From: TerryMoselat

Subject: Lectures, Meteorites, Galileo, AP Open Night, ISON, Astrocamp, Orrery, Andromeda

Date: 30 October 2013 13:34:08 GMT

Hi all,


1. IAA LECTURE, 30 October. Dr Andy McCrea, IAA. " Aurorae and Astronauts".

 Well known amateur astronomer, astro-imager, past IAA President, and proprietor of North Down Telescopes, Dr Andy McCrea will give the next lecture, based on his recent highly successful aurora hunting trip to Iceland, and his similarly successful astronaut-hunting exploits (only with cameras & an autograph book!). Andy will reveal all about aurorae, what causes them, where and how to see them and image them.  

     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.  ULSTER MUSEUM's METEORITE DAY: Sat 2 November, 13.00 - 16.00 Your chance to learn about rocks from space, and handle several examples. See the largest meteorite ever known to fall in the UK or Ireland, and a piece of the recent Russian Fireball Chelyabinsk meteorite. See



3. "The Life of Galileo" -- November 8th to 10th, at 7:30pm.  As part of the lead up to Science Week, Brecht's "The Life of Galileo" will be staged by the Greenwood Theatre Company in Dunsink Observatory in a specially adapted version by David Hare. As the observatory is over 200 years old, it seems like the perfect venue in which to set the play. Most of the performance will be staged in the Meridian Room where "Dublin Time" was kept but the audience will have the chance to move into the South Dome (with its large Victorian Grubb Telescope) and the Solar System Room for a number of scenes. Seating is very limited for the 3 performances and tickets (15 euro) can be booked through the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies website by following the links to the "The Life of Galileo".  See for details.




5. RIA LECTURE, CORK, 12 November: The  RIA's biennial McCrea lecture will  hosted by UCC on 12 November. Venue: G10 Lecture Theatre, Brookfield Health Sciences Complex, University College Cork. Date: Tuesday 12 November 2013, 6 pm. 

Royal Irish Academy and University College Cork Biennial McCrea Astronomy Lecture for Science Week 2013: Are the Laws of Physics Changing? by Professor John D Barrow FRS, University of Cambridge

Abstract: Astronomers have investigated whether the laws and constants of physics are the same today as they were billions of years ago. We will look at what these high-precision observations have been telling us and see why many physicists believe that the laws of physics may be different elsewhere in the Universe.

Biography: John D Barrow is an English cosmologist, theoretical physicist and mathematician. He is currently Research Professor of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge. He was elected as a Fellow to the Royal Society in 2003 and was awarded the Faraday Medal and Prize in 2008. He is Director of the Millennium Mathematics Project. See:



6. COMET ISON - PHOTO COMPETITION: Now brightening significantly; the comet is now up to about mag 10, moving from Leo towards Virgo.

There's now a major photo competition for amateurs: see

    The latest images are posted at  and a recent update on the comet's status can be found here:

   More information on the Comet ISON Observation Campaign website at

   Also see:,

and for a bit of fun:

ISON = NIBIRU?  Indeed, as I predicted when ISON was first discovered, there's now the usual nonsense on the Web about it being the new 'Nibiru', since Comet Elenin wasn't! See for example: Also, and just as weird -

A bright comet in year 2013? -- Comet ISON -- an Astrology, New Age and Bible Prophecy analysis

This rivals the Nibiru doom-mongers for being nothing but complete and utter rubbish. Read it at your peril - you will laugh so hard that it hurts!


7. The website for the new Space Science Technology qualification being piloted in Northern Ireland is now live at: 

Support materials are in the pipeline. (Per Robert Hill, who is driving this welcome initiative.)


8.  European Southern Observatory Astronomy Camp (Italy)

The first ESO Astronomy Camp will take place from 26 - 31 December 2013 at the Astronomical Observatory of the Aosta Valley, located in Saint-Barthelemy, Nus, Italy. The camp will explore the theme of the visible and the invisible Universe through lectures, hands-on activities, and nighttime observations with the telescopes and instruments at the observatory. Social activities, winter sports, and excursions will contribute to making the camp a memorable experience for the participants. ESO will be responsible for the scientific programme for the ESO Astronomy Camp, and will, together with other partners, provide lecturers and material. The camp will be available for a maximum of 55 secondary school students aged between 16 and 18 years old. More information at:

9. EAAE Winter School 2013 (Finland)

The Winter School will be organized by the EAAE-WG3 in Enontekiö, Finland from the 28th to the 30th December 2013. This Winter School is open to all teachers who work in primary and secondary schools in European countries. The School will be held next December in Finland (Lapland). The registration fee is 50 Euros. During the Winter School teachers will attend general lectures, workshops and daily observational sessions. Participants should wrap up warm during these sessions because of the cold weather. Note that although Sun never rises and daylight of dawn is only seen for a very short period at this time of the year in Enontekio, observation sessions can only be held during the Winter School if weather conditions are good. Instructors at the Winter School will be members of EAAE-WG3, and they come from different countries in Europe. The theme of this Winter School is Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights. Professor Rosa Maria Ros (rosat is the Chairperson of EAAE-WG3 and should be contacted for any further inquiries.



10.  Armagh Observatory “Human Orrery” Goes Global

From the Director, Professor Mark Bailey (edited from IAU Newsletter):

   The Armagh Human Orrery is the first large-scale outdoor exhibit to show with precision on the ground the positions of the main planets, a dwarf planet and two comets. It is an innovative education and learning tool designed to explain the motion of the planets around the Sun and the changing position of Earth relative to those planets as it too revolves around the Sun every year.

   Launched at the Observatory nearly nine years ago, the model is fun to use, entertaining and participative. The model has now been reproduced at a number of locations, notably at the Kings School, Peterborough, and at Christ the Redeemer Primary School, Belfast, and most recently at the Eureka High School, Nepaltar, Kathmandu, Nepal.

   For full details of the Armagh Human Orrery, see For a summary review of the Human Orrery and the background to the model, see:; and for an example of a novel portable human orrery, see: For further images, follow:


11. The Andromeda Project is Back!

From Rob and the Zooniverse Team: Last year we launched the Andromeda Project ( and asked the public to help us locate star clusters in our nearest neighbouring galaxy: Andromeda (M31). The project was a phenomenal success and in less than three weeks volunteers had classified more than a million images. Today we're releasing a whole new batch of data into the Andromeda Project and we're calling this Round 2.

   The data you will see are amazingly detailed images from the Hubble Space Telescope, which has peered deep into Andromeda as part of the PHAT survey. The aim of the Andromeda Project is to the locate all the star clusters and background galaxies found in PHAT and to build up the most complete map of any spiral galaxy anywhere. This is amazing science that can only be done with the help of citizen scientists.


12. STARGAZING LIVE returns on 7 - 9 January 2014, at Cultra. The IAA has once again been asked to be principal partner with the BBC for this prestigious event. The main local event will be at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum at Cultra. More details later, but mark your diaries now. (I'm going to a planning meeting with the BBC and the Cultra people tomorrow, so I'll update after that.)


13. INTERESTING WEBLINKS:^headlines^headlines^headlines (Sorry folks - but No!) (and how did it get to Mars?)


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


15. 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