The RASNZ Email newsletter is distributed by email on or near the 20th of each month. If you would like to be on the circulation list This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a copy.

Affiliated Societies are welcome to reproduce any item in this email newsletter or on the RASNZ website http://www.rasnz.org.nz/ in their own newsletters provided an acknowledgement of the source is also included.

Contents

1. Bob Evans made RASNZ Fellow
2. The Solar System in August
3. Elimination of the Leap Second?
4. A Smart Green (Dark) Wellington in 2040?
5. DOC Short Movie Competition
6. Accommodation for November's Total Solar Eclipse
7. ICRAR Summer Studentships 2011/2012
8. NACAA 2012
9. RASNZ Conference 2012
10. anzSKA Newsletter and Test
11. Red Sky at Night
12. Webzine l'Astrofilo
13. The Crux Daily Online Newspaper
14. 'Respect the Science' Campaign
15. Big Asteroids Affect Earth's Orbit
16. Vesta Close Up
17. Jupiter Robbed Mars?
18. James Webb Space Telescope Cancelled?
19. Kingdon-Tomlinson Fund
20. How to Join the RASNZ
21. Quotes

1. Bob Evans made RASNZ Fellow

At the 2011 annual General Meeting held in Napier, Robert Westley Evans was elected a Fellow of the RASNZ. Among his many contributions to astronomy Bob has been director of the Aurora and Solar Section for the past 20 years and editor of Southern Stars for the past 10 years.

After gaining a physics degree at Canterbury University Bob taught science at Ashburton College from 1969 till 1974. At the college he found a little-used observatory housing a With-Browning telescope. Bob began renovation of the telescope and later drew up plans for a new observatory when the college moved to a new site. The observatory was completed after he left. After a stint teaching physics at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji, Bob moved to Southland in 1976 where he taught science at Southland Boys High until his retirement.

Bob has been a member of the Canterbury Astronomical Society for many years, serving in executive positions. After moving to Southland he also became an active member of the Southland Astronomical Society serving in most executive positions including three terms as president. He was director of the Southland Observatory from 1984 to 2006. Bob was also the Curator of the Observatory, a position under the Southland Museum and Art Gallery, who own the observatory building. He is a life member of the Southland Astronomical Society.

Bob joined the RASNZ in March 1967 and has served two terms on Council. He was RASNZ president from 2000 to 2002. In 2001 Bob became editor of Southern Stars, a post he still holds. He changed the journal to a larger A4 format with colour illustrations.

In 1988 Bob, with Daryl Jones, became co-director of the Aurora Section. This became the Aurora and Solar Section with Bob as sole director in 1994, continuing to the present. During this time Bob has actively encouraged new observers to make and report observations. He produces a monthly newsletter detailing Solar and Aurora observations made by members of the section, and articles of interest on solar and auroral research. Each year Bob also publishes a Circular detailing all Solar and Aurora observations during the year with an analysis of the solar activity and the current cycle.

Bob is also an active member of the variable star section, now treasurer of the revitalized Variable Stars South under Dr Tom Richards.

-------------- Based on a tribute in the Southland Astronomical Society's 'Astronomy South', kindly forwarded by Steve Butler. The Editor apologizes to Bob that a note about his Fellowship confirmation was not included in the June Newsletter's report on the Conference.

2. The Solar System in August

The usual notes on the visibility of the Planets for August 2011 are on the RASNZ web site: http://www.rasnz.org.nz/SolarSys/Aug_11.htm. Notes for September 2011 will be on line in a few days.

The planets in august

Mercury disappears from the evening sky quite early in August. Saturn sets soon after 9pm at the end of the month so leaving the later evening sky empty of major planets, with Jupiter not rising until after midnight until the second half of August.

Mars begins to rise a little earlier in the morning sky, but still barely keeping ahead of the earlier sunrise. Jupiter, of course, remains a prominent morning object, but Venus is at conjunction mid month so not visible.

