From: TerryMoselat

Subject: Lecture, End of the World (again) ISS, Mars, Rabbit awakes, NAW, Aliens @ Armagh

Date: 21 February 2014 17:57:42 GMT

Hi all,


1.  IRISH ASTRONOMICAL ASSOCIATION Public Lecture, March 5, 7.30pm:   "Astronomy: My Journey", by Carl O'Beirnes. Carl is one of Ireland's best-known amateur astronomers, and he has built a very advanced observatory at his home in Balbriggan. Carl will explain how he got interested in astronomy, and the development of that interest to his now advanced level.

  Carl is also one of the proprietors of Scopes and Space, telescope retailers based in Swords, Co Dublin.

The lecture is free and open to all, including free refreshments. Venue: 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.

(This lecture forms part of the IAA's participation in National Astronomy Week - see 7 below)


2. End of the World (again):  and Here we go again! (See you all on Sunday!)


3. ISS: The International Space Station continues its current series of evening passes over Ireland for another few days.  It's sometimes the brightest object in the night sky, and you can get details of where and when to look on the excellent and free website


4. HAZARDS OF GOING TO MARS - A New one! As if there aren't enough risks for Martian astronauts (see, and, here's another one!

Just one problem - who is going to go to Mars to kill them? It would be un-Islamic for a Muslim to go.....

And what's the difference between going to Mars and spending a long period on the ISS? (Muslims have already been to the ISS.) The only difference is that one is probably more dangerous than the other, but it's only a matter of degree. You could even say that it would also apply to working in Antarctica for a long period. It's better not to mix religion and science!


5. Seeing Earth from Mars (if we do go there): See

An interesting question: I wonder when Earth appears brightest as seen from Mars?

From Earth, Mercury appears brightest when gibbous, but Venus appears brightest when a thick crescent. I'm guessing that Earth would appear brightest from Mars when also seen as a thick crescent, but I've no data on that. Does anyone have figures? 

    And unfortunately the 'doughnut rock' was not thrown at the Opportunity rover by a disgruntled Martian! See and


6. Rabbit Resurrection! China's Yutu, or Jade Rabbit, Rover on the Moon is not dead after all! See There's hope yet.


7. National Astronomy Week; This runs from 1 to 8 March. Various events are being organised. More details in next bulletin.


8. ALIENS AT ARMAGH PLANETARIUM, 1 March: Planet Aliens is a free live show that tells the story of the Planet Aliens and the wonderful world that they come from.  With a full script and unique music the story will teach children all about the stars and the Cosmos. This is a first of its kind, designed and developed by D-Signs and Displays alongside the team at Armagh Planetarium. With a uniquely designed set, along with props, puppeteers and local actors, this truly is a heart-warming adventure into the Cosmos in search of these wonderful characters. This is a family show which is not to be missed! Suitable for children up to the age of ten. Spaces will be allocated on a “first come first served” basis. Date: Saturday 1 March 2014. Times: 12.15pm, 1.15pm, 2.15pm and 3.15pm. Duration: 30mins. Price: Free


9: CORK: BCO Events:  February's Space Camp is Sold Out! We are now taking bookings for March Junior Space Camp: Sunday March 2 at 12noon. See


10. Advance Notice: Thursday 27 March at 7.30pm Lecture: "Blowing up a storm! Ireland’s record of great winds and the Irish characters who showed the world how to measure them." Dr Kieran R. Hickey, Dept of Geography, NUIG.

Venue: Room OG-029, School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology, Queen’s University Belfast, Elmwood Avenue, Belfast, BT7 1NN.

Tickets: free, please email to indicate attendance E rgsniat


11. Advance Notice: Trip to Newgrange: Mar 29, 2014: 09.30 – 17.00: I will be leading an astronomy /archaeoastronomy trip to Newgrange, as part of the Stranmillis Adult Learning programme. A day long coach trip, with full commentary. Demand for this is already high, so book now if you are interested. There is a maximum number allowed on the trip, due to space restrictions within the Newgrange Mound. Booking is through Stranmillis College,

The link to the enrolment form is on the same page, but this is the direct link:,231524,en.pdf


12. Advance Notice: COSMOS 2014.  This will be held from 4-6 April, but this year it will be in Athlone, not Annaharvey, Tullamore! So don't be booking any accommodation in Tullamore, as I nearly did! More details when available. See


13. Advance Notice: Major Astronomy Conference in Galway;  Speed and Sensitivity, Expanding Astronomical Horizons with ELTs. NUI, Galway, 13-16 May 2014

 Led by Prof Andy Shearer: this will be a fascinating look at the future of astronomy as offered by Extremely Large Telescopes, and ever increasingly sensitive detectors. See or


14. Advance Notice: STFC Roadshow at QUB, 19 - 25 May. The roadshow, entitled "Seeing the Universe in all its light" features stunning science images and interactive exhibits,   Check the `Seeing the Universe in All its Light’ webpage 


15. INTERESTING WEBLINKS: Just one of many hazards facing astronauts on Mars! Anyone within 5 km of this impact would have been lucky to survive., and but,0,2457022.story (an expanding one, obviously, if the universe is expanding....)  Whatever happens, it will NOT, repeat NOT, be like the scenes in "Gravity"! They were totally ridiculous.... LLAP! (Time to buy shares in OTIS?) Comments:

1. Three times they call it the 'Realistic' HIC, instead of 'Relativistic'!

2. I doubt if anything humans can do on Earth can outdo what is already happening in space.

3. If it does happen, we won't know anything about it, and it will put an end to everyone's woes! (just watch the daily news....) Nice one! A few carelessly wrong prepositions, but interesting nonetheless.



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


17. 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


Finally, in tribute to the late great John Dobson, a quote from him which is typical of the man, and very appropriate:  "If you figure something out for yourself, it doesn't make no never-mind who figured it out first, it's yours."


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