From: TerryMoselat

Date: 15 November 2014 15:57:29 GMT

Subject: Lecture, Subs, Dinner, Virgin Crash, ISS, Observing, Rosetta, Sl. Gullion event

Hi all,


1. IAA LECTURE: The next IAA public lecture will be on Wednesday 5 November, at 7.30 p.m. It will be given by Dr Mike Simms, of the Ulster Museum. Title:  "What Meteorites Tell Us About The Early Solar System".

   NB: We are aware that there have been problems hearing the speaker from the back of the lecture theatre, partly due to the noise from the twin data projector cooling fans. We will ensure that all future speakers use a microphone to prevent this problem recurring.

   Our knowledge of the formation of the Earth and what conditions were like in the protoplanetary nebula surrounding the Sun, from which Earth and the other planets formed, is largely derived from the study of the various types of meteorites. 

See for example: 

  These items are also interesting: 


   Mike is an expert on meteorites, and always gives an entertaining and well-presented and informative talk.

 This lecture will as usual be in the Bell Lecture theatre, Physics building, main QUB Campus. 

   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.


2. IAA SUBSCRIPTIONS: Subscriptions for the current year (2014 - 2015) are now overdue. If you do not renew your subscription, your membership will cease, and you won't get the next copy of our excellent magazine, STARDUST. See last item below for details of how to pay.


3.  IAA 40th Anniversary Dinner: 28 Nov. Bookings are still open for this event, with some places still available. It's excellent value, and there will be free entertainment included:

(1) An amusing and light-hearted after dinner speech by the ever-popular Prof Alan Fitzsimmons of QUB (you may have heard him on radio being interviewed about Rosetta and Philae)

2. Memorabilia and photo-gallery (aka Rogues gallery!)

3. A free fun quiz, with spot prizes.

Booking form attached.


4. Virgin Galactic's Spaceship 2 crash - latest.  Does this all sound very familiar? Remember all the experts and their wildly different theories about what happened to Malaysian Airlines MH370? So far, not one of them has been proved right. Let's wait & see what the official investigation says.


5: ISS: The International Space Station has started another series of morning passes over Ireland. See for details for your own location. 


6.  IAA Observing Nights at Delamont Country Park

These very popular weekend observing sessions have started again with some very successful viewing. Delamont is well signposted off the A22 just South of Killyleagh, (North of Downpatrick) Co Down. They are suitable for anyone, but are aimed especially at beginners.

We bring our own large telescopes; bring your own if you have a portable one.

  The events work like this: If it's clear on the Friday night, the event goes ahead. If not, we try again on the Saturday night. If both are cloudy, we try again on the following weekend, same procedure. To check if it's going ahead, check the IAA website: up to 6.0 p.m. on each day, and for dates for next session: If cloudy, we'll try again on the next date on the list.…


7. ROSETTA Mission to Comet 67-P

 Where is Philae? 

Philae sending images & data: 

Rosetta: What happens next? (It didn't land carephilae enough.....)

Three cheers for Monica, who gave an excellent lecture to the IAA some years ago: 

BUT:  Were there always as many deluded imbeciles as there appear to be now, but they just had no medium to put forward their crazy ideas? Or has the internet actually bred more of them? I'm just waiting for one of them to say that actually this comet is really Nibiru! 


8. Armagh Planetarium Doctor Who Event, 15-16 November: 


 Armagh Planetarium is hosting the Emerald Garrison’s brand new exhibition, “Dimensions in Time”.  This fan-run event celebrates all things Doctor Who with costumed characters portraying everyone from Cybermen to Daleks and even the Doctor himself.  If you have your own costume, why not join in!

  There will be a chance to get your picture taken with the famous TARDIS and time travel to a scene from the Tom Baker era! Lots of photo opportunities and fun for all the family!

Entrance to the exhibit is FREE

Normal admission charges to Planetarium Digital Theatre Shows apply.  To view a list of our shows visit  Pre-booking for a show is essential on 028 37523689.



9. Public Astronomy Night at Slieve Gullion, 30 November 

The IAA will be holding another public astronomy outreach event, this time at a new dark sky venue, the visitor's centre at Slieve Gullion Forest Park, near the village of Meigh, SW of Newry. More details in next bulletin, but mark your diaries now.


10. Keep pure observational astronomy course from closure (Thanks to Aswin Sekar at Armagh Observatory for this):


11. FAEROES ECLIPSE TRIP: The next Total Solar Eclipse visible on Earth will be on 20 March, 2015. This total eclipse track will only cross land on Earth in two places: the Faeroes, and Svalbard in the far North Atlantic. IAA member and eclipse author Dr Kate Russo will be leading a tour to observe this eclipse in the Faeroes. I have the honour to be the 'eclipse/astronomy/aurora expert' on the trip, on which we hope to be able to get good views of the aurora as well as the eclipse itself. See You can also find out more details on the eclipse blog site:


12. UKSEDS National Conference: The 27th Annual UKSEDS National 

Student Space Conference will be held on the weekend of 28 February - 1 March 

2015, and hosted by Surrey EARS at the University of Surrey. Early bird tickets 

are now available. 

