From: TerryMoselat

Date: 7 November 2010 21:07:03 GMT

Subject: Lectures, Shuttle delay, Science Week, WWT event, BCO events, BAA Irish members


Hi all,


 1. The next Irish Astronomical Association Lecture  will be on Wed 17 November, in the Bell Lecture Theatre, QUB, It will be given by Dr Patrick McCafferty of QUB. TITLE: "Tunguska Events in Ireland" 

On 30 June, a comet nucleus, or perhaps a small asteroid, smashed into the Earth's atmosphere at about 40 miles per second, causing a multi-megaton explosion, which caused damage over an area of thousands of square miles, and blew people off their feet about a hundred miles away.

  Fortunately for us, the event occurred in an almost uninhabited area of Siberia, so there are no reports of human fatalities, although there were injuries, and some reindeer were killed. And the event occurred on 1908, just over a century ago, before the advent of modern news media, let alone the Internet, so relatively few people know about it.

   But what's really scary is that if the impact had occurred about 5 hours later, it would have obliterated St Petersburg, Russia's second largest city. Or just a little bit later, and Helsinki would have been flattened. Or a little later again, and there would have been no Oslo. Or if the trajectory and timing had been just a bit different, London would have been flattened, with deaths approaching a million, and casualties of many millions. And if something similar were to occur over London today, the effects would be unimaginable. Such is the luck of the Cosmic 'pinball' lottery - we were fortunate that time.

  But has Ireland experienced similar events in the distant past? Are some of these recorded in myths or folk memories? Dr Patrick McCafferty is researching this area, and has some very interesting analysis of the evidence. It will be a fascinating lecture, with the very latest news.

Time: 7.30 p.m. Venue: Bell Lecture Theatre, main Physics Building, Queen's University, Belfast. Free parking is available on the main campus, right beside the lecture theatre, from 5.30 pm onwards. Admission free, including light refreshments: All are welcome. See for full details of the programme.



Continuing problems with a fuel leak have delayed launch until the next 'window', at the end of the month.

3. ISS: The ISS is currently making a good series of evening passes over Ireland. See for full details for your location.


4. SCIENCE WEEK IRELAND, 7 - 14 November. 


   A: Kevin Nolan has sent me the following link to a major event he is running for Science Week Ireland: See: The web site for pointing to the event is: 

   B. Deirdre Kelleghan is giving a few public talks in Libraries in Dublin: there may be places available for some of these. Admission is free, but you have to ring to book a place. See

   C.  A. I. Lecture: Dr Andy Shearer will explain everything you wanted to know about neutron stars but were afraid to ask!  In his talk, entitled ‘Pulsars: Cosmic Clocks and Little Green Men’, Dr Shearer will give a captivating talk to the general public on these extremely bizarre objects, and how our understanding of them has developed in over 40 years. Only five spinning neutron stars have ever been seen in normal light, like cosmic lighthouses, and Dr Shearer's Irish team of astronomers based NUI Galway found two of them - a remarkable Irish success story at the cutting edge of world science!The lecture takes place next Monday night, November 8, at 8pm, in the Fitzgerald Building, Trinity College Dublin. There is an admission charge.

  D. DAVID MOORE – ‘THE UNIVERSE’ LECTURE NOV. 11. Astronomy Ireland Chairman, David Moore will give a lecture entitled ‘The Universe’ on Thursday, November 11.  This lecture will take place in the Fitzgerald (Physics) Building, Trinity College Dublin. The lecture will take place at 8pm, admission is 5 Euro.

ASTRO-EXPO NOV. 13. Astronomy Ireland's annual astronomy exhibition will once again take place this year in the SNIAM Building, Trinity College Dublin. This year's event is a one-day affair, with people coming from all parts of Ireland. It takes place on Saturday, November 13, and will include a high power amateur rocket display and also:

SPEAKERSKeynote speaker this year is Irish amateur astronomer, David Grennan, who will be speaking about the first Irish supernova. Other speakers include: Carlos Frank – ‘Cosmology – Everything from Nothing’; Peter Gallagher – ‘Irish Radio Astronomy’. FREE: There is no entry fee to the exhibitions. The price for lectures is 25 Euro for all three, or 10 Euro each (a 20% discount applies to members of Astronomy Ireland).