Evening sky

Mercury will be readily visible very early evening at the beginning of August. It will be rather low and in a direction about half way between west and northwest. The planet should be visible once the sky is reasonably dark, say about 40 minutes after sunset.

On the 1st, when it sets about 2 hours after the Sun, Mercury will be at the top of a triangle formed by the planet, crescent moon and Regulus. The moon and star will be just under 4° from Mercury with the moon and Spica more or less level to the lower left and lower right of the planet respectively. At magnitude 1.3, Mercury will be similar in brightness to Regulus, magnitude 1.4

Mercury is stationary on August 2 and within a couple of days will start moving down towards the Sun. It will swing to the left of Regulus and fade within a few days to become noticeably less bright than Regulus.

After a week or so, Mercury and Spica will become lost to view in the bright twilight sky. Mercury is at inferior conjunction between the Sun and Earth on August 17 when it will be 60 million km from the Sun and just under 92 million km from the Earth. From the Earth Mercury would appear to be about 4° south of the Sun at conjunction. Venus is at superior conjunction only 13 hours earlier. It would appear to be about 1° to the north of the Sun.

After conjunction, Mercury will become a morning object, rising shortly before the Sun. It is not likely to be visible during the rest of August as it will be too low in the morning twilight. Mercury is again stationary on August 26.

Saturn remains in the evening sky during August, setting near 11pm at the beginning of the month and 2 hours earlier at the end. On the 1st at 7 pm the planet will be to the northwest at a mid altitude. Spica will be 12.5° above Saturn. The same time at the end of August will find Saturn quite a bit lower in the sky and now only a few degrees round to the north from west. The planet's movement during August will result in it then being 10° below Spica.

The moon passes Saturn twice in August. On the 4th the 25% lit moon will be to the upper left of, and just under 7°, from Saturn. On the 31st the moon, a very thin crescent, will 10.5° to the lower left of Saturn. The two will be slightly closer the following evening with the moon now above Saturn and close to Spica.

Jupiter will rise soon after 11pm at the end of August, so remains a morning object.

Venus will set about 15 minutes after the Sun on the 31st, so will be too close to it to be visible. It is at superior conjunction with the Sun on the 16th, but for a few days, mostly before conjunction, will rise just after the sun and set just before the Sun. This is an effect of Venus being a little north of the ecliptic.

Morning sky

Mars will rise a little earlier during August, but this will continue to be some two and a half hours before the Sun, as the latter also rises earlier. In fact in the south of NZ, Mars will slip back a few minutes relative to the Sun.

As a result Mars will not get any higher in the morning sky, having an altitude about 12° to the northeast 45 minutes before sunrise. Its magnitude also remains at 1.4 so it will be lost to view a few minutes later, although binoculars will still show the planet for a few more minutes.

Mars starts August in Taurus, but crosses into Gemini on the 4th. During the rest of August it will move to the east through Gemini passing just over 1° from 3rd magnitude stars in the constellation on the mornings of the 9th, 12th and 19th. Being fainter than Mars, the stars will obviously disappear in the brightening dawn sky before Mars, although binoculars will show them while Mars is visible.

On the morning of August 26 the crescent moon, 14% lit, will be 4° to the right of Mars.

Jupiter will rise shortly after 1am on August 1 and about 2 hours earlier by August 31, so remaining essentially a morning object.

The planet will be in Aries, moving slowly to the east until it is stationary on August 31. Jupiter will be visible until at least 6.30 am before the morning sky becomes too bright up to the end of August and more than half an hour later early in the month. Near dawn the planet will be a little to the west of north.

During August Jupiter will be just over 10° from the two brightest stars of Aries, Hamal alpha Ari, magnitude 2.00, and Sharatan beta Ari magnitude 2.64. To the other side of Jupiter, Menkar, the brightest star in Cetus will be about a degree further away from the planet.

On the morning of August 21, the 61% lit waning moon will be just under 7° to the lower right of Jupiter.


