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From: TerryMoselat signaol.com
Date: 16 February 2007 13:46:16 GMT
Subject: V. Bright Mira, ISS, Lecture, COSMOS

Hi all,
 1. Mira, or Omicron Ceti, the prototype long period variable, is
reaching a very bright maximum and may still be brightening. It is now
brighter than at any time since Feb/Mar 1997 when it peaked at mag 2.7.Ę
 Martin McKenna from Maghera was first local personĘto notice it,
confirmed by John McConnell from Maghaberry. The latest estimates place
it at around magnitude 2.2, almost as bright as Polaris (but allow for
extinction due to the lowish altitude), and almost as bright as it has
ever been! It lies at RA 02h 19.3m; Dec 02 Deg 59' S.     A chart with
suitable comparison stars can be found at:- Link. 
 Mira can be found just after the start of
astronomical twilight at around 19.30 GMT some 40 degrees from Venus in
a north easterly direction from that planet i.e. higher in the sky than
Venus and with a more southerly azimuth.

2. The ISS has just started another series of evening passes over
Ireland. For details for your location, and lots of other free night sky
information, see www.heavens-above.com

2. The next IAA public lecture will be on Wednesday 21st February, by
Prof Tom Millar, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering & Physical Sciences,
and Professor of Astrophysics, at QUB. Prof Millar's topic will be
"Molecules in Space - the origin of life?"    It will be held in Lecture
Theatre 5, Stranmillis College, Stranmillis Road, Belfast, at 7.30 p.m.
Admission is fee, including light refreshments, and all are welcome.

4. COSMOS 2007. The Tullamore Astronomy Society will once again be
hosting their annual "COSMOS" star party, at Annaharvey, Tullamore, Co
Offaly, on the W/E of 9-11 March. Details at www.tullamoreastronomy.com

Clear skies,

Terry Moseley


Last Revised: 2007 February 16th
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