E. And see also item 8 below.


5.  Public Lecture by Dame Prof Jocelyn Bell Burnell "Will the world end in 2012? - The astronomical evidence."

 12 Nov, 7.30 p.m. in the Royal Irish Academy, Dawson St, Dublin. Admission free, but by ticket only. Book via 

   I regularly get asked "What's all this about the world going to end in December 2012 (sometimes more specifically, on Dec 21, the winter solstice, 2012)?" I've been debunking that since I first learnt about this via the internet about 4-5 years ago, but the myth persists, and is growing. Of course it's rubbish, but it will be very interesting to hear what Dame Prof Jocelyn Bell Burnell FRS, former President of the RAS, and of the Institute of Physics, has to say about it. Jocelyn is a 'local girl', originally from Lurgan, Co Armagh, and I'm sure that there will be a lot of interest in this talk, so book early.


6. IAA AT WWT, CASTLE ESPIE, COMBER, 13 November: The Irish Astronomical Association will be holding another of their very successful and popular public observing nights at the WWT, at Castle Espie, just S of Comber, Co Down, on Sat 13 November, starting at 7.30 p.m. As usual, we'll have a large selection of telescopes and binoculars for viewing the sky. We will also have the mobile planetarium for starshows, and the usual exhibition of telescopes, posters, meteorites, space items etc: something for everyone, no matter what the weather! There's even an on-site cafe for snacks and warming beverages!

   Admission £3.90, or £2.60 for concessions, but IAA members bringing telescopes etc get in free! 

  It gets cold at night now these evenings, so wrap up REALLY warm, from head to toe, and bring along any portable telescopes or binoculars you may have.

  Check for details and directions to the location.

(This replaces the event originally listed for Delamont Country Park that W/E)


7. PUBLIC LECTURE, ARMAGH, 18 November: The Biennial "Robinson Lecture" will be given by Prof Chris Impey of the University of Arizona, in the City Hotel, at 8 p.m. "Astrobiology: Implications of Life Beyond Earth" 

    Either we are alone in the universe or not; either way, the implications are staggering. This talk considers the prospects for and implications of life beyond Earth. Biological adaptation to extreme conditions makes it very likely that variations on biology will be present on moons and planets around many of the billions of Sun-like stars in the Milky Way. The nearly 500 planets already found around other stars are forerunners of Earth-like planets that astronomers expect to be finding in the next few years. With exobiology still a blank slate, consideration will be given to potentially unusual forms of life.

     Attendance at the Robinson Lecture is free, but if you would like to attend the Robinson Lecture, please contact the Armagh Observatory in order to obtain tickets. Please write, telephone or send an e-mail to: Mrs Aileen McKee, Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG; Tel: 028-3752-2928; Fax: 028-3752-7174; e-mail: ambn




   Sunday 7 November to Sunday 14 November

National Science Week 2010

The theme for NSW 2010 is Our Place in Space. Join us in celebrating Space Brains, an iApp developed by BCO and Armagh Planetarium in association with Discover Science & Engineering. See the StarDome at locations around Munster, visit the exhibit Cosmos at the Castle and experience Science Juice, interactive sessions connecting scientists with youth groups. Free smoothies at Science Juice provided by Wild Orchard!

   Monday 8 November to Friday 12 November 

Cork Film Festival  Educational Screenings 

A selection of carefully chosen space-themed animations and short films for primary school students, and the feature length documentary 'In the Shadow of the Moon' for secondary students.  Explore our award-winning interactive science exhibit while you are here!

   Thursday 11 November

Teachers CPD Web of Stars workshop 

Research has shown that active learning is the best way to create true engagement of students in a subject, and also leads to better understanding and retention of material than traditional lecture-style instruction. This computer based workshop will give teachers the ability to use activities designed to promote active learning in the classroom by giving student real astronomical data and the tools to analyse it simply and easily in their own classroom, using free offline software (Stellarium and Salsa J). 

