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From: TerryMoselat signaol.com
Date: 18 November 2007 16:48:59 GMT
Subject: Leonids mini-peak, geology prog, Space Q,  3 Lectures

Hi all,

1. EXTRA LEONIDS PEAK: The Leonids 'traditional' maximum last night was
clouded out for most observers in Ireland. But Dr David Asher at Armagh
Observatory has alerted me to an extra - 'mini-peak' tonight, which
might give ZHR rates of over 60 per hour. Don't get too excited, because
it is forecast to occur at 23.05, when the radiant is barely above the
NE horizon for observers in the NE of Ireland, and even lower for those
in the West and South. So observed rates will be much lower than the
theoretical maximum, which is quoted for the radiant being in the
zenith.    Further, the meteors are expected to be quite faint, which
means that you will have to observe from a really dark site to see them
properly.    The accuracy of this forecast is stated to be 'high', which
means that the timing is unlikely to be in error by more than about 15
minutes either way. The enhanced activity will decline fairly quickly
after maximum, with ZHR rates down to about 30 about 2 hours after
maximum. However, it might be worth having a look from about 11 or
11.30 p.m. onwards, if only out of curiosity, and to check the accuracy
of the forecast. Observers in NE Ireland have the best chance, if you
can get to a really dark site.      Further details can be found on
link or from the Armagh Observatory website: www.arm.ac.uk

 2. GEOLOGY PROGRAMME: Earth; the Power of the Planet; DOCUMENTARY OF
THE WEEK New series 1/5. Volcano. Tuesday 20 November, at 21.00 on BBC2.
Dr lain Stewart investigates the
powerful natural forces that have shaped the world over billions of
years. Beginning his quest with volcanos, he abseils into a lava lake
and then explores the underwater caverns created by the meteor that
wiped out the dinosaurs. He also explains the positive role played by
the greenhouse effect many millennia ago in ending the last ice age.
Director/Producer Paul Olding 
Signed repeat on Wednesday at 1.50am on BBC1 (5) (AD) 7399 
     BLURB: (Edited for brevity) Dr Iain Stewart - senior
lecturer in geology at the University of Plymouth - has already tackled
Journeys from the Centre of the Earth and Journeys into the Ring of
Fire, but his new five-part series, Earth: the Power of the Planet,
attempts to tell the whole story. "Other programmes have shown the
grandeur of the planet," says Stewart, "but I wanted to show how Earth
works: how complicated it is, how all the bits interconnect and how it
came to be a planet that supports life." Helped by some of the same
techniques and cameramen that took our breath away during Planet Earth,
Stewart looks at the forces that have shaped the planet - volcanos,
oceans, the atmosphere and ice - and, in the final programme, concludes
that Earth has nothing to fear from man. "Earth was here billions of
years before us; it's withstood a lot worse than we can throw at it. If
we do mess things up this time, it won't be the planet that's in
trouble. It won't be life that's in trouble. Life will carry on, the
cockroaches will carry on. We're the ones who'll be in trouble!" Danny
     REVIEW: (Edited for brevity) In this whopper of a series Stewart
has pulled off the near-impossible: made a gripping, dramatic, inspiring
programme about rocks. It's also about the origins of life on Earth and
the forces that moulded our planet. It's big-picture stuff, with soaring
shots of mountain ranges and lava lakes but also the odd 3-D diagram,
too, to show how, say, subduction volcanos work (more interesting than
it sounds), Volcanos are the heroes of tonight's programme and the story
is of how the heat trapped inside the Earth when it formed
four-and-a-half billion years ago has played a vital role ever since.
It's a fascinating story, told in a way that might just persuade older
children to watch, too.  David Butcher.     
     BOOK OFFER: RT DIRECT: To order Earth: the Power of the Planet in hardback 
for just  12 (normally 20) incl. free p&p, call 0844 848 9799, quoting reference RTD191.

3.  Space Expectations Study: "Maybe you could help us distribute a
questionnaire which will try to ascertain the expectations of the
public, particularly youth, regarding space. We have set up a special
web site and we ask that people simply complete the questionnaire.   
The letter below may be of use. Thanks and regards, David Raitt"
 October 30, 2007

"We ask for your help in shaping the future agenda for space as we stand
at the dawn of a new century.  This fiftieth year of orbiting spacecraft
celebrates the best of human endeavours in space with achievements in
global weather monitoring, navigation, stunning leaps in science and a
permanent human presence in space.  The International Academy of
Astronautics (IAA) would like to involve the members of your
organization in a voluntary web-based public survey to assess societal
expectations of space.  This could lead to space programs that are not
only supported by the public but generate and maintain interest
throughout society. This study, sponsored by the IAA would:
    determine the depth of understanding and backing of the public for space activities
    describe society s expectations of space programs; and,
    ascertain how society could become more involved in the space arena
  The next step
would be to merge these three thrusts so that space projects could be
positioned to fulfil public expectations, maintain their interest and
excitement, and supported (both financially and intellectually) by the
     Methodology:  A public survey to be distributed though
various national and international networks and organizations (including
space agencies) to diverse groups including: high schools and
universities; art, cultural and heritage organizations; as well as the
public at large. For the public response, students would be encouraged
to have their parents also respond to the survey.  This would give the
study team several sets of inputs from different age groups from around
the world. 
     We should like to solicit your assistance in helping the
IAA formulate the future through recognition of the positive impacts of
space activities upon society.  Please distribute the attached
invitation throughout your organization.  Information to assist you is
shown on the website, www.space-expectations.org, along with brief
descriptions of the IAA.  We appreciate your contribution to this
  Sincerely yours,  Peter A. Swan, Ph.D.
 Study Lead, Space Expectations 
 International Academy of Astronautics
	"My Space Expectations" 
 Please  assist  the International  Academy  of Astronautics in assessing the status of the
space arena with respect to your expectations.  The approach is simple: 
      Go to:   www.space-expectations.org                
      Fill in the survey   ---   Enjoy the feedback
      Invite your family and friends to participate. 
 Participate in the Celebrations for the 50th Anniversary of Spaceflight!" 
(I'll forgive them for pinching the "IAA" initials from the Irish Astronomical Association! Just.)

  4.  Next IAS Public Lecture will be "Galileo, Galileo, Who was
Galileo?", by Deirdre Kelleghan, in Dunsink Observatory, Castleknock,
Dublin on Monday November 19th, at 8 p.m. Admission Free."

5. PUBLIC LECTURE: 27 November. 6.0 for 6.30 p.m. 
"Through the Eyes of the Hubble Space Telescope" by Dr Robin Catchpole (Institute of
Astronomy - Cambridge). The talk will include technology involved in the
Hubble Space Telescope as well as the abilities of the telescope as
Venue:  University of Ulster at Belfast (also known as the Arts College) 
(see website for further
details and a map.) Admission free, all welcome 

6. The next public lecture by the "Real IAA" will be on Wednesday 28 November, 7.30 p.m.
sharp, Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, main campus, Queen's
University Belfast. Kevin Berwick will speak on "Astronomical Tourism".
Admission free, including light refreshments. Free parking in the main
QUB campus after 5.30 p.m. See www.irishastro.org for details and a map
of the venue.

Clear skies,

Terry Moseley


Last Revised: 2007 November 19th
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