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3rd January 2011 - Quadrantid Meteor Observing - 6:30PM at Delamont Country Park - in association with BBC Stargazing Live!

3rd, 4th, 5th January - Stargazing Live TV programmes

4th January - Partial Solar Eclipse at Sunrise - IAA Observing at Knockagh War Memorial nr Greenisland (click for map)

12th January - IAA lecture at QUB - Dr Kate Russo - "Eclipse Adventures and Prospects for the Australia Eclipse of 2012"

13th January - Lecture at Armagh Planetarium with Dr Don Pollacco (QUB)

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The BBC is set to inspire a whole host of astronomers and stargazers to look to the skies this New Year in a season of events and programmes headed up by Prof. Brian Cox.

Two Events!

On 3rd January 2011 from 6:30pm onwards we will be hosting a Stargazing LIVE event at Delamont Country Park where total beginners, amateur astronomers and professional stargazers will get a chance to explore the night sky. O n show will be the Quadrantid Meteor Shower, Jupiter and its Moons in close conjunction with Uranus, Orion, and a wealth of galaxies and Deep-Sky objects


STOP PRESS: The Meteor Observing Session at Delamont is CANCELLED due to bad weather, however the Eclipse observing at Knockagh in the morning is still ON.



The following morning - 4th January - we will assemble at the Knockagh War Memorial in County Antrim to view the Partial Solar Eclipse at Sunrise

As usual, even though the Sun will be very low in the sky, PRACTICE SAFE SUN! Whilst it is often safe to look directly at a rising Sun, if the sky is clear it may be too bright and eclipse glasses or Baader film should be used. If in doubt, don't look.

Sunrise will be in the SE at 0900 from the Belfast area and a clear horizon will be best - I am looking at a trip to Whitehead where sunrise will be over the sea, but other high up locations with a good SE view. Here's a simulation of the view - the biggest factor in being able to see this will of course be the weather!

You’ll be sharing the experience with tens of thousands of fellow stargazers as part of the nationwide extravaganza that is tied into the new BBC Two show Stargazing LIVE. In this three-day, stripped event, which airs during the first week of January 2011, Professor Brian Cox will be joined by Dara O'Briain as the pair look to the skies to bring the wonders of the stars into our living rooms. In addition, Liz Bonnin will be reporting from Hawaii and astronomer Mark Thompson will be carrying out live observations.

Come along and take part in the IAA's Observing Evening and Morning

Note both events are weather dependent, and we will communicate a Go/No-go Decision via our forum at 5pm on 3rd January 2011. and 0730 on 4th January - keep an eye out!

The BBC Two programmes are on 3rd, 4th and 5th January while the BBC Learning events continue through to 16th January - we have at least one more event awaiting confirmation.


Lunar Eclipse!

Eclipses often occur in pairs, with one lunar eclipse being followed by a solar eclipse two weeks later. Normally these are visible on opposite sides of the Earth. However this time we are in the privliged position of being able to see both eclipses from Ireland as the lunar eclipse of 21st December was visible in the NW at Moonset and the solar eclipse of 4th January 2011 will be visible in the SE at Sunrise!


STS-133 - Discovery's Last Flight - latest news

Testing of Discovery's fuel system and the External tank are ongoing. The corrective work is being carried out and Discovery's launch is now planned for no earlier than 3rd February 2011. This has had the knock on effect of delaying the last planned shuttle launch - Endeavour - until 1st April 2011, and of course there is the possibility of the STS-335 Atlantis standby mission becoming the real STS-135 mission

Membership reminder

Members are reminded that subscriptions for the 2010/11 Year are now due. Regrettably due to rising costs we have had to increase the subscriptions for IAA membership. For the 2010/2011 season these will be as follows:-

Single membership: £20 or €25

Family Membership (all members of a family at one address): £25 or €30

Note that this is the first rate increase in five years and still includes an unmatched programme of lectures, observing nights, other events and a subscription to our highly regarded quarterly magazine, "Stardust", delivered to your door.

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