  The UKSEDS National Student Space Conference is the 

premier event for space students, bringing together students, academics, and 

professionals from across the country to share knowledge of space, discuss the 

challenges facing the sector, and to create new links between groups. It 

features talks by leading space science and industry figures, a careers fair, 

and opportunities to take part in discussions and networking 



The Conference is run and organised by UKSEDS, 

the UK's student space society, which unites space-enthusiasts at universities 

across the country. A different UKSEDS branch hosts 

the conference each year, 

and next year it will be hosted by Surrey 

Electronic and Amateur Radio Society (EARS), 

at the University 

of Surrey. 

UKSEDS' founding conference was held in 1988 at the Science Museum, London, 

making this year's event our 27th.


There are expected to be upwards of 200 attendees, primarily undergraduate and 

graduate engineers and scientists with a strong interest in the space industry 

who are looking to learn more about space projects and potential 



Special early bird rate tickets are now open on our conference minisite at 

and will be available until 31 December. One-day tickets, and tickets for the 

evening social will become available after that point. Your ticket grants you 

access to the conference and includes lunch. Saturday tickets include the 

evening networking reception.


We also offer a number of different sponsorship packages which can be tailored 

to your requirements. These include having a stand in our exhibition hall, 

presenting a talk as part of the conference, sponsoring coffee, lunch, a 

networking reception, or an evening social event. If you are interested in 

exhibiting or sponsoring contact conferenceat 

Due to the nature of some of these opportunities we are only able to offer a 

limited number, so please get in touch soon to avoid 


Meanwhile follow the hashtag #NSSC15 on social media and join our Facebook event 



Laird, Vice-Chair of UKSEDS conferenceat

13. ARCHAEOASTRONOMY TRIP TO NEWGRANGE and KNOWTH, 2015, These trips have proved so popular that as soon as I got back from the last one, Stranmillis University College Institute of LifeLong Learning asked me to lead another one next spring!  Like the last one, the next trip will include a visit to the Knowth Tomb as well. It has the largest collection of Megalithic art anywhere in Europe in one single site, some of which is reckoned to be astronomical. Booking for thus very popular, non-technical trip will open later, but if you want to go, note the date in your diary: Sat 9 May. More details when the new brochure comes out.



Galway Astrofest: Feb 21, 2015, Theme: "New Worlds - New Horizons" Excellent speaker line-up already!  Latest news on speakers: To provide detailed insight into space missions one of the agency’s senior scientific advisors;  Professor Michael Perryman will talk about the GAIA mission, while Professor Susan McKenna Lawlor will look at the Rosetta Comet mission for which her team built an instrument for the Philae lander.  See Check for latest updates. 

 COSMOS: April 17th to 19th 2015, Shamrock LodgeHotel, Athlone.

Skelligs Star Party: 14-16 August, Ballinskelligs, Co Kerry.  This is a Gold Medal winning Dark Sky site.  see 

AI 'Star-B-Q': 15 August, An Tochar GAA Grounds, Roundwood, Co.Wicklow.


15: Interesting Weblinks: and

Extreme Storms on Uranus (no jokes about bursts of methane, please...) But it's not 'dark matter', but 'dark energy', which is crucial to understanding how the universe is expanding. Although of course the total amount of matter in the universe is a factor.  Amazing. But please, please, please, don't let anyone call this 'the Eye of God'. We've had one of those already! That could be the least of their worries!  Where are they going to get all the water to turn the lunar soil into pulp? And that water will all be lost, as it will just evaporate / sublimate as the pulp dries out.

Our BH caused binary stars merger NB: Six sentences from the end: "1 part in 1016" should read "1 part in 10 ^16" (i.e. 10 to the power 16). If you missed it first time...

Planet birth imaged by ALMA and 

Dark Matter may be massive: NB: In the last section, the figures should be expressed as exponentials, e.g. "109" should be 10^9 or 10 to the power 9; and 1018 should be 10^18 or 10 to power 18. 

Mystery sea of stars: 

Exoplanet construction site: 

Tail discovered on asteroid! Traditional distinctions are getting more and more blurred - As well as the comet/asteroid crossover:

When is a large meteoroid an asteroid? When is an asteroid a dwarf planet? When is a dwarf planet really a planet? When is a moon a moon, and when is it the smaller member of a binary planet? When is a giant planet a brown dwarf star? When is a brown dwarf a proper star? When is a large globular cluster a small Population 2 satellite galaxy? And so on....

Jets, Bubbles and Bursts of Light: 

Looking into galaxies starforming centres

Synthetic biology for longterm space exploration

Galactic merger in distant cluster 

Baby photos of scaled up solar system 

Asteroid's size measured 

Supernova Aftermath 

Story behind galactic crash

Lightning from a Black Hole 

Triple Star System forming 

Jupiter's Great Red Spot analysed 

Energetic particles from MW's Black Hole

Galaxies being stripped of gas 

Is there organic material on Mars? 

Mars has macroweather 

Name an Exoplanet! and 

New String Field Theory 

Sustainability and exobiology 

Young active compact galaxies 

NASA's Orion at Spacepad: 

Looking for 100s of Black Holes

New Wide-View Space Telescope?

Parallel worlds gives quantum weirdness 

The Peres Conjecture is false: This is mainly of local interest, as most of us won't understand it. But the "Bell" referred to is Belfast man & QUB graduate John Bell after whom the Bell Lecture Theatre in the Physics Building, where the IAA holds its meetings, is named. And we've just had the 50th anniversary of the publication of his famous paper on the matter. See 


16. TWITTER: Follow the IAA on Twitter: The account is now operational again as before: at signIaaAstro.


17. 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