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From: TerryMoselat signaol.com
Date: 19 February 2008 20:48:32 GMT
Subject: Lectures, Eclipse, Planetarium Event, Seminars, ASGI

Hi all,

EVENT AT ARMAGH: The Director of Armagh Observatory, Professor
Mark Bailey, has asked me to publicise this event:

1. Wed 20 February: A special "Meet the Astronomers at Armagh" event
during the day: (see link).   
This event is free and open to all.  For tickets please contact Mrs
Aileen McKee by e-mail at ambnat signarm.ac.uk  or telephone the Observatory:
028-3752-2928. For general information see the website.

2. Wed 20 February: IAA PUBLIC LECTURE:  7.30 p.m. Prof Chris Dainty,
NUIG: "The prospect of Adaptive Optics for Small Telescopes". The Bell
lecture Theatre, Physics Building, Queen's University, Belfast.  Prof
Dainty is one of the world's leading experts on adaptive optics, and we
are delighted and honoured to have him lecture to us. Adaptive optics
enable photos exceeding the quality of those of the Hubble Space
Telescope to be taken by certain telescopes on Earth. Prof Dainty will
describe how it will soon be possible to use this technique on the
larger size of amateur telescopes - an amazing prospect. Don't miss
this! Admission free, including light refreshments. All welcome.    

The IAA lecture programme is held in association with the School
of Mathematics and Physics at Queen's University Belfast. See:

3. TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE, 21 February, 03.26. That's Wednesday night /
Thursday morning! This eclipse will be visible throughout Ireland,
weather permitting.    

In a Total Lunar Eclipse the Full Moon passes
into the shadow of the Earth and dims very considerably and changes
colour, but usually remains faintly visible, lit by sunlight refracted
through the Earth s atmosphere. The atmosphere scatters blue light more
than red, so that most of the light that reaches the lunar surface is
red in colour. Observers will therefore see a Moon that may be anything
from brick-coloured, through orange, rust-coloured, or even blood
red. Sometimes it has a dark greyish hue, depending on atmospheric

    In these islands the eclipse is visible at a rather unsociable hour!
It begins at 00.35 when the Moon enters the penumbra, the lightest,
outer part of the Earth s shadow, and after 15 minutes or so you may
notice the Moon start to take on a slight yellowish hue. At 01.42 the
Moon starts to enter the dark core of the Earth s shadow, the umbra. At
03.01 the Moon will be completely within the umbra   which marks the
start of the  total  phase of the eclipse, when any colour starts to
become most noticeable. Mid-eclipse is at 03.26 and the total phase ends
at 03.52. The Moon leaves the umbra at 05.09 and the eclipse ends when
the Moon leaves the penumbra at 06.17.    

The Moon will pass well to the
South of the centre of the Earth's shadow, so the S edge (actually the
SSW edge) of the Moon will not appear so dark, as it will be closer to
the edge of the shadow. Conversely, the NNE edge of the Moon will appear

During the eclipse the Moon lies in the constellation of
Leo. During mid-eclipse Regulus will lie to the upper right of the Moon
and Saturn will lie to the left.    

This eclipse should be a spectacular
sight and the whole event can be observed without optical aid, although
binoculars or a wide-field telescope will also give interesting views.  
If you get any good images send them to the IAA website: www.irishastro.com

4. IYPE LECTURES, 20 & 21 February: As part of 'International Year of
Planet Earth', Prof. Richard Fortey  is giving lectures in Dublin and
Belfast, as follows: "A History of Biodiversity -  A history of life on
Earth . Dublin: Wednesday 20th February 2008 at 18:00, Trinity College
Dublin (Burke Theatre), Belfast: Thursday 21st February 2008 at 19:00,
W5, Odyssey Complex:  SYNOPSIS: The origins of life lie in the deep
oceans and this lecture will trace the ups and downs of its evolution  
the blossoming of biodiversity at various times and the catastrophic
extinctions of life at others. It will also deal with some of the
personalities involved in unravelling this fascinating story.    

Richard Fortey is the successful author of books such as The Hidden Landscape;
Life An Unauthorised Biography; and The Earth: An Intimate History.
Richard was the curator of Palaeontology at London s celebrated Natural
History Museum and President of the Geological Society of London on the
occasion of its bicentenary (2007).   

Free tickets for the Belfast
event can be obtained by telephoning the Geological Survey (90388462).
They can e-mail (or post) the tickets.  It should be a fascinating talk.

members of the Irish Astronomical Association are invited to the
following event: "The year 2008 is an auspicious occasion for Armagh
Planetarium as it marks our 40th Birthday! We would like to invite you
to Armagh Planetarium on Saturday 8th March from 9:30   14:00  where you
will be treated to a premiere of our new full-dome show, produced in
collaboration with Evans & Sutherland-Spitz and Goto.  It will be
special preview of "Mars Invaders" Armagh's first full-dome production
show, which is not available for general view until the IPS meeting in
Chicago in summer 2008.  We will also have short presentations from our
special guests.  They include Prof Carl Murray from Queen Mary College
London who is involved in the Cassini probe, Dr. Mike McKay from ESOC
Germany who is ESA's flight controller.  Also Terence Murtagh who is
involved with Evans and Sutherland and their Digistar 3 projection
system and Dr. Mark Doherty from ESRIN in Italy who is an Earth
Observation scientist.    

This is a great opportunity to hear experts
talking about their field and is not to be missed!    

Other local
astronomy groups are being invited so if you wish to attend we need to
know asap as its a first come served basis.  If you are interested
please give your name to Naomi at naomiat signarmaghplanet.com or by calling
3751 2939. Thanks, Naomi Francey.

6. ASGI: The spring ASGI meeting will be a 1-day meeting to be held at
Armagh on Friday March 14 (10 am - 4pm).  There will be contributed
talks varying from dust and jets in galaxies, to ISM studies and
starless cores, to pre-main sequence and evolved stars.    

There will
also be an invited talk by Prof. Janet Drew (University of
Hertfordshire). She will present the recent initial data release of the
INT H-alpha survey of the galactic plane IPHAS - which can now be used
by the community. IPHAS will map the structure of our Milky Way and
assist in finding many many new young and evolved stars, exotic objects
(like PNe, LBVs, symbiotics), as well as extremely red objects. N.B.:
This is a professional level meeting, and probably too advanced for the
average amateur. However, members of the Irish Astronomical Association,
and other affiliated societies, can attend if they wish, but please let
the organisers know so they can gauge numbers. Email Jorick Vink
at jsvat signarm.ac.uk, or Aileen McKee at ambnat signarm.ac.uk, or ring

7. PROFESSIONAL SEMINARS: If you are interested you should regularly
check "local" seminar pages: For the Dublin area there appears to be a
general listing: here.
In future all Dublin institutes may advertise their seminars there. For
the Belfast area/QUB: here.
For Armagh Observatory: here.

BTW, I know that some of you are still getting multiple copies of these
- apologies: I'm still trying to remove duplicate names!

Clear Skies

Terry Moseley


Last Revised: 2008 February 20th
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