From: TerryMoselat

Date: 29 September 2010 22:42:20 GMT+01:00

Subject: IAA Lecture, Cork & Dublin lectures, WSP, Cassini Comp, ISS, Death of Val White

Hi all,


1. The next IAA Lecture  will be on Wed 6 October, in the Bell Lecture Theatre, QUB, It will be given by Dr Martin Hendry of the Astrophysics Department at Glasgow University. TITLE: "Did we really go to the Moon?"

  I'm sure all of you have heard of the various conspiracy theories which claim that the Apollo astronauts did not really land on the Moon, and that the whole thing was a gigantic fake, filmed in some vast hidden secret film studio. The proponents of this claim put forward various arguments about the lighting of the scenes on the Moon (or in the studio, as they claim), the lunar dust, the rocket exhausts etc etc. Dr Hendry provides a very informative, entertaining, and well illustrated analysis of these theories, and describes how they .... Well, you'll just have to come along and find out! Others argue that in fact the Americans actually landed on the Moon decades earlier to meet up with the Aliens, and that the Apollo flights were just a cover up! Whether you believe any of these theories or not, it's a brilliant lecture, and one you won't want to miss! Assuming that the Aliens don't abduct him before he gets here!

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.



Yes, that's me, I'm afraid. I'll be giving a lecture entitled  "Sun, Moon, Stars and Stones - the story of Archaeoastronomy in Ireland." It's on 1 October, at Blackrock Castle Observatory, at 8 p.m.

    Synopsis: "Newgrange is the oldest confirmed astronomical structure in the world, but there are many other megalithic monuments in Cork and elsewhere in Ireland which have some astronomical significance. Just how much did the builders of these prehistoric passage tombs, mounds, circles etc know about the objects in the sky above them? Did they have accurate calendars, and predict eclipses? What can these ancient sites tell us? This lecture will attempt to explain all."

   For full details of this, and the rest of the excellent BCO programme, see


Other activities at BCO that evening include: First Fridays at the Castle is a free monthly event at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory held in association with the Cork Science Café and the Cork Astronomy Club. It features lectures and discussions by visiting scientists, guided stargazing in Blackrock Castle’s courtyard and workshop activities for children. The next First Fridays at the Castle event will run from 6-10pm on Friday October 1. Frances McCarthy, CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory’s in-house astronomer, will lead four family friendly half-hour workshops called The Planisphere, Knowing our Night Sky. The Cork Science Café will discuss nanotechnology at 7pm when Brenda Long of the Tyndall Institute will lead an informal discussion entitled Computers made from Pencil Lead. The astronomy theme for October is Archaeoastronomy and at 8pm Terry Moseley will deliver a lecture on “Sun, Moon, Stars and Stones – the Story of Archaeoastronomy in Ireland”. Weather dependant viewing of the moon and Jupiter.

3. Lecture in Alexandra College, Milltown Road, Dublin, Friday 1 October

Robert Hill of the Northern Ireland Space Office will speak in Alexandra College, Milltown Road, Dublin on Friday, October 1st at 6.30pm. Robert's talk is "From Galileo to the Cosmos" and if you have heard Robert give a lecture before then you are promised a very informative and entertaining talk. All are welcome and the lecture is followed by a reception in the Sharkey Science Building. You can register on the College's web site at -- the nearest LUAS service is Milltown and any Dundrum-bound bus (e.g. the 48 or 44) will drop you at the stop directly opposite the College.

4. Free Public Lecture in TCD, 18 October: "Dark Energy and the Accelerating Universe: Einstein's Blunder undone!"  by Prof Bob Kirschner of Harvard University.
   Ten years ago, astronomers found astonishing evidence that the expansion of the universe is speeding up. We did this by observing exploding stars half way across the observable universe.  We attribute cosmic acceleration to a mysterious "dark energy" that speeds up cosmic expansion, but whose nature we do not fully understand.  Curiously, in 1917, Einstein invented the "cosmological constant" as a kind of cosmic repulsion, to balance out gravity to produce a static universe.  He abandoned it in the 1930s when the universe was found to be expanding. These new results show we need a form of "dark energy" that is very much like Einstein's cosmological constant to explain the universe we live in.  In this strange new picture of the universe, dark energy makes up about 70% of the universe, dark matter about 25%, and only 5% is composed of the ordinary matter that makes up galaxies, stars, planets, and people.
Venue: Edmund Burke Theatre, Arts Block, Trinity College Dublin, Time: 19:30, Admission free.


5. Whirlpool Star Party -

The event will be held as usual in Dooley’s Hotel, Birr, Co. Offaly and a full programme of lectures is scheduled along with observing, if clear, from the grounds of Birr Castle in the lee of the great Leviathan, the historic 72-inch telescope built by the 3rd Earl of Rosse in the 19th Century. Speakers include Prof John Brown, Dr Lyndsay Fletcher, Mr Tom Boles, Mr Leo Enright, Dr John Quinn, Dr Niall Smith.  

Full details of the weekend can be found at

   I have a list of all the known accommodation in Birr and the surrounding area (over 100 places) which I will send to anyone on request, but I'll attach the names of the B&B's and GH's closest to Birr at the end of this E/M: If you can't get booked in any of those, you may have to try some of the others from the complete list. I can reply to such a request up to the evening of Thursday 30th; otherwise you'll have to wait until Monday 4th Oct.