Uranus rises about 10pm early August and about 8pm by the end of the month, so will be suitably placed for viewing by late evening. It will be in Pisces slowly moving in a retrograde sense, its position changing by less than a degree during the month. Uranus brightens very slightly to magnitude 5.7 as it approaches opposition.

Neptune is in Aquarius during August. It is at opposition on August 23 with a magnitude 7.8. Its position, in Aquarius, will also change by less than a degree during the month.

Brighter asteroids:

(1) Ceres is in Cetus just over 7° from the 2.0 star Diphida, beta Cet. The asteroid will brighten from 8.4 to 7.9 during August. By the end of the month it will rise about 7pm, so be visible most of the evening.

(4) Vesta is at opposition in Capricornus on August 5 with a magnitude 5.6, giving an opportunity for visual observation from a really dark site for those with keen eyesight. It doesn´t maintain its maximum brightness for long, by the end of August Vesta will have faded to 6.3.

(192) Nausikaa brightens to 9th magnitude by mid August and will be 8.4 by the end of the month. The asteroid will be in Aquarius about 10° from Neptune.

More details and charts for these minor planets can be found on the RASNZ web site. Follow the link to asteroids 2011.

Comets:

C/2009 P1 (Garradd) is expected to brighten to magnitude 9 at the end of July and to 8.1 by the end of August. Early August it will rise about 8 pm, and close to the time of sunset by mid August. It will set about 2 am at the end of the month.

The comet starts August in Pegasus, move into Delphinus on the 10th and on into Sagitta on the 20th.

45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusáková swings past the Earth across the south pole in August. It is expected to brighten rapidly to magnitude 9 on August 12 and to 8 3 days later after which it fades a little more slowly to 8.7 by late August. For NZ it is circumpolar until the August 17. The following nights it will rise increasingly later after midnight and not until about 5am by the 24th.

From the 10th to the 20th of August, the comet will pass through several southern constellations from Grus to Pyxis.

Further details and charts for the two comets can be found on the RASNZ web site. Follow the link to Comets 2011.

-- Brian Loader

3. Elimination of the Leap Second?

William Tobin writes:

The UN-affiliated Radiocommunication Sector of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU-R) will in January 2012 consider a proposal to eliminate leap seconds, so decoupling civil timekeeping from the rotation of the earth. (Although Coordinated Universal Time was put together by the International Astronomical Union in General Assemblies in 1970 and 1973, it was the Consultative Committee on International Radio -- a forerunner of the ITU-R -- that was responsible for the final definition, since in the 1970s time signals were principally transmitted by radio. Hence the ITU-R gets to decide the question of the leap second now and not astronomers or time-keepers.)

To find out more, visit http://futureofutc.org/ and especially the links referenced by this site.


Howard Barnes forwarded the following note from Daniel Gambis of the Earth Orientation Centre of International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS), Paris Observatory, concerning the future of leap seconds.

After years of discussions, a proposal to fundamentally redefine UTC will come to a conclusive vote in January 2012 at the ITU-R in Geneva. This proposal would halt the intercalary adjustments known as leap seconds that maintain UTC as a form of Universal Time.

The Earth Orientation Centre of the IERS has organized an online survey with the objective of finding out the strength of opinion for maintaining or changing the present system. The questionnaire is at http://hpiers.obspm.fr/eop-pc/index.php?index=questionnaire Your response is appreciated before 30 August 2011

4. A Smart Green (Dark) Wellington in 2040?

Steve Butler writes:

Here are two opportunities for those in the Wellington Region to raise awareness of the impacts of poor outdoor lighting on our night sky over Wellington.

Toward 2040: A Smart Green Wellington http://www.wellington.govt.nz/projects/new/wellington2040.html is Wellington City Council´s vision for the future development of Wellington. The Council is now seeking feedback on this draft spatial plan and central city framework. Submissions close August 19th, 2011.

