1. "Is There Anyone Out There?" The next Irish Astronomical Association public lecture will be by Professor Phil Dufton of the Astrophysics Department in Queen's University, Belfast, and it will examine the possibility of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe.
It will be at 7.30 p.m, in the Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, QUB. Admission is free, including light refreshments, and all are welcome.
2. Another Irish Asteroid Discovery! Dave Grennan from Dublin has just discovered a Main Belt asteroid from his observatory in Raheny. The object was found in southern Pegasus, and is provisionally designated 2008 US3. It was magnitude 19.5 at discovery. It's in the asteroid Main Belt, and more details will follow once the Minor Planet Center of the IAU computes its orbit.
Dave's discovery comes just after Dave McDonald's find of 2008 TM9 a few weeks ago. Dave G's achievement is maybe even more incredible, as his observatory is just metres from the DART line in Raheny! This is only the third asteroid ever discovered in Ireland.
Once again, I'm sure you will join me in congratulating Dave G on a superb achievement, which likewise involved much dedication, commitment and skill. This has been an amazing year for astronomy in Ireland, and is a superb lead-in to IYA 2009!
See http://www.irishastronomy.org/cms/forum?func=view&catid=11&id=74040 for more details.
Will it be 'like buses' - you wait for ages and three come along one after the other? Who will be next? Or will it be a case of who will be the first to discover TWO asteroids from Ireland?