From: TerryMoselat

Date: 13 October 2009 00:06:23 GMT+01:00

Subject: Lectures,  Science Cafe, IYA @ WWT, Mercury, Venus, Saturn, etc

 Hi all,


1. 14 October: Science NI presents Prof Alan Fitzsimmons @ the Science Café, 7.30 p.m. (doors open at 7.0) Admission free. Topic "Astromomy: What is our place in the Universe?"

(The Science Cafe, a monthly event where different topics of science are being discussed. You have a chance to listen to and to question experts on the topic

discussed, and share your opinions.) Venue: McHugh's Bar, Belfast.



To mark International Year of Astronomy 2009, the Irish Astronomical Association will be holding a special public astronomy event at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Castle Espie, near Comber, Co Down.

   We will show members of the public the wonders of the night sky, including mighty Jupiter, the largest planet in the Solar System, with its four big Galilean Moons, and lovely double stars, star clusters, nebulae and galaxies from far across the universe.

   We will also have an exhibition, meteorites, and starshows in a mobile planetarium, so there will be plenty to enjoy, even if it's cloudy.

   Wrap up warm in any case, especially if the sky is clear.

 Date: 17 October

Time: 8 p.m until about 11 p.m.

No extra charge, but WWT normal admission charges apply.


3. Public Lecture, Armagh: "Why Are We Here?", 8.00 pm Thursday 22 October 2009

The Armagh Observatory and the Armagh Natural History and Philosophical Society are co-hosting a free public lecture on Thursday 22 October 2009 in the Rotunda Lecture Theatre, St. Patrick's Trian, Armagh.  The Lecture will be delivered by Dr Martin Hendry of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Glasgow.  The lecture will begin at 8.00 pm and is scheduled to end at 9.00 pm with questions, followed by tea and coffee.

 The title and summary of the lecture are: "Why Are We Here?

    Since the dawn of civilisation human cultures have sought to understand our place in the universe, asking "Big questions" about our cosmic origins. Modern cosmology provides some startling answers to these questions: not only is the universe expanding, but we believe the expansion to be accelerating -- driven by a mysterious "dark energy" that challenges our

ideas about gravity and the very nature of space and time.  Moreover our runaway universe appears to be rather delicately balanced, in the sense that small changes in the laws of nature would result in a very different cosmos -- most likely unsuitable for life like us.  What does all of this mean for our cosmic origins?  Is our universe unique, or do we belong to a

"multiverse" -- a vast ensemble of universes, each with its own laws of nature?  In his lecture, Dr Hendry will explore these, and other, questions posed by the latest cosmological discoveries, and discuss what implications they might have for the existence of life in the universe."

   For free tickets to this public lecture, please contact Aileen McKee at the Armagh Observatory; Tel: 028-3752-2928; Fax: 028-3752-7174; e-mail: ambnat

4.  Mercury, Venus, Saturn

All this week the planet Mercury will be visible in the Eastern morning sky just after dawn (around 7am), and it will be close to brilliant Venus, and intriguing Saturn. Mercury will appear about 20 times dimmer than Venus, but will still be as bright as the brightest stars in the sky, and Saturn will be a bit fainter than Mercury.

   (Saturn is just reappearing from its passage behind the Sun, when both the Earth and the Sun passed through the Ring-Plane.)

   On the morning of Oct 13 Saturn will be only 0.5 degree (a lunar diameter) E of brilliant Venus.


5. NUIG Events: the Centre for Astronomy NUI, Galway is running a series of open nights on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. We also have free public lectures on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month – they are aimed at 2nd level students and interested members of the public. Details can be found on The first lecture is on the 14th October.


Clear Skies,


Terry Moseley