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RAS PN 07/06: SPACE AND ASTRONOMY DIGEST: APRIL 2007

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 April 2010 19:08
Published on Friday, 30 March 2007 00:00
The RAS digest of astronomy and space events in April. This month sees the annual National Astronomy Meeting and the maximum of the Lyrid meteor shower.

ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY PRESS INFORMATION NOTE
Date: 30 March 2007  For Immediate Release
Ref.: PN 07/06
Issued by:
Robert Massey
RAS Press Officer
Royal Astronomical Society
Burlington House
Piccadilly
London W1J 0BQ
Tel: +44 (0)794 124 8035, +44 (0)20 7734 4582
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
RAS website: www.ras.org.uk


RAS SPACE AND ASTRONOMY DIGEST: APRIL 2007

This release contains a summary of some astronomical and space events that will be taking place during April. It has been written to assist the media in planning and researching future stories related to space science and astronomy, particularly those with UK involvement. It is not intended to be fully comprehensive. Dates and times may be subject to change.

16-20 APRIL: RAS NATIONAL ASTRONOMY MEETING
Nearly 500 astronomers and space scientists are expected to attend the UK’s premier astronomy conference, hosted by the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and sponsored by the RAS and the Science and Technology Facilities Council. Scientists will discuss the key topics in modern astronomy, ranging from the early Universe to the search for planets around other stars, exploration of the Solar System and the influence of the Sun on the terrestrial climate.

Further information: www.nam2007.uclan.ac.uk


CONTACT
Robert Massey, Royal Astronomical Society
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+44 (0)794 124 8035

Anita Heward, Royal Astronomical Society
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+44 (0)777 853 8449


22-23 APRIL: MAXIMUM OF LYRID METEOR SHOWER

The evening of 22 April and morning of 23 April is the predicted maximum of the Lyrid shower of ‘shooting stars’ or meteors. At its peak, around 25 meteors per hour are expected, with the shower appearing to radiate from the constellation of Lyra in the northeastern part of the sky. This is a good year for watching the Lyrids as the Moon is a waxing thin crescent, meaning that its light will not interfere with the display. Observers in dark settings away from artificial light will have the best view.



CONTACT
Robert Massey, Royal Astronomical Society
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+44 (0)794 124 8035


23 APRIL: FIRST 3D IMAGES FROM STEREO

The two spacecraft that make up the STEREO mission have been observing the Sun since January 2007. Scientists are using STEREO data to assemble spectacular genuine 3D images of our nearest star and the first of these will be released to the press on 23 April.

Further information: www.scitech.ac.uk

CONTACT
Julia Maddock, STFC
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+44 (0)1793 442025


24 APRIL: SKY AT NIGHT 50TH ANNIVERSARY PROGRAMME

The BBC popular astronomy series ‘Sky at Night’ celebrates its 50th anniversary with a special programme ‘Sky at Night’ is the longest-running astronomy programme in the world and Sir Patrick Moore has presented the show since its inception in 1957.

CONTACT: Jane Fletcher, BBC (producer, Sky at Night)
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25 APRIL: LAUNCH OF AIM SATELLITE

NASA’s Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) satellite is due to be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base on 25 April and will orbit the Earth at an altitude of 600 km.

Scientists will use AIM to study noctilucent clouds (NLCs), which form about 80 km above the surface of Earth – far higher than any other clouds. Some researchers suggest that NLCs are changing in response to climate change. AIM will measure the size of the ice particles that make up the clouds, record their temperature and study the infall of dust from space into the Earth’s atmosphere.

Further information: http://aim.hamptonu.edu/


CONTACT
Cynthia O’Carroll
NASA Public Affairs Officer
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26 APRIL: OPENING OF SPACE GALLERY AT LONDON’S SCIENCE MUSEUM

The Science Museum will open a renovated and updated Space Gallery, with a range of objects, images and interactive displays that tell the story of space exploration over five decades. Exhibits include the Spacelab 2 X-ray telescope, full-size models of the Huygens Titan probe and Beagle 2 Mars lander and the flight spare of the Hubble Space Telescope Faint Object Camera.

Further information: www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/


CONTACT
Richard Purnell, Press Officer, Science Museum
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+44 (0)20 7942 4357