A leading statement in Toward 2040: Our response to climate change and resource scarcity will become ever more urgent. Cities -- not countries -- will lead the way in adapting to climate change, reducing dependence on fossil fuels and developing new ways of living and working that are less energy intensive. We will need to develop more urgent responses to protect our biodiversity, and gain a better understanding of the relationship between our urban and natural environments.

Steve is happy to help if needed. He can be emailed at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

5. DOC Short Movie Competition

Steve Butler also draws attention of teachers and younger readers to:

The Department Of Conservation are running a short movie competition which would be a great avenue for getting our message about the impacts of light pollution in front of many people. http://www.doc.govt.nz/getting-involved/for-teachers/education-projects- and-programmes/the-big-picture/

The Big Picture film competition is being run as part of The Outlook for Someday -- the sustainability film challenge for young people being run by TVNZ 7 http://www.theoutlookforsomeday.net/

An opportunity for young movie makers up to 24 years old. The movies are to be up to 5 minutes long.

A film showing the effects of light pollution and how to reduce these effects would fit very well with the following theme: The Big Ideas

People are part of the natural diversity of our planet. What we do does make a difference.

Everything is connected Ko au ko te taiao, ko te taiao ko au I am the environment, the environment is me

The planet is made up of a number of interconnected systems. Everything in an ecosystem has a role to play. Changing anything in an ecosystem impacts on everything else. It is often difficult to predict what the consequences of any change might be. Remember: our night time is part of our environment

I am happy to help if I can with resources and ideas.

Steve Butler RASNZ Dark Skies Group. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

6. Accommodation for November's Total Solar Eclipse

John Burt of the Gisborne Astronomical Society advises:

An informal group of 12 NZ Astronomers are meeting in Port Douglas for the 14 November 2012 Total Solar Eclipse. We currently have accommodation booked in Port Douglas (almost right on the centre line) for the night of 11,12, 13, and 14 November 2012, but have space for 4 more people should anyone else wish to join us. The total cost for the 4 nights is $260 per person. We plan to do our own thing during the day, but meet up and share expertise and swap stories and the evenings and probably observe the eclipse as a group. If you are interested please contact John Burt (phone 0274 210 704) or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ASAP.

7. ICRAR Summer Studentships 2011/2012

For 2011 the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) is offering eight studentships, four of which will be co-funded with iVEC for projects with computational elements. This is an excellent opportunity for undergraduate students to experience astronomy related research based at either Curtin University or The University of Western Australia.

Successful applicants will join ICRAR for a 10 week period beginning on November 28th, 2011 and ending in mid February, 2012.

Projects cover a broad range of topics taken from astronomy, astrophysics, databases, engineering, ICT and parallel computing.

Each studentship includes a scholarship of up to $6,000 over 10 weeks, and interstate/New Zealand applicants will receive a return flight to Perth from their home city and accommodation subsidised up to 50%.

3rd, 4th year and honours level students in physics, astronomy or a relevant engineering/computer science discipline are eligible to apply. The closing date for all applications is September 1st. The selection committee will meet in early September and candidates will be informed of the outcome by late September.

For application details, project summaries and more information, please visit www.icrar.org/studentships

-- Kirsten Gottschalk, ICRAR Outreach and Education Officer.

8. NACAA 2012

The 25th National Australian Convention of Amateur Astronomers (NACAA) meets in Brisbane over Easter, April 6-9. The meeting at the University of Queensland campus is hosted by the Astronomical Association of Queensland and supported by other astronomy clubs in South East Queensland.

The sixth Trans-Tasman Symposium on Occultations and the inaugural Variable Stars South Symposium will be held as part of the NACAA programme. Registrations for NACAA XXV will commence in late 2011.

For more information see http://www.nacaa.org.au Email enquiries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or write to P.O. Box 188, Plumpton, NSW 2761.

9. RASNZ Conference 2012

The 2012 RASNZ conference, hosted by the Phoenix Astronomical Society will be held at Masterton on 15-17 June at the Copthorne Hotel & Resort, Solway Park, Masterton, shortly after the transit of Venus. Further details will appear on the RASNZ website when available.

