From: TerryMoselat

Subject: Lecture, Events, SAN, Arm. Planet., CME, Fireball, GSP, GOCE, LaPalma, ISON, ISS

Date: 2 October 2013 01:46:04 BST

Hi all,


1. IAA LECTURE, 2 October. Dr Paul Dawson, TCD. "Star Chef: Cooking with the Stars ".

   TV schedules are full of cookery programmes. But of course, all the ultimate cooking, of the elements in food and everything else, was done either in the Big Bang or in the nuclear furnaces in the stars. And if you use an iron frying pan, the iron in it originated in a supernova explosion.

  In this entertaining and easily accessible talk, Paul will explain just how to create a star, and how the stars create all the elements other than Hydrogen and Helium (and a wee bit of Lithium). He won't actually create a star in the lecture theatre (at least, I hope not!), so it will be a case of 'Here's one I made earlier'.

    The lecture is free and open to all, including free refreshments. It will be held in the Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, Queen's University, Belfast, at 7.30 p.m. 

   Thanks to the Astrophysics Research Centre, QUB, for help in hosting these lectures.


2. IAA Astronomy Day at Carrickfergus Civic Centre, 5 October.

Yet another new venue: This time we have been invited to the lovely new Civic Centre in Carrickfergus.

Time: 1.30 p.m. - 5 p.m.

It will follow our usual very successful formula for an afternoon event: Talks in the Stardome, Exhibition, telescope display, hands on meteorites, space memorabilia, DVDs etc, with Solar observing in the courtyard. The facility has an excellent cafe, so come along and help, or enjoy, this great new location. Car parking (pay & display) is available at the car parks just off the Marine Highway (the main A2 Shore Road, just past the Castle, going towards Whitehead), so maybe arrange to car share, or use public transport? Or there may be other free parking nearby, e.g. at the Victoria Road Shopping Centre, a bit further out along the Marine Highway towards Whitehead (does anyone know if that's free or not?).

Address: Carrickfergus Borough Council, Museum & Civic Centre, 11 Antrim Street, Carrickfergus BT38 8DG, SatNav: 54 deg 42' 58"N; 5 deg 48' 21.6" W.


3. End of the Sky At Night? Many reports indicate that the last programme will be broadcast in December. But unofficial feedback at the RAS event to commemorate Sir Patrick at the National Space Centre in Leicester last W/E indicates that nothing is definitely decided yet.

Here's the background to the campaign: PETITION TO RESTRAIN THE BBC FROM AXING 'THE SKY AT NIGHT' By Karen Barker

    We started as a group of Open University students, who were made aware that the BBC was planning to cancel The Sky At Night.  That is something to which we strongly object.  Since we started the campaign

to save S@N, the BBC has stated that it is still in discussions about the future of the programme.

    We are also concerned that once (if) the programme is brought back, its format will have been detrimentally changed.  We want to see it continue in much the same way as it always has: pitched in a scientific manner towards people who are knowledgeable on the subject, whilst retaining its accessibility for newcomers to the hobby with items aimed at them.  We believe that it should be presented by professional scientists and/or highly regarded amateurs, bringing the latest news and information on the subject to the people who want it.

   We do not want to see it fronted by a generic television presenter, or a 'celebrity' with no connection with the subject.  It is a specialist, scientific programme and should be treated as such and with respect to

its origins and longevity.

   The BBC, as a public-service broadcaster, has a remit to provide educational programming and programming for minority audiences. It is on that basis that it collects the licence fee from the British public, and we feel that no programme can claim to fulfil that remit more strongly than The Sky At Night.  Many of today's scientists and academics have said that their enthusiasm for their subject was inspired by the programme -- what other programmes can boast that?

   This campaign has captured the imagination of the general public in the short time that it has been running, and has now been featured in some of the national newspapers -- the Sun, Telegraph and Daily Mail.

   For more information, join the Facebook group for the campaign.

   And twitter posts are using the hashtag #saveskyatnight

   You can sign the petition online by visiting


4. NEXT SAN PROGRAMME:   Meanwhile, next programme: SKY AT NIGHT 'BRECON BEACONS' ASTRO CAMP: Sunday, 6 Oct. (11.45 - 12.05am)  BBC 1  Repeated  Saturday 12 Oct. BBC 2;  Extended version, (7.30 - 8.00pm)  BBC 4, Thursday 10 Oct. 


 5. 'Horizon on the Moon:'  Thursday 10 OctHORIZON : '40 Years on the Moon' (8.0 - 9.00pm).  BBC 4 Presented by Professor Brian Cox.

 (thanks to Peter Paice for those two alerts)


6. IAA Display at Belfast Central Library: Saturday 12 October. More details on this in next bulletin.


7. Armagh Planetarium

  (1) Math 'a' Magic; Saturday 12 October 2013

Who says that maths is boring?  Join us as we discover the magic and mystery of maths.  Capturing the imagination of children and adults alike, the math ‘a’ magicians from Cahoots will demonstrate the power of mathematics through illusion, misdirection and even mind reading on Saturday 12 October!