6. Cassini Scientist for a Day competition.

This is open to pupils aged 11-18 yrs old in all schools in Ireland 

Glenlola Collegiate in Bangor won one of the first prizes a couple of years ago so it would be good to get another great response.

 The Cassini Mission to Saturn is one of the greatest robotic space exploration missions of our time. Now you have an opportunity to become involved and maybe put your school’s name on the map internationally.

How:  By taking part in The Cassini Scientist for a day Contest 2010

Why: This contest increases awareness of space exploration, technology, engineering and science.

   The Task: Write a 500 word essay on why the Cassini Spacecraft should target certain objects for imaging and investigation.

   How do I do that? Watch  three short  videos, decide which is the most interesting for you, write your essay based on that.

  The Cassini website would be your main source of reference for information. Watch this video for an introduction:

   Watch these videos to choose your essay subject Rhea, Titan or Saturn itself? You decide, its your adventure.

There are three age groups: 11-13 years old, 14-16 years old, 17-18 years old

The Prizes: All winners will be given a copy of their chosen target image which will be taken by the Cassini spacecraft in October 2010. The youngest category winner will also get an iPod shuffle and books by Lucy Hawking. The middle category will win a Nintendo DS and books by Lucy Hawking. The oldest age category winner will be offered a one week research placement with Professor Carl Murray from Queen Mary University London.

Deadline 5 p.m. on November 5th Include your name, age, postal address, name of your school, name of teacher, teacher's email address.


7. The ISS is about to start another series of morning passes over Ireland: details for your location are on


8. Death of Val White: 

It is with great sadness I have to inform you that Val White, editor of the BAA Handbook and until recently a member of the BAA Council, died peacefully at home on 23rd September after a long and courageous fight with cancer. Some of you will have met Val on solar eclipse trips with her husband Andrew. She was a delightful person, always warm and friendly and willing to help. 


9. Birr Accommodation List.


CODE FOR BIRR – 05791. >From NI/UK dial: 00 353, then drop 1st 0 (including mobiles).  Approximate estimated distances from Birr are given.

N.B. This list may now be out of date, as there was no WSP last year, so I didn't update it.   Please advise me of any changes.


   B&Bs & Guest Houses in & close to Birr:


1.      The Maltings, Castle Street, Birr. Maeve Garry. Tel 05791 21345, Fx 22073. 10 rooms, all E/S. Breakfast, lunch & evening meals. E: altingsbirrat (08/05)


2.      The Stables Town House & Restaurant, Oxmantown Mall, Birr.  Tel. 05791 20263 Fx 21677. 4 rooms, all E/S., E: cboydat


3.      Walcott B&B (Mrs Hoctor), Rosse Row, Oxmantown Mall/Castle Street, Birr. Tel. 05791 20615, & 21247.  Private parking. 5 rooms, all en suite. walcotat


4.      Spinners Townhouse & Bistro. Castle St. Birr. Tel & fax. 057 912 1673. All rooms E/S, with tea & coffee making & TV.


5.      Mary Kinsella, Aonach, Syngefield, Kinnity Road, Birr. (On LHS just before you reach Syngefield roundabout: about 1m from Dooley’s). Bungalow, 4 rooms, 3 ensuite. Tel. 05791 21333, Mob: 0868 792 096, E: maryat,


6.      Carmel Carroll, “The Ring”, Ballinree, Birr. (about 2m). Bungalow, 4 rooms, 3 E/S. Tel. 05791 20976, Mob: 087 228 3772. Take Kinnity Road, Turn Right at Syngefield Rdbt, then L at first junction (X-roads), then about 0.5km on Rt. (08/05), E: carmelat


7.      Townsend House B&B, Townsend St, Birr. 8 rooms, all E/S. Secure parking. Tel. 05791 21276, Fx 20547.,  townsendhousebandbat


8.      Mrs Enright, Ormond House, Emmet Square, Birr. Tel. 05791 20291, Fax 20603. 1 Twin, 2 Double, 2 family rooms, all E/S. Beside Post Office. E: enrightauctioneersat, URL:


9.      Mrs Hunt, Moorpark Street, Birr, Tel 05791 20232. 1 Double, & 1 double + a single bed, all E/S. Moorpark St is off Bridge St; go down O’Connell St, on through Main St, over the bridge, & turn 1st left.


10.  Quinn’s Townhouse, Emmet Square, Birr (opposite Dooley’s): T. 05791 21607 (?) 4 rooms, all E/S.


11.  Mrs Pardy, Poulnagannie, Syngefield, Kinnity Road (Dublin Rd), Birr. (~ 1 mile) NOT E/S. T. 05791 20631.


12.  Maura Garahy, Glencor, Woodland Pk, Tullamore Rd, Birr. N edge of town. T. 05791 20234. NOT E/S.


13.  Mrs Gertie Spain, Ardnagreagh, Hillside, Roscrea Road, Birr. (~2 m) T 05791 20256. 3 twin rms, NOT E/S?


14.  Mrs Mary Murray, Riverstown, Nenagh Road (N52), Birr. (~1.5 miles) 2 doubles, NOT E/S? (but with private bath & shower in private corridor?) Tel 05791 20462


15.  Ms Valerie Keleghan, GRACEFIELD HOUSE,  Cornhill, Riverstown, Birr. ~ 2.5 m, on the N52 to Nenagh. E: infoat Tel. 057 912 3470.


16.  Mrs Therese King, Seffin, Roscrea Rd, Birr, Tel. 05791 20580. (Not E/S?) About 1.5 miles from Birr.



Clear Skies,


Terry Moseley