   Saturday 13 November - Tuesday 16 November

StarDome:  The portable planetarium appears at Discovery, Cork’s Science Festival held annually.  Come explore the stars and planets at Cork City Hall and other locations around Munster! See the impressive displays from European Southern Observatory (ESO), the largest fleet of ground-based telescopes on Earth, and learn why CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory is the public representative for ESO in Ireland. 

    Saturday 27 November

Movies by the Moonlight BCO Members Film Club (8pm)

(Members €5\ guests €7, 50)

    2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984)

In this sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey based on the novel by Arthur C. Clarke, American and Russian astronauts live in a world greatly affected by the Cold War.  Sent to Jupiter to determine the reason for the failure of the original mission, they must also discover the fate of H.A.L., the spaceship’s sentient computer.  

    For more information on these and future events at Blackrock Castle Observatory

call us  00 - 353 - 21- 4357917, email infoat or visit


9. BAA - ORIGINAL IRISH MEMBERS: Anthony Kinder of The British Astronomical Association, which was founded in 1890 has asked for help. Among the original BAA members were many people who lived in Ireland. Anthony is researching the original membership of the BAA, and would like any information that might be available on any of the people listed below.

  Do you have any information on any of these people, and do you know if the details given are correct?

    If have any information on any of these people, please contact Anthony at 16 Atkinson House, Catesby Street, London SE17 1QU or by e-mail at anthony.kinderat I would also be grateful if you would copy also to me any information you have on these people. T.M.

    NB, the list is as sent to me. They were taken from applications which more than likely were handwritten at the time, and it’s possible some of the details are incorrect through misspelling or misreading.  Adjustments and/or corrections which have already been identified are in brackets, in italics. I have added some suggestions or comments of my own in red. (T.M.) 


Rev. George C. Bruton of St. Faughaman's College (perhaps St Faughnan’s, Roscarberry ?), Co. Cork (Rosscarbery)

Rev. M. H. Close of 40 Lower Bagot Street (Baggot Street), Dublin.

Rev. S. Runsie Craig LLB, FRAS (d. 1923) - The Rectory, Moville,

Londonederry (Londonderry) (Co. Donegal) (first initial only available at present). ** See below:

Miss Hamilton, Grange Erin, Douglas, Cork - apparently she married, becoming Mrs Rice).

Miss Ada A. Hutchinson, Wellington House, Cahir, Co. Tipperary.

O'Neill F. Kelly The Lodge, Montoath (Montrath?) (Mountrath), Queen's County (Co Laois).

Redfern Kelly, M.I.C.E., Engineer's Office, Harbour Office, Belfast.

William Lamb MA, LLD, 31 Grosvenor Place, Dublin.

Edward Downes Martin, Killoskeham (Killoskehane), Co. Tipperary

W. H. Milligan, 35 Northbrook Avenue, North Strand, Dublin (Dublin 6, NOT North Strand)).

Joseph Mintern Jnr, Passage West, Co. Cork.

George S. Monck, Clonoc Rectory Coal Island (Coalisland), Co. Tyrone and his brother at the same address: Rev. James S. Monck. (probably connected to the much better known William Henry Stanley Monck)

Frederic W. Pim, Blackrock Lodge, Blackrock, Co. Dublin.

Thomas R. J. Polson, Wellington Place, Enniskillen.

James Reside, Carnlough, (Co Antrim), Belfast.

Rev. George Warburton Rooke, MA, St. Canice's Library, Kilkenny.

Mrs Jane Soane, The Parsonage, Rushbrooke, Queenstown (Cobh, Co. Cork), Ireland.

G. Wefers, 3 Clifton Terrace, Coleraine, Ireland.

Miss M. E. Yeates, 7 Tivoli Terrace, Kingstown (Dun Laoighaire), Co. Dublin.

S. M. Yeates FRAS, 2 Grafton Street, Dublin.

G.J. Stoney. Address not known. Also the sister(s) of Mr Stoney. He had a brother too – Bindon Blood (Stoney) (well known in the history of Irish astronomy)

  ** I have details of Rev Runsie Craig, who was a Fellow of the RAS: T.M.)


Clear skies,


Terry Moseley