This is an unforgettable learning experience that will blow your mind!

Ages: 7 – 13, Duration: 1 hour, Times: 12.30pm and 2.30pm.

Tickets are free but spaces are limited so please pre-book on 028 37523689.

   (2) Planetarium Open Night, Tuesday 15 October

Armagh Planetarium will be hosting a public telescope viewing session as part of our programme of FREE Open Nights starting on Tuesday 15 October 2013.  On this evening night sky observation is hoped to take place (weather permitting) from 7pm-9pm.

   At 7.30pm there is also an opportunity to see the stars whatever the weather in our Digital Theatre show ‘Beyond the Blue’.  If you already have a telescope or binoculars you are welcome to bring them with you for your own use.  Dressing warmly is essential for outdoor stargazing!

 Times: Open 7pm-9pm, Digital Theatre Show: 7.30pm

TEL: 028 37523689. Pre-booking essential

8. Superb CME on the Sun: MAGNIFICENT ERUPTION: On Sept. 29th, a long filament of magnetism in the sun's northern hemisphere erupted, producing a magnificent CME and several must-see movies from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.  Although the CME was not aimed at Earth, our planet might receive a glancing blow from the cloud on Oct. 2-3.  Check for more information and updates.

9: OHIO FIREBALL: Just before midnight on Sept. 27-28, sky watchers in more than a dozen US states witnessed a bright flash of light. NASA all-sky cameras recorded a brilliant fireball, which analysts believe was a meter-class space rock exploding almost directly above Columbus, Ohio.  Images and more information about this event may be found on today's edition of

10. Galway Star Party. Advance notice of the next Galway Star Party: 1 February 2014. More details later, but mark your diaries now.



11. Satellite Re-Entry soon: A medium sized satellite, GOCE, is due to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere in the next month. Some bits may survive and fall to Earth. Ireland is within the possible target zone, but the chances of a fall here are VERY remote. See^headlines


12. NEW ASTRONOMY PROJECT ON LA PALMA:  Dr Ana Garcia Suarez, formerly at Armagh Observatory, has launched a new project in La Palma, Canary Islands, and asked me to circulate the following details (slightly edited). '' is an astrotourism project for tourists and also for amateur astronomers. We take astronomy tours, astroparties, organise workshops and rent telescopes for astronomers that do not wish to travel with heavy equipment.

   If you are particularly keen on landscape astrophotography or timelapse check out the website. E: anaat

Tel: +34 922 410 431, Mob: +34 622 805 618

  BTW, Ana's husband David is an astronomer at GTC: Gran Telescopio de Canarias.


13. COMET ISON - LATEST: Still fainter than originally predicted, but now brightening at last. We may get a better idea of how it is developing when MRO attempts to image it as it passes close to Mars. 




14. ISS: the ISS will start a new series of evening passes over Ireland on 10 October.For details for your location, see:


15. WORLD SPACE WEEK: World Space Week 2013 'Exploring Mars, Discovering Earth' Global Analogue Campaign. From 4-10 October, more than twenty organizations spread across four continents will be exploring Mars - and discovering more about Earth in the process.  A campaign of networked Mars analogue demonstrations is being launched to celebrate World Space Week (WSW) 2013. See previous bulletin for details.



16. STARGAZING LIVE returns on 7 - 9 January 2014. The IAA has once again been asked to be principal partner with the BBC for this prestigious event. More details later, but mark your diaries now.


17. Calling all Irish Geoscientists to the GEO-Gathering 2013, 19-20 October 2013 at the Menlo Park Hotel in Galway! (I know that many astronomers are also interested in geology, so this may be of interest.T.M. Full details are in the last bulletin.) 

   (BTW, in May 2012, I suggested something very similar to this for the Irish astronomical community to the ASGI, and to the Astronomy & Space Committee of the RIA, and to various other professional astronomers in Ireland but nothing seems to have happened? TM)


18. INTERESTING WEBLINKS:^headlines (maybe they will find terylene next?)^headlines (So if Venus & Earth are so similar, how come Venus had a Moon and Earth didn't? It just shifts the problem to a different planet, and adds a couple of extra dubious theories!)



19. TWITTER: Follow the IAA on Twitter:  at signIaaAstro


20. NEW LINK! JOINING the IRISH ASTRONOMICAL ASSOCIATION is easy: This link downloads a Word document to join the IAA.

    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 youYou can also make a donation via Paypal if you wish: just click on the 'Donate' button.  See also


Clear skies,

Terry Moseley

mob: (0044) (0) 7979 300842

I'm now back on Twitter (occasionally - I don't have enough time!), after some temporary hiccups: at signterrymoseley2