Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Lecture, Soyuz, Venus & Mars, Space week events, Nobel Prize for GWs, ISS, PHA

Hi all,
1. NEXT IAA LECTURE,  Wed 4 October, 7.30 p.m"Cloudy with a chance of flares: the importance of space weather forecasting". By Dr Sophie Murray of TCD. Dr Murray is an expert on 'space weather', which is the weather in and surrounding the Sun and how it affects the planets, especially planet Earth. And in addition, she also worked for a year at the Met Office in England, so she has a terrestrial meteorologist's expertise on space weather.
   Space weather is being recognised as being of great importance for our planet, as it affects everything from our own climate to our modern communications systems, astronauts and space-based equipment, air travel, and our electricity infrastructure.
   This will be a fascinating lecture, delivered by an eloquent expert on both aspects of the subject
Wed 4 October 7.30 p.m., Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, QUB. Free admission.  Free parking on QUB campus after 5.30 p.m.
N.B. This will be the IAA's event to mark 'SPACE WEEK'
NEW: I will be talking on Good Morning Ulster, or Radio Ulster tomorrow (Tuesday) morning about 8.20 a.m. about the significance of the launch of Sputnik 1, on the 60th anniversary of its launch.
2. NEW: CORRECTION BREAKING NEWS - Tim Peake's Soyuz spacecraft will be coming to Belfast! The Soyuz spacecraft which brought Tim Peake back to Earth will be coming to Belfast, but not until February 2019. It will remain here into May of that year!
3. Venus, the brilliant Morning Star, will pass close by Mars, 4-5-6 Oct.  Venus is still well-placed in the dawn sky for the next few weeks. Watch its very close approach to much fainter Mars; on the morning of Oct 4th the separation will be only 56' (i.e. just under 1 deg), while by the morning of 5 Oct Venus will lie only 21' above Mars - that's about 2/3 of a Moon diameter. Next morning (6th) Venus will lie just 22' left of, and a bit below Mars, and the separation will then continue to increase as Venus moves in towards the Sun.
   Of course this is just a line of sight effect, as Mars lies much further away than Venus.
4. October 5, Space Week Public Lecture, Dublin: " Voyager, Cassini and toward the Stars by Kevin Nolan.
   Description: A public talk for non-expert and expert alike about the Voyager 40 year and continuing mission of the outer Solar System and into interstellar space. Kevin Nolan of The Planetary Society will look at the Voyager's past successes at the gas giant planets and also their current interstellar mission; as well as the follow-on missions the Voyagers have inspired - Cassini,  New Horizons,  Pale Red Dot exoplanet search and the Breakthrough Starshot to Alpha Centauri within decades; among others. 
   Venue: The Lecture Theatre, National Gallery of Ireland, Merrion Square, Dublin 2
Date and Time: Thursday October 5th 2017, 7pm - 8pm (doors open from 6.40pm)
Charge: No advanced booking - pay at the door (cash only): Adults 5 Euro, Children and concessions 3 Euro, Family of 4 and over: 12 Euro
Contact: Kevin Nolan: Kevin.Nolan@it-tallaght.ie (Mob: 087 238 6141)
SPACE WEEK: Our Planet  - Our Space - Our Time
Space Week is Ireland's national STEM week in parallel with World Space Week. It is YOUR week to focus on the wonders and realities of the Universe around us.
Taking place from October 4 – 10,2017, Space Week will enable all people to explore how, as 21st century citizens under one sky, we can use the power of critical thinking, science, technology, engineering and maths to shape our understanding of life on Earth and our place in Space.
   Plan an event: Organise an event in your school or community and register your details on www.spaceweek.ie. All registered events will receive Space Week merchandise and promotional materials.
   Attend an event: Family-friendly events, stargazing, workshops and more will take place nationwide.  Or discover the Universe in your own home using the fun space activities on spaceweek.ie 
  Discover Your Universe! Find or register events on spaceweek.ie #SpaceWeek16
6. Nobel Prize for discovery of Gravitational waves.
7. ISS. The International Space Station continues its series of evening passes over Ireland until 14 October.  Details on the excellent free site www.heavens-above.com.
8. Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 2012 TC4 will make a close pass to Earth on 12 October. It will pass about 27,000 miles from Earth at its closest; That's just outside the orbit of the geosynchronous satellites. Another way of looking at it is that it's just about 3.5 Earth diameters away! More details later as they become available. See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4941414/House-sized-asteroid-come-damn-close-Earth.html
9: Public Lecture, Armagh Observatory and Planetarium, 13 October, 7 p.m.

"Life in a Finely Tuned Cosmos" – Public talk by Visiting Professors Geraint Lewis and Luke Barnes. See http://www.armagh.co.uk/event/life-in-a-finely-tuned-cosmos-public-talk-by-visiting-professors-geraint-lewis-and-luke-barnes/  for details and booking.