10. anzSKA Newsletter and Test

In a note to members of the Astronomical Society of Australia, Dr Brian Boyle, SKA Project Director for Australia and New Zealand, wrote:

The latest issue of the anzSKA Newsletter is now available online at the anzSKA website http://www.ska.gov.au/media/newsletter/Pages/default.aspx

In the lead up to the International SKA Forum in Banff, it is appropriate that this newsletter should have a strong international focus.

We report on important developments with our colleagues in Germany (renewable energy), Italy (industry), China, Japan and Korea (VLBI), UK (Pulses at Parkes) and the US (EDGES) experiment. It is this international cooperation that is central to the success of the SKA project. There has been significant developments nationally with the opening of the Pawsey 1A supercomputer at Murdoch, the Discover SKA program, the Silanna chip and the recent ASKAP Antenna Naming Ceremony at the MRO.

Internationally, the project continues to make good progress towards the Pre-construction phase. Australia and New Zealand were both signatories to a Letter of Intent signed by nine countries in April, committing to developing a Governance model and a resourced project plan for the SKA Pre-construction phase beginning in 2012.

In May, the Australian Commonwealth Government committed AU$40 million to the next phase of the international SKA project (contingent on site choice) and the site bid, and the New Zealand Government committed a further NZ$3 million.

Since then, Australia and NZ officials and scientists have played an important role in advancing the plans for the Pre-construction phase, and it has been very encouraging to note the spirit of international cooperation under which discussions have progressed so rapidly.

We can look forward to the Banff Forum with much optimism.

Please feel free to forward this email to any colleague who may be interested in SKA-related activities in Australia and New Zealand. You can also follow me on Twitter @BrianBoyleSKA.


Lionel Hussey points out an article in Science Daily on July 7 at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110707092432

The discovery potential of the future international SKA radio telescope has been glimpsed following the commissioning of a working optical fibre link between CSIRO's Australian SKA Pathfinder telescope in Western Australia, and other radio telescopes across Australia and New Zealand.

11. Red Sky at Night

At the RASNZ Astrophotography workshop David Malin discussed red glows in the atmosphere. They are seen on long exposures from the ground, and from orbiting spacecraft when the night atmosphere is viewed edge on. Fraser Gunn has recorded the same glows crossing the sky in waves in long- exposure videos taken from Mt John.

At Mt John there is an all-sky imager recording the sky in several spectral bands. It is run by Canterbury University graduate Steve Smith, now at Boston University. Steve kindly provided the following note on the physics of the glows. ---------

There are two main airglow emissions and they originate from the upper mesosphere in the 80-100 km height region.

The brightest is due to the hydroxyl radical OH. The peak of the emission originates from about 87 km and the emission layer itself is about 8-10 km thick (FWHM). The emission is due to ro-vibrational transitions in the excited OH radical. The excited OH radical is produced by the reaction of atomic hydrogen with Ozone H + O3 ---> OH* + O2 OH* ---> OH + Meinel band photon after ~few milliseconds The OH Meinel bands, as they are called, extend from the visible region of the spectrum at ~600 nanometres (nm) and go into the far infra-red. As a result, the OH nightglow is the brightest emission species in the night- sky, at least during non-auroral periods.

The Boston University imager uses a broadband filter which records everything red-ward of 695 nm. Most of the nightglow in that region is due to the OH Meinel bands (and a small amount due to O2). The OH will show up as a red glow in colour photos.

The other bright emission is due to neutral atomic oxygen in the singlet S state O(1S)which radiates at 557.7 nm in the green, so sometimes you'll hear it called green-line emission. Its emission profile peaks at 97 km and it is usually about 10-12 km thick. The O(1S) precursor atom originates from a chain of reactions called the Barth mechanism. O + O + M ---> O2* + M a three body collision, M being O2, N2, etc O2* + O(3P) ---> O2 + O(1S) excitation transfer from an excited O2 molecule to a ground-state O atom

O(1S) ---> O + 557.7 nm photon after ~0.7s

The green-line emission is also seen as the green glow in aurora.

