Subject: IAA @ Glenavy & Carnfunnock, BBQ, ISS, NLCs, Binocs, TV, Solarfest, J. B-Burnell
Date: 12 June 2013 22:20:16 BST
1. IAA at Glenavy: We will be presenting another evening of astronomy at Glenavy, Co Antrim on Friday 14 June as part of their Fun Week. This will run from 7 to 10 pm, with shows in the Stardome, telescopes and binoculars on display, an exhibition of meteorites and space memorabilia. If it's clear, we'll be observing a nice fat crescent Moon, and maybe we'll be able to get Mercury and Venus, although they will both be low down in the brightish twilight.
The event will be in the grounds of St Aidan's Hall, in the centre of the village. More details will be on the IAA website: www.irishastro.org.
2. IAA SOLAR DAY, CARNFUNNOCK COUNTRY PARK. We'll be holding another of these very popular solar days at Carnfunnock Country Park on the A2 Antrim Coast Road just a few miles N of Larne, on Saturday 15 June, 2 - 5 p.m. Solar telescopes, the biggest collection of sundials in Ireland, an astronomy exhibition, and of course the mobile planetarium with shows for young and old. More details later.
3. IAA MIDSUMMER BBQ: This will be held at about 5.15 p.m., immediately after our Solar day at Carnfunnock CP on Saturday 15 June: see above.
As usual, you bring all your own food, drinks, plates, glasses, cutlery etc. We will supply the cooking facilities, i.e. a selection of barbecues, charcoal etc. But if you have your own portable BBQ, bring it along - the more variety and different cooking times & temperatures the better.
4. ISS evening passes: The ISS is now giving a series of evening and early morning passes over Ireland, as the nights shorten. Details as always on the excellent, and free www.heavens-above.com
5. Noctilucent Clouds: We are now in the season for NLCs, and there was a lovely display last week. Andy McCrea & Paul Evans got some superb images, look on the IAA website: www.irishastro.org. Look low on the Northern horizon for the hour or two around local midnight (that's in GMT: by your watch, say around 01.00)
6. Binocular offer at Lidl: Lidl have another interesting Bresser binocular offer starting from Thursday 13 June. It's for a rather rare size: 8 x 60, in Porro Prism design. There's very little information about it on the leaflet or website, but the optics are described as BK7, which is not quite as good as the BAK4 spec, though still OK. And the price of £29.99 for 60mm objectives is very good.
However, older readers beware: these binoculars will have an exit pupil of 7.5mm diameter (given by aperture / magnification), which is significantly larger than the pupil of the fully dark-adapted human eye for almost everyone over the age of 35 or 40. That means that all of the light collected by those large lenses simply cannot enter your eyes, so you don't get the advantage of the larger apertures. Even for younger readers, the average dark-adapted human eye pupil is only 7mm in diameter, so unless you are on the larger size of average in pupil size, even you won't be able to take in quite all of the light gathered by these lenses. And you won't be able to test this effect for yourselves in the shop, as obviously it will be brightly lit.
So, maybe a bargain for younger readers, but be aware of that caveat.
7. INVITATION TO BBC SPOTLIGHT SPECIAL >From Pippa Cooke, BBC:
I am trying to find audience members for Spotlight Special. I was hoping that some members of the Irish Astronomical Association may be interested in participating and would appreciate it if you could circulate this email. This audience special will be presented by Noel Thompson, and will be recorded in Blackstaff Studios, Great Victoria Street, Belfast on Tuesday 18th June.
Like Question Time, the style of the programme is a question-and-answer format and we would like to find people who have a keen interest in current affairs, and who want to get their voices heard by our panel. We do ask those wishing to attend to do so in their own capacity, rather than as a representative of any group or organisation.
We ask people to arrive at Blackstaff Studios between 6:30pm-6:45pm on Tuesday 18th June. On arrival, audience members will be required to submit their questions to the panel, and will also have the opportunity to catch up on the news of the day and have a cup of tea. The programme recording will take place between 8:15pm-9:15pm, and the programme will broadcast at 10:35pm on BBC1 that same evening.
Although we cannot guarantee that every audience member will have a chance to ask a question, we do encourage all audience members to get involved in any debate that follows a question. For that reason, we are interested in finding audience members who would be keen to get involved on the night, as audience participation really is at the heart of a successful programme. We need to contact all audience members. So, if people wish to attend with friends or family, please could they give the names and daytime telephone numbers of all the members of their group.
Please ask anyone who is interested to contact me: 028 9033 8378, or Pippa.Cookebbc.co.uk
(NB: This programme will be on the final day of the G8 summit. We will not know in advance what topics will be covered, but given the timing, possible subjects might include global issues such as climate change, overpopulation, space exploration or maybe even the impact threat to Earth & what are we doing about it?
And remember: if you ask a question, or speak, you do so as an individual, not representing the IAA!
If you intend to go, please let me know so that we have some idea of the response to this invitation. Thanks. Terry
8. SOLARFEST 2013, DUNSINK: Saturday, June 29th, will feature 5 talks on our nearest star from both amateur and professional astronomers. There will also be a workshop on building a magnetometer and solar observing if the weather permits. Tours will be given of the Observatory and the South Dome. All are welcome and admission is free.
Among the amateur astronomer speakers are John Flannery, John O'Neill and Terry Moseley. More details can be found at http://www.irishastronomy.org/index.php?option=com_kunena&func=view&catid=11&id=97507&Itemid=40#97540
9. Prof Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, FRS, in Dublin: You are invited by the European Parliament Information Office and WITS (Women in Technology and Science) to attend a special afternoon with Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, renowned astronomer and discoverer of pulsars, who is originally from Lurgan, Co Armagh. There is a considerable body of opinion that argues that she should have been a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for the discovery of pulsars.
I was lucky enough to have Jocelyn sit beside me at the recent BBC commemoration event for Sir Patrick Moore in Broadcasting House in London, and we had a good chat about her career, and how she's just as busy as ever!
Prof Bell Burnell has been President of the Royal Astronomical Society, and of the Institute of Physics (UK & Ireland). She was also active in astronomy education in the Open University, and is currently visiting Professor of Astrophysics at Oxford University. She was also recently elected Pro-Chancellor of Trinity College, Dublin. IAA members have been honoured to have had two (or is it three?) great public lectures from her.
The event will conclude with an interview covering Prof Bell Burnell's work over her long and distinguished career. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jocelyn_Bell_Burnell
The free event will be on Thursday, June 20th, at 12:00pm at 43 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2. Please book your place by emailing epdublinep.europa.eu or phoning 00353 (1) 605 7900.
10. INTERESTING WEBLINKS:
This would be SEVEN times the aperture of any optical telescope yet built, and double that of the proposed E-ELT,
11. TWITTER: Follow the IAA on Twitter: IaaAstro
12. BBC THINGS TO DO WEBSITE: See the forthcoming IAA events on
http://www.bbc.co.uk/thingstodo. Look under 'Countryfile'.
13. JOINING the IRISH ASTRONOMICAL ASSOCIATION is easy: This link downloads a Word document to join the IAA. http://irishastro.org.uk/iaamembership.doc. If you are a UK taxpayer, please tick the 'gift-aid' box, as that enables us to reclaim the standard rate of tax on your subscription, at no cost to you. You can also make a donation via Paypal if you wish: just click on the 'Donate' button. See also www.irishastro.org.
mob: (0044) (0) 7979 300842
I'm now back on Twitter, after some temporary hiccups: terrymoseley2