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Space and astronomy digest: May 2013

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 May 2013 14:43
Published on Wednesday, 01 May 2013 14:35

The regular digest of upcoming space and astronomy news events, from the RAS. May sees the 193rd Annual General Meeting of the Society, where the results of the elections for our President and Council will be announced; discussion meetings on galaxy morphology and moons in the Solar system and the latest launch of astronauts to the International Space Station.

 

 

 


3/4 May: Launch of Proba-V mission

 

Proba-V satelliteArtist's impression of the Proba-V satellite in orbit. Credit: ESA - P. Carril, 2012The European Space Agency (ESA) spacecraft Proba-V is set to launch at 0306 BST (0206 GMT) on 4 May. Proba-V will be carried aloft by a Vega rocket from the Kourou launch site in French Guiana (the local time of the launch will be 2306 on 3 May), travelling to an orbit 820 km above the surface of the Earth.

Once deployed, Proba-V will map land cover and vegetation growth across the whole Earth every two days. Amongst other applications, this will help scientists to monitor land use, classify vegetation, monitor crops and predict famine.

ESA: Proba-V
http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Technology/Proba_Missions/About_Proba-V

 

 


10 May: RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting: Galaxy Morphology in the Era of Large Surveys: Geological Society, Burlington House, London

 

10 May will see astronomers gather at the Geological Society, for a specialist discussion meeting on new scientific findings resulting from the study of the shapes (morphologies) of galaxies.

Delegates at the meeting will discuss new insights into star formation history, chemical composition and movement of stars. Many of these results were obtained by the analysis of large data sets through the Galaxy Zoo project, which harnesses the efforts of thousands of volunteers to classify the shapes of millions of galaxies, work of vital importance to research astronomers in this field.

Galaxy Morphology in the Era of Large Surveys
http://ras2013.galaxyzoo.org/

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

Media contact

Robert Massey
Royal Astronomical Society
Tel: +44 (0)20 7734 3307 x214
Mob: +44 (0)794 1124 8035
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10 May: RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting: Observation, Evolution and Origin of Planetary Satellites: Royal Astronomical Society, Burlington House, London

 

The last decade has seen an explosion in the number of known natural satellites in the Solar system. Using ground- and space-based telescopes and space probes such as Cassini-Huygens, these objects (more commonly thought of as ‘moons’) have been discovered to be in orbit around planets, dwarf planets and asteroids and to be embedded in planetary ring systems.

On 10 May, planetary scientists will gather at the Royal Astronomical Society for a special discussion meeting on the latest results in this area. Delegates will consider the processes that affect moons over time and discuss concepts for future space missions to these intriguing worlds.

Observation, Evolution and Origin of Planetary Satellites
http://ph.qmul.ac.uk/observation-evolution-and-origin-planetary-satellites

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

Media contact
Robert Massey
(details above)

 

 


10 May: 193rd Annual General Meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society

 

The 193rd Annual General Meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society will take place at 4 p.m. on 10 May. Open to Fellows of the RAS, the AGM will include the announcement of the results of the RAS Presidential and Council elections. The winning presidential candidate will become President-Elect, taking over as President for a two year term from May 2014.

Media contact
Robert Massey
(details above)

 

 


14 May: RAS Public Lecture: The Search for Gravity Waves, Royal Astronomical Society, Burlington House, London

 

The latest RAS Public Lecture will be given by Prof. Mike Cruise of the University of Birmingham at 1 p.m. on 14 May. In his talk, Prof. Cruise will describe how gravitational waves, ripples in spacetime predicted by Albert Einstein in the General Theory of Relativity he presented in 1915, could provide astronomers with an entirely new way of observing the universe.

With instruments now under development on the ground and in space, it should be possible to detect gravitational waves from systems such as two black holes in orbit around one another and from the collisions of neutron stars.

RAS public lectures
https://www.ras.org.uk/events-and-meetings/public-lectures

Media contact
Robert Massey
(details above)

 

 


28 May: Launch of Soyuz TMA09-M (mission ISS 35S) to the International Space Station (ISS)

 

The spacecraft Soyuz TMA 09-M is scheduled to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 28 May. The Soyuz vehicle will carry the Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin, US astronaut Karen Nyberg and Italian Luca Parmitano to the ISS, where they will join three crew members already on board the space outpost.

Russian Federal Space Agency
http://www.roscosmos.ru/main.php?lang=en

NASA
http://www.nasa.gov

 

 


Night sky in May

 

Information on stars, planets, comets, meteor showers and other celestial phenomena is available from the British Astronomical Association (BAA), the Society for Popular Astronomy (SPA) and the Jodrell Bank night sky guide.

BAA
http://www.britastro.org

SPA
http://www.popastro.com

The Night Sky: Jodrell Bank
http://www.jb.man.ac.uk/astronomy/nightsky/

 

 


Notes for editors

 

The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS, 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 3500 members (Fellows), a third based overseas, include scientific researchers in universities, observatories and laboratories as well as historians of astronomy and others.

Follow the RAS on Twitter via @royalastrosoc