There are some other fainter layers including Na (sodium) at 90-92 km and molecular oxygen at 95 km - I record these also.

------- Steve adds that the waves seen are gravity waves. They are very common so are normally seen in the long-exposure images. [These gravity waves are atmospheric bounces. They are caused by the air getting a vertical kick as winds cross mountain ranges, for example. They are not to be confused with the long-sought gravity waves that arise from Big Bangs and from black holes merging. - Ed.]

12. Webzine l'Astrofilo

Denis Sullivan recommends l'Astrofilo which bills itself as the 'The free international astronomy webzine'. It is run by several professional astronomers based in Italy and is good way to keep up with astronomical topical issues. L'Astrofilo can be downloaded from www.astropublishing.com

Denis first heard of l'Astrofilo when the MOA collaboration was asked to write an article about its discovery of free-floating planets, mentioned in last month Newsletter. That article is featured in the webpage where there are new and diverse articles every day.

13. The Crux Daily Online Newspaper

Mike White has started an online daily newspaper, The Crux Daily. It is produced 'automagically' from news sources that he follows on Twitter. The news is a mixture of astronomy and science content from around the world, but also with a good dose of southern hemisphere stuff as well. If you are interested, have a look at http://paper.li/AstronomyMike/1309065212 and if you think it might be useful to you, then click on the "Subscribe" button and you'll be informed when the next issue is out, usually around 5:30pm daily.

-- from a note by Mike White to the NZastronomers Yahoo group.

14. 'Respect the Science' Campaign

Science & Technology Australia (formerly FASTS) have launched a 'Respect the Science' Campaign, calling on all Australians to take some time to understand how scientific evidence is generated so they can place the appropriate weight on the information they receive and use it to inform decisions they make.

The campaign website is: www.respectthescience.org.au. Click on "What makes science so credible?" to watch the 'Respect the Science' presentation [the video is a bit quirky and requires a lot of clicking of the forward arrow]. You can also see a one-click 7 min version at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBrUPwSfUzI

Science and Technology Australia will continue to build the campaign.

A link has been placed on the Astronomical Society of Australia home page and you might consider asking your institution to do the same.

-- from John O'Byrne, Secretary, Astronomical Society of Australia Inc.

15. Big Asteroids Affect Earth's Orbit

Calculations of the long-term orbits of the big asteroids Ceres and Vesta show that they have strong gravitational effects on each other and on their much bigger neighbours, notably Earth. A team of French mathematical astronomers led by Jacques Laskar have published this result in a recent issue of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Ceres is 6,000 times less massive than the Earth and almost 80 times less massive than our Moon. Vesta is almost four times less massive than Ceres. Together they orbit in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, around 2.5 times Earth's distance from the sun.

Although small, Ceres and Vesta gravitationally interact together and with the other planets of the solar system. Because of these interactions, they are continuously pulled or pushed slightly out of their initial orbit. Calculations show that, after some time, these effects do not average out. Consequently their orbits are chaotic, meaning that we cannot predict their positions far into the future. The two bodies also have a significant probability of impacting each other, estimated at 0.2% per billion years.

Last but not least, Ceres and Vesta gravitationally interact with the Earth. This makes Earth's orbital eccentricity unpredictable after only 60 million years. As the eccentricity affects climatic variations these also cannot be traced back more than 60 million years. This is bad news for paleoclimate studies.

For more see: http://www.aanda.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201117504

-- from a press release from the office of Astronomy & Astrophysics, forwarded by Karen Pollard.

16. Vesta Close Up

For a picture of Vesta from 41,000 km see http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/dawn/multimedia/dawn-image-070911.html The picture was taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft before it went into orbit around Vesta last weekend. At the time Vesta 'captured' Dawn the spacecraft and asteroid were 16,000 km apart and 188 million km from Earth.

Launched in September 2007, Dawn will depart for its second destination, the dwarf planet Ceres, in July 2012.