10: Astronomy Evening, IPCC, Lullymore, Rathangan, Co Kildare, 14 October 7.0 -10.0 p.m. I will be presenting an astronomy evening at this dark sky site, with a lecture, a small display, and observing if clear. Details at www.ipcc.ie
11. October 17, Bro. Guy Consolmagno, S.J., Director of the Vatican Observatory, will visit the Kerry International Dark Sky Reserve on Tuesday, October 17th. 2017 and will deliver a public lecture at 8 p.m. in Colaiste na Sceilge Green Schools in Cahersiveen, co Kerry
12. DIAS Lecture, 19 Oct:  "Brave new worlds: the planets in our galaxy" by Professor Giovanna Tinetti, University College London.
The DIAS School of Cosmic Physics Statutory Public Lecture 2017 takes place on Thursday 19th October at 6:30pm in UCD. (Theatre C (O'Connor Theatre - Room H2.22), Science Hub, University College Dublin.  Admission is free but advance booking is required on eventbrite here.
13. Mayo Dark Sky Festival 27-29 October.  "Our Place in the Cosmos" A great line-up of speakers again this year . See https://mayodarkskyfestival.wordpress.com/  

Booking now open at https://mayodarkskyfestival.eventbrite.ie

UPDATE:  Professor Brian Espey of Trinity College Dublin will give a talk on our dark sky heritage on Sunday at 12 noon in Mulranny.  Brian is a professor of astrophysics at Trinity College Dublin who has worked with both NASA and ESA. Since 2009 he has been working to raise awareness and to preserve our dark sky heritage. He has supported dark skies initiatives around the country, most recently that of the Mayo Dark Sky group.

   Also added to the programme is a second workshop by artist and astronomer Deirdre Kelleghan (Saturday at 2pm in Ballycroy).  This one is to complement the talk in Newport by Professor Susan McKenna-Lawlor on the Rosetta Mission to Comet 67P.  While Susan will be looking at the scientific discoveries of the mission (Saturday 3pm in Newport), Deirdre will help younger space enthusiasts learn about the comet by drawing it and also making little comet models for themselves.


14: Dark Matter Day: 31 October: This is a new event, aiming to raise awareness of the mysterious 'Dark Matter'. There will be a special show at Armagh Planetarium, and other events are being considered. Watch this space for updates. See https://www.darkmatterday.com/events-list/?utm_source=STFC+Communications&utm_campaign=01c8168a8c-Fascination_autumn_2017_External_9_27_2017&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_4d3daa8d15-01c8168a8c-176556429&ct=t(Fascination_autumn_2017_External_9_27_2017)&mc_cid=01c8168a8c&mc_eid=64c015d338


15. NEW Europlanet Astrobiology Educational Video. Europlanet launched its latest video: Astrobiology: Life in the Universe. Are we alone in the Universe? You have probably asked yourself this question at some point. The video shows how planetary scientists are looking for signs of life on other planets, using our very own Earth as a laboratory.
And don't miss UNAWE's article providing more information and educational resources to use with the video and other fun educational activities here: http://www.unawe.org/updates/2017-Europlanet-video-astrobiology/  



International Observe the Moon Night: 28 October 2017, Location: All around the world, More Information: http://observethemoonnight.org/ 


17. Interesting Weblinks: (Disclaimer - Use of material herein from various sources does not imply approval or otherwise of the opinions, political or otherwise, of those sources).  NB: If the title in the weblink does not indicate the subject matter, I give a brief simple intro before the link. I may also comment about the link afterwards.
Earth & Moon  
Solar System:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4940312/Violent-methane-burps-Mars-helped-warm-planet.html How many neurons do you need to work at Shutterstock? Not very many, judging by this image. How can the night side of Mars be in full daylight as shown here, yet its two Moons are, correctly, shown as dark on the side away from the Sun? And does the DM not have anyone who can source decent images?
   http://earthsky.org/space/c2017-k2-panstarrs-farthest-inbound-active-comet?mc_cid=af4f3daab1&mc_eid=dca371d595 Perihelion will be just outside the orbit of Mars, and it probably won't approach within 100m miles of Earth
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4932324/Musk-shrinks-SpaceX-Mars-rocket-cut-costs.html Can anyone suggest a better name for the 'F' part of 'BFR' rather than the rather puerile one Musk suggests here? Fabulous and Fantastic are easy for starters. Or perhaps an entire new name? A company which is as ambitious as Musk's can surely do better than that.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4934584/100-foot-long-diamond-star-light-night-sky.html What a total waste of time and money! There already are thousands of satellites up there, a few of which can be as bright as this. And there already is the ISS, which is over 100 times brighter than this one, and can be seen by over 99% of the world's population. And the free site www.heavens-above.com will tell you exactly when and where to see it (and dozens of other bright satellites) from your own location, or a choice of thousands of other places
Telescopes, instruments, techniques etc.


19. JOINING the IRISH ASTRONOMICAL ASSOCIATION: This link downloads a Word document to join the IAA. http://documents.irishastro.org.uk/iaamembership.doc
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 you. You can also make a donation via Paypal if you wish: just click on the 'Donate' button. See also


Clear skies,

Terry Moseley

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