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Space and Astronomy digest: February 2010

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 March 2010 17:04
Published on Monday, 22 March 2010 21:43


Cryosat_front_H

The February digest of space and astronomy events. This month sees the latest mission to the International Space Station, the launch of a European Space Agency satellite that will study polar ice and the annual meeting of the British Geophysical Association. (Image: Cryosat-2 in orbit. Credit: ESA / P. Carril)

 

SPACE AND ASTRONOMY DIGEST: FEBRUARY 2010
Royal Astronomical Society Press Release
Ref: RAS PN 10/06
Date: 1st February 2010
For immediate release

SPACE AND ASTRONOMY DIGEST: FEBRUARY 2010 (RAS PN 10/06)

This release summarises some of the astronomy and space science events taking place during February, particularly those with UK involvement. It is not intended to be fully comprehensive and dates and times may be subject to change.

5TH-6TH FEBRUARY: EUROPEAN ASTROFEST 2010

European Astrofest 2010, one of the largest gatherings of amateur astronomers in Europe, will take place on the 5th and 6th of February in Kensington Conference and Events Centre, west London. The two day conference and trade exhibition attracts thousands of participants and features speakers from across the astronomical world.


7TH FEBRUARY: LAUNCH OF SPACE SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR

At 0439 EST (0939 GMT) on the 7th February, the Space Shuttle Endeavour is set to launch on a two week mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The mission, designated STS-130, will continue the construction of the ISS, delivering a third connecting module, the Italian-built Tranquility node and the seven-windowed cupola control room. The six astronauts on board Endeavour will attach the new components over the course of three spacewalks.

FURTHER INFORMATION
http://www.nasa.gov

CONTACT

Katherine Trinidad
NASA HQ
Tel: +1 202 358 1100
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

9TH FEBRUARY: RAS LUNCHTIME LECTURE: IN SEARCH OF THE NORTHERN LIGHTS

At 1300 GMT on the 9th of February space scientist Dr. Jim Wild of the University of Lancaster will give a public lecture at the Royal Astronomical Society, where he will discuss the northern lights or aurora borealis. Dr Wild will explain how they originate in the dynamic electromagnetic relationship between the Earth and the Sun, and how this has a direct impact on many areas of human life.


CONTACT
Dr Robert Massey
(details below)

9TH FEBRUARY: LAUNCH OF SOLAR DYNAMICS OBSERVATORY

The NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) mission is scheduled to launch on the 9th of February, atop an Atlas V rocket from the Cape Canaveral spaceport in Florida. The satellite observatory, part of the ‘Living with a Star’ programme, will make some of the most detailed observations ever of the Sun, imaging its surface and studying solar magnetic activity in an effort to better understand the nature of our nearest star.

FURTHER INFORMATION
http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/

CONTACTS

Don Savage
Goddard Space Flight Center
Tel: +1 301 286 8982
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Nancy Neal-Jones
Goddard Space Flight Center
Tel: +1 301 286 0039
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

12TH FEBRUARY: RAS SPECIALIST DISCUSSION MEETING: MASS LOSS AND GALAXY EVOLUTION

On the 12th of February, astronomers will gather at the Royal Astronomical Society in Burlington House, London, to discuss the latest research on the loss of mass from the most massive stars and how this affects the subsequent chemical evolution of the galaxies they reside in. Delegates will consider the quest to understand the entire mass-loss history of stars including stellar winds and supernova events.

Bona fide members of the media who wish to attend this meeting should present their credentials at the reception desk of the RAS for free admission.


CONTACT
Dr Robert Massey
(details below)

11TH-12TH FEBRUARY: BRITISH GEOPHYSICAL ASSOCIATION ANNUAL MEETING: NEW ADVANCES IN GEOPHYSICS: MAGMA EMPLACEMENT AND STORAGE IN THE EARTH’S CRUST

The annual meeting of the British Geophysical Association (BGA) will take place on the 11th and 12th of February at the Geological Society, Burlington House, London. Bringing together leading geophysicists from across the world, the BGA meeting will discuss advances in our understanding of the role of magma in shaping the surface of the Earth.

Bona fide members of the media who wish to attend this meeting should present their credentials at the reception desk of the Geological Society for free admission.


CONTACT
Dr Robert Massey
(details below)

25TH FEBRUARY: LAUNCH OF CRYOSAT 2

The European Space Agency (ESA) mission Cryosat-2 is set to launch on the 25th of February using a Dnepr rocket vehicle (a converted SS-18 missile) to take off from the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan. Cryosat-2 replaces the original Cryosat mission that was destroyed in a launch failure in October 2005. In a three year mission, Croysat-2 will be used to study the natural and human-driven changes in the thickness of Earth’s polar ice sheets and sea ice.


CONTACT

ESA Media Relations, Paris
Tel: +33 1 5369 7299
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

FEBRUARY’S NIGHT SKY

Information on stars, planets, meteor showers and other celestial phenomena is available from the British Astronomical Association (BAA).


NOTES FOR EDITORS

Issued by:
Dr Robert Massey
Press and Policy Officer
Royal Astronomical Society
Tel: +44 (0)20 7734 3307
Mob: +44 (0)794 124 8035
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY

The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS: http://www.ras.org.uk), founded in 1820, encourages and promotes the study of astronomy, solar-system science, geophysics and closely related branches of science. The RAS organizes scientific meetings, publishes international research and review journals, recognizes outstanding achievements by the award of medals and prizes, maintains an extensive library, supports education through grants and outreach activities and represents UK astronomy nationally and internationally. Its more than 3000 members (Fellows), a third based overseas, include scientific researchers in universities, observatories and laboratories as well as historians of astronomy and others.