-- from a Jet Propulsion Laboratory press release forwarded by Karen Pollard.

17. Jupiter Robbed Mars?

Planetary scientists have long wondered why Mars is only about half the size and one-tenth the mass of Earth. As next-door neighbours in the inner solar system, probably formed about the same time, why isn¹t Mars more like Earth and Venus in size and mass? A paper published in the journal Nature provides the first cohesive explanation and, by doing so, reveals an unexpected twist in the early lives of Jupiter and Saturn as well.

Dr. Kevin Walsh, a research scientist at Southwest Research Institute, led an international team performing simulations of the early solar system. They showed how an infant Jupiter may have migrated to within 1.5 astronomical units (AU) of the Sun, stripping a lot of material from the region and essentially starving Mars of formation materials. (1 AU is the distance from the Sun to the Earth.)

Jupiter's inward migration stopped after Saturn formed. Then Jupiter eventually migrated outwards towards its current location. This would have truncated the distribution of solids in the inner solar system at about 1 AU, explaining the small mass of Mars.

The problem was whether the inward and outward migration of Jupiter through the 2 to 4 AU region could be compatible with the existence of the asteroid belt today, in this same region. To check this the team did a huge number of simulations. The simulations not only showed that the migration of Jupiter was consistent with the existence of the asteroid belt, but also explained properties of the belt never understood before.

The asteroid belt is populated with two very different types of rubble: very dry bodies as well as water-rich orbs similar to comets. Walsh's team showed that the passage of Jupiter depleted and then re- populated the asteroid belt region with inner-belt bodies originating between 1 and 3 AU as well as outer-belt bodies originating between and beyond the giant planets, producing the significant compositional differences existing today across the belt.

The collaborators call their simulation the 'Grand Tack Scenario' from the abrupt change in the motion of Jupiter at 1.5 AU, like that of a sailboat tacking around a buoy. The migration of the gas giant planets is also supported by observations of many extra-solar planets found in widely varying ranges from their parent stars, implying migrations of planets elsewhere in universe.

-- from a press release by the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, forwarded by Karen Pollard.

18. James Webb Space Telescope Cancelled?

There is much budgetary politicking in the U.S. Congress around the James Webb Space Telescope. Roland Idaczyk pointed out a sample of reports and responses.

House Committee Votes the Wrong Way - JWST to be Cancelled, July 14 http://planetary.org/blog/article/00003099/

An article in the New York Times, dated July 6, with the initial announcement: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/07/science/07webb.html?_r=1

And a petition to President Obama to restore the project. International petitioners go to: http://planetary.org/special/action/index_international.html

19. Kingdon-Tomlinson Fund

The RASNZ is responsible for recommending to the trustees of the Kingdon Tomlinson Fund that grants be made for astronomical projects. The grants may be to any person or persons, or organisations, requiring funding for any projects or ventures that promote the progress of astronomy in New Zealand. Full details are set down in the RASNZ By-Laws, Section J.

For an application form contact the RASNZ Executive Secretary, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. R O'Keeffe, 662 Onewhero-Tuakau Bridge Rd, RD 2, TUAKAU 2697

20. How to Join the RASNZ

A membership application form and details can be found on the RASNZ website http://www.rasnz.org.nz/InfoForm/membform.htm. Please note that the weblink to membership forms is case sensitive. Alternatively please send an email to the membership secretary This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.

The annual subscription rate is $75. For overseas rates please check with the membership secretary, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

21. Quotes

"I just find that I don't value my opinion that highly so I don't know why other people would." -- Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe on why he is not on Twitter or Facebook.

"It is profitable, if one is wise, to seem foolish." -- Aeschylus.

Alan Gilmore Phone: 03 680 6000 P.O. Box 57 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Lake Tekapo 7945 New Zealand


Newsletter editor:

Alan Gilmore   Phone: 03 680 6000
P.O. Box 57   Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Lake Tekapo 7945
New Zealand