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From: TerryMoselat signaol.com
Date: 6 September 2007 23:27:6 Sep 2007
Subject: Newgrange, Armagh Obs, IAS Meeting, IAA lecture, ASGI, CAC,
WSP, Ulsternaut

Hi all,

1. IAA EVENT AT NEWGRANGE: This seems to have been a great success, with
over 10,600 visitors at Newgrange during their Heritage Week (actually 9
days). Although not all visited our exhibition etc, many did, and saw or
experienced an amazing 3-D movie of the Sun from the STEREO spacecraft,
other 3-d images, interactive DVD shows, films, photos, spacecraft
models, a competition, and even some solar viewing through visual and
H-Alpha filters. For the first two days there was also the attraction of
Armagh Planetarium's Stardome.    Thanks to all who helped, in any way,
but particularly Dr Miruna Popescu from Armagh Observatory, who produced
& obtained some fantastic material, and was there for all but 2 days,
Wendy McCorry from the Planetarium who did 5 shows each day on the first
W/E, and Pat O'Neill who chaired the organising committee, even though
he was not well enough to be there except on the last day. Other
volunteers included Philip Baxter, David Collins, Lee Gordon, Barry
Loane, Sam Lyttle, Terry Murphy and Ron Patterson. Only 'Anorak Moseley'
was there for all 9 days. Sad, eh? But perhaps that was because of the
free food & drinks available from the cafe for all volunteers any time
of the day, courtesy of the Manager, Clare Tuffy! (No, we didn't take
the wine - only tea, coffee, soft drinks, juices, etc. Well, speaking
for myself, anyway!). See www.irishastro.org

2. As part of UK's contribution, Armagh Observatory is taking part in
European Heritage Open Day this Saturday (September 8), opening to the
public with guided tours, of this historic, but still very
active, scientific institution: tours hourly from 11am-4pm. See

3. The next IAS meeting will be a public lecture by a certain Terry
Moseley, at 8.0 on Monday 17 September, to be held in the Meridian Room
of Dunsink Observatory, Dunsink Lane, Castleknock, Dublin. Entitled "The
WWWWW of Irish Astronomy", it will look at everything astronomical in
Ireland from Newgrange to the present day, and beyond. See:
www.irishastrosoc.org ,  homepage.eircom.net

BUILDING, QUB !!!  The first meeting of the next session of the Irish
Astronomical Association will be on Wed 19 September, at 7.30 p.m. The
lecture will be by Prof Tom Ray of UCD, entitled "The Birth of the Stars
and Planets: Do We Really Know How the Solar System Formed?" Prof Ray is
well known as one of the leading astronomical researchers in Ireland,
and an excellent and entertaining speaker, so we are delighted to have
him to kick off our new season of meetings.   NEW VENUE: Because of
ever-increasing charges being imposed by Stranmillis College (they
wanted  125 per night for the coming session - that's a 40% increase on
last year, which was itself a 20% increase on the previous year!), we
were forced to look for an alternative venue.    Thanks to the very good
efforts of Prof Stephen Smartt of QUB we have now got an excellent deal
for the Bell Lecture Theatre in the Physics Building, main campus, QUB.
(I'll not bore you with the details).    There's free parking in the
main QUB campus after about 5 p.m., and we can have our usual
refreshments after the meeting. access to the vicinity of the Physics
Building is from University Square, which is only accessible from
University Road. You can also park on University Square itself at that
time of the evening, if you wish.    BUT You MUST arrive no later than
7.30 p.m., as there will be no access to the building after that time,
except by special arrangement. More details on that later.    To be
safe, remind all your friends/other members, of the change of venue, and
the time deadline. See www.irishastro.org

5. The autumn meeting of the ASGI, (Astronomical Science Group of
Ireland, the all-Ireland association of professional astronomers), will
be held on 20th and 21st September, at DIAS, Burlington House, 10
Burlington Road, D4. See
star.arm.ac.uk/asgi/     N.B: This is a
meeting at PROFESSIONAL LEVEL! Members of societies which are affiliated
to ASGI, such as the IAA, are entitled to attend, but please note that
most of the talks require university level competence in maths and/or
physics! It's not for your average backyard amateur stargazer.....

holding a special public event at the new Blackrock Castle Observatory,
in the Eastern suburbs of the city, on the evening of Friday 21
September, and during the day on Sat 22 September. See:

7. WHIRLPOOL STAR PARTY: Advance notice that the next Whirlpool Star
Party, organised as ever by Shannonside Astronomy Club, will be held in
Birr on 5-7 October. More details later. See:

8. VIRGIN ULSTERNAUT: The IAA's own intrepid 'Ulsternaut', Derek Heatly,
has jumped ship from "Space Adventures", with whom he already booked for
a flight into space, to Richard Branson's "Virgin Galactic". He's now
listed as a 'Virgin Galactic astronaut, pioneer class', i.e. in the
first 200, probably no.195 or so. He was in touch with their Dave Clark
(Princess Beatrice's boyfriend) - they did a zero-g flight last week.
Apparently Space Adventures have nothing built yet, whereas VG are still
planning flights at the end of 2009, which would get Derek up in 2010,
which would tie in well with Arthur C Clarke's ''2010''!!  Branson is
planning the rollout of Spaceship 2 on Jan. 23rd, 2008. For those of you
who don't know, Derek has already done weightless flights with the
Russians in their training aircraft, and been to the edge of space in a
Mig 21 flight. He hopes to be the first Irishman in space! Good Luck!

Clear skies,

Terry Moseley


Last Revised: 2007 September 7th
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