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BBC Stargazing Live!
who remember last year's series will be pleased to
hear that "Stargazing
is returning to BBC 2 in the New Year for another
three nights of astronomy presented again by
Professor Brian Cox and
Dara O Briain. This year the series of three
programmes will be bigger
and better than before, and the excellent news is
that the IAA will be
University Astronomers and the Lough Neagh Discovery Centre
for the main event in Northern Ireland, currently
scheduled for Tuesday
17th January. The programmes themselves will be on
BBC 2 from 8:00
until 9:30PM on 16th, 17th and 18th January. Also,
we expect the News
and Weather teams in BBC NI to take an interest.
We will be involved in events on all three nights as follows:-
January 1800-2100 - Public
Watch in conjunction with the Astronomers at
Belfast. In the event of inclement weather Dr Chris
Watson will deliver
a Public Astronomy Lecture in the Larmour Theatre.
January 1800-2100 - The Main event at Lough
Discovery Centre nr Lurgan - programme of
In other words, something for
everyone! Note that
we are hoping for clear skies on both of these
nights and it is likely
to be cold, so please wear warm clothes - ie coats,
hats, gloves and
Wednesday 18th January Time TBC - Talk by IAA Webmaster Paul Evans "Getting Started in Astrophotography" at The Meadows Shopping Centre, Portadown
Further details to follow......
IAA Lecture 14th December
Lunar Eclipse 10th December at Moonrise - 1600 GMT
Observing Nights 2nd, 3rd December
We have not one, but two outreach events coming up! On Friday 2nd December we will return to Castle Espie for an evening of observing with the Stardome and an assortment of shows including meteorites, telescopes and literature, so even if the weather doesn't deliver there will still be plenty for everyone. Should the skies clear, and we hope they will, then Jupiter and the First Quarter Moon will be on show as will the Seven Sisters, Andromeda Galaxy and other wonders of the December sky including, later in the evening, Orion with its fabulous nebula, and later still, Sirius, the brightest star in the sky.
On Saturday 3rd December we will be visiting St Patrick's Academy in Dungannon (click for map). As well as the same setup as at Castle Espie above, and more or less the same stars, though with a bit more of The Moon visible, we will be helping St Patrick's relaunch the school Observatory following refurbishment of the 14" scope and dome! See the event poster here....
Note the advice to pre-book Stardome places.
IAA Lecture 30th November
Our third lecture meeting of November featured Tom Boles, founder and owner of Coddenham Observatory in Suffolk. Tom is the world's greatest supernova discoverer, with about 140 discoveries to his credit.
Supernovae come in various forms, with different causes, but in general terms they represent either the explosive death of a giant star, or a very violent episode in the life of a binary star pair. Visually, they are the greatest explosions we see in the universe, with the exploding star sometimes becoming as bright as the combined light of all the other hundreds of millions of stars in its parent galaxy!
Tom's talk, entitled "Discovering Supernovae: Motivation and Rewards" was a fascinating account of the method, motivation and dedication involved in making Tom the world's top Supernova discoverer!
The warm-up talk was delivered by IAA Webmaster Paul Evans and can be seen on our YouTube Channel in glorious 720p High Definition!
Mars Science Laboratory - Curiosity is on the way!
Those who attended Brian Harvey's excellent lecture will know all about this - the Mars Science Laboratory - nicknamed "Curiosity", has launched from Cape Canaveral today (26th Nov) beginning its 8.5 month journey to the Red Planet. Weighing roughly 1 ton, the Rover is the largest and most complex craft ever to land on Mars and promises to send back much more data than ever before, including of course more info on the possibilities of life.
So far the Atlas rocket has put the craft into a holding orbit around Earth and will soon fire again to put the craft on to a course for Mars.
IAA New Year Party
A date for the diary - the IAA New Year Party will be held again at McBrides Restaurant in Comber, County Down at 5:30PM on Saturday 7th January followed by a film, "Cowboys and Aliens" at the Tudor Cinema in Comber afterwards. Regular features including Terry's Hot Punch, and of course the Quiz will be included. Further details on the booking form here.....
Members are reminded that membership fees are now due for the 2011/12 year as of 1st September. Rates are of course the same as last year and are as follows:-
Single membership: £20 or €25
Family Membership (all members of a family at one address): £25 or €30
This includes an unmatched programme of lectures, observing nights, other events and a subscription to our highly regarded quarterly magazine, "Stardust", delivered to your door.
You can now join or renew your IAA Membership online by PayPal or Credit or Debit card online here...
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