with Prof Mike  Redfern,
Head of the Astronomy Centre of the National University of Ireland, 
Galway, and Prof Ian Robson who heads the UK Astronomy Technology Centre
in Edinburgh.  These two individuals are designated as the Single Points
of Contact for their respective countries and are planning the  events
that will take place during the International Year of Astronomy 2009.
Not  only is this quite a feather in Robert s cap, and is recognition of
his tireless  work in astronomical education, but also it is an
acknowledgement of the role of  Armagh Planetarium in nurturing and
strongly supporting Robert's professional  development since 2002.
After joining Armagh Planetarium as a  Science Communicator in July
2002, Robert became part of the Planetarium's  travelling Educational
team.  Staff worked throughout Ireland taking  Astronomy to schools and
other venues to tell people about the spectacular  sights in the cosmos.
 Robert was also allowed to travel to many different  European cities
and as far afield as Nigeria as a UNESCO-funded ambassador for 
Astronomy education.  This work reached many thousands of people who 
otherwise would not have heard much about space exploration and 
science. Robert  is currently on secondment to the UK-based Space
Connections and he represents  the Northern Ireland Space Office (NISO)
at Armagh Planetarium. This is a  pilot project for European Space
Agency funded regional centres of excellence  for space education. I am
sure that you will join me in  congratulating him on this signal
approval of his considerable standing in the  eyes of the professional
astronomy community.  Congratulations Robert, and  very well done.

10. GEMINID METEORS: The main meteor shower of the  year, the Geminids
peak on December  14th, with a zenithal hourly rate (ZHR) of  about 100.
Since the radiant, near Castor, gets quite high up later in the  night,
this is one shower where actual observed rates can get very close to the
 theoretical ZHR rate. Moonlight conditions are excellent, with the 4d
old Moon  setting early in the evening, before shower activity reaches
its  peak. The maximum is forecast for 11.00 on the 14th, so  the best
night will be December 13-14, with highest rates just  before dawn on
the 14th. If you are really committed, stay up late,  or get up early,
and for the hours from about 03.00 until twilight starts to  interfere,
you should see about 80-90 Geminids per hour from a really dark site! 
Add in the usual occasional sporadics, and actual observed meteor rates
could touch 100 per hour! Geminids can be  seen from December 7/8 to
15/16, but the peak is fairly sharp, and high rates  are only seen for a
day or so on either side of maximum. They tend to be slow,  with a fair
number of bright meteors, making them an excellent photo  target.

11. Armagh Planetarium Xmas  Show.  'MYSTERY OF THE CHRISTMAS STAR'. 
FIVE YEARS OF AGE OR YOUNGER. See  www.armaghplanet.com
for  details

Clear  Skies,

Terry  Moseley


Last Revised: 2007 December 4th
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