Perseid Observing is ON
We have decided that in spite of the high
cloud that has been a round all day, we will go to
Delamont Country Park for the Perseid Barbeque as there is
a good possibility of some clear spells, at least before
midnight. There is also an excellent ISS pass at 2245
whether you come an join us or not! We will be there from
Bernard Lovell 1913-2012
Very sad news from Jodrell Bank - Sir Bernard Lovell, Emeritus Professor of Radioastronomy at the University of Manchester and founder of the Jodrell Bank Radio Telescope has died aged 98. A full obituary is available on the Jodrell Bank website here....
IAA member John McConnell had this to say...
"Sir Bernard was a lovely man, i had met him on
several occasions going back to the 1970's and he was
always the same, a perfect gent"
Here is Sir Bernard pictured with John
McConnell at Birr Castle....
UpdatesThe August Sky Guide by Neill McKeown is now available here....
The Observing Programme for 2012-13 is now available here....
The Current Conditions page showing weather, spaceweather and aurora prospects has been updated here....
The Lecture Programme for 2012-13 is in an advanced stage of preparation and will be published shortly. The series begins on Wednesday 19th September. Keep 17th October free for a special event - details to follow!
Curiosity lands on Mars!
At 0531 UT on the morning of 6th August 2012, there was jubilation at the JPL Control Centre in Pasadena, California as the Curiosity Rover landed safely on Mars.
Officially known as the Mars Science Laboratory, Curiosity is the largest and most sophisticated vehicle ever sent to explore the surface of another planet. With a landing system specially developed to lower the 900 kg rover safely to the Martian surface, Curiosity was on its own for seven minutes as it descended towards Mars.
Pictures were not slow in coming - here's one of the first....
More details are available from NASA here....
We have a solid programme of outreach events lined up for the Summer season with something for everyone and of course don't forget, the 2012-13 season of meetings will kick off on Wednesday 19th September at the Bell Lecture Theatre, Queens University Belfast, at 19:30hrs sharp.
Castle Espie 12th August
On Sunday 12th August we will
return to WWF
Castle Espie in County Down for another Solar Day -
again from 2pm to 5pm. This venue has become a regular on
the Summer calendar over the last few years and a s well
as Solar Observing we will be offering displays of
meteorites and other astronomical paraphenalia and of
course Star Shows in the Mobile Planetarium. Also, if you
are one of the many who has bought a telescope but found
it a bit tricky to set up, bring it along and one of our
experts will show you how to get it set up to give its
Pat O'Neill 2010
Perseid Meteor Shower 11th/12th August
This date also coincides with
the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower - that actual peak
is 10am on 12th this year, and the conditions are very
good with The Moon in a waning crescent phase not visible
until the early hours of the morning. Our intention is to
hold the annual Perseid Barbeque at Delamont Country Park on the night
of Saturday 11th August, however given that the peak
straddles two nights we will hold the night of Sunday 12th
in reserve in case we are rained off or clouded out on the
Image: Paul Evans 2004
Jupiter / Moon Close Encounter
On the night of 14th/15th July around 03:00 BST Jupiter passed very close to the waning crescent Moon. In fact, viewed from more southerly locations there was an occultation, however from Northern Ireland a near miss was observed, and amazingly the weather allowed a quick glimpse of this between the clouds!
Image: Paul Evans
Members pictured with NASA Administrator
Some members of the IAA travelled south to Trinity College, Dublin to attend a lecture, entitled "Pushing the Limits to Achieve Success" , given by Charles F. Bolden, Jr. (Major General, USMC Ret.), the currrent Adminstrator of NASA.
Nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, retired Marine Corps Major General Charles Frank Bolden, Jr., began his duties as the twelfth Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on July 17, 2009. As Administrator, he leads the NASA team and manages its resources to advance the agency’s missions and goals.
Pictured here L-R, Lee Gordon, Charles Bolden, Andy McCrea, Terry Moseley and Pat O'Neill.
Image: Pat O'Neill
Members are reminded that membership fees will be due for the 